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Was John the Baptist Literally Elijah?

17 Mar

This will be the third posting for the discussion I am presently having with a young man by the name of Arthur. He holds to a teaching that considers the ministry of John the Baptist a failure, and that because John failed to prepare a people for Jesus, Jesus had to go to the cross. Our discussion began HERE, and I have posted my replies in the form of blog postings HERE, HERE and in this posting as well. I will put Arthur’s words in this discussion in bold italic, so that no one will confuse his words with my reply. In my earlier reply I made the statement that when asked whether or not he was literally Elijah, John replied he was not. Arthur responded with:

I know that John was not the ‘literal’ Elijah of 900yrs earlier. The Jewish people were not asking John if he was the literal Elijah. Malachi had said that Elijah MUST come before the Messiah, John was dressed as Elijah, saying the same words as Elijah, and had testified to Jesus at the river Jordon, it was a natural question for them to ask if John were that Elijah.

…The Jewish people were asking John if he was the fulfillment of Malachi. Not if he were the actual literal Elijah.

Well this is not the understanding of the speaker in the video[1] on your website. He says about 5 to 10 minutes into his lecture: “…Hey, Zach, get it? Elijah, your son is the Elijah! Now, according to the traditional belief, of which Zechariah was certainly an arbiter of that belief as a chief priest. Their expectation was that the literal prophet Elijah would return out of the sky, and that would be the sign of Christ’s coming.”

His understanding also agrees with what I have been able to find about the Jewish beliefs of that period: “that in the second year of Ahaziah, Elias was hid; nor will he appear, till the Messiah comes; then he will appear, and will be hid a second time; and then will not appear, till Gog and Magog come.” [Seder Olam Rabba, p. 45, 46]

In my opinion when John was asked if he were Elijah (John 1:21), he responded according to the intent of their question. If they mistakenly understood a literal interpretation of Malachi 4:5, as seems to be the case according to the Seder Olam Rabba quotation above, then John should have denied he was that Elijah. John and Elijah the Tishbite were two different people. Therefore, the doctrine that John the Baptist was confused about his calling is a false doctrine. The teaching that John the Baptist was a failure at his ministry is also a false doctrine, because he was great in the sight of the Lord, according to the Scriptures, and Jesus had only praise for him. As far as I am concerned, the gentleman in the video is confused about John, his ministry and its value in the sight of God.


[1] All reference to the speaker on the video concerns the video: “Divine Principle #9: The Purpose of the Messiah 2 ‘Jesus and John the Baptist’” found HERE..

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21 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2011 in Jesus, John the Baptist

 

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21 responses to “Was John the Baptist Literally Elijah?

  1. chibueze junior

    November 25, 2011 at 02:42

    pls,who is the least in the kingdom of God(luke7:28)i need more explanation.thanks

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      November 25, 2011 at 21:42

      Greetings and thank you for taking an interest in my blog!

      In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25) and pounds (Luke 19) it seems that some, by reason of their devotion to God here will have authority of varying degrees in the Kingdom, dependent upon what they did for God in their lifetime. This has nothing to do with whether or not one is saved, but it does have to do with our reward — what kind of life we will have in our salvation after Jesus returns. Some will have great authority and some little. He who has little authority in the Kingdom of God, which did not come until Jesus’ ministry, would be greater than John the Baptist — in this lifetime, and there was no prophet greater than he. This does not mean that John won’t have great authority in the Kingdom, but he was not in the Kingdom of God while he lived here on earth. He had great authority in the name of God during his ministry, but he who is least in the Kingdom of God has greater authority than John while he prepared the way for Jesus’ 1st coming.

      I hope this helps your understanding of Luke 7:28. Thank you so much for your kind words for me in your other comment. Lord bless you and your loved ones.

      Eddie

       
  2. chibueze junior

    November 25, 2011 at 02:38

    i thank God for you

     
  3. Arthur Gardner

    March 21, 2011 at 09:29

    One final example of your pwerful argument…

    “LEST I come and smite the earth with a curse”. Not an absolute, or God would not have used the word “Lest”.

    “And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.” (Luke 1:17 NET.)

    Sorry, Arthur, there is no “lest” in Luke 1:17. Gabriel said John “…WILL GO… BEFORE THE LORD IN THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH…”

    ‘lest’ is your word, not God’s, as far as Luke 1:17 is concerned. If you choose to use a ‘lest’ from another Scripture, that Scripture MUST be read in such a way as to not contradict what Gabriel said WOULD occur (cp. John 10:35).

    Luke 1:17 was referring to Malachi. As was I.

    Arthur

     
  4. Arthur Gardner

    March 21, 2011 at 09:16

    Hi Eddie

    Quote from Eddie

    “Ah! Okay! If I do this, it is a long explanation without Scriptural support, but you are merely presenting me with the evidence. I’ll have to remember that. :-)”

    Thank you for the debate, I now no longer wish to carry on with such an attitude.

    You may conclude, that I’m running away, because I was unable to stand against your powerful arguments, I am happy to leave you with that thought.

    God Bless you.
    Arthur

    John 16:25

    “…but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.”

     
  5. Arthur Gardner

    March 20, 2011 at 15:21

    Additional

    Look at those words of Jesus…

    John 5:31-32

    31If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

    32There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

    Jesus is saying if I bear witness to myself, it’s not true.
    John is a witness to me.

    Yet three chapters later, we see Jesus is doing a very strange thing…

    John 8:12-18

    Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
    The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
    Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
    Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
    And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
    It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
    I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

    Notice anything strange here? Jesus is testifying to Himself, after saying that if He does that, they should not believe Him.

    But most strange is, WHERE is Johns testimony?

    Jesus, have you forgotten about the person who was to prepare a nation before you?

    God Bless

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 21, 2011 at 08:02

      Concerning John 5:31-32 and John 8:12-18…

      But most strange is, WHERE is Johns testimony?
      Jesus, have you forgotten about the person who was to prepare a nation before you?

      In both Scriptures Jesus is referring to the Father as the second witness. By John 5, John is in prison. By John 8 John is dead.

       
  6. Arthur Gardner

    March 20, 2011 at 14:43

    Hi Eddie

    Quote from Eddie

    “We are at a bit of an impasse here. I’ll try to approach it differently. Suppose you lived in London. And a store truthfully advertised that they were selling computers lower than any other store in London. Their prices were the ‘least’ you could find anywhere else in London. No matter where you went in London you found everyone else’s prices were ‘greater’ than those in this particular store—same brand of computers, same everything except for the price. Nevertheless, you bought your own computer on the same day for a price lower than what the store in London was advertising. Assuming everything above is true, could you have bought your computer in London?”

    I like your analogy, but it does not quite work. Using your above analogy the purchaser is either wrong or is lying. As the reality of this discussion, is being based on the words of Jesus…

    Quote from Eddie

    “I wonder, then, if you are applying Jesus statement correctly. How could Jesus praise John, saying no prophet was greater than John, but those commandment breakers over there who teach falsely—they—are greater than John who is among the greatest of prophets?”

    Jesus would be correct to say this “IF” John did not fulfill that for which he had been born to do. The fact that Malachi say’s “Lest I smite the land with a curse”, clearly shows that there existed the possibility of something happening that was not God’s wishes.

    Looking at the past 2000yrs of the Jewish history, would you conclude that their history had been blessed or cursed?

    Their history was not intended to be a cursed history. “LEST, I smite the land…”

    In the sense of mission, John Was the greatest one, but in attending Jesus as the Messiah, he was the least one because he did not follow Him and serve Him as the Messiah as God had intended.

    Quote from Eddie

    “If we are going to be ‘technical’ then let’s be ‘technical’. John was asked a question, and the text says John’s reply was “I am not.” He didn’t say: “I am not Elijah.” John said, “I am not.” To find out what John meant by, “I am not.” We must understand what he was asked. Who were John’s interrogators, and what was their question? According to John 1:24, John’s interrogators were Pharisees. They were not Jesus, for example. They were the same people John elsewhere called a generation of vipers (Matthew 3:7). So, what did these ‘vipers’ ask John? They asked: “Are you Elijah?” (John 1:21). Should John say “I am” or should he say: “I am not”?

    Such a long explanation to explain what John meant, when asked if he were the Elijah?

    Are you the Elijah? I am not. Forgive me for misquoting by saying John said “I am not Elijah”

    Quote continued
    If John says “I am”, wouldn’t it be deceitful? After all, all of us are on record (you, me and the guy in the video) as saying these men believed Elijah had never died and was to come again out of the sky on a chariot. They expected a miracle worker like the first Elijah, but John didn’t perform any miracles. If John answered their question “I am”, would he be telling the truth?
    I will phrase it another way.”

    Was Jesus also being deceitful, when He said?…

    Mathew 11:14
    And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    Quote continued
    “What if Jesus asked John, “Are you Elijah?” would he have been asking the same question as these Pharisees in John 1:21? The words are the same, but would those words represent the same query? “

    Jesus would not have asked, for He already knew the answer. Also Jesus was answering this very question posed by the Pharasees as it was brought to him from his disciples, when it was asked of them.

    Quote from Eddie

    “for he will be great in the sight of the Lord…” – was this fulfilled in John’s life, or is this a false prophecy?”

    Not a false prophecy “IF” John was successful. John was not a robot, he had free will, he could do, or not do.

    The last words of Malachi clearly show a possible outcome not desired by God, “LEST”, I come and smite the earth with a curse.””

    Quote from Eddie
    “He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God…” – was this fulfilled in John’s life, or is this a false prophecy?”

    I have posted to you, the ‘actual’ accomplishments of John’s ministry, according to the accounts of the gospels. Exactly how many people did John turn to Jesus, according to the gospels?

    Quote from Eddie
    “…he will go as a forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah…” was this fulfilled in John’s life, or is this a false prophecy?

    John 1:20
    And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

    Quote from Eddie
    “Either John did as Gabriel said he would do, or Gabriel is a false messenger of God.”

    Or John failed to do what Gabriel said he would do, and Gabriel was a true messenger.

    Quote from Eddie
    “Where does it say in this same verse that John is ‘inside’ the Kingdom?”
    Are you asking me to show you something, which I never said? I at no time said that “John is inside the Kingdom”

    Quote from Eddie
    “Oh, pardon me. I didn’t realize I was the only one doing this.”

    If that is what I’m doing, then I apologize.

    Quote from Eddie
    “Where does it say in Luke 7 that John failed? In all of chapter 7 Jesus has nothing but praise for John, and he admonishes the leaders of the Jews for not believing him (John).”

    It doesn’t say in Luke 7 that ‘John failed’, and I did not say that those words were there. I am presenting you with the evidence that John failed.

    Quote from Eddie

    “And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

    “LEST I come and smite the earth with a curse”. Not an absolute, or God would not have used the word “Lest”.

    Quote from Eddie

    “At this particular time, Jesus alone is in the Kingdom. The Kingdom is within you (Luke 17:21). No other person could have been in the Kingdom of God until after Pentecost.”

    Luke 7:28
    “…but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

    Jesus is saying ‘he that IS least…’, present tense (not future tense).

    If Jesus is referring to people in the future, then how do they get into the kingdom, and John does not?

    Quote continued
    “This is when the Holy Spirit came down and began to dwell ‘within’ men who believed. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached. God is to reign in our hearts. If he reigns there, we won’t have to be forced to do God’s will; fulfilling his will would be our greatest desire. This was Jesus’ greatest desire; it was the very food for his Spirit (John 4:34).”

    I say this from your viewpoint, ‘Didn’t John also believe?

    I need to clarify something here, do you believe that John gets into the kingdom? My answer to this question is not a yes/no answer. It’s more complicated. Another subject.

    I have not responded to your penultimate paragraph, as it relates to a question I have asked just before it.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Normally, I neither post nor reply to a cut and paste. However, I’ll read what you have posted and consider replying to it. If I decide to reply, I’ll approve the ‘cut and paste’ comment, and reply beneath it, like I would any other comment.”

    Thank you, I do not foresee me doing so again.

    God Bless.
    Arthur

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 21, 2011 at 07:51

      Greetings Arthur,

      Concerning my analogy of buying computers…

      I like your analogy, but it does not quite work. Using your above analogy the purchaser is either wrong or is lying. As the reality of this discussion, is being based on the words of Jesus…

      Well, I have to say that your reply is true to form. You are also wrong. The key phrase was “Assuming everything above is true…” The only way the purchaser could have bought the computer for a lower price is to have purchased it outside of London—which, carrying this analogy over into Luke 7:28, the only way John, among the greatest of prophets, could not be as great as the least in the Kingdom is, if he were not in the Kingdom in the first place. Something having to do with the Kingdom makes people there in some way greater than anyone outside the Kingdom.

      Concerning Jesus’ saying the ‘least’ in the Kingdom are greater than John…

      Jesus would be correct to say this “IF” John did not fulfill that for which he had been born to do. The fact that Malachi say’s “Lest I smite the land with a curse”, clearly shows that there existed the possibility of something happening that was not God’s wishes.

      If Jesus hadn’t praised John throughout Luke 7 for what he had done in his ministry, you might have a case, but you seem to latch on to Luke 7:28 and completely disregard the rest of the chapter. You seem to be willing to sacrifice context for the sake of your doctrine.

      In the sense of mission, John Was the greatest one, but in attending Jesus as the Messiah, he was the least one because he did not follow Him and serve Him as the Messiah as God had intended.

      What Scripture tells you that John did not attend Jesus as the Messiah or follow him as God had intended? What Scripture tells us what God intended John to do? You are making a statement in order to support your doctrine, but you are not offering a Scripture to support what you are trying to say.

      Such a long explanation to explain what John meant, when asked if he were the Elijah?

      Well, ordinarily I wouldn’t have to do that, but we disagree concerning what John 1:21 is saying.

      Jesus would not have asked, for He already knew the answer. Also Jesus was answering this very question posed by the Pharasees as it was brought to him from his disciples, when it was asked of them.

      You seem to be avoiding my point. I had asked: “What if…”

      Concerning Jesus’ reply, Jesus was teaching his disciples. He was not so forthright with the Pharisees.

      Concerning Luke 1:15…

      Not a false prophecy “IF” John was successful. John was not a robot, he had free will, he could do, or not do.

      The words are: “for he WILL BE GREAT in the sight of the Lord…” (emphasis mine). Moreover Jesus agreed in saying none was greater than John. :-)

      Concerning Luke 1:16…

      I have posted to you, the ‘actual’ accomplishments of John’s ministry, according to the accounts of the gospels. Exactly how many people did John turn to Jesus, according to the gospels?

      The words are: “HE WILL TURN MANY of the people of Israel to the Lord their God…” (emphasis mine). And Jesus agrees: This is the one about whom it is written: ” ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, WHO WILL PREPARE your way before you.’ (Luke 7:27 NIV – emphasis mine).

      Concerning Luke 1:17…

      John 1:20
      And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

      Let’s see if your interpretation is correct… The words are: “And HE WILL GO as forerunner before the Lord IN THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.” (Luke 1:17 NET. – emphasis mine). The prophecy says this is what he WILL do. John 1:21 cannot be made to contradict what God says he WILL do. If you THINK it contradicts, then the problem is with your thinking not with the Scripture itself. Men’s thinking must change to agree with Scripture.

      Concerning Luke 1:15-17, I said either John did what Gabriel said he would do OR Gabriel was a false messenger of God…

      Or John failed to do what Gabriel said he would do, and Gabriel was a true messenger.

      Scripture doesn’t work that way, my friend. Either the prophet tells the truth, and everything he says comes true or he is a false prophet. The test of a prophet is whether or not what he says comes true—see Deuteronomy 18:21-22.

      Are you asking me to show you something, which I never said? I at no time said that “John is inside the Kingdom”

      If John is not inside the Kingdom, then why are you complaining that I am saying he is outside the Kingdom? If he isn’t in—he must be out. Is there another place to put him?

      It doesn’t say in Luke 7 that ‘John failed’, and I did not say that those words were there. I am presenting you with the evidence that John failed.

      Ah! Okay! If I do this, it is a long explanation without Scriptural support, but you are merely presenting me with the evidence. I’ll have to remember that. :-)

      Concerning Gabriel’s statement in Luke 1:17…

      “LEST I come and smite the earth with a curse”. Not an absolute, or God would not have used the word “Lest”.

      “And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.” (Luke 1:17 NET.)

      Sorry, Arthur, there is no “lest” in Luke 1:17. Gabriel said John “…WILL GO… BEFORE THE LORD IN THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH…”

      ‘lest’ is your word, not God’s, as far as Luke 1:17 is concerned. If you choose to use a ‘lest’ from another Scripture, that Scripture MUST be read in such a way as to not contradict what Gabriel said WOULD occur (cp. John 10:35).

      Luke 7:28
      “…but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
      Jesus is saying ‘he that IS least…’, present tense (not future tense).
      If Jesus is referring to people in the future, then how do they get into the kingdom, and John does not?

      Arthur, you just contradicted your own argument. You say that Jesus cannot be speaking of the future when he uses the present, yet in the above statement you used the present to express something stated in the past. We all do it. Scripture even uses the past to express the future (Psalm 110:1). David was speaking of a future event—see Mark 16:19.
      Look at this Scripture: “Upon whom thou shalt see [future] the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is [present] he which baptizeth [present] with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33).

      All the verbs are meant to be taken for the future, but two are in the present, and this is not difficult for us to understand. We note the context and it is automatic.

      When Jesus spoke in Luke 7:28, the people understood that the Kingdom was not yet, so they understood Jesus was speaking in the future. They thought the Kingdom would come when Messiah arrived and repelled Rome. In reality, Jesus was speaking of a spiritual Kingdom, not of this world (John 18:36). It is a Kingdom within man (Luke 17:21). But, whether it was physical or spiritual, the Kingdom was yet future.

      I say this from your viewpoint, ‘Didn’t John also believe?

      John believed Jesus was the Messiah, yes. But the Kingdom was future (except the King of the Kingdom was already there i.e. Jesus).

      I need to clarify something here, do you believe that John gets into the kingdom? My answer to this question is not a yes/no answer. It’s more complicated. Another subject.

      Of course, John gets into the Kingdom, but he was dead before the Kingdom arrived. In the resurrection, John is in the Kingdom of God.

      Lord bless,

      Eddie

       
  7. Arthur Gardner

    March 19, 2011 at 15:13

    The Video touched on this.

    James 2:24
    “You see that a person is justified by what he does…”

    John’s initial testimony to Jesus was direct, assertive and unequivocal.

    But what were the real results of John’s ministry? That is, how many people came to Jesus as a result of John’s testimony? How many of Jesus’ disciples started out as John’s disciples? Was John a follower of Jesus?

    There is no question that John amassed a large following. According to some historical records, John baptized hundreds of thousands of people. Mathew 3:5 “People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordon”

    Even though he denied that he was the Elijah, we can see in his choice of clothing that he in fact, had at least a modicum of awareness that he and the prophet of old shared some sort of common destiny.

    Mathew 3:4
    John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

    2 Kings 1:8
    They replied, “He was a man with a Garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist.”

    What was John’s impact on his own disciples?

    John 1:35-37
    Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

    This is the only known account of anyone following Jesus as a direct of John’s testimony. Two disciples. Yes, technically “two” is a “a people” as in “make a people prepared for the Lord”. However, even this result is debatable. One of the two is Andrew.
    Matthew’s gospel, records Jesus witnessing directly to Andrew and his brother Peter with no mention whatsoever of John playing a role. The other disciple spent the day with Jesus, but we never find out if he remained beyond that one day. So maybe two, maybe one, or maybe even none.

    We see that John’s disciples, even after his initial testimony to Jesus, maintain their separate identity as “John’s disciples.” Weren’t they supposed to be “a people prepared for the Lord”?

    Matthew 9:14
    Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

    This does not sound like the disciples have been influenced by John’s initial testimony. Notice that they identify more closely with the Pharisees than with Jesus. And, by the way, why does John still have disciples at this late date anyway?

    The conclusion is that though John’s initial testimony was powerful, for some reason it exerted little moral authority over his disciples to drop their nets and follow Jesus. Of course, the fact that John, himself, was not dropping his net and following may have contributed to that climate of hesitation.

    John’s impact on the nation

    What was the real influence of John’s testimony on the nation? There are two scriptures that give us an insight on this.

    Matthew 16:13-14
    When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

    What does this reveal? What is missing from this information? Was anyone saying “Jesus is the lamb of God”?

    Clearly they are familiar with the name and work of John. Obviously, they never heard John proclaiming that Jesus was the lamb of God.

    What had John been testifying to while in Caesarea Philippi, if not about Jesus?

    We see the same in Judea.

    Mark 6:14-15
    And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
    15Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

    No one was saying “Jesus? Isn’t that the person John said was the lamb of God?

    Given the scope of John’s mission as expressed by Gabriel, “to make a people prepared for the Lord,” this appears to fall short of that measure.

    The most telling measure, is John’s experience with Herod.

    Mark 6:19-20
    Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

    John had the kings ear. Herod “feared John”, “protected John” and “heard him gladly”. What was the most important bit of information that John could say to Herod? Perhaps, John needs to explain who Jesus is?.

    Yet, after John is beheaded, we see Herod strangely confused by the presence of this new figure: Jesus of Nazareth.

    Mark 6:16
    But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

    It was John, risen from the dead? How could Herod be so incorrect about Jesus if John had been testifying effectively? Obviously, John never witnessed to the king. Not a word? Not, “behold the lamb of God”? Not, Herod, come and worship Jesus?

    No impact on his own disciples, No impact in Caesarea Philippi, No impact in Judea, No influence with king Herod.

    Given these circumstances, how could anyone conclude that John accomplished his mission?

    God Bless.
    Arthur

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 20, 2011 at 22:10

      What I am replying to in this post is a ‘cut and paste’. Normally, I will not post a ‘cut and paste’ comment or reply to one. However, this one was brief enough to consider and Arthur, the gentleman I am discussing with, sought to further clarify his viewpoint by including this from his website. The fact that I am replying to this ‘cut and paste’ in no way obligates me to do so again, for Arthur or anyone else. I merely wish to add this disclaimer. :-)

      James 2:24
      “You see that a person is justified by what he does…”

      John’s initial testimony to Jesus was direct, assertive and unequivocal.

      But what were the real results of John’s ministry? That is, how many people came to Jesus as a result of John’s testimony? How many of Jesus’ disciples started out as John’s disciples? Was John a follower of Jesus?

      The four Gospel narratives are about Jesus and no one else. Whatever is of interest to his 3 ½ year public ministry is there. Other people are mentioned only as their story applies to Jesus and his Gospel. Very little is said about John the Baptist, to try to draw specific conclusions about his ministry from silence or general statements would be unwise, especially when the Gospel narratives are specifically about Jesus.

      If we can believe Jesus’ summary of John’s ministry in Luke 7, John did fine. Jesus had nothing but praise concerning John. If we are to believe Gabriel’s prophecy about John in Luke 1, while speaking with Zechariah, then John did fine. To conclude otherwise would mean that Gabriel, an angel sent by God himself, made a false prophecy.

      Even though he denied that he was the Elijah, we can see in his choice of clothing that he in fact, had at least a modicum of awareness that he and the prophet of old shared some sort of common destiny.

      Mathew 3:4
      John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

      2 Kings 1:8
      They replied, “He was a man with a Garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist.”

      The gentleman in the video is making a presumption about John 1:21, which he cannot support. The people who asked John if he were Elijah had false conceptions of who Elijah was. Their understanding was untrue and was not what God had claimed in Malachi 4. If John were to identify with their false teaching about Elijah, he would have been making a wrong statement. Gabriel told Zechariah that he should not be looking for **that** Elijah, the miracle worker who would come out of the sky in a chariot. For John to reply that he was **that** Elijah the Pharisees questioned him about, would be to deny the message of Gabriel who had said **that** Elijah didn’t exist.

      What was John’s impact on his own disciples?

      John 1:35-37
      Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

      This is the only known account of anyone following Jesus as a direct of John’s testimony. Two disciples. Yes, technically “two” is a “a people” as in “make a people prepared for the Lord”. However, even this result is debatable. One of the two is Andrew.

      Matthew’s gospel, records Jesus witnessing directly to Andrew and his brother Peter with no mention whatsoever of John playing a role. The other disciple spent the day with Jesus, but we never find out if he remained beyond that one day. So maybe two, maybe one, or maybe even none.

      The gentleman in the video presumes he knows what is going on, but he doesn’t. First of all, the account in John cannot be made to disagree with the account in Matthew, which is what he seems to be doing. John’s account of the two disciples occurs before Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus doesn’t name the 12 Apostles until several weeks into his public ministry. In fact, Peter who is mentioned in John doesn’t become an official disciple until after several meetings with Jesus. The gentlemen in the video seems to be bringing his doctrine to the text and then making the text prove his doctrine. That is not how it should work.

      We see that John’s disciples, even after his initial testimony to Jesus, maintain their separate identity as “John’s disciples.” Weren’t they supposed to be “a people prepared for the Lord”?
      Matthew 9:14
      Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
      This does not sound like the disciples have been influenced by John’s initial testimony. Notice that they identify more closely with the Pharisees than with Jesus. And, by the way, why does John still have disciples at this late date anyway?
      The conclusion is that though John’s initial testimony was powerful, for some reason it exerted little moral authority over his disciples to drop their nets and follow Jesus. Of course, the fact that John, himself, was not dropping his net and following may have contributed to that climate of hesitation.

      Jesus said no one could come to him unless the Father would draw that person (John 6:44). Who were Jesus’ disciples was not up to John. It was up to the Father. John’s mission was to prepare a people, and the Father would draw whom he wished to be Jesus’ disciples. The harvest of John’s work was not during Jesus’ public ministry but after Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell down upon the disciples. That is when the disciples of Jesus began harvesting the people prepared for the Lord.

      Moreover, John thought he should become a disciple of Jesus, and Jesus should take over his work (Matthew 3:14), but Jesus told him no. John should continue his work, and Jesus would do his. The righteousness of both ministries needed to be fulfilled (Matthew 3:15). So, naturally John would continue to have disciples. Jesus saw nothing wrong with that in Luke 7, where he praised John and condemned the Jewish leadership for not believing him (John).

      John’s impact on the nation

      What was the real influence of John’s testimony on the nation? There are two scriptures that give us an insight on this.

      Matthew 16:13-14
      When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

      What does this reveal? What is missing from this information? Was anyone saying “Jesus is the lamb of God”?

      Clearly they are familiar with the name and work of John. Obviously, they never heard John proclaiming that Jesus was the lamb of God.

      What had John been testifying to while in Caesarea Philippi, if not about Jesus?

      First, we have no record of John being in Caesarea Philippi. Jesus was not there because John had been there. Secondly, the speaker in the video presumes to draw ‘obvious’ conclusions from data he does not have. By the time of Jesus’ journey to Caesarea Philippi John had been dead for perhaps a year. People were drawing their own conclusions about Jesus. John’s work was finished, and it was praised by Jesus, so evidently the people were prepared, but the Gospel could not be received as it should until after Jesus was glorified and those drawn to him had the Holy Spirit.

      We see the same in Judea.
      Mark 6:14-15
      And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
      15Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
      No one was saying “Jesus? Isn’t that the person John said was the lamb of God?
      Given the scope of John’s mission as expressed by Gabriel, “to make a people prepared for the Lord,” this appears to fall short of that measure.

      Again the gentleman in the video draws false conclusions. We know they are false because Gabriel predicted John **would** be great in the sight of God (Luke 1:15), that many in Israel **would** turn to God (Luke 1:16) and John **would** go forth in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).

      What I see is that I must make a choice to believe either Gabriel or the man in the video. One of them is wrong. Gabriel predicts success, while the video concludes failure.

      The most telling measure, is John’s experience with Herod.
      Mark 6:19-20
      Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
      John had the kings ear. Herod “feared John”, “protected John” and “heard him gladly”. What was the most important bit of information that John could say to Herod? Perhaps, John needs to explain who Jesus is?.
      Yet, after John is beheaded, we see Herod strangely confused by the presence of this new figure: Jesus of Nazareth.
      Mark 6:16
      But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
      It was John, risen from the dead? How could Herod be so incorrect about Jesus if John had been testifying effectively? Obviously, John never witnessed to the king. Not a word? Not, “behold the lamb of God”? Not, Herod, come and worship Jesus?

      What I find **most telling** about the man in the video is that he would take Herod’s testimony over that of Jesus and Gabriel!

      None of the Herods were spiritual men. They fancied themselves worshipers of God, but they sought to kill Jesus, killed John the Baptist, killed James the Apostle and mocked Paul for preaching Christianity. Why would anyone wish to evaluate the ministry of a great prophet of God on the testimony of one of the Herods?

      No impact on his own disciples, No impact in Caesarea Philippi, No impact in Judea, No influence with king Herod.
      Given these circumstances, how could anyone conclude that John accomplished his mission?

      The impact on John’s disciples would not be realized until after Pentecost. Case in point would be Apollos in Acts 18:24-25. Knowing only the baptism of John, he preached Christ. Later, Paul met some men in Ephesus who are described as ‘disciples,’ presumably doing as Apollos had done, i.e. teaching Jesus, but knowing only the baptism of John; Paul instructed them more accurately, and they were baptized (Acts 19:1-5). You can’t get more ‘prepared’ than that.

      If John had no impact on Judea, how is it that the Scriptures say all Judea came out to his baptism? If he had no impact, why were his enemies, the Jewish leadership, concerned about what he was doing? As far as Herod is concerned, neither Jesus nor any of the Apostles had any ‘impact’ on any of the Herods, except to alarm them and be the recipients of their persecution.

      Given this understanding, I fail to comprehend how anyone could hold to the idea that John was a failure.

      Lord bless,

      Eddie

       
  8. Arthur Gardner

    March 19, 2011 at 15:02

    Hi Eddie

    Quote from Eddie

    “No! This is not what I asked. We both disagree on what Jesus is saying. “We both disagree on what Jesus is saying” ???

    You do? I don’t. (A Freudian slip?).

    Quote from Eddie

    “You are saying Jesus tells us John is least in the Kingdom. I disagree. I am asking you to show me where you see that. Point to the phrase in Luke 7:28 that shows John is least in anything. Then point to the phrase that says John is least in the Kingdom.”

    The last sentence of Luke 7:28 is your answer. Who is Jesus referring to when He says “he”, if not John?
    To be more accurate, Jesus is implying that John is lower than the least in the kingdom.

    Quote from Eddie

    “This point is a significant one, because by claiming that John is least in the Kingdom, you are saying that he not only broke the least of the commandments but also taught others to do so as well. Nowhere does the text support this, so I am wondering how you can come to this conclusion.”

    The teachings John gave …

    John 1:21
    And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

    The teachings of Jesus…

    Matthew 11:14
    And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    I’m not saying John broke ‘the least of the commandments’. What I am saying is, Jesus said if someone breaks a commandment and teaches that broken commandment, such a person will be called least in the kingdom. Jesus said of John, that even the least in the kingdom are GREATER than John. Quite strange, considering that John was the greatest ever born!!

    Mathew 11:15, is quite significant here.

    Quote from Eddie

    “What I am saying is that John told his interrogators he was not the Elijah they were looking for. They were looking for Elijah to come out of the sky like the speaker in the video says they looked for. John told them he was not their man.

    No, John did NOT say ‘who they were looking for’, he did say, he was not the Elijah; Full stop. But according to Jesus, he WAS the Elijah.
    And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Yes, this is true. The leaders of the nation have always been responsible for leading the nation away from God. This was so throughout their history. What I find difficult to believe is that you hold John the Baptist responsible for the leaders rejecting Jesus. Didn’t the leaders have freewill?”

    Because the leaders were waiting for Elijah, John was in the position to give them their Elijah, John did not give them Elijah.

    Matthew 11:14

    And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    Quote from Eddie

    “That is not what I said. God sent Elijah, according to Malachi to reconcile the hearts of the fathers and the children. Elijah was not sent as a personal “sign” of the Messiah. Look at Malachi 4. Where does it say Elijah was sent as a sign?”
    Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way **BEFORE** me.

    Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet **BEFORE** the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD

    The Jewish people (Leaders), knew that Elijah was to precede Jesus, therefore the very act of Elijah’s appearance, was a sign in itself.

    Why else do you think they were asking the disciples, where Elijah was?

    Matthew 17:10
    And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

    Quote from Eddie

    “Jesus told the disciples that John was Elijah. We agree with this point. However, the fact that Jesus had to tell them that John was the Elijah, shows that the Pharisees, whom the disciples were quoting, were looking for the wrong guy”

    Huh???

    The scribes ask John if he was the Elijah, Jesus says that John WAS the Elijah, and that proves they were looking for the wrong guy?????

    Jesus told the Disciples that John was the Elijah, because John denied he was the Elijah.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Jesus had nothing but praise for John. At least two of Jesus’ disciples were former disciples of John. Everyone loved John and appreciated his ministry. The Jewish leadership was teaching the people to deny both John and Jesus. They, not John, were responsible for the curses that came upon their nation.”

    Ultimately, it was the responsibility of the Jewish leaders, but it was John who had the responsibility to prepare the Jewish leaders.

    Luke1:1617 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a PEOPLE prepared for the Lord.
    John’s mission (as Elijah), was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

    Quote from Eddie

    “So when the leaders interrogated John, asking if John was the literal Elijah who was to come out of the sky, John simply said, “No! He was not their man!” (John 1:21).”

    The Leaders did NOT ask John if he was the ‘LITERAL’ Elijah!!
    Quote from Eddie

    “The Scripture tells us that God sent Elijah in the form of John. The Scripture does not tell us what John was to say except to prepare the way for the Messiah. Very few words of John are recorded and only a few verses in all four Gospel narratives are dedicated to John. What these few verses tell us is that John pointed to Jesus as the Christ and that the people believed John, but the leaders rejected him. John specifically denied that he was the Christ or ‘that’ Prophet (that Moses pointed to), “
    John did point to Jesus, but that was not the point. John should have pointed to Jesus as THE ELIJAH, it was Elijah that was important to the people, not John.

    Yes, the people did believe iJohn, and he told them there was NO Elijah.

    Matthew 17:10
    And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias ***MUST*** first come?

    Quote from Eddie

    “..and he denied that he was the Elijah who was to come out of the sky and perform all sorts of miracles that the Jewish leadership was expecting. That is pretty much all we are able to say for certain about John.”

    NO, John did NOT deny “that he was the Elijah who was to come out of the sky and perform all sorts of miracles that the Jewish leadership was expecting.”

    He simply denied that he was Elijah.

    Matthew 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    My question..
    [Can you point me to the scripture where Jesus says John is outside the kingdom? Jesus is saying that those who have taught broken commandments are called ‘least in the kingdom’.]

    Quote from Eddie
    “Luke 7:28 is the Scripture that shows John was not in the Kingdom of God. Jesus says first that among all those born of women there was none greater than John. Isn’t this correct so far?”

    Nowhere in Luke 7:28 does the scripture say, that John is ‘outside the kingdom’. The latter part of your sentence I do agree with (so far, lol).

    Quote from Eddie

    “Then Jesus says: but he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John. Who is least in the Kingdom of God? Matthew 5:19 tells us those who break the least of the commandments and teach others to do likewise. These people who are ‘least’ in the Kingdom of God are greater than John. Now you can have really great people in the Kingdom, and they would be greater than John, but the very least—the rock bottom—people in the Kingdom are also greater than John. Now logic tells us that John cannot be in the Kingdom of God, if everyone there, including the very least, are greater than he is. The only logical conclusion is that John is not (at that time of Jesus’ speaking) in the Kingdom of God. Look again at Luke 7:28.”

    You are making an assumption, based upon your existing beliefs. This debate has been on that very issue, WAS John successful in his mission?
    Further, it is not the only conclusion that can be reached, Jesus, can be saying those things, because the least in heaven ARE greater than John because of his failure.

    I’m stating, that Jesus is calling John lower than the least as further evidence that John failed in his mission, which was to prepare a PEOPLE for the Messiah.

    Quote from Eddie

    I agree that you can compare both Scriptures to show why those who are referred to as least in the Kingdom of God are called ‘least’. This is fine. But to show that John is a commandment breaker and teaches others to do so too?—no, that would be an error. The two Scriptures cannot be used in that way to show John is a failure, because Luke 7:28, as I claimed above, shows John is not in the Kingdom at the time of Jesus’ statement.

    If the scriptures we are discussing are as you say, concerning ‘outside the kingdom’, (from that viewpoint, EVERYBODY (including Jesus) is ‘outside the kingdom’, why does Jesus single out just John?

    Quote from Eddie

    “Unfair? If you mean that I was unkind, I apologize. It was not my intention to be unkind to you. However, I do think my statement is fair. As I tried to show above upon your own request, John was not, at the time of Jesus’ statement, in the Kingdom of God. All those in the Kingdom of God, including the very least of them were greater than John—according to Jesus.”

    No I meant you were being unfair, because I have at least a scripture to uphold my viewpoint…

    Luke 7:28. but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

    While you do the very thing you chastised me for (And without a reasonable scripture to uphold your viewpoint)
    You said…

    [“Arthur, look at what you are reading, please! Jesus **did not say** John was ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven.’ Jesus did say . that even one who is ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven’ is greater than John who is not in the Kingdom! Do you see that? I don’t believe my translation is that much different than yours.”]

    Jesus said no such thing. Show me the scripture where Jesus says…

    “Jesus did say . that even one who is ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven’ is greater than John who is not in the Kingdom!”

    That is what I meant by being unfair.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Okay, I will quote Jesus’ words here and pull them apart phrase by phrase, but it will all be a direct quote. If you would rather a different translation, quote the one you prefer in your reply and we’ll work with it:”

    I think that might be best. Whatever translation you use, should be fine with me.

    Quote from Eddie

    “If John is not as great as the commandment breakers who teach others to do as they do, then he could not be one of those people. Could he?”

    This is going to come across as very rude, believe me, I do not wish to be rude, but I do have to ask. If John is ‘not as great’ as the commandment breakers, is this not the same as saying, the breakers of Gods commandments are greater than John? In other words, people who break God’s commandments are greater than John? Which implies that they are greater than John because John broke even bigger or more commandments than they did.

    I do not understand what you mean by ‘he could not be ‘one of those people’. Aren’t ALL people, people?
    Jesus’ sentence is very simple; those who have broken God’s commandments are greater than John.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Sorry to hear your comments were not received well by others. Sometimes it is difficult to see someone’s point of view. I have to admit that at times I don’t know how you can hold the viewpoint you express, but if we could all see the same things others see and they of us, there would be no discussions. Would there? :-)”

    I am in total agreement with you. Yes, I do experience frustration as you must do, but in all honesty, my frustration is not of anger.

    There is further evidence from the gospels of why I believe as I do on this point of John’s ministry.
    I shall post that further evidence, directly after posting this page. You can reply or ignore as you see fit. But it will (I think) help clarify why I believe as I do.

    God Bless.
    Arthur

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 20, 2011 at 07:43

      Greetings Arthur,

      Concerning Luke 7:28…

      To be more accurate, Jesus is implying that John is lower than the least in the kingdom.

      We are at a bit of an impasse here. I’ll try to approach it differently. Suppose you lived in London. And a store truthfully advertised that they were selling computers lower than any other store in London. Their prices were the ‘least’ you could find anywhere else in London. No matter where you went in London you found everyone else’s prices were ‘greater’ than those in this particular store—same brand of computers, same everything except for the price. Nevertheless, you bought your own computer on the same day for a price lower than what the store in London was advertising. Assuming everything above is true, could you have bought your computer in London?

      Jesus said of John, that even the least in the kingdom are GREATER than John. Quite strange, considering that John was the greatest ever born!!

      I wonder, then, if you are applying Jesus statement correctly. How could Jesus praise John, saying no prophet was greater than John, but those commandment breakers over there who teach falsely—they—are greater than John who is among the greatest of prophets?

      Concerning John 1:21…

      No, John did NOT say ‘who they were looking for’, he did say, he was not the Elijah; Full stop.

      If we are going to be ‘technical’ then let’s be ‘technical’. John was asked a question, and the text says John’s reply was “I am not.” He didn’t say: “I am not Elijah.” John said, “I am not.” To find out what John meant by, “I am not.” We must understand what he was asked. Who were John’s interrogators, and what was their question? According to John 1:24, John’s interrogators were Pharisees. They were not Jesus, for example. They were the same people John elsewhere called a generation of vipers (Matthew 3:7). So, what did these ‘vipers’ ask John? They asked: “Are you Elijah?” (John 1:21). Should John say “I am” or should he say: “I am not”?
      If John says “I am”, wouldn’t it be deceitful? After all, all of us are on record (you, me and the guy in the video) as saying these men believed Elijah had never died and was to come again out of the sky on a chariot. They expected a miracle worker like the first Elijah, but John didn’t perform any miracles. If John answered their question “I am”, would he be telling the truth?
      I will phrase it another way. What if Jesus asked John, “Are you Elijah?” would he have been asking the same question as these Pharisees in John 1:21? The words are the same, but would those words represent the same query?

      Concerning Gabriel’s message to Zechariah…

      “…for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.” (Luke 1:15-17 NET.)

      “for he will be great in the sight of the Lord…” – was this fulfilled in John’s life, or is this a false prophecy?

      “He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God…” – was this fulfilled in John’s life, or is this a false prophecy?

      “…he will go as a forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah…” was this fulfilled in John’s life, or is this a false prophecy?

      Either John did as Gabriel said he would do, or Gabriel is a false messenger of God.

      Nowhere in Luke 7:28 does the scripture say, that John is ‘outside the kingdom’.

      Where does it say in this same verse that John is ‘inside’ the Kingdom?

      You are making an assumption, based upon your existing beliefs.

      Oh, pardon me. I didn’t realize I was the only one doing this.

      Jesus, can be saying those things, because the least in heaven ARE greater than John because of his failure.

      Where does it say in Luke 7 that John failed? In all of chapter 7 Jesus has nothing but praise for John, and he admonishes the leaders of the Jews for not believing him (John).

      I’m stating, that Jesus is calling John lower than the least as further evidence that John failed in his mission, which was to prepare a PEOPLE for the Messiah.

      “And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.” (Luke 1:17 NET.)

      Well, I would have to conclude that either your statement or Gabriel’s prophecy is totally wrong. One may be correct, but it is logically impossible for both to be correct.

      Concerning Luke 7:28 and John’s position…

      If the scriptures we are discussing are as you say, concerning ‘outside the kingdom’, (from that viewpoint, EVERYBODY (including Jesus) is ‘outside the kingdom’, why does Jesus single out just John?

      At this particular time, Jesus alone is in the Kingdom. The Kingdom is within you (Luke 17:21). No other person could have been in the Kingdom of God until after Pentecost. This is when the Holy Spirit came down and began to dwell ‘within’ men who believed. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached. God is to reign in our hearts. If he reigns there, we won’t have to be forced to do God’s will; fulfilling his will would be our greatest desire. This was Jesus’ greatest desire; it was the very food for his Spirit (John 4:34).

      Concerning Luke 7:28 as it is compared with Matthew 5:19…

      This is going to come across as very rude, believe me, I do not wish to be rude, but I do have to ask. If John is ‘not as great’ as the commandment breakers, is this not the same as saying, the breakers of Gods commandments are greater than John? In other words, people who break God’s commandments are greater than John? Which implies that they are greater than John because John broke even bigger or more commandments than they did.

      You are not rude—nothing is rude here.

      As I pointed out above when you asked why Jesus was singling out John, at the time of Jesus’ statement, only Jesus was in the Kingdom of God—(Luke 17:21), because the Holy Spirit was not yet given to man (John 7:39). Jesus was speaking of what it would be like in the future. There would be those in the Kingdom of God who, though they had faith in Jesus, would ignorantly teach wrong doctrines—not everything they taught, but some things. These would be ‘least’ in the Kingdom of God. John the Baptist was a great prophet—none greater than he, yet the type of life of even the ‘least’ in the Kingdom would have been greater than that of John’s. Why, because even the ‘least’ would be a Temple of the Presence of God. God would dwell within all—from the ‘least’ to the ‘greatest’ in the Kingdom. Nevertheless, at the time of Jesus speaking in Luke 7:28, no one but Jesus was in that Kingdom.

      I shall post that further evidence, directly after posting this page. You can reply or ignore as you see fit. But it will (I think) help clarify why I believe as I do.

      Normally, I neither post nor reply to a cut and paste. However, I’ll read what you have posted and consider replying to it. If I decide to reply, I’ll approve the ‘cut and paste’ comment, and reply beneath it, like I would any other comment.

      Lord bless,

      Eddie.

       
  9. Arthur Gardner

    March 18, 2011 at 15:42

    Hi Eddie

    In referring to a previous point.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Well this is not the understanding of the speaker in the video[1] on your website. He says about 5 to 10 minutes into his lecture: “…Hey, Zach, get it? Elijah, your son is the Elijah!”

    You are correct, the speaker does give the impression that John is the literal Elijah, in his defence, he does go on to say that that Elijah ‘is being fulfilled by your son’.
    Your point is well taken, and shall be passed on to the speaker.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Then one thing should be obvious. Someone is either hiding something or completely ignorant of the meaning of the passage. Would you agree to this?”

    A little harsh, but nfortunately I do agree.

    Quote from Eddie

    “To be certain we are on the same page, which statement stands alone, and what does that statement mean?”

    Luke 7:28
    For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

    Jesus tells us what it means…

    Matthew 5:19
    Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Quote from Eddie

    “According to the above Scripture, John denied nothing. You are inserting this opinion based upon your understanding of a different Scripture. Jesus has nothing but praise for John in Luke 7. Isn’t this true according to this particular Scripture? All Scripture must agree for God’s word cannot be made to contradict (John 10:35). You must believe this before you are able to make anything of your argument that John failed. If Scripture can be made to contradict then you actually have no authority for your opinion of any Scripture. Wouldn’t you agree? So, I must ask you: do you believe Scripture can contradict itself? “

    Are you saying that John didn’t deny he was that Prophet?

    John 1:21
    And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
    Mathew 17:11-13 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

    Matthew 11:14
    And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    Do I believe that scripture contradicts itself? No, I do not.

    Quote from Eddie

    “First of all, your conclusion is wrong. Many Jews in the first century accepted Jesus as the Messiah without seeing John the Baptist (Elijah), and continue to do so today.”

    Again, the words of Jesus…

    Luke 19:42-44 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
    43For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

    Yes, many who were uneducated in the scriptures could accept Jesus. But Jesus came to all the people, and it was the influence of the educated people, (the religious leaders), that would make the decision as a nation, to ‘Believe in Him whom He had sent’, or reject Him.

    Mathew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

    Also

    John 5:43
    I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Secondly, your interpretation of Malachi is wrong. God intended to send Elijah before the Day of Judgment in order to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. He did not send John so that the people could **see** him. Seeing John/Elijah was not the point of Malachi 4.”
    So, what you are saying is that God (via Malachi) told the Jewish people to expect Elijah before the Messiah, but the people were not going to be able to ‘see’ the Elijah? Then how were the people to KNOW that Elijah had come first? How could the Elijah prepare the way, if he is not among them???

    Why did Jesus say he had already come in the form of John…?

    Matthew 11:14
    And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

    Quote from Eddie

    “According to the speaker in the video, the people in the first century held a wrong interpretation of Malachi 4, and I agree with him on this point, but you seem to deny this in saying: “the people were holding true to their scriptures…” I find it interesting that you do so, but it is difficult to debate a point, if you point me to a video that explains your point of view, but then deny what the video claims! :-)”

    Yes and no, the people were wrong in expecting a “literal” Elijah (which I addressed earlier), I was speaking about the fact that they were right to expect Elijah before the coming of the Messiah. Just not a literal Elijah. No contradiction.

    Whether Elijah was to be literal or not, does not alter the fact that the people were holding true to their Bible, by first waiting for Elijah.

    Quote from Eddie

    “How is it possible for John to be among the greatest of prophets—no one greater than he—and yet be a failure? Could you please explain how one can be great in what he was, but at the same time be a failure at what he was?”

    It was God’s intention that John fulfill his role as Elijah, God had given John the greatest task of any prophet. God wanted John to accept the role of Elijah, tell this to the people then testify to Jesus AS the Elijah. By his denial, the people had NO Elijah, therefore Jesus MUST be false, because they were waiting for Elijah to come FIRST.

    Remember when God said that He was sorry that He had made Saul King? God’s expectation for Saul did not go the way God had wished (free will).

    Quote from Eddie

    “I have no doubt that Jesus explained very clearly what he meant. What I have trouble recognizing is that you know what Jesus meant. I don’t mean to be unkind with that statement. I am just having trouble seeing the validity of your point of view in these two Scriptures (Luke 7:28 & and Matthew 5:19). In Luke 7:28 Jesus is comparing apples with oranges to make a new point about the Kingdom, but you don’t seem to see it. John is NOT in the Kingdom. Jesus says the **least** IN the Kingdom are greater than John who is OUTSIDE the Kingdom. Jesus is talking about the kind of life in the Kingdom and the kind of life outside the Kingdom. Even the least important IN the Kingdom are better off than the most important OUTSIDE the Kingdom! In Matthew 5:19”

    Can you point me to the scripture where Jesus says John is outside the kingdom? Jesus is saying that those who have taught broken commandments are called ‘least in the kingdom’.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Jesus is speaking about righteousness, that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20) if we should ever ENTER the Kingdom.”

    I agree.

    Quote continued
    “To try to wed Luke 7:28 with Matthew 5:19 for the purpose of comparison is to distort the meaning of both Scriptures. They are speaking of two different things.”

    They are connected. It is just hard for you to accept the possibility.

    In Mathew 5, Jesus is explaining how the people can enter into heaven, He explains that if someone breaks a commandment, and teaches that broken commandment, He shall call such a person least in the kingdom. Jesus is clearly saying such a person (Whosoever) WILL be called least…
    Jesus called John ‘least in the kingdom’.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Arthur, look at what you are reading, please! Jesus **did not say** John was ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven.’ Jesus did say that even one who is ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven’ is greater than John who is not in the Kingdom! Do you see that? I don’t believe my translation is that much different than yours.”

    A bit unfair I feel.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Jesus says the **least** IN the Kingdom are greater than John who is OUTSIDE the Kingdom”

    Where is the above verse?

    I shall endeavor, to adhere strictly to the letter of the law.

    Quote from Eddie

    “Well, Arthur, obviously you seem to conclude my explanation is out of context with Jesus’ remarks in Luke 7:28. Yet, in your explanation just above your remarks here, you misquote Jesus. How can your conclusion about Jesus’ explanation be correct, if you misquote him to explain an agreement between Luke 7:28 and Matthew 5:19? :-)”

    You read too much into my answer, you offered an explanation, I see Jesus explaining what He meant, with no disrespect to yourself, I choose to accept the ‘actual’ words of Jesus.

    I reply in kind, how can your conclusion about Jesus’ explanation be correct, if you misquote him to explain an agreement between Luke 7:28 and Matthew 5:19?
    Re-quote from Eddie

    “Jesus says the **least** IN the Kingdom are greater than John who is OUTSIDE the Kingdom”

    I would rather our debate did not descend into such childishness.

    Quote from Eddie

    “As I explained above, God did not send Elijah/John to be **seen** but to reconcile the hearts of the fathers and the children. Many Jews believed without ever having known John the Baptist.”

    Explanation offered earlier.

    Quote from Eddie

    “The problem is the Jews misunderstood Malachi 4—this according to the speaker on the video at your site (and I agree with the speaker on this point), but you don’t seem to wish to admit there is a disparity in the Jewish understanding on this point. :-)”

    Again, Explanation offered earlier.

    You impress me. Usually at this point of the debate on this particular subject, I am being accused of being the devil, or too stupid to continue in discussion. Or many others just resort to outright insults (at which point I gently end the discussion).
    You on the other hand, have shown great restraint (well, just a few little quips here or there).

    I would like to say thank you, for the way in which our conversation is going.

    God Bless.
    Arthur

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 18, 2011 at 20:39

      Hi Arthur,

      Sorry about the delay, but my daughter is getting married in two months, and we were doing wedding stuff all day.

      Concerning the difference in our interpretation of Luke 7:28 and Matthew 5:19, I said one of us (the speaker on the video or me) is either hiding something or completely ignorant of the meaning of these Scriptures…

      A little harsh, but unfortunately I do agree.

      Well, I don’t mean to be harsh. I simply want to be clear. One of us is completely wrong, but God, not I, knows the heart. :-)

      I asked you to go on record saying what statement in Luke 7:28 stands alone and what it means. You responded…

      Luke 7:28
      For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
      Jesus tells us what it means…
      Matthew 5:19
      Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      No! This is not what I asked. We both disagree on what Jesus is saying. You are saying Jesus tells us John is least in the Kingdom. I disagree. I am asking you to show me where you see that. Point to the phrase in Luke 7:28 that shows John is least in anything. Then point to the phrase that says John is least in the Kingdom.

      This point is a significant one, because by claiming that John is least in the Kingdom, you are saying that he not only broke the least of the commandments but also taught others to do so as well. Nowhere does the text support this, so I am wondering how you can come to this conclusion.

      Do I believe that scripture contradicts itself? No, I do not.

      Good and I agree. Neither do I believe the Scriptures contradict.

      Concerning the interpretation of John 1:21 and Matthew 17:11-13…

      Are you saying that John didn’t deny he was that Prophet?

      What I am saying is that John told his interrogators he was not the Elijah they were looking for. They were looking for Elijah to come out of the sky like the speaker in the video says they looked for. John told them he was not their man.

      Concerning many Jews believing Jesus was the Messiah, even though they never heard John…

      Yes, many who were uneducated in the scriptures could accept Jesus. But Jesus came to all the people, and it was the influence of the educated people, (the religious leaders), that would make the decision as a nation, to ‘Believe in Him whom He had sent’, or reject Him.

      Yes, this is true. The leaders of the nation have always been responsible for leading the nation away from God. This was so throughout their history. What I find difficult to believe is that you hold John the Baptist responsible for the leaders rejecting Jesus. Didn’t the leaders have freewill?

      So, what you are saying is that God (via Malachi) told the Jewish people to expect Elijah before the Messiah, but the people were not going to be able to ‘see’ the Elijah? Then how were the people to KNOW that Elijah had come first? How could the Elijah prepare the way, if he is not among them???
      Why did Jesus say he had already come in the form of John…?

      That is not what I said. God sent Elijah, according to Malachi to reconcile the hearts of the fathers and the children. Elijah was not sent as a personal “sign” of the Messiah. Look at Malachi 4. Where does it say Elijah was sent as a sign? God sent Elijah/John to reconcile hearts—before the Day of Judgment. It says nothing of Elijah being a “sign” that Messiah is here or will be here. Malachi 3 does say that the messenger (Elijah/John) would be sent to prepare the way of the Messiah. How would he prepare the way? Malachi 4 tells us by reconciling hearts. Elijah/John’s person was not a sign. The message was the sign. The Jews looked for Elijah with all kinds of miraculous power and missed the message.

      Jesus told the disciples that John was Elijah. We agree with this point. However, the fact that Jesus had to tell them that John was the Elijah, shows that the Pharisees, whom the disciples were quoting, were looking for the wrong guy. Jesus had nothing but praise for John. At least two of Jesus’ disciples were former disciples of John. Everyone loved John and appreciated his ministry. The Jewish leadership was teaching the people to deny both John and Jesus. They, not John, were responsible for the curses that came upon their nation.

      Concerning the coming of Elijah…

      Yes and no, the people were wrong in expecting a “literal” Elijah (which I addressed earlier), I was speaking about the fact that they were right to expect Elijah before the coming of the Messiah. Just not a literal Elijah. No contradiction.
      Whether Elijah was to be literal or not, does not alter the fact that the people were holding true to their Bible, by first waiting for Elijah.

      Fine! This is great. So, we all agree that the Jews misunderstood Malachi 4. They knew Elijah was coming, but they expected a literal guy coming out of the sky with great miraculous power. However, we need to understand this key point: what the people, especially the powerful Jewish leaders, held to was a misinterpretation of what the Bible claimed about Elijah. So when the leaders interrogated John, asking if John was the literal Elijah who was to come out of the sky, John simply said, “No! He was not their man!” (John 1:21).

      Concerning John, among the greatest of prophets, being a failure…

      It was God’s intention that John fulfill his role as Elijah, God had given John the greatest task of any prophet. God wanted John to accept the role of Elijah, tell this to the people then testify to Jesus AS the Elijah. By his denial, the people had NO Elijah, therefore Jesus MUST be false, because they were waiting for Elijah to come FIRST.
      Remember when God said that He was sorry that He had made Saul King? God’s expectation for Saul did not go the way God had wished (free will).

      The Scripture tells us that God sent Elijah in the form of John. The Scripture does not tell us what John was to say except to prepare the way for the Messiah. Very few words of John are recorded and only a few verses in all four Gospel narratives are dedicated to John. What these few verses tell us is that John pointed to Jesus as the Christ and that the people believed John, but the leaders rejected him. John specifically denied that he was the Christ or ‘that’ Prophet (that Moses pointed to), and he denied that he was the Elijah who was to come out of the sky and perform all sorts of miracles that the Jewish leadership was expecting. That is pretty much all we are able to say for certain about John.

      Can you point me to the scripture where Jesus says John is outside the kingdom? Jesus is saying that those who have taught broken commandments are called ‘least in the kingdom’.
      Luke 7:28 is the Scripture that shows John was not in the Kingdom of God. Jesus says first that among all those born of women there was none greater than John. Isn’t this correct so far?

      Then Jesus says: but he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John. Who is least in the Kingdom of God? Matthew 5:19 tells us those who break the least of the commandments and teach others to do likewise. These people who are ‘least’ in the Kingdom of God are greater than John. Now you can have really great people in the Kingdom, and they would be greater than John, but the very least—the rock bottom—people in the Kingdom are also greater than John. Now logic tells us that John cannot be in the Kingdom of God, if everyone there, including the very least, are greater than he is. The only logical conclusion is that John is not (at that time of Jesus’ speaking) in the Kingdom of God. Look again at Luke 7:28.

      Concerning comparing Luke 7:28 with Matthew 5:19 for the purpose of showing John is least in the Kingdom and a failure…

      They are connected. It is just hard for you to accept the possibility.
      In Mathew 5, Jesus is explaining how the people can enter into heaven, He explains that if someone breaks a commandment, and teaches that broken commandment, He shall call such a person least in the kingdom. Jesus is clearly saying such a person (Whosoever) WILL be called least…
      Jesus called John ‘least in the kingdom’.

      I agree that you can compare both Scriptures to show why those who are referred to as least in the Kingdom of God are called ‘least’. This is fine. But to show that John is a commandment breaker and teaches others to do so too?—no, that would be an error. The two Scriptures cannot be used in that way to show John is a failure, because Luke 7:28, as I claimed above, shows John is not in the Kingdom at the time of Jesus’ statement.

      I said: “Arthur, look at what you are reading, please! Jesus **did not say** John was ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven.’ Jesus did say that even one who is ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven’ is greater than John who is not in the Kingdom! Do you see that? I don’t believe my translation is that much different than yours.” And you replied:

      A bit unfair I feel.

      Unfair? If you mean that I was unkind, I apologize. It was not my intention to be unkind to you. However, I do think my statement is fair. As I tried to show above upon your own request, John was not, at the time of Jesus’ statement, in the Kingdom of God. All those in the Kingdom of God, including the very least of them were greater than John—according to Jesus.

      Concerning my saying that you misquoted Jesus in Luke 7:28…

      You read too much into my answer, you offered an explanation, I see Jesus explaining what He meant, with no disrespect to yourself, I choose to accept the ‘actual’ words of Jesus.
      I reply in kind, how can your conclusion about Jesus’ explanation be correct, if you misquote him to explain an agreement between Luke 7:28 and Matthew 5:19?

      Okay, I will quote Jesus’ words here and pull them apart phrase by phrase, but it will all be a direct quote. If you would rather a different translation, quote the one you prefer in your reply and we’ll work with it:

      For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (Luke 7:28 KJV)

      “Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist:”—I don’t think either of us will disagree with this. John is described as “among those born of women…” I assume we agree.

      “but he that is least in the kingdom of God…” Who is least in the Kingdom of God? I think we agree that it is the commandment breakers of Matthew 5:19 who teach others to do as they do. I assume we agree with this too.

      “…is greater than he.” I believe we agree that “he” is John. Who is greater than John? Isn’t it those who are called ‘least’ in the Kingdom of God (Luke 7:28)? And I think we agree that the least in the Kingdom of God are the commandment breakers who teach others to do as they do according to Matthew 5:19?

      If John is not as great as the commandment breakers who teach others to do as they do, then he could not be one of those people. Could he?

      Toward the end of your reply it seemed you were a bit frustrated with my replies. I wasn’t trying to do that. I was merely replying to your comments as best I could. If you repeated a subject, I didn’t wish to ignore it, because some who read what we say might view that as my avoiding to reply to a different way that you put an idea.

      Sorry to hear your comments were not received well by others. Sometimes it is difficult to see someone’s point of view. I have to admit that at times I don’t know how you can hold the viewpoint you express, but if we could all see the same things others see and they of us, there would be no discussions. Would there? :-)

      Lord bless,

      Eddie

       
  10. yies1

    March 17, 2011 at 17:20

    Additional

    God had placed John the Baptist in the position to say to the people that Elijah was here, that he was indeed the Elijah they were looking for.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 17, 2011 at 20:21

      Hi Arthur,

      I am replying to all three of your comments in this one reply. I hope that is suitable.

      I wasn’t objecting to your manner of reply, I was merely pointing out that the speaker had said, that the latter part of that sentence was typically omitted when in a discussion such as the one we are now enjoying. You then went on to also omit the latter part. I just found it interesting.

      Then one thing should be obvious. Someone is either hiding something or completely ignorant of the meaning of the passage. Would you agree to this?

      I do not see how you can say it’s taken out of context. It is after all, a statement, which stands on its own merit.

      To be certain we are on the same page, which statement stands alone, and what does that statement mean?

      Interesting verses, Jesus is saying did you go out to see a prophe?, and that is what they did go out to see. So John was the prophet. Yes John WAS that prophet, yet denied that he was.

      According to the above Scripture, John denied nothing. You are inserting this opinion based upon your understanding of a different Scripture. Jesus has nothing but praise for John in Luke 7. Isn’t this true according to this particular Scripture? All Scripture must agree for God’s word cannot be made to contradict (John 10:35). You must believe this before you are able to make anything of your argument that John failed. If Scripture can be made to contradict then you actually have no authority for your opinion of any Scripture. Wouldn’t you agree? So, I must ask you: do you believe Scripture can contradict itself?

      Also in the verses of Mathew 11:10, Mark 1:2 and Luke 7:27, Jesus is referring to Malachi 3:1, when speaking of John. Directly relating John to the role of Elijah.

      I have no argument with your statement here.

      Absolutely, he had a unique message, what was that message?, to tell the people that the Messiah was here. But, the people would NOT accept Jesus as the Messiah until they saw Elijah first.

      First of all, your conclusion is wrong. Many Jews in the first century accepted Jesus as the Messiah without seeing John the Baptist (Elijah), and continue to do so today. Secondly, your interpretation of Malachi is wrong. God intended to send Elijah before the Day of Judgment in order to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. He did not send John so that the people could **see** him. Seeing John/Elijah was not the point of Malachi 4.

      The people were only holding true to their scriptures, given to them by God via Malachi.

      According to the speaker in the video, the people in the first century held a wrong interpretation of Malachi 4, and I agree with him on this point, but you seem to deny this in saying: “the people were holding true to their scriptures…” I find it interesting that you do so, but it is difficult to debate a point, if you point me to a video that explains your point of view, but then deny what the video claims! :-)

      Yes, Jesus really is saying that John was lower than the least. Yes, John WAS the greatest born of woman, I do not dispute that. He WAS the greatest born, but he failed to accomplish that for which he was born.

      How is it possible for John to be among the greatest of prophets—no one greater than he—and yet be a failure? Could you please explain how one can be great in what he was, but at the same time be a failure at what he was?

      Jesus describes exactly and clearly, what he meant if he used the phrase ‘Least in the kingdom.’ It has nothing to do with being out of context.

      I have no doubt that Jesus explained very clearly what he meant. What I have trouble recognizing is that you know what Jesus meant. I don’t mean to be unkind with that statement. I am just having trouble seeing the validity of your point of view in these two Scriptures (Luke 7:28 & and Matthew 5:19). In Luke 7:28 Jesus is comparing apples with oranges to make a new point about the Kingdom, but you don’t seem to see it. John is NOT in the Kingdom. Jesus says the **least** IN the Kingdom are greater than John who is OUTSIDE the Kingdom. Jesus is talking about the kind of life in the Kingdom and the kind of life outside the Kingdom. Even the least important IN the Kingdom are better off than the most important OUTSIDE the Kingdom! In Matthew 5:19 Jesus is speaking about righteousness, that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20) if we should ever ENTER the Kingdom. To try to wed Luke 7:28 with Matthew 5:19 for the purpose of comparison is to distort the meaning of both Scriptures. They are speaking of two different things.

      Jesus said if someone breaks a commandment and teaches that, he shall be called ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven’. Jesus said that John was ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven’. Not out of context, not even close to being out of context. Just the words of the Jesus.

      Arthur, look at what you are reading, please! Jesus **did not say** John was ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven.’ Jesus did say that even one who is ‘Least in the kingdom of heaven’ is greater than John who is not in the Kingdom! Do you see that? I don’t believe my translation is that much different than yours.

      You offer a long explanation of just exactly what Jesus meant in Luke 7:28. Why do you need to explain this? Jesus already gives us His explanation…

      Mathew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
      You offer me a choice, to accept your explanation of what Jesus meant, or to accept Jesus’s own words about what he meant.

      I choose to accept the explanation of Jesus.

      Well, Arthur, obviously you seem to conclude my explanation is out of context with Jesus’ remarks in Luke 7:28. Yet, in your explanation just above your remarks here, you misquote Jesus. How can your conclusion about Jesus’ explanation be correct, if you misquote him to explain an agreement between Luke 7:28 and Matthew 5:19? :-)

      They missed the Messiah, because they were waiting for the Elijah to come FIRST. Without an Elijah, they could not accept Jesus as the Messiah.

      God told them Elijah would come first.

      As I explained above, God did not send Elijah/John to be **seen** but to reconcile the hearts of the fathers and the children. Many Jews believed without ever having known John the Baptist.

      God had placed John the Baptist in the position to say to the people that Elijah was here, that he was indeed the Elijah they were looking for.

      The problem is the Jews misunderstood Malachi 4—this according to the speaker on the video at your site (and I agree with the speaker on this point), but you don’t seem to wish to admit there is a disparity in the Jewish understanding on this point. :-)

      Lord bless,

      Eddie

       
  11. yies1

    March 17, 2011 at 17:17

    “If they understood their own Scriptures, how did they miss the Messiah? Why didn’t they see the crucifixion in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53? If they truly understood as they should have understood, why did they reject John/Elijah?”

    They missed the Messiah, because they were waiting for the Elijah to come FIRST. Without an Elijah, they could not accept Jesus as the Messiah.

    God told them Elijah would come first.

    God Bless.
    Arthur

     
  12. revelationunveiled

    March 17, 2011 at 11:49

     
  13. yies1

    March 17, 2011 at 09:55

    Hi Eddie,

    Quote from Eddie

    “In my opinion when John was asked if he were Elijah (John 1:21), he responded according to the intent of their question. If they mistakenly understood a literal interpretation of Malachi 4:5, as seems to be the case according to the Seder Olam Rabba quotation above, then John should have denied he was that Elijah. John and Elijah the Tishbite were two different people.”

    In order to uphold your views, are you really saying that the Jewish people did not understand their own scriptures?

    When the Disciples take the issue of the foretold Elijah to Jesus, Jesus does not think they are misunderstanding their scriptures, Jesus just answers, that he has already come, but they did not know him.

    Mathew 17: 10 -12
    10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

    Quote from Eddie

    “The teaching that John the Baptist was a failure at his ministry is also a false doctrine, because he was great in the sight of the Lord”

    “Least in the Kingdom” is how Jesus actually describes him. You may not like my posting of this, but this IS from scripture.

    God Bless.
    Arthur

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 17, 2011 at 10:46

      In order to uphold your views, are you really saying that the Jewish people did not understand their own scriptures?

      If they understood their own Scriptures, how did they miss the Messiah? Why didn’t they see the crucifixion in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53? If they truly understood as they should have understood, why did they reject John/Elijah?

      When the Disciples take the issue of the foretold Elijah to Jesus, Jesus does not think they are misunderstanding their scriptures, Jesus just answers, that he has already come, but they did not know him.

      On the contrary, they did not understand, because they were referring to the doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees, which completely misses to point of Malachi. Jesus never speaks to the false doctrine. Rather, he speaks as though the disciples understood. The fact that he had to explain that Elijah was John, shows they misunderstood. They had been looking for something/someone different–possibly a lot of fireworks etc. They missed him just as everyone else did. Jesus had to point them in the correct direction–then they understood.

      “Least in the Kingdom” is how Jesus actually describes him. You may not like my posting of this, but this IS from scripture.

      Actually, you have missed Jesus point. He shows John was then NOT a part of the Kingdom of God. Jesus said “he who is least in the Kingdom…” is greater than John. I explain this in greater detail in my next blog: Is John Least in the Kingdom? which is also a response to your previous replies in this discussion. :-)

       

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