On the Gospel of John, Part 39: The Inevitability of Persecution


Christogenea is reader supported. If you find value in our work, please consider donating to keep it going! See our Contact Page for more information.


  • Christogenea Internet Radio
CHR20191227-John39.mp3 — Downloaded 1604 times

 

On the Gospel of John, Part 39: The Inevitability of Persecution

As we brought our commentary On the Gospel of John to the end of John chapter 15, in a presentation which we had called Genesis Synthesis, we repeated some of the things that we had said over the previous chapters, first because Christ Himself had repeated some things that He had said earlier that same night, and secondly, because we wanted to elucidate the fact that many of the assertions which He had made in the gospel are intrinsically intertwined with the symbols and allegories found in the accounts in the opening chapters of Genesis. In turn, this helps us to understand and to prove that He is indeed the remedy for the fall of our race as it is recorded in Genesis, according to a plan which was first hinted at in the allegories of Genesis, and that this was planned by Yahweh from the beginning. So in our commentary we have sought to illustrate the fact that the plan of Yahweh our God for His creation was indeed known by Him, was revealed through the Scriptures as history progressed, and has not changed course since the very beginning. We must not think that it would suddenly change course today, or that our God would somehow forget His Word, as we have the Revelation of Christ and therefore we can certainly determine what is unfolding as it happens.

Now as we proceed with John chapter 16, we are continuing with John’s account of the things which Yahshua Christ had said to His disciples after they left the house where they had shared their so-called Last Supper, and they are apparently walking along on their way to the place where Christ would be arrested just before He was crucified. Throughout the discourse in chapter 15, Yahshua had encouraged His disciples to keep His commandments, that they would demonstrate their love for Him if they did so, and in that manner they would abide in the love of God. Then He also exhorted them to love one another as He had loved them, and that if they did that they would also be his friends. So it is obvious that we cannot love our God if we despise or neglect one another. Then He warned them that the world would hate them, because it also hated Him, as it hated God Himself, and once again hinting that He would be taken from them, He had promised to be with them in Spirit, in the form of the Holy Spirit. Now, provided that they keep all of these things and do them, as the dialogue continues in John chapter 16, He says to them:

XVI “1 I have spoken these things to you in order that you are not entrapped.

It must have been a scribal error, that the Codex Sinaiticus (א) wants the word for “not” in this verse.

Speaking to His disciples, Christ is warning them that the world will hate them, and He wants them to know ahead of time the risk which they were going to face for bearing His gospel. The Greek word which is rendered as entrapped here is σκανδαλίζω, which in the Passive voice is defined by Liddell & Scott to mean “to be made to stumble, take offence”, and therefore the King James Version has offended. According to Joseph Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, the verb “is found neither in secular authors nor in the Septuagint”. But the related noun is σκάνδαλον, which is defined as “a trap or snare laid for an enemy”. Christ was not warning them so that when they became embroiled with troubles their feelings would not be hurt. Rather Christ was warning them so that they knew the risk of the dangers they were facing before they actually encountered any trouble, that they would know that the dangers of spreading His gospel were inevitable. He had already told them, in the closing verse of chapter 15, “27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.”

The noun, σκάνδαλον, is the source of our English word scandal. It is translated as offence in the King James Version where Peter spoke of Christ as a “rock of offence” and Paul referred to the “offence of the cross”, because the refusal of the enemies of God to accept the Gospel of Christ was itself a trap which was designed for them to be caught in, as they are to this very day. The noun appears in the Septuagint in the 69th Psalm, in a Messianic prophecy against the enemies of God, where the word was translated literally by Brenton and it says “ 21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.” Paul used the same noun, σκάνδαλον, when he cited that passage in Romans chapter 11: “9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them.” Paul used the passage in the context of his own time in reference to those Israelites of Judaea who continued to reject Christ, that their attempts to keep the law would become a trap for them. Since no man can be justified by the law, men need the justification which is in Christ.

Evidently, a man who faces persecution on behalf of the cross of Christ is not entrapped if he knows ahead of time that he will be persecuted for upholding the Word of God, and that he will prevail even if he is abused and killed. That is because he should also be confident that he will prevail all the more for his testimony on behalf of the truth of God. Christ had already told His disciples, as it is recorded in Luke chapter 12, “4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Here He is conveying that same message in different words, mixing both warnings and encouragement throughout His discourse. Now He continues with warnings:

2 They will have you put out of the assembly halls. But the hour comes when anyone slaying you [B wants ‘you’] would suppose to be offering a service to Yahweh.

The Jews were already threatening to put people out of the synagogues for accepting Christ, as we had read in John chapter 9, where Christ had healed the man who was blind from birth, “for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.” So because He did wonderful and good things, Christ was rejected by the Jews, and anyone who witnessed His acts and believed Him were also rejected by the Jews. Then we read in John chapter 12 that this was the policy in spite of the fact that many of the leaders of the Judaeans did actually believe him, where John had written that “42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.”

So we see that politics prevailed in Judaea, rather than and even in spite of the faith, and in spite of Scripture even though the leaders of the province used Moses as the basis for their authority. Today we see the same phenomenon, where the majority of people go along with laws and statutes and church doctrines which are contrary to Christ, and contrary to the Christian ideals upon which our modern society was founded, even if they themselves don’t believe that the laws, statutes and doctrines are righteous. Keeping the Word of God was an anomaly then, and it is still an anomaly today. But today, after over a thousand years of mostly Christian governance in the West, we have once again arrived at a point in history where the Word of God is diametrically opposed to the governments of men. Until perhaps 60 or 70 years ago, Sodomy was considered an abomination and was outlawed in nearly every State. Fornication, or race-mixing, was also outlawed, and the bastard children of such unions were rejected by society. Today Sodomites are a vaunted and protected class, bastards are elevated as idols, and many other sins have become the acceptable norm, while Christians who continue to oppose these things on the basis of the Word of God have become the new demons and the enemies of the empire.

The hour comes when anyone slaying you would suppose to be offering a service to God: Of course, this was the fate of at least several of the apostles, beginning with the lesser James, the other son of Zebedee and brother of this apostle John, who was slain by Herod Agrippa I about 42 AD, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 12. Then the elder James was stoned in Jerusalem about 62 AD, and right around that same time Paul was executed by Nero. But the first such martyr mentioned in Scripture is Stephen, who was not an apostle, in Acts chapter 7. The Book of Acts also records some of the many persecutions which Paul of Tarsus and others had suffered by the Jews, although Paul had survived having been stoned at the instigation of Jews from Antioch and Iconium and several other persecutions before he finally arrived in Rome. There are fantastic tales of the ministries and ultimate deaths of most of the other apostles, but none of them are historical in nature, nor are they found in Scripture, while some are even contrary to Scripture. For those reasons, we will not repeat them here.

However the persecution of Christians persisted long after the apostolic age, and early Christians such as Tertullian, who wrote in the early 3rd century, had asserted that the Jews were behind those persecutions, either executing them or instigating the Romans to execute them. Unconverted, or pagan Romans, had mostly learned of Christianity from the complaints and slanders of the Jews, so what the Jews were saying about Christians is reflected in the writings of secular historians such as Cornelius Tacitus. In Book 15 of his Annals of Rome, for example, he wrote of the “sinister belief” of Christians, and described them as “a class hated for their abominations”. It seems that the Jews were just as much the masters of projection in propaganda in ancient times as well as they are today. Tacitus went on to mention the execution of Christ Himself, and called the Christian faith “a most mischievous superstition” while going on to justify the persecution of Christians for their “hatred against mankind.”

Once again, we see that same phenomenon today, where Christians who despise or reject sinners are accused of being hateful. Jewish organizations such as the ADL (the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, which actually exists to defame Christians) and the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) list even rather harmless, lukewarm Christians such as those at the American fundamentalist Family Research Council on their lists of so-called “hate groups”, because they rightfully reject sins such as Sodomy and abortion, which is the murder of unborn children. The truth is that such Christians are only trying to obey what their God requires of them, which is to love their God and keep His commandments, which require them to ostracize such sinners. Until recently, such Christians were the political majority, and their professions were the prevailing ideology, and they were considered “normal”. Now a few decades later they are demonized by the enemies of Christ, and government policy is favoring His enemies. In our opinion, under this current trend greater persecution of even marginal Christians is imminent.

Tacitus went on to describe the resulting execution and torture of Christians, where he said: “Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car [or carriage]. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed.” So although Tacitus realized that Christians were being executed to satisfy Nero’s own lust for bloodshed, he nevertheless admitted that the deaths of Christians seemed to be “for the public good,” a profession which certainly invokes the words of Christ here in John 16:2.

We cannot help but to notice that today, and for the past several decades, Christians have been ridiculed, demonized and dehumanized by the Jewish-controlled media, and the next logical step in that process is to silence them, and if they will not be silenced, then to eliminate them from society “for the public good”. This may not be the outcome, but it is certainly the course which much of the media and Jewish organizations such as the ADL and SPLC are urging the wider society to take. There is now a new program, called “Hatebase”, which local governments are being encouraged to participate in so that so-called “hate speech” can be monitored. This is just now being promoted in American cities, and Chattanooga, Tennessee is one of the first among them. We can be certain that this will also be used to silence Christians, or to persecute those who will not be silent.

Another ancient witness to Christian persecution is Pliny the Younger, who as governor of Bithynia had written letters to the emperor Trajan inquiring as to how to deal with Christians. In his letters, Pliny had called Christianity a “depraved, excessive superstition” and said “For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it.” Pliny was inquiring of the emperor just how far he should go to execute Christians, and he wrote “Is pardon to be granted for repentance, or if a man has once been a Christian is it irrelevant whether he has ceased to be one? Is the name itself to be punished, even without offenses, or only the offenses perpetrated in connection with the name?” Then he wrote of what he had already done to punish them:

“Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have followed the following procedure: I interrogated them as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.”

As a digression, it is evident that since Paul was also Roman citizen, he was able to appeal to Caesar and was sent to Rome in that same manner. But Christ was not a Roman citizen, so he had no avenue of appeal even if He wanted one – but of course He did not.

But in spite of the slanders of the Jews, even his own letter betrays the fact that Pliny had no real crime with which to charge Christians except for their professed belief, and for their refusal to worship the gods of the Empire. Speaking of those who were accused of being Christians and who had recanted their Christianity once they were brought to trial, he wrote: “They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.” Once they did that, Pliny absolved them for their repentance, and then he was able to question them, so he continued and wrote: “They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to do some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food — but ordinary and innocent food.”

So the only “crime” which Christians had committed in the eyes of Pliny was to worship Christ as God, rather than to worship the emperor and the idols of Rome as gods. Other than that, he could not really protest anything else which he was told, as even the Romans had laws forbidding fraud, theft and adultery, and laws or customs regarding trust and the payments of debts. The apostle Peter wrote in chapter 4 of his first epistle:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

These words are timeless. Today Christians are once again being forced to worship the gods of the Empire, and are compelled to accept all of the sins of those who worship the beast. Modern Jewry and the Jewish-controlled media routinely demonize Christians who seek to keep even the most obvious and innocuous commandments of Christ, those found in the ten commandments, and the Jews make criminals out of men for little more than seeking to be left alone in their faith. So there is little doubt that if the Jews continue to have their way, the time will come once again that “anyone slaying you would suppose to be offering a service to God”, although Jews certainly do not worship the same God, and rather their rabbis see themselves as gods and messiahs.

And in fact, even this process has already begun, but it is disguised as “politics”. The French Revolution was the purposeful destruction of White Christian France. The so-called War Between the States in America was the purposeful destruction of the White Christian South, which also destroyed many of the White Christian men of the North. The Bolshevik Revolution was the purposeful destruction of White Christian Russia, and the so-called World Wars were the purposeful destruction of White Christian Germany, which also destroyed many White Christian men of the Anglo-American alliance. Now there is a world-wide war against White society everywhere, disguised as a number of so-called “social justice” causes, and it is becoming more and more apparent that Jewry is behind it all, as the political mask has fallen to reveal the true nature of the devil who is waging that war. The revolutions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the world wars of the 20th century, and many other crimes of these centuries, such as the Holodomor in the Ukraine, were all persecutions of entire Christian nations perpetrated by world Jewry under the guise of politics or economics, and they are still ongoing today.

We cannot help but to compare the plight of early Christians living under the Roman empire to what true Christians may expect today, in the foreseeable trends existing under the modern empire. In Revelation chapter 17 there is a description of world empires as beasts, something which is also evident in the prophecies of Daniel. Ostensibly these beasts are the empires which would rule over the children of Israel. But the Revelation transcends Daniel to speak of a greater period of time, so there are more beast empires than those which were described by Daniel. So in that chapter we read: “10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”

We have discussed these things at length in our commentary of the Revelation, but we can only summarize them here. In Revelation chapter 12, the collective children of Israel are described as a woman which was taken into the wilderness to be nourished by angels, but the dragon would be wroth and continue to make war against her. Then in Revelation chapter 17, the apostle John is taken back to the wilderness to see the woman, and finds that she has become a whore who had joined herself to the beast. This is the state of our race today, where the White nations of Christendom have submitted themselves to the international banks which are mostly controlled by a handful of Jewish banking families of New York and London, and they have succumbed to all of the policies of the anti-Christs in the names of “commerce”, “globalism”, “diversity” and “world peace”, when there really is no peace. In this manner the beast actually hates the whore, and shall make her “desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” So far, some of the vehicles by which this is accomplished are things such as excessive taxes, promotion of usury, political wars, currency manipulation, commodities speculation, international charities, mass immigration, and minority so-called “crime”, which are actually individual acts of war, and now in more recent times, by the general acceptance of the sins of race-mixing fornication and Sodomy. All of these things and more are among the “fiery darts of the wicked” mentioned by Paul of Tarsus in Ephesians chapter 6.

Now, returning to John chapter 16, Christ once again makes an exclamation that exposes the Jews of His time, all the way down to the Jews of today, as frauds who are not who they claim to be:

3 And they shall [א has ‘would’] do these things [א and D insert ‘to you’; the text follows A, B and the MT] because they have not known the Father nor Me.

As the apostle John wrote later in his first epistle, “9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. [Just as Christians are persecuted for doing good, not for doing evil.] 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

Paul of Tarsus had more precisely explained in Romans chapters 9 through 11 that the Word of God did not fail when so many of the Judaeans had rejected Christ, because not all Judaeans were true Israelites, and many of them were actually of Esau, whose children were also of Cain through the Kenites and Canaanites with whom he had intermarried. Cain killed his supposed brother, Abel, and likewise the Jews would persecute true Israelites turning to Christ, thereby hating their own supposed brethren. So in John’s time those who persecuted Christians were following the path which Cain also took, since because their seed was corrupt their behavior was inevitable. [Today’s Jews persecute true Christians in this same manner, and for the same reason.] But for John, the first sign that one had an assurance in Christ was that one kept the commandments of Christ, and loved his brother.

While John did express the same things which Paul had, his expressions were not as explicit. But John nevertheless described those who were rejecting Christ in a similar manner, where he wrote in 1 John chapter 2 that “19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” So John explained in his own words that those who rejected Christ did so because they were not true Israelites.

On the other hand, the apostles Peter, Jude and Paul had all written of “false brethren” who infiltrated the assemblies of Christ in order to corrupt them. So we read in the gospel, as it is recorded in Mark chapter 7: “21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Regarding these Jews who rejected Christ, and whom Christ was warning would persecute Christians, if they were Israelites, they would indeed have known the Father, as Yahweh had said to the children of Israel in Amos chapter 3: “1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Then, in Jeremiah chapter 31 in a prophecy relating to the promise of a New Covenant, we read: “31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” There is a similar promise found in Hosea chapter 2, and Christ was declared to be the bridegroom of the betrothal, where Yahweh had said: “20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”

So with all certainty, the Jews – the Judaeans who had denied Christ and therefore kept the distinction of that name – are not of the children of Israel, or we must imagine God Himself to have failed, and for Christ to have been making a profession of that failure here. But Christ is not professing failure if the Jews who were His enemies were not truly Israelites. Just as He had told them in John chapter 10: “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” Here we see the phrase “they have not known the Father”, the verb being in a form of a past tense, the Aorist tense indicating that the action had already begun in the past, so they were not His sheep in the first place. It is not that they were not His sheep because they did not believe Him. Rather, He said that they did not believe Him because they were not His sheep, and they never were His sheep.

The Gospel was taken to Europe, Mesopotamia and Anatolia because that is where His sheep were at the time, they were the “twelve tribes scattered abroad”, not ten, but twelve, who were those to whom the apostles had brought His gospel. Once they were charged with that task, it was inevitable that the Jews would try to kill them just like they had killed Christ. This was also the experience which Paul later had, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 22, verses 21 and 22, where the Jews wanted to kill Paul as soon as he said that Christ had wanted him “Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Nations.” Later, in Acts chapter 26, Paul described that same commission in different words, where he said “6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.”

As Christ had had warned them in John chapter 15: “20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” That is the context for the continued discourse here, and in that manner He continues:

4 But I have spoken these things to you in order that when their [[א, D and the MT have ‘the’; the text follows P66, A and B] hour should come you may remember that I told you of them.

Where Christ refers to “their hour” here, He must be referring to the same hour which He had mentioned earlier, in verse 2 where He said “the hour comes when anyone slaying you would suppose to be offering a service to God.” But evidently “their hour” has come at many times in history, as at least many of the apostles had suffered at diverse times, and as the Jews continued to persecute Christianity long after the end of the apostolic age, and as the enemies of God continue to this day as the “princes of this world”. So the phrase seems to also have a greater, transcendental meaning, as we read in Revelation chapter 14: “ 6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This is the hour we must await, and then their hour certainly will come.

Now continuing with verse 4:

Yet I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

As we have recently discussed in this commentary, the apostles did not know everything they would ultimately need to know, even after having spent three-and-a-half years in the company of Yahshua Christ Himself. Rather, He had informed them that even after His departure they would receive an ongoing education and revelation through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Now here once again Christ tells them that they still have things to know, that there were things He had not yet told them, because, as He says “I was with you”. Later in the chapter, He once again tells them that they shall be led to truth by the Holy Spirit. Having the prescience of God, while there were many things that He taught them, He knew that no harm would come to them so long as He was with them. But now as He is about to be taken from them, He wants them to be aware of the dangers that they must also face. With this, we may realize that even God Himself dispenses information on a need-to-know basis.

For reason that no man can know what it is that he does not know, Paul warned the Corinthians in his first epistle to them, in chapter 8, “1… Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” Therefore keeping the commandments of Christ and loving one’s brother as well as God are more important to the Christian than knowledge. But Christians should also be confident, that they shall know what they need to know when Yahweh God wants them to know it.

Now He speaks to them of something which they should already know:

5 But now I go to He who had sent Me, and not one from among you should ask Me ‘Where do You go?’

Regardless of what is about to happen, they should be confident and know where He is going, since He has already told them precisely what would happen. Long before this, while they were in Gaulanitis, which is opposite the Jordan from Galilee on the west bank of the Sea of Galilee, we read as it is recorded in Mark chapter 8: “31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Now, earlier this very same night, as it is recorded in John chapter 12, He said to them “ 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Then a little later He had told them “28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” Yet apparently they continued to grieve, not having the same confidence that He had, that He would indeed overcome His impending death and be resurrected. So now He says:

6 But because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your hearts.

The apostles did not yet understand the implications of what He was telling them, that as he said in John 14:28, “If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” Then, in John chapter 15, in reference to the duty they had as His disciples, He had told them “11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Later this same evening, in John chapter 17, He speaks of them and says “13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” Evidently He was referring only to His people who were in the world, and certainly not to His enemies.

However it was not until long after the crucifixion that the apostles did come to understand all of this and then they wrote of the joy which they had in Christ, after they had seen His words come to pass with their own eyes, which is what He had told them would happen. So, writing his first epistle, this was the subject with which Peter had opened his letter, writing to the Christian assemblies of Anatolia and announcing to them that they were begotten “4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” So Peter was informing his readers of things which he began to learn only here, that the fact of the resurrection assured the people of Christ of their own resurrection, that they were in the hand of God and would not be lost, which we shall see later in this discourse in John chapter 17, and that they would certainly also face trials and persecutions on account of the faith, as Christ had warned His apostles here, and as we have seen manifest in the records of the Romans, from the writings of Tacitus and Pliny the Younger.

Now Christ tells them once again, that it is better for them if He dies:

7 Yet I speak the truth to you: it is an advantage to you that I depart. For if I would not depart, the Advocate shall [B has ‘would’; the text follows א, A, D and the MT] not come to you. But if I go, I shall send Him to you.

The 3rd century papyrus P66 wants the last clause of this verse, where it says “But if I go, I shall send Him to you.” As a digression, the pronouns used to refer to the Holy Spirit are often divided in the manuscripts between the masculine and neuter genders. [Yes, in language there are more than two genders, but not in biology. Saying that, however, will get a Christian persecuted.] In John 14:16 “another” is masculine, yet the first pronoun in 14:17 is neuter, and the manuscripts are divided between the neuter and the masculine on two occasions later in the verse. In 14:26 the first pronoun referring to the Advocate is neuter, and the second is masculine. In 15:26 the first and third pronouns are masculine, and the second is neuter, although that may refer to truth rather than the Spirit. Here and throughout chapter 16 the pronouns referring to the Holy Spirit are all masculine. [We do have an assurance, that trannies are an abomination to God, and the Spirit is never referred to with a feminine pronoun. But that profession may also get a Christian persecuted.]

The transcendental meaning of this passage, that it is better for the disciples if Christ goes to the Father, is only evident in an understanding of the relationship between Yahweh God and Israel. The children of Israel were estranged from Yahweh for the idolatry and fornication which they had committed, and they remained under penalty of death for that reason. Yet many of the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were without condition, and had to be kept by God. This leaves Yahweh with but one choice, which is to die on their behalf, so that they could be freed from the penalty of the law. So Paul wrote in Romans chapter 7: “1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” For this Christ had to die, that being Yahweh God incarnate, His death would free the children of Israel from the condemnation of the law, for which reason Paul explained it in this manner. Without that release from the penalty of death found in the law, the children of Israel could not be reconciled to God through Christ. Not being reconciled to God, they could not have the Holy Spirit. Later, in many of his epistles, for that same reason Paul would refer to his ministry as a ministry of reconciliation. As Paul himself attested in Acts chapter 26, the purpose of his ministry was to bring the gospel of reconciliation to the twelve tribes of Israel.

But in His death and resurrection, the children of Israel must also know that they shall also live, as Paul had also explained in Romans chapter 8, speaking of the true debt which Christians have to Christ, which is to depart from sin, contrasted to the debt of bondage which their ancestors had under the law, where he wrote: “12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

With that, once again we should perceive that persecution is inevitable, as those who seek to do good and to build the Kingdom of Heaven are hated by the evil in the world. Then as Paul concluded that “if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together”, it is evident that the persecution of Christians is to them a sign of the assurance of the reward, which is eternal life with Christ. Paul spoke to the Philippians in this same manner, assuring them that if they stood up to the adversaries of Christ, that in itself was an assurance of their salvation, in Philippians chapter 1 where he wrote “28 And in nothing being frightened by the opposition, which to them is an indication of destruction, but of your preservation, and this from Yahweh. 29 Because to you it has been offered concerning Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also in behalf of Him to suffer, 30 having that same struggle like you have seen with me, and now you hear of with me.” If one does not suffer worldly persecution, then one is not taking a stand for Christ, and the Jews hate those who accept Christianity, because in that acceptance they are confronted with their own ultimate destruction.

Paul had written again in this same manner in the earliest of his epistles, the first epistle to the Thessalonians, in his opening chapter where he said: “5 Because our good message has come to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit, and with much certainty, just as you know how we had been among you for your sake. 6 And you have become imitators of us and of the Prince, accepting the Word in much tribulation with joy of the Holy Spirit.” Then a little later, in chapter 2, he explains some of that tribulation: “9 You remember, brethren, our labor and hardship, working night and day, so as not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the good message of Yahweh. 10 You and Yahweh are witnesses, how devoutly and righteously and blamelessly we have been with you who believe - 11 exactly as you know - since each one of you, as a father to his own children 12 were we exhorting you and encouraging and testifying, for you to walk worthily of Yahweh, who is calling you into His own kingdom and honor. 13 And for this reason we also give thanks to Yahweh incessantly, because receiving from us the Word of report of Yahweh, you accept not a word of men, but just as it truly is, Yahweh’s Word, which also operates within you who believe. 14 You have become imitators, brethren, of the assemblies of Yahweh in Judaea which are among the number of Christ Yahshua, because these same things even you have suffered by your own tribesmen, likewise they also by the Judaeans: 15 those who killed both Prince Yahshua and the prophets, and banished us, and are not pleasing to Yahweh, and contrary to all men. 16 Preventing us from speaking to the Nations that they would be preserved, for which to fill their errors at all times, but the wrath has come upon them at last.” The Jews hated Christians in Paul’s time, and they continue to hate Christians to this very day for accepting Paul’s message and receiving the gospel of Christ, and therefore the wrath of God certainly will come upon them at last. So Christ next speaks to His disciples in relation to that same thing, in relation to the Holy Spirit:

8 And coming He shall convict Society concerning error and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment.

It was only by the Holy Spirit that the relatively small sect of Christians could have ever spread the Gospel of Christ to the point where it had prevailed over the opposition of the Jews, over the multitude of pagan philosophies among the Greeks, and over the pagan idolatry and god-emperors of the Romans, as they worshipped the images of their emperors as if they were gods. But as Christianity prevailed, the society did become convicted concerning sin and righteousness, and eventually ceased from much of its idolatry, although the later churches of the empire only painted a supposedly Christian face over some of the aspects of their idolatry. But more importantly, the nations of Europe adopted laws which were for the most part grounded upon Christian principles. If Christianity did not prevail, these words could not have come true, but because Christianity did prevail, in the face of serious persecution and against great opposition and many other long-established beliefs and philosophies, we know that Christ is God and that God is true. Now Christ explains His statement:

9 Indeed concerning error [or sin], because they do not believe in Me.

Ultimately, those who did not accept Christ were driven from society, once the Byzantine emperors had accepted Christianity. In the meantime, Jerusalem was destroyed at the hands of the Romans, and many of the enemies of Christ were destroyed in the revolts of the Judaeans in the first and second centuries, especially in Palestine and in Egypt. These revolts greatly weakened the power of the Jews within the pagan Roman society, until when the Romans finally accepted Christianity, and the Jews were ostracized almost completely.

10 Then concerning righteousness, because I go to the [A and the MT have ‘My”; the text follows א, B, D and W] Father, and you shall see Me no longer.

From later in this same chapter of John, later in this same discourse, Yahshua explained to them: “33 I have spoken these things to you that in Me you should have peace. In Society you have distress, but you must have courage, I have prevailed over Society!”

It was the promise of Yahweh in the Old Testament to execute His righteousness, and that righteousness meant a guarantee of preservation to the children of Israel. This is found in Isaiah chapter 45: “15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour…. 17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. 18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations [meaning the captivities of Assyria and Babylon]… 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth [the children of Israel who were to be scattered to the ends of the earth]: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength [which is apparently a reference to those who would bear the gospel of Christ]: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” The reconciliation of Israel is the fulfillment of the righteousness of God. Then Christ speaks concerning His enemies:

11 Then concerning judgment, because the ruler of this Society has been judged.

In John chapter 5 we read: “26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, thusly also He has given the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And He has given authority to Him to make judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be astonished at this, because the hour comes in which all those in the tombs shall hear His voice, 29 and they shall go forth: those having done good things to a resurrection of life, but those having practiced wicked things to a resurrection of judgment.” Daniel called this a resurrection to “everlasting contempt” in chapter 12 of his prophecy. The resurrection of Christ proves that these words are also true, as He said in John chapter 10 that “17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

Ostensibly, among the children of Israel, those who have done good are already given life, and those who have sinned and not repented will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for their sins. Paul of Tarsus explained this in the closing verses of 1 Timothy chapter 5, where he wrote that “24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” However in the end, as we have already read in Isaiah chapter 45, it is evident that “That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” and “In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”

Yet the enemies of Christ, whom He often referred to collectively as the “prince of this world”, is already condemned, so Christ avows that “the ruler of this Society has been judged.” In Matthew chapter 4, and Luke chapter 4, the “ruler of this society” is identified as the devil who claimed to rule over all of the kingdoms of the world, so by that we may understand the identity of both this ruler and that devil.

There is nothing that the enemies of God can do to redeem themselves, and He will certainly not redeem them. Then all of the goat nations also have their fate in the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”, where it is evident that they cannot change the fate for which they are already prepared. As John the Baptist had said, upon the announcement of the gospel the axe was already laid to the root of the trees, and in Matthew chapter 7 Christ had attested that “17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

As we had explained in our recent presentation Identifying the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, nations of men are descended either from the Tree of Life, which is the Adamic race created by Yahweh God, or from the corrupt Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so in that manner, in the end all of the goat nations, the non-Adamic nations, shall join the devil and his angels in the Lake of Fire. They have all already been judged.

The Crucifixion of Christ precipitated the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, as it was prophesied in Daniel chapter 9. The coming of Christ, whom Daniel calls “Messiah the Prince”, is prophesied along with the destruction of Jerusalem, and it is dated in periods of weeks, each week evidently standing for seven years in prophecy: “24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” So Christ began His ministry approximately 483 years after Jerusalem was rebuilt in the days of Ezra, which were 69 prophetic weeks, and He was “cut off”, or crucified, in the midst of the 70th week, about three-and-a-half years after the start of His ministry. Then after His crucifixion, the people of the prince, the Romans, had destroyed Jerusalem. That judged the “ruler of this society” in the immediate sense, but the Jews and anti-Christs were not done away with completely.

This we also read in Revelation chapter 12, where the dragon is identified with the Edomite king Herod, who sought to kill the Christ child as soon as He was born. But it also speaks of a time long before Christ where it says: “13 And when the dragon saw that he had been cast down into the earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to the man-child.”

Giving our commentary on that chapter here in February of 2011, we said the following:

The dragon was cast down to earth before the creation of Adam, and the result was the seduction of Eve and the proclamation of eternal enmity between the two disparate groups found in Genesis 3:15. [We know this because “that old serpent”, the serpent of Genesis chapter 3, was equated with this dragon.] The dragon was cast down to earth again in 70 AD, when Jerusalem was destroyed. The dispersed jews were later behind all of the persecutions of Christians until the time of Constantine. However once Christianity became recognized by Rome, the dragon was locked away in a pit, which shall be discussed at length at Revelation chapter 20. The dragon was again cast down to earth with the Reformation, when it became evident that the jewish popes would not have power over the main of the children of Yahweh. From that time the Saxon peoples, who with the help of their God freed themselves from the beast tyrants (which is a topic of discussion for Revelation chapter 13), have had nothing but persecutions from the dragon, in the 30 Years' War, and from the time of the French Revolution (when Satan fully emerged from the pit, to be discussed with Revelation chapter 20) and all of the wars and revolutions of Europe which have occurred since then, which have all been instigated by the Jews.

In November of 2018 the Vatican made an announcement that over 300 million so-called “Christians” were being persecuted in 23 different countries. Then it said that leading those countries were “China, India, North Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan.” But it said nothing about White Christians, and it was only to White nations that the original apostles had brought the Gospel of Christ, because only among White nations are found the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” for whom Christ had come.

But that being said, why aren’t White Christians being persecuted today? For example, why aren’t Christians in the Catholic or Baptist or Lutheran or Pentecostal churches of America being persecuted? They point to the persecution of supposed Christians in China or some other far-away place as if they can use that as an excuse by which to justify themselves NOT PERSECUTED. The truth is that European or American Christians have not recently been persecuted, at least as individuals, because they have not stood for Christ. They attend church for an hour or two on Sunday, then they watch football or some other sport the rest of the day, which is idolatry, and then they ignore Christ as they work and engage in other entertainments throughout the rest of the week. None of that is anything like the persecutions of which Christ had warned His disciples.

But if they acted as Christians, if they rejected Sodomy and fornication and those who commit such sins, as the gospel commands that they do, and if they rejected the Jews for denying Christ, as the Scriptures also command, then they would be persecuted, and they would lose their jobs and be put out from the churches. As it says in that same chapter of the Revelation, “17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” But as Christ had said elsewhere in the Revelation, in chapter 3 in His message to the church of the Laodiceans (a word which may indeed mean self-righteous people): “15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

On the other hand, these marginal Christians are being persecuted and they are too blind to see it. They are persecuted by political means, with excessive taxes and with the loss of their children in foreign wars. They are persecuted under the tyranny of the ungodly system that they are in agreement with, having subjected themselves to its idolatry. Millions of men and women each year are brutalized, murdered, raped or robbed, by Negroes or Mexicans or other aliens, who are responsible for at least 90% of the violent crime even though they are not even 50% of the population. There are many other ways in which they are persecuted, but it is not because they stand for Christ and keep His commandments. So they are persecuted for the wrong reasons, and their God will never reward them for their persecution. In fact, it is their God who allows them to suffer in this manner because of their disobedience. Their persecution is not for Christ, but they suffer anyway, just as the ancient Israelites suffered without even realizing it, having burnt their own children in the fires of Molech, and given themselves up to all sorts of perversion in the high places of Baal.

So persecution is indeed inevitable, but in the end it will be better to have been persecuted for Christ, than to have suffered in punishment for idolatry. As Paul had written in his second epistle to Timothy: “12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

CHR20191227-John39.odt — Downloaded 20 times