Friday, December 16, 2011

JOHN: Most important writer of all time?

(This won't take long. I hope you will read it to the end.)

I have just finished writing point-by-point, step-by-step lessons through the entire Bible (almost 5000 lessons).

I am compelled to tell you how impressed I have been with the writings of John. And I want to share a very important conclusion at the end.

I believe that the Apostle John may be the most powerful, influential and pivotal writer of all time.

Yes. I believe that.

Anyone who reads the entire New Testament cannot deny the overwhelming influence of the Apostle Paul and his so-called "Pauline Epistles." After all, Paul did write the very largest portion of the entire New Testament, and I do not discount his writings by one iota.

But John wrote the Gospel according to John, the First, Second and Third Epistles of John, AND the Book of the Revelation. Those are five very amazing books. But they are not just five books.

John's Gospel is profoundly different in style and content from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, or Luke, and contains some of the most doctrinally-intense writings anywhere in the Bible. John narrated the life of Jesus Christ in a way that was quite unique from that of Matthew, Mark and Luke. His insights are crucial to every man's understanding of Christ.

John's three small epistles contain what is essentially the definitive treatise on the nature and identity of the spirit of antichrist. As such, John deals head-on with things that are almost never mentioned anywhere else in the Bible.

And there is no book anywhere else in the world that can compare to John's Book of Revelation. Although the Book of Genesis is one of the largest and most informative books of the Bible, the Book of Revelation contains almost three times as much proprietary information as just about any book in sacred canon.

NO OTHER BOOK more clearly reveals the divine destiny of mankind. That is very significant.

It is important to remember that John was one of the three closest confidants of Jesus Christ. Peter, James and John were the most intimate of all Jesus' apostles or disciples. It was John who leaned on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper, and John who apparently followed the LORD all the way from Gethsemane to Golgotha.

John, I believe, knew and understood who Jesus Christ was better than any man who ever lived. I believe that John was more deeply affected in his heart and mind by the true identity and mission of Jesus Christ than any person on record. He knew and believed profoundly that Jesus was God, our invisible Creator wearing a human body.

John, a fisherman by trade, was originally a disciple of John the Baptist, so he had an amazing primary initiation into the significance of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Then John began to follow Christ. For three years, John had the very closest access to Jesus. He walked beside Him daily, heard virtually everything Jesus ever said, and saw virtually everything He did during His adult ministry. They called him, "John, the Beloved." No man had more intimate fellowship with Christ than John.

John is the one who explained to us, perhaps better than anyone else, that Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, and that Jesus is actually God. "The world was made by Him," John insisted. Do not underestimate that statement!

That was a radical declaration. Almost nobody in Jesus' day realized Who He was better than John.

John taught us that anybody who denies that God is incarnated in Jesus is an "antichrist." John understood the incarnation better than anybody before him.

John saw Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration conversing with Moses and Elijah. John witnessed first-hand Jesus riding through Jerusalem, as people cheered Him as the King of Israel. John watched in horror as Jesus was dragged from Gethsemane, prosecuted and sentenced to death. John watched Jesus die on Golgotha. John saw Jesus after He rose from the dead and watched the clouds carry Him into Heaven. John was in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost, where he received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and spoke in unknown tongues.

John preached for many years and was heavily persecuted for his preaching. He was boiled in oil but did not die. He was exiled to the Isle of Patmos and left there to die.

On Patmos, John had visions of Christ and His angels, and revelations of things to come - of the end of the age and of the Eternal Things of God. John saw Christ on the Throne of God. John saw visions of Jesus coming with His Heavenly Army of Saints to wage the great and final Battle of Armageddon.

Finally, John saw the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of a New Heaven, descending to a New Earth after the old heaven and earth had passed away.

Without John, we would scarcely know Christ. With John's writings alone, we could know more about Jesus Christ than from any other solitary writer in history.

But John was also an ICONIC PROPHET. Almost nobody in the Bible (excepting perhaps Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah), had such a significant understanding about God's plan for the future. John saw more of the future plan of God than any man who ever lived.

John recorded more proprietary prophecies for the Last Days, including:
  • The Seven Churches
  • The Seven Spirits of God
  • The Throne of God
  • The Four Heavenly Beasts
  • The 24 Elders
  • The City of Heaven
  • The Seven Golden Candlesticks
  • The White Stones
  • The Saints in White Raiment
  • The Emerald Rainbow
  • The Angelic Choir
  • The Sea of Glass
  • The Seven Seals
  • The Four Horsemen
  • The Four Winds
  • The Heavenly Temple
  • The Great Tribulation
  • The Seven Trumpets
  • The Little Book
  • The Seven Thunders
  • The Two Witnesses
  • The Woman With Twelve Stars
  • The Manchild
  • The Great Red Dragon
  • The Seven-Headed Beast from out of the Sea
  • The False Prophet
  • The Mark of the Beast
  • The Image to the Beast
  • The 144,000 Virgins Sealed by God
  • Mystery Babylon
  • The Harvest of the Earth
  • The Harvest of Grapes of Wrath in the Winepress of God
  • The Lake which burns with Fire and Brimstone
  • The Scarlet-Colored Beast
  • The Great Whore
  • The Harlot Daughters
  • The Seven Vials of the Wrath of God (Seven Last Plagues)
  • The Tabernacle of the Testimony
  • The Battle of Armageddon
  • The Fall of Babylon
  • The Destruction of the Great Whore, The Mother of Harlots
  • The First Resurrection and Rapture of the Church
  • The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
  • The Army of Heaven
  • The Vesture Dipped In Blood
  • The Sword of His Mouth
  • The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • The Millennial Kingdom of Christ
  • The Beast and the False Prophet Cast Into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone
  • The Supper of the Great God
  • Satan's Doom
  • The Second Resurrection
  • The White Throne Judgment
  • The Book of Life
  • The Second Death
  • Sinners Cast Into Hell
  • The New Heaven
  • The New Earth
  • The Holy City, New Jerusalem
  • The Bride, The Lamb's Wife
  • And many other landmark, watershed topics.
With all these insights in mind, I will make my conclusion.

This man, John, DAILY walked side-by-side with Jesus Christ for more than three years, heard everything He preached, and saw everything He did. John saw Jesus ascend into Heaven.

I am extremely impressed with the LEVEL OF CONVICTION that John had about Jesus Christ.

If Jesus had been an impostor (as many say He is), John would have known it. But John lived to be a very old man on the Isle of Patmos. He had every opportunity to renounce or abandon his faith in Christ.

But he NEVER did!

JOHN PROFOUNDLY BELIEVED that the man he had been a close friend to when he was a young man was TRULY GOD INCARNATE.

John believed that Jesus would come back to earth, and at Armageddon, destroy all the enemies of Israel and set up a glorious 1000-year Kingdom on earth. John also believed that all the demonic antichrist spirits on earth would be brought to judgment, and that every sinner would be cast into Hell.

John believed that the present heavens and earth will someday pass away, and that Jesus Christ will create a New Heaven and New Earth. John believed that there will be a New Jerusalem where all the saints of all the ages will live with Christ forever.

I am impressed by the integrity and believability of John's testimony. There are no words to adequately depict John's heart-felt belief that Jesus was really GOD on earth.

If John believed that Jesus
is God, and that He is coming back, then I do too. I do not believe that there is a MORE CREDIBLE WITNESS OF JESUS CHRIST ANYWHERE than John.

I cannot describe how excited I am about Jesus' soon return.

John's writings deeply inspire me. I urge you to read them all.

Here are my notes on John's BOOKS:

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN
THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN
THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

I hope you will study them. They will greatly inspire you!

Thanks for reading!
God bless you.
Ken Raggio