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Identifying the Rich Young Ruler

30 Jan
Rich Young Ruler - 2

from Google Images

Luke refers to a man who came to Jesus, asking how he might inherit eternal life (Luke 18:18). Only Luke mentions that he was a ruler (G758), while Matthew says he was a young man (Matthew 21:20, 22). All three Synoptics tell us he was very rich (Matthew 19:22; Mark 10:22; Luke 18:23), but Mark adds that Jesus loved him (Mark 10:21). So, he is a rich, young ruler, whom Jesus loved.

The Bible mentions several people who were rulers (G758). Jairus, whose daughter Jesus raised from the dead, was a ruler (G758) of a synagogue in Galilee (Luke 8:41), but Nicodemus was  also called a ruler of the Jews (John 3:1), probably meaning a member of the Sanhedrin (cf. John 7:50).[1] Nicodemus was one who helped bury Jesus. The other person was Joseph of Arimathaea (John 19:38-40). Joseph was a rich man (Matthew 27:57) and a member of the Sanhedrin, i.e. a ruler of the Jews. Both Mark and Luke tell us that Joseph was a member of the Council, the high court that ruled over Jewish matters (Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50). Luke adds that he did not consent with the Council that condemned Jesus to die, showing that he was, indeed, a member of the Sanhedrin.

Joseph of Arimathaea was a rich ruler of the Jews, but do we have any proof that he might be the rich young ruler who came to Jesus in Luke 18:18, and the person Mark tells us Jesus loved (Mark 10:21)? None of these matters can be set in stone, but, if all the pertinent Scriptures are taken together, we are able to come up with possibilities, even probabilities. The fact that Joseph is a rich ruler makes it ‘possible’ for him to be the same rich ruler who came to Jesus in Luke 18:18. In other words he is a candidate, just as Lazarus is a candidate, and that could make them the same person. What might turn these possibilities into a probabilities?

In a previous study[2] I had shown that Barnabas of the book of Acts was actually Joseph, whom the Apostles named Barnabas, because of his generosity and encouragement (cf. Acts 4:36). Barnabas / Joseph is also the brother of Mary, the mother of Mark (Colossians 4:10; cf. Acts 12:12), but who is this Mary? Luke refers to her in Acts as though we should know her. Peter immediately went to her home in Jerusalem, knowing he would find brethren there upon whom he could rely to tell James, the Lord’s brother, of his whereabouts (cf. Acts 12:12, 16-17). Again, if we use only the scriptures for her identification, this Mary can be no one other than Mary Magdalene, who is also Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.[3] If this is true, the Lazarus of the Gospel of John is the Joseph or Barnabas of Acts! Mary Magdalene = Mary, Lazarus’ sister = Mary, Barnabas’ sister. Since Barnabas’ real name is Joseph (Acts 4:36), the name, Lazarus, must be a code name used in the Gospel of John to hide Joseph’s / Barnabas’ identity from those who sought his life (cf. John 12:10-11).

We know that Joseph / Barnabas was rich (Acts 4:36). We also know that he had to have been a man of influence, because of those who mourned his death (i.e. Lazarus’s death – John 11:19). Note that the phrase “many of the Jews” who came to comfort the family were actually ‘many of the Jewish authorities’ at Jerusalem, which implies Lazarus / Barnabas (Joseph) may have been a member of the Sanhedrin. This logic creates the possibility that Barnabas / Joseph (Acts 4:36) is actually the ruler, Joseph of Arimathaea, and in making this connection, we create the possibility that Barnabas was also the rich young ruler of Luke 18:18, whom Jesus loved (Mark 10:21).

Luke 18:27 implies that the rich young ruler not only ‘could’ be saved, but ‘would’ be saved, because why would Jesus even mention this in connection with this man, unless he intended to do something about the incident? It is one thing to say all things are possible with God, and it is quite another to show that the thing pointed out, which was so difficult (Luke 18:24), was, indeed, possible with God. The fact that Mark points out that Jesus loved the rich young ruler indicates that Jesus intended to love this man into the Kingdom of God, showing how God both begins and brings to pass his work of salvation in one individual (cf. Philippians 1:6).

Whatever Jesus did in Lazarus’ life, other than raise him from the dead, it was well known that he loved him (John 11:5, 36). Moreover, Lazarus is the only male disciple in the Gospel of John who can be specifically singled out as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 11:5; 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). So, it is implied by loving Lazarus, Jesus was working in his life. In light of this conclusion, how can we simply read the fact that the rich young ruler was loved by Jesus, but at the same time discount any implication that this indicates Jesus worked in his life too? One doesn’t simply love a person and have nothing to do with him. That’s not love. Yet, Lazarus is the only male disciple specifically identified by saying Jesus loved him.

Consider, the fact that the rich young ruler had problems with following Jesus, because of his love for wealth (Luke 18:22-24). Joseph of Arimathaea had problems with following Jesus, because of his position among the rulers of the Jews (John 19:38), so he visited Jesus secretly. If these men are the same man and can be identified as Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead, what change could we expect in Lazarus’ love for Jesus? All of a sudden Joseph goes public and identifies himself with Jesus (Mark 15:43), asking Pilate for Jesus’ body. In Acts we find Barnabas giving away his wealth, the very thing that hindered the rich young ruler in the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus loved Lazarus, put his own life in jeopardy for Lazarus, and the love of Jesus mastered Lazarus’ problem of wealth and honorable position among the Jews, and he came to full repentance to become the one we know as Barnabas in Luke’s book of Acts.

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[1] John 7:50 – “Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,).” The phrase being one of them should not be part of the parenthesis. Nicodemus was one of THEM, i.e. one of the rulers (cf. John 7:48), as also Moffatt, Weymouth, the New English Translation and the Contemporary English Version also testify.

[2] See Barnabas, Whom Jesus Loved

[3] See my previous studies: Mary, the Mother of Mark; Who is the Unnamed Woman of Luke 7 and Mary Magdalene.

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8 Comments

Posted by on January 30, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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8 responses to “Identifying the Rich Young Ruler

  1. Patricia Watkins

    September 27, 2018 at 18:10

    Hi Eddie,

    Answering your Sept. 25 comments…and apologies in advance for the length of this…

    You couldn’t possibly weary me with a long post – used to work in a library, just for the sheer joy of surrounding myself with printed words. The church membership thing? It was my choice to part company, because “God hath called us to peace”, and my self-restriction on discussing Preterist issues openly (out of deference to my husband’s standing) had become too burdensome for my peace of mind. Remember Jeremiah’s distress at trying to refrain from voicing God’s truth in Jer. 20:9? I, too, became “weary of forbearing”, and I could not remain a member any longer.

    In your case, Eddie, you must have more patience than I. After about 3 years among them of holding to Preterist beliefs, I still saw no available outlet for any depth of scriptural discussion with anyone. Leadership was pleasant about it, but rather incurious and satisfied to remain in their comfort zone without looking into the issues. No acrimony on either side during a 3 hour visit with the head pastor before I withdrew my membership. Even went back later to attend a Revelation study series at the church. My pointed questions in open discussion were allowed, as well as one-on-one discussion with the co-pastor afterward. But for some reason, the co-pastor (who had led this same study several times before) halted the series before he was done, telling the class that he needed to wait until he was more certain of his position before continuing. Hmmm. Interesting.

    I’m glad you have been able to maintain a comfortable balance in your situation, Eddie. It must be helpful for your class to see that Preterism has a calm, approachable face that doesn’t have to isolate itself from others of differing views. That’s also why I choose to post on various websites across the entire eschatological spectrum, since keeping the peace for my husband’s health’s sake has limited any in-person fellowship for me. The man could get disturbed enough to have a heart attack if I’m not careful. He is a firm believer in fervently correcting anything he believes to be gospel error.

    About John Eleazar’s identity? I am following the information given by Pastor David Curtis on his Berean Bible Church website. The transcript of his sermon dated 01/10/16 on the “Gospel of John – Authorship” included a quote from a Willis Barnstone from “The Other Bible, the Secret Gospel of Mark”, p. 342 as follows: “In a letter that Clement wrote to Theodore, he stated that there was more testimony attached to Mark than was presently available. Within this original Gospel was a discussion of the young man, John Eleazar (Eleazar being the Hebrew of the Greek Lazarus), who after Yeshua raised him from the tomb, went to the Garden of Gethsemane clothed in a fine white linen garment cast over his naked body.” This, I believe, is where the identity of John Eleazar as Lazarus is initiated. From his website, it appears that Pastor Curtis has held to a Lazarus = John position ever since 2007, and has revisited the subject since then on various sermons. Currently he holds that John Eleazar / Lazarus wrote not only the Gospel of John, but the 3 Epistles and Revelation as well. There are similarities between all of these that lead me to the same conclusion as Pastor Curtis, unless someone can give me some solid evidence to the contrary.

    About the fact that John 20:8 says “…he BELIEVED”? The parallel account in Luke 24 tells us exactly what the beloved disciple believed when he saw the abandoned grave linens lying in the tomb. He believed what the women had just told to all the eleven, “and to ALL THE REST” (which included the beloved disciple in Luke 24:9-10). The women had just repeated the message given by the two men at the sepulcher: that Christ was risen: that He had fulfilled His own prophecy given to the 12 earlier in Luke 18:31-34 of being delivered to sinful men, crucified and raised from the dead on the 3rd day. The APOSTLES “believed not” this message from the 2 men, passed on by the women. After this, it was THEN (Luke 24:12) that Peter arose and ran to the tomb (with the beloved disciple, as John 20:3-8 tells us).

    Once the beloved disciple saw those abandoned grave clothes lying, THEN it says “he believed”. In other words, he believed the complete message the 2 men at the tomb gave to the women to pass on to the disciples. The other eleven disciples still did NOT believe, even later that same day at evening when Christ was bodily standing in front of them. Luke 24:41 tells us that they “yet believed NOT for joy, and wondered” until Jesus “opened their understanding”. The beloved disciple was not one of this unbelieving group of eleven original disciples, as you have taken pains to prove, Eddie, in your posts about Barnabas / Lazarus. Jesus only rebuked the original eleven for their “unbelief and hardness of heart” in Mark 16:14 – and the beloved disciple was not one of these eleven.

    About John’s / Lazarus’ trusted truthfulness as a perfected saint? You are correct that the truthfulness of the gospel has a stand-alone reliability that we should believe, regardless of the messenger. It is also true that we are responsible to exercise a true Berean caution of “trust, but verify” when it comes to scripture messages given to us – even were it an “angel from heaven”, as you have brought up from Galatians 1:8. Paul was using the impossible conditions of a HYPERBOLE there to make a point. Paul was not claiming there that an angel from heaven would actually attempt to preach another gospel to anyone. Neither could the perfected, resurrected Lazarus in a state of incorruptible righteousness practice this deception.

    Christ used the same type of hyperbole in Matthew 24:24 when He said that deception would be so convincing that IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, even the “very elect” would be deceived in those last days before AD 70. Those “elect” He spoke of were the ones under the altar in Rev. 6:9-11, and also in Luke 18:7 – the “elect” that God resurrected (by giving every one of them a white robe of perfected righteousness) and later avenged those “elect” speedily in AD 70. Lazarus was in the same righteous status as these “very elect” who were resurrected – it was not possible for him to be deceived, nor to deceive anyone else himself, either. This I believe, is the reason for the trust that Peter displayed for Lazarus the beloved disciple at the Last Supper when Peter prompted him to ask the Savior about the identity of the betrayer. It is also the reason for the editor of John’s Gospel to give his closing affirmations of John’s veracity in John 21:24, as well as John’s / Lazarus’ own bold claim of personal truthfulness in III John 12.

    About the John 21:22-23 text on Jesus’ intentions for the beloved disciple to remain until He came, but not specifically saying that John would avoid dying? We can’t form an assumed truth from a un-stated sentence (that the beloved disciple would surely die again later). All that the beloved disciple was saying was that Jesus spoke no words either one way or another about John dying or not dying. The exact recorded words of Christ were what John was interested in passing on – without a single word added or subtracted. He wanted to be a precise “court reporter”, with a word-for-word transcription of what Christ said.

    It’s almost as if John / Lazarus had to become his own “witness protection” program, so as to avoid becoming a sensational distraction to the gospel message that they were commissioned to deliver. How many times did Barnabas / Lazarus deliberately take the back seat and remain as unobtrusive as possible when working with others, such as Paul? I sense some real humility in Barnabas / Lazarus for wanting to keep the spotlight on the risen Christ instead of on his own resurrected self. As you have noticed yourself, Eddie, Barnabas tended to let Paul be the main spokesman, such as in the judgment of Elymas in Acts 13. Therefore, I believe John / Lazarus / Barnabas down-played Christ’s remarks in John 20:22 so that the focus of the disciples’ ministry would remain on Christ and His message rather than having them envy Lazarus in his resurrected state for his inability to die or be injured by persecution.

    About the Tertullian and Jerome account of the attempt to kill John by boiling him in oil? There is the circumstantial evidence of III John 12 that would seem to support that the episode actually occurred. But just like yourself, Eddie, I don’t lean on the extra-biblical to do the job of scripture’s testimony. Tertullian’s accuracy I take with a grain of salt, as with all the church fathers. He may have thought that it was an “ungrounded expectation that he (the beloved disciple) would remain alive until the coming of the Lord”, but Christ Himself definitely spoke through Paul about those who would be “alive” and “remain” until the coming of the Lord (I Thess. 4:15,17). The resurrected John / Lazarus was included as one of these “alive” ones who “remained” on earth in a resurrected state until Christ took all resurrected saints back with Him to heaven in AD 70. (No presumed mass translation of living saints was ever predicted in scripture – not in I Thess. 4, nor in I Cor. 15:51-52.)

    The III John verse 12 circumstantial evidence where Tertullian’s miraculous story might very well fit in would go as follows: Demetrius in that verse I take to be the same as the former idol-worshipping instigator of the Ephesian riot of AD 59 against Paul and the other church leaders in Acts 19:24 (including Gaius, to whom III John was written around AD 65). Yet in III John verse12, John gave this same Demetrius his highest recommendation, acknowledging that all men, and the truth itself had given a good report about this man. The only thing that could have convinced this dedicated idol-worshipper to do a complete 180 degree turnaround so soon would be something so miraculously compeling that he could not deny the power of Paul’s Savior.

    If John / Lazarus / Barnabas was doing ministry in the Ephesian church as a leader, and if Acts 19:38 shows that Demetrius probably brought a legal case against the Ephesian church leader John (since Paul, Demetrius’ prime target had immediately left Ephesus in Acts 20:1), then the Ephesian proconsul would have had the legal authorization through Nero to make a judgment against John, (the attempted boiling-in-oil incident). If Demetrius had “impleaded” a lawsuit against John, he would have witnessed the attempted execution – and survival – of John / Lazarus. Rather dramatic evangelistic methods, but necessary to turn Demetrius into a fervent believer that was worthy of John’s accolades in III John verse 12.

    Here is the record in the original Foxe’s Book of Martyrs from the 1583 edition before it was withdrawn from later editions: “The first Booke conteyning the X first persecutions, of the Primitive Churche. In this persecution John the Apostle and Evangelist was exiled by the sayd Domitianus” (Domitius Nero, according to the title page of the Syriac Peshitta) “into Pathmos. Of who divers and sundry memorable actes, be reported in sundry Chronicles. As first how he was put in a vessell of boiling oil, by the Proconsul of Ephesus. The Legend and Perionius say, it was done at Rome.” (material in parentheses mine)

    There is room to argue for or against this miraculous account and its details, so I only bring it up because it does seem to fit into the Acts 19 chronology and the III John 12 verse. If Tertullian thought that John underwent death, perhaps he was confusing John Eleazar / Lazarus with his sister’s son, John Mark – also a church leader (which was probably the “presbyter John” that Papias mentions in addition to James and John, sons of Zebedee in that portion of his work quoted by Eusebius).

    And about the church fathers’ record of an “aged” John, and the question of how a resurrected, perfect body could “age”? (I presume you are referring to Clement’s story of John as an old man and the young bandit?) You probably will not agree with this point, (and I think I’ve read one of your posts that denies this idea), but any resurrected saint, just like Christ our example, can appear in a “different form” – a “hetera morphe”. This, by the way, was absolutely essential for Christ, because on resurrection morning, the ascending Christ could not legally be installed as our high priest if He had any physical blemishes. Otherwise, He would have been disqualified to serve as our high priest according to the antitype of OT law. He offered Himself “WITHOUT SPOT” to God (Heb. 9:14). Once that blemish-free offering was accepted by God, Christ then returned to earth and could assume another appearance that day which had crucifixion wound holes, in order to convince the disciples that it truly was Himself. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus saw yet “another form” of appearance (Mark 16:12) – unrecognizable to them as the risen Christ. So, the resurrected Lazarus could also adopt any aged appearance at his own optional discretion, if necessary, to blend in unobtrusively with those serving in the church during those last days before Christ’s AD 70 return.

    There is also a sermon transcript on Pastor Curtis’ website bereanbiblechurch.org, where a Richard Nemec delivered a message on this theme of the “Resurrection Body of Christ” on 11/2/97 that covered some of this same view that I have brought up above.

    About the definition of the “First-begotten”? You’re right, Eddie, that I jump through a lot of hoops to prove my position. Just so long as they are all the RIGHT hoops, that shouldn’t pose a problem. I’ve no argument with the way you phrase things on this. It’s true what you wrote: “Jesus became the firstborn from the dead on the day of his resurrection”. It was ALSO included on that very same day, that morning after His Saturday evening resurrection, that Jesus ASCENDED to His Father for the first time in His glorified, resurrected body to apply His blood sacrifice on heaven’s mercy seat as our high priest. That’s my point; that it took that final step of ascension to give Christ the title of the “First-begotten”, when He was actually IN GOD’S PRESENCE in that resurrected form on “THIS DAY”, as Psalms 2:7 put it. In the soon-coming resurrection of AD 70, this was what the saints expected for themselves also; to “STAND BEFORE the Son of Man” in their bodily-resurrected forms (Luke 21:36) and to be presented “faultless BEFORE THE PRESENCE of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24). All of the benefits provided for the saints’ salvation completely realized.

    Apologies, Eddie, if I have assumed an agreement from one of your posts that you think Dan. 7:13-14 is speaking about Christ’s ascension on resurrection day. I should have noted the place where I read this on your blog so that you could do a retraction there if you wished to, but I’ve forgotten which post it was. My bad.

    Okay, I’ve gone waaay over on too much content here (overload is my usual Achilles’ heel), but thank you for the exchange of your thoughts, Eddie. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, but you can still invite me to back off of your turf at any time if you think it best. Just do like Dr. Gentry does on his website and don’t post my ramblings, and I will take the hint.

    Blessings on your blog…

     
    • Eddie

      September 28, 2018 at 10:26

      Greetings Patricia,
      Thank you for your comment. You stamina needs to be commended. Lord bless you.

      I don’t know that I have more patience than you or anyone else for that matter. However, I have learned that it is not my responsibility to change anyone’s belief about what the Bible says. I’ll state my case, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. I thought about ending our discussion last night, but this morning I have to wonder how much fellowship you get, if you don’t go to church. Even negative remarks about what you believe could be something desired, just so you could consider the stronghold you’ve built up and repair any damage done in the discussion. Most folks don’t like to admit they are in error. I know I don’t, so I allow them the same freedom I claim for myself, and most discussions have had with others have ended by this time.

      I have admitted error in the past, but it comes with a lot of inner pain, but a love for the truth permits me to endure the pain and go on from there.

      Concerning John Eleazar and the Secret Gospel of Mark, it is my understanding that the “Secret Gospel of Mark” is an Agnostic gospel. I would be very careful what evidence I would take from it in order to support the truth. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I am say extreme caution should be used. I don’t see how one could draw evidence from it to prove who the writer of the fourth Gospel is. The witness coming from the church fathers is that it was written by the Apostle John. As much as I don’t like taking a lot of testimony from them, I would choose their word over the writer of the Secret Gospel of Mark. No offense intended here, but be careful what you build using ‘evidence’ from there.

      Concerning John 20:8 and what the beloved disciple believed, your chronology contradicts the fourth Gospel. There Mary Magdalene ran to the two disciples (Peter, and Joseph/Lazarus) who were staying in Jerusalem and told them someone **stole** the body of Jesus. Even Mary at this point didn’t believe Jesus had been resurrected. The beloved disciple believed **something**, but only the women who fled the tomb (prior to the Mary’s return with the two disciples), having the revelation from the angels that Jesus was alive, knew that Jesus rose from the dead. If the beloved disciple really believed Jesus rose from the dead, why didn’t he offer his support to the women who testified of the truth? Not one word of his **belief** in the resurrection appears in any of the Gospel narratives, not even after Mary’s later arrival to say she actually saw the resurrected Jesus. Many Christians believe just as you do, that the beloved disciple really did believe in Jesus’ resurrection before any of the other men, but the scriptures simply do not support such an understanding.

      Concerning John 21:22-23 and the beloved disciple using hyperbole, hyperbole is exaggeration, and he doesn’t exaggerate here. He simply states what the Lord said, then he comments on it. His comment, not the Lord’s statement is in question. Why would he tell his readers that many believed the beloved disciple wouldn’t die, but the Lord didn’t actually say he wouldn’t die? You said: “We can’t form an assumed truth from a un-stated sentence…” Aren’t you assuming truth from an un-stated sentence? Where does it actually say the beloved disciple would never die and/or that he couldn’t be deceived? The implication of John 21:22-23 is that the beloved disciple would die, because Jesus didn’t say what other folks believed about the beloved disciple. In other words, other folks were wrong to believe such a thing. After all, Jesus didn’t say that!

      Concerning the beloved disciple having to be ‘his own “witness protection” program,’ you are making a lot of assumptions in that paragraph to support your theory. You tell the story and afterwards cause the scripture to agree. When you first mentioned these saints who were resurrected with perfect bodies (in earlier comments), you said they were gifts to the Church, why would God want to hide that gift or why would Paul for that matter? If the resurrected saint is really God’s gift, by all means put the gift out there in plain view for all to see. Let the “Gift” run point for the Gospel effort, after all, he can’t be killed. Let folks see the power of God up front. Forgive me, Patricia, but I’m getting awfully close here to describing a magician’s sideshow (viz. Tertullian’s boiling in oil incident). But, IF the beloved disciple couldn’t be killed, he would have the responsibility of being the stronger protecting the weaker brethren by taking the risks himself, similar to a parents protection for his or her children. Such a thing was never done according to Acts. The stronger in the faith (Paul, Barnabas, Silas etc.) took the heat for the new believers, but this was spiritual strength, not physical (superman type) power like you describe.

      Concerning your taking “Tertullian’s accuracy… with a grain of salt,” yet you completely believe his story about John being boiled in oil, and that without any additional support. Moreover, in order to lend credence to Tertullian’s magical account, you use 3John and Acts 19 to make Luke’s Demetrius the same person as John’s Demetrius, when there is absolutely nothing to connect the two, except that they have the same name. Lots of people had the same names; three sets of the Apostles – 6 out of 12 – had the same names. You seem to be stating your doctrine, and then interpreting scripture according to it. Patricia, I don’t think that is wise.

      Concerning my reference to Clement’s story of John as an old man and the young bandit, you used Mark 16:12 to say that John was in a different “form” (hetera morphe). Again, you are simply stating your doctrine is fact, and afterwards you interpret scripture according to it. However, it doesn’t work here. Strong’s number for “morphe” is (G3444) and below is what I claimed in a recent post in Luke’s Gospel:

      How should we understand Mark’s phrase: another form (Mark 16:12)? The word is used by Mark only here. It is used elsewhere only in Philippians 2:6-7 for the form of God and the form of a servant, but this doesn’t tell us how Jesus may have looked to the two disciples in Luke. Perhaps it pertains to the posture Jesus took with them, that is, he approached them as a stranger. I don’t believe Mark means that Jesus changed his physical appearance, nor does he appear to be in a ‘glorified’ form as some believe.

      The phrase is used seven times in the Septuagint, and from here we may obtain a better understanding of what Mark means. It is used, for example, in Daniel 4:36 for the appearance (G3444) Nebuchadnezzar enjoyed when he returned to his former glory, meaning his “excellent majesty” was returned to him. In Daniel 5:6, 9 and 10 the Greek is translated appearance (G3444) for the “kings countenance” being changed. In Daniel 7:28 it is used of Daniel’s own countenance (appearance – G3444) being changed after seeing the vision.

      The “form” (G3444) has more to do with one’s expression or posture. I have found that, if I meet a member of my church away from church, when that person isn’t wearing his “church clothes” etc., he looks different. Sometimes I wonder, if it is really who I think it may be. Folks have said the same about me when they meet me away from church. Think about it! We see one another every week, but almost don’t recognize one another outside that environment. Jesus’ resurrection was completely unexpected. The Apostles’ whole worldview had to change because of what occurred. They were taught a false doctrine by the Pharisees and priests. False doctrine is a strong delusion. It holds the heart and mind captive, and it is difficult for such a one to consider another point of view. Such was the case with the two disciples going to Emmaus. Do you remember how they recognized Jesus? It was in the breaking of the bread. That is when they saw his nail-pierced hands!

      Concerning Christ’s glorified body, he couldn’t have had his “glorified” body when he ascended at the time of the Wave Sheaf offering. In his glorified body/form he is God in every sense of the word, and is able to be **with** us individually and collectively at the same time. He couldn’t do that while in the body he possessed on earth during the days of his public ministry. He could be only in one place at any given moment, and he was subject to time etc. just as we are. Not so, in his glorified form. While he appeared to Mary, he couldn’t have been with the two on their way to Emmaus. When he was with them, he couldn’t have appeared to the eleven in the Upper Room. All these things were done in the same body he had during his public ministry. In heaven Christ is not so confined. Consider what he told the disciples the night before he died. If he stayed with them the “other Comforter” wouldn’t come. Why? Because he was with them at the table and wasn’t glorified yet, and he wouldn’t be as long as he ministered to them in that body. Jesus told them, if he went away he would come again to them (John 14:18-20), because our hope of glory is Christ **in** us (Colossians 1:27).

      Concerning Daniel 7:13-14 and how I interpreted it, no apology is necessary. I’ll simply try to find where that was and make a note there in that post that this is not what I believe today. As far as our discussion is concerned, there is nothing in your replies that would cause me not to post them. I did that to one or two other people, but I advised them not to continue doing what they were doing before I did it. Then, I told them after I refused to post their entire post that I wouldn’t continue in our discussion. If I don’t wish to discuss this further with you, I’ll tell you. I owe you that for the time you put into your replies. As I said above, I considered not replying to all of your comment, because it doesn’t seem like either of us intends to budge on what we believe about the beloved disciple, the 144000 and the resurrected saints etc. However, I don’t mind continuing further for the sake of your fellowship with believers. In my opinion, you need that fellowship whether or not you agree with the brethren on all matters. You will agree on the things you are willing to die for. I hope you would not be willing to die over this doctrine. I certainly wouldn’t, but I hope I would be willing to die to express my belief in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. There is a difference, and I hope you see that. Lord bless you, Patricia.

       
  2. Patricia Watkins

    September 24, 2018 at 16:37

    Hi Eddie,

    I appreciate your giving such a thorough response to my thoughts above.

    As to John Eleazar’s identity, you are definitely correct that he was NOT one of the original 12 apostles. This is fairly simple to prove that the beloved disciple John during Jesus’ ministry was not the same as John, the son of Zebedee, by comparing the names of the disciples that were fishing together when they encountered the risen Christ at the Sea of Galilee in John 21:2, 7. Here, the two sons of Zebedee (James and John) are mentioned separately from the two “OTHER” disciples, one of whom is the nameless “BELOVED” disciple who wrote the book of John (John 21:24).

    Another proof that John the beloved disciple was separate from the other 12 disciples was the fact that when John came to the empty tomb with Peter, John 20:8 says that “…he BELIEVED”. Later on that evening of that same day, Mark 16:14 says that Christ appeared to the 11 disciples (minus Judas) and upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because THEY BELIEVED *NOT* those who told them they had seen the risen Christ. Therefore, this proves that John the beloved was not considered one of the original 12 disciples.

    You are correct also that John, the beloved disciple, was NOT counted as one of the original 12 apostles when he was at the Last Supper. Peter did indeed ask someone outside of the group of 12 disciples to request Jesus to name the betrayer. Since this beloved John was the same as Lazarus, the beloved, resurrected one, as a perfected saint was above suspicion of being the betrayer of Christ, and could be counted on to truthfully pass on Jesus’ words without any deception.

    You have asserted that Lazarus was only raised to a “natural life” – not an “eternal life”. If that is true, then why do we have the double assurance that John the Beloved disciple / Lazarus could be presumed to never deceive anyone? (John 21:24, “…we KNOW that his (John’s) witness is true.” And III John v. 12, “…ye KNOW that our record is true.”) The appeal to John’s / Lazarus’ truthfulness could only be used for assurance if we are looking at John / Lazarus in the state of resurrected perfection of eternal life.

    You have also asserted that John Eleazar / Lazarus is “not the John of Revelation 1:1”. If that is true, then why do we have the record by Tertullian and Jerome that John (aka Lazarus, Barnabas, John Eleazar, etc.) was unsuccessfully boiled in oil by Nero’s order to the proconsul of Ephesus, just before John went to the isle of Patmos off the coast of Ephesus? If we are to believe Tertullian’s record of this failed attempt to martyr John (aka Lazarus, etc.), does that not indicate that Lazarus / John was raised – not to a “natural life” – but to a perfected, incorruptible, indestructible, eternal state? In that case, Barnabas / Lazarus would NOT have been able to sin, any more than it was possible for him to die again.

    I understand your objection to this, based on your firm belief that Christ MUST retain His title of being the “First-born” or the “First-begotten”. I agree that this IS absolutely necessary for Christ to be the “First-begotten” from among the dead above all others. But please check your definition by scripture of what this “First-begotten” status actually entails, according to God’s terms. The conditions that satisfy this “First-begotten” status involve ONE THING MORE than a saint simply being raised above ground in an incorruptible, “eternal life” condition. The last, most important step of our glorification is to actually STAND IN GOD’S PRESENCE BEFORE HIS FACE in that eternal, glorified, resurrected form. Only then, when we are face-to-face with our Creator in a perfected, bodily-resurrected form can all the terms of our “salvation package” be finally and completely fulfilled. (This is the critical difference in the “BETTER resurrection” , and the “BETTER thing” of Heb. 11:35 and 40.)

    This was Moses’ most earnest desire when speaking with God in the tabernacle; “Show me thy glory”, he begged. God relented to the point of allowing Moses to see His back parts, but not His face, or Moses would have died from the experience. (This may have actually been how Moses died on Mount Nebo, where God buried him. If that really was what happened – what a way for Moses to die, with his last view while on this earth being a vision of the glory of God’s face.)

    Christ accomplished this one, final step to become the “First-begotten” when He ascended to God His Father that morning after His resurrection (John 20:17). That is why God prophetically tells us in Psalms 2:7-8 about His Son, the risen Christ, that “THIS DAY have I *BEGOTTEN* thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”

    You have mentioned on another one of your posts, Eddie, (and I agree) that this conversation between God and His “First-begotten” Son took place in Daniel 7:13-14 when the Son of Man was BROUGHT NEAR BEFORE THE FACE of the Ancient of Days, and was given a kingdom as our high priest “king” in heaven. There were plenty of individuals in both OT and NT who were raised to an “ETERNAL life” while on the earth, but not one of them were “begotten” in the fullest, completed sense of our salvation experience until the 1,335th day in AD 70. Even Revelation 15:8 tells us when the temple was first opened in heaven for the bodily-resurrected saints to enter it. The time for this was at the end of the age when the last, 7th vial was poured out. Until that moment in AD 70, as Christ said in John 3:13, “…And NO MAN hath ascended up to heaven…”

    This scriptural definition of what was involved for Christ to be called the “First-begotten” (by His ascension to see God’s face in His glorified, resurrected body form) allows us to have individuals such as Lazarus and any others in scripture like him to be raised in perfected, “eternal life” body forms without Christ losing His status of being the “First-begotten”. In other words, there is a difference between the set of “First-fruits” (which involved many, including the 144,000 and Christ the First-fruits) and the single “First-begotten” one (which always and forever applies solely and exclusively to Christ alone out of all the resurrected saints).

    All this leads me back to considering that Barnabas’ / Lazarus’ decision in Galatians 2:11-14 HAD to be a decision based on righteous reasons and motives, even though Paul apparently didn’t understand this. You have said that both Peter and Barnabas did not want to jeopardize the work of the gospel at Jerusalem. We cannot be sure of Peter’s motives for withdrawing from the Gentiles. Perhaps Paul was right about Peter deserving blame for this. Perhaps not. But as I have suggested earlier, I believe it’s likely that Barnabas / Lazarus removed himself from the company of the Gentiles when the Jews came from James only to PROTECT those Gentiles from being targeted for persecution from the Jews by his presence among them. He was, after all, a well-known, easily-identified enemy of all the leaders of the Jews who considered him a traitor to the Sanhedrin, and hated the very sight of him. The apostle Paul, not being in a state of glorified, eternal perfection yet, (as Barnabas / Lazarus was) might have simply misunderstood Barnabas’ protective reasons for separating himself from the Gentile Christians on that occasion.

    You may still not agree with this position, Eddie, but I at least wanted to let you know how I break these things down, scripturally speaking.

    Blessings on your blog.

     
    • Eddie

      September 24, 2018 at 20:22

      Greetings Patricia and thank you for your latest submission. Lord bless you for your untiring efforts to digest his word. I wasn’t certain whether or not you wished a reply. Your “I at least wanted to let you know how I break these things down, scripturally speaking” left me with the impression that you didn’t want a reply. I have prepared one, but I hesitate to submit it, because I don’t wish to inundate you with negative submissions. I’d rather be more friendly and positive. :-)

      If you wish a reply, please don’t hesitate to say so. Lord bless you, Patricia.

       
      • Patricia Watkins

        September 25, 2018 at 11:07

        Hi Eddie,

        Certainly, I would be honored to read whatever response you have time to submit. I didn’t want to give the impression of “hogging your blog” by appearing to demand an answer from you – especially since you post so faithfully on different subjects. Good writing takes time, and I don’t want to presume on yours.

        You know the verse in Prov. 27:7, “…to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.” That would be me. There is no Preterist fellowship in my family or immediate community, and in order to avoid presenting a divided front to the congregation on these matters, 3 years ago I had to leave a 16-year-church membership where my (historicist position) husband still serves as an elder. Any interaction online with a fellow-Preterist of whatever mindset is a treasured experience – whether we can agree totally or not. And there is much on your site I do find agreement with, or I wouldn’t be checking in here regularly to read your contributions.

        If you are concerned about coming across as negative instead of positive – don’t be. Nothing in this world, even down to the atomic level, can function properly without positive polarity working in conjunction with negative. That’s the beauty of magnets. So…looking forward to your magnetic response…

         
        • Eddie

          September 25, 2018 at 14:43

          Greetings Patricia, I didn’t know you had to leave your fellowship. Was it your choice or were you asked to leave? I know from experience that it is a bit stressful. I am a Sunday school teacher at my fellowship, and my class knows where I stand on these things. I don’t always bring things up and for the most part avoid doing so, unless absolutely necessary to make the point. I don’t feel the need to change anyone, although that would be comfortable in the flesh. I simply trust God will bring us all into the unity of doctrine according to his wisdom. I pray about not making folks uneasy, and I almost quit teaching, because I thought I was being too pushy, but after speaking with my class, they didn’t see me coming on that way. So, I stayed.

          Thank you for such a nice comment about our differences. I puts me very much at ease, but I don’t wish to take advantage of this, because the flesh is sly, and I usually end up hurting folks when I’m not careful not only with what I say but how I say it. Well, that said, here’s my reply to your previous comment.

          Concerning John Eleazar’s identity, if the “Beloved Disciple” is not the Apostle John, as presumed by the early church fathers, why do you insist on calling him ‘John’? Do you have a scriptural authority for clinging to this identity?

          Concerning the fact that John 20:8 says “…he BELIEVED”. What did he believe? All we are told is that Mary told the two disciples that “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him.” (John 20:2). So, did he “believe” Mary’s story that someone removed Jesus’ body, or did he “believe” something else? If he “believed” something else, what was that, and what scriptural reference could you submit to support your point of view?

          Concerning the appeal to John’s / Lazarus’ truthfulness, that we could be assured of the truth only if he was in the state of resurrected perfection of eternal life – What is the difference between the truth stated by one of the New Testament writers and a **saint** from heaven? Jesus sent out his disciples with a message and he held those who disbelieved accountable. This means he expected folks to believe the fishermen and tax collectors, the zealots and the Pharisees that he sent out with his message. Paul tells the Galatians: “…though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). If we cannot believe the folks whom Jesus had chosen to deliver his message, (and he didn’t place any difference between any of them—that is ‘this one is more believable that that one’ etc. – if we cannot believe these men without their having perfect resurrected bodies, then what shall we do with Jesus’ words in Mark 16:16, where he holds folks accountable for how they treat the Gospel message?

          Concerning my assertion that the Beloved Disciple was raised to ‘natural life,’ I have offered the scripture where the beloved disciple denies Jesus ever said he (the beloved disciple) wouldn’t die (John 21:23). Why would he do that, if he actually could die? Certainly some believed he could die (John 12:10-11). Wouldn’t he be placing doubt in the hearts and minds of his readers, thereby ‘tempting’ them to disbelieve that he would live eternally, from the time Jesus resurrected him?

          Concerning the records of Tertullian and Jerome that John was unsuccessfully boiled in oil by Nero’s order to the proconsul of Ephesus, first of all, from what I understand, he was supposed to have been boiled in oil in Rome, not Ephesus, and under Domitian, not Nero. However, in an earlier record Tertullian admits that John later died. Notice both records:

          Even John underwent death, although concerning him there had prevailed an ungrounded expectation that he would remain alive until the coming of the Lord. [Tertullian; “A Treatise on the Soul;” Chapter 50; page 415]

          Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s! (i.e. John the Baptist – both were beheaded) where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile! [Tertullian; “The Prescription Against Heresies;” chapter 36; page 471] (parenthesis my comment)

          Neither Tertullian nor Jerome knew John. They lived long after John died, so neither is submitting his own witness. Moreover, there is also a record an ‘aged’ John in the testimony of the church fathers. If John had a perfect body, how did it age? Many of the early church fathers told some fantastic stories, some cannot be proved. I believe the Bible, not men, no matter how beloved and used of God they might have been in their day. If it isn’t in the Bible, I’ll use it if it can be proved, but I’ll hold it suspect, if it cannot be proved with other reports of the same events. I have absolutely no reason to believe Tertullian’s story.

          You said:

          I understand your objection to this, based on your firm belief that Christ MUST retain His title of being the “First-born” or the “First-begotten”. I agree that this IS absolutely necessary for Christ to be the “First-begotten” from among the dead above all others. But please check your definition by scripture of what this “First-begotten” status actually entails, according to God’s terms. The conditions that satisfy this “First-begotten” status involve ONE THING MORE than a saint simply being raised above ground in an incorruptible, “eternal life” condition. The last, most important step of our glorification is to actually STAND IN GOD’S PRESENCE BEFORE HIS FACE in that eternal, glorified, resurrected form. Only then, when we are face-to-face with our Creator in a perfected, bodily-resurrected form can all the terms of our “salvation package” be finally and completely fulfilled. (This is the critical difference in the “BETTER resurrection” , and the “BETTER thing” of Heb. 11:35 and 40.)

          Christ accomplished this one, final step to become the “First-begotten” when He ascended to God His Father that morning after His resurrection (John 20:17). That is why God prophetically tells us in Psalms 2:7-8 about His Son, the risen Christ, that “THIS DAY have I *BEGOTTEN* thee…

          Patricia, in the excerpt above you do a lot of “jumping through hoops” to prove your doctrine. The plain truth is that Paul claims that “this day” (Psalm 2:7-8) was the day of Jesus’ resurrection (Romans 1:4). So, Jesus was the ‘begotten’ Son of God (first born from the dead) from the day of his resurrection.

          You have mentioned on another one of your posts, Eddie, (and I agree) that this conversation between God and His “First-begotten” Son took place in Daniel 7:13-14 when the Son of Man was BROUGHT NEAR BEFORE THE FACE of the Ancient of Days, and was given a kingdom as our high priest “king” in heaven.

          I know that I haven’t said anything like this in any of my most recent posts. I don’t remember saying it in any of my studies years ago either, but I can’t rule that out. If I did, I was mistaken, and my understanding has changed on this issue. But, as I said, I don’t remember ever having this belief. Jesus became the first born from the dead on the day of his resurrection. This is how I understand the scriptures concerning this idea.

          This reply is already three pages in my word document. So, I’ll end it here. I do have other points I could mention, but this is more than enough for now. Lord bless you Patricia.

           
  3. Patricia Watkins

    September 18, 2018 at 12:04

    Hi Eddie,

    Agree with you that the rich young ruler was Lazarus. Would also love to agree with you that the rich young ruler / Lazarus is indeed the one known as Barnabas, but there is one nagging problem that is preventing me from doing so. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    When Barnabas was “carried away with their dissimulation” when Peter and others withdrew from eating with the Gentiles, this seems to be a fault in Barnabas (Gal. 2:11-14). If Barnabas is Lazarus, (the resurrected saint), he would not possibly have been able to commit any error in his practices. Resurrected people are without fault and are unable to sin in their incorruptible, perfected state. Therefore, if Barnabas was sinning just like Peter was in these Galatians verses by withdrawing from the Gentiles to be “politically correct”, he could not have been Lazarus.

    Now, the only way Barnabas could be Lazarus is if Paul’s analysis of Barnabas’ actions and motives was mistaken. This is possible, since Paul could have been mistaken in his other analysis of John Mark’s faithfulness, counter to Barnabas’ position. We know Paul eventually did do a later retraction (II Tim. 4:11 and Col. 4:10) about originally rejecting John Mark for his supposed motives for returning to Jerusalem and not going with them to the work. Or John Mark actually could have been in error, and then reformed his actions later. The blame for John Mark seems to be a debatable matter open to question, so we don’t actually know for certain if Barnabas was correct in His actions on the John Mark matter. This might also bring into question whether Barnabas actually was at fault in the Galatians 2 matter or not. Could Paul have been mistaken that Barnabas was “led away” by the same dissimulation of Peter? Could Barnabas have only *appeared* to withdraw from the Gentiles, but Paul interpreted his actions and/or motives wrongly?

    Here are a few reasons other than the ones you have given above that lead me to think Barnabas WAS Lazarus. The given surname of “Barnabas” meaning “The Son of Consolation” I believe is a reference to Lazarus / the beloved disciple John Eleazar being given the task by Christ at His crucifixion of being Mary’s “SON” who was to CONSOLE her after Christ’s death, and who would be responsible for her care thereafter. All the disciples knew that Lazarus / John Eleazar was given this charge by the Savior. “The Son of Consolation” (Barnabas) would seem to be a natural nickname given by the disciples to the man who became Mary’s “son”, in obedience to Jesus’ stated desires from the cross.

    Another reason is that Barnabas is called “our BELOVED Barnabas” in Acts 15:25 by the church when they commissioned Paul and Barnabas to go to Jerusalem to settle the circumcision question. This sounds identical to John the BELOVED disciple, as well as Lazarus the BELOVED, and the BELOVED rich young ruler. And another thing. Why would Barnabas, who in this context was entrusted by the church along with Paul and others to go to Jerusalem’s apostles and elders to settle the circumcision debate question, yet be the same one who Paul said was waffling on the very same point in Galatians? How could such a fervent defender of the Gentiles be the same man who was reputed to be “led away” by Peter’s dissimulation on this Galatians 2 question of eating with Gentiles?

    Another reason is the account of Paul and Barnabas going to Lystra, where they heal a cripple, and are idolized for it. This earned them persecution by the offended Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium who then stoned Paul. Why didn’t they also stone Barnabas who was with Paul? He had to have been there, because the very next day, Barnabas and Paul both left the city together to go to Derbe instead (Acts 14:20). Could it be perhaps because those Jews knew it was an impossibility to stone a resurrected man to death? (Lazarus / Barnabas)

    Just trying to balance everything out here. If what you are proposing is correct, Eddie, then the rich young ruler had a number of aliases. This would have been understandable, given that Lazarus would have tried to keep a low profile so as to protect those Christians who associated with him from being targeted by the hostile Jews who would have liked to kill him again if they could. Since that was an impossibility, they would have loved to kill anybody associated with Lazarus, maybe even Jesus’ mother Mary, who he was charged to protect. All his known aliases would be listed as…

    #1) the rich young ruler, beloved by Jesus
    #2) Joseph of Arimathea, ruler of the Jews
    #3) Joses, or Barnabas, a Levite from Cyprus, “The Son of Consolation”
    #4) Lazarus the resurrected, beloved disciple
    #5) John the beloved disciple, who became Mary’s “son”, the only one who “believed” when he saw the empty tomb, and the writer of John’s gospel, the epistles, and the Revelation
    #6) John Eleazar, with which the Lazarus name is connected

     
    • Eddie

      September 18, 2018 at 21:13

      Greetings Patricia, and thank you for reading and for your interesting comment. It is evident that you thought about this for some time.

      When Barnabas was “carried away with their dissimulation” when Peter and others withdrew from eating with the Gentiles, this seems to be a fault in Barnabas (Gal. 2:11-14). If Barnabas is Lazarus, (the resurrected saint), he would not possibly have been able to commit any error in his practices. Resurrected people are without fault and are unable to sin in their incorruptible, perfected state. Therefore, if Barnabas was sinning just like Peter was in these Galatians verses by withdrawing from the Gentiles to be “politically correct”, he could not have been Lazarus.

      To begin with, I believe Lazarus / Barnabas was resurrected to natural life (John 21:22-23), not eternal life. He couldn’t pass through locked doors etc. like the Lord could; nor could he disappear from sight at will. He was a human being in every sense that you and I are, subject to the same temptations and weaknesses that any other normal man would be. Aside from Jesus’ resurrection, there was no resurrection to eternal life until cir. 70 AD. So, we continue to differ about this understanding, and we can hardly expect to agree on Paul’s analysis of events, as long as we continue to disagree about when the resurrection to eternal life began to occur. Also, Jesus is called the FIRSTBORN from the dead (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5). That could hardly be true, if Jesus resurrected Lazarus / Barnabas to **eternal** life weeks, perhaps a month, before Jesus’ own death and resurrection. Therefore, in as much as I am able to understand, Barnabas was not a perfect /sinless saint.

      Concerning John Mark, much is not disclosed about this event due to the fact that Luke put copies of both his Gospel and Acts into the hands of Theophilus, high priest and son of Annas, the man particularly responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion. Accusations against the Jewish authorities and names of the saints had to be kept at a minimum, so the Gospel could be preached in Jerusalem in **relative** peace, because Jewish pilgrims from all over the empire came there annually. No other place was quite like Jerusalem for reaching folks with the Gospel. This is the reason behind Peter’s and Barnabas’ error in Antioch. The **men from James** were very powerful Jews, probably spies, as Paul suggested, and neither Peter nor Barnabas wanted to jeopardize the work of the Gospel at Jerusalem.

      Mark’s own actions had led to James’ (John’s brother) death and Peter’s imprisonment and the persecution that followed (Acts 12). Peter had to flee to Antioch, because of Mark’s misunderstanding of Paul’s activity on Cyprus. Paul wanted Mark to prove himself before accepting him back into the work, but Barnabas, his uncle, probably knew (or believed he knew) Mark’s heart. The fact that Barnabas was correct and Paul later received Mark as a brother valuable to the work, should in no way be interpreted as a lack of wisdom on Paul’s part over this situation.

      Concerning John Eleazar, in my opinion, the Gospel of John is misnamed. It is not the Gospel of John the Apostle (one of the Twelve); it is the Gospel of Barnabas / Lazarus (Joseph of Arimathaea), an entirely different person. Also, this man is not the John of Revelation 1:1. When Jesus revealed that his betrayer was one of the Twelve, it is ludicrous to assume Peter would ask **one of the Twelve** to ask Jesus who the betrayer was. If that were the case, Peter could have been asking the betrayer to ask Jesus who the betrayer was. It simply doesn’t make sense. The Beloved Disciple was someone other than one the Twelve.

      Concerning Barnabas and Paul at Lystra, you assume Paul and Barnabas were together. This doesn’t have to be true. It probably wasn’t true, since Barnabas wasn’t stoned as well (cf. John 12:9-11). Probably, Barnabas was with and encouraging the recent converts at Lystra, while Paul went out to the mission work, where he was found by his enemies.

      If I missed anything you would like me to have addressed, simply say so, and I’ll do my best to reply accordingly. Lord bless you, Patricia.

       

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