Volume 4 Number 5
Scripture Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 51716 Riverside, CA 92517
FOREWORD ………………………………………… i
IN APPRECIATION ………………………………… iii
TWO DIVINE SURGERIES:
A CONSIDERATION OF THE NATURES
OF THE FIRST AND LAST ADAM
by Charles W. Asbell……………………. 1
Introduction ……………………………………… 1
The Genesis Account(s) of the Creation
of the First Adam ………………………... 2
Elohim’s Charge to Adam ………………………. 4
The Record of the First Surgery ………………… 5
The Actual Surgical Procedure
(and the Fashioning of Eve) ……………... 6
Enter the Fall of Adam and Eve ………………… 8
The Human Conception Process
The Scriptures and the Birth of
The Lord Jesus Christ …………………… 11
Events Leading Up to the Second Surgery …..... 21
THE ACTUAL SECOND
SURGERY (John 19:34) ………………… 24
Conclusions ………………………………………. 30
Appendix note …………………………………… 33
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
by Jerry Wayne Bernard, Ph.D. ………………... 34
The Gift of Seeing ……………………………… 35
Who Was the Author of the Gospel
of John? ………………………………………… 37
Before this signing by the author ……...... 38
Before this miracle ………………………. 38
Before this resurrection ………………… 38
Before this crucifixion ...………………… 39
Before the trial ………………………….. 39
Before the Passover Meal ……………… 39
Mary sees objects …………………………….. 40
The disciple whom Jesus loved sees objects … 42
Peter sees with a theory ……………………… 43
The disciple whom Jesus loved
sees differently …………………………… 43
Mary Magdalene’s theory vision ……………. 46
Mary sees truth & tells her theory …………... 47
The Disciples see the truth ………………….... 48
Thomas sees the truth ………………………... 49
Do we witness to what we see or believe?……. 51
Seeing the truth ………………………………. 53
Questions ……………………………………… 55
My insight should cause me to ……………… 55
Paul gives the time of salvation …………. 57
Grace and nothing else ……………………… 57
Peter testifies of the time of salvation ……. 59
Perfect insight is a gift of knowledge ……….. 60
Robert L. Asbell
The reader will notice that the writer of this Foreword and the author of the accompanying article bear the same surname. That’s because we are brothers. Not only are we brothers in The Lord, but we are also sons of Ferriss and Clara, and this story begins there.
When we were teenagers, our father, Ferriss E. Asbell, challenged us in God’s Word. We are truly blessed to have had a father so concerned about our spiritual welfare. It was he who laid the foundation for our current interest in God’s Word. Is this not the true understanding of Ephesians 6:4 where it reads: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of The Lord” (ASV)? This was accomplished in spite of the fact that his work schedule was erratic, preventing him from addressing such instruction in a structured time frame. He was assisted in this effort by our mother, who reinforced his instruction in his absence.
But there were other exposures to His Word which were also significant. There were a few Sunday School teachers who were faithful in presenting truth. A mid-week home Bible study over several years built upon this foundation given to us by our father. We were always encouraged to read significant expositions of Scripture. This contributed in leading Chuck to become acquainted with Dr. Arthur C. Custance. First, through written correspondence, then, in 1973, he met Dr. Custance personally when he delivered several lectures in Riverside, California (these lectures were later put into manuscript form and published under the title, The Seed of the Woman).
It was my brother Chuck who introduced me to Arthur Custance. His book, The Seed of the Woman, has influenced my understanding of God’s Work like no other book outside of the Scriptures themselves. In my opinion, it should be read by every believer. It focuses on the Person and Work of The Lord Jesus Christ, explaining elements of His Person and His Work not commonly understood. Of special interest is his exposition of the method God used to provide humanity to our Lord while, at the same time, avoiding the “mortogenic” factor that is associated with common man, as well as the accompanying sin nature that sets him apart from God Himself. Both of these factors are necessary for The Lord Jesus to be our Redeemer. This is explained in Chuck’s accompanying article.
I am not competent to understand, let alone discuss, the medical detail quoted in the article. But I believe it to be as quoted. In this explanation, God reached down to mankind, overcoming all obstacles and objections to provide salvation to all who will accept it. Chuck’s understanding of this fact is, I think, the focus of this article. His use of Two Divine Surgeries as a title is a unique approach.
I make no claim to be objective regarding my feelings for my brother. I have been proud of him for many years. I commend his article to you for its scholarship, its depth of subject, and for its attempt to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not self-centered -- it is Christ-centered. May He Who is its Subject bless this effort.
February, 2007 RLA
It is the policy of Scripture Research, Inc. that the various members of the Board of Directors review all manuscripts submitted for publication. The purpose is to determine their intrinsic worth and to make/suggest editorial thoughts and/or changes where they deem necessary and/or proper. This procedure has been followed in respect to this article. For this, I thank them for the time they spent critiquing the text and for the suggestions and comments that they made.
In addition to the Board members, I provided drafts to four other individuals who do not serve on the Board. Since my graduate training is in the plant sciences, I purposed to call upon three other qualified representatives in other academic and theological disciplines in which I had no formal training. My purpose was to draw upon the expertise of “outsiders” who would lend additional areas of criticism to the review process. Please let me introduce these three people.
My personal physician, Dr. John S. O’Keeffe. Dr. O’Keeffe is not only a superb doctor, but he brings to the table a keen interest in the human reproduction process, including a very good knowledge and grasp of the introductory histological events related to the fertilization process and the subsequent development in humankind. Thank you, Dr. O’Keeffe.
Dr. Gary Chiang, Professor of Biology, Redeemer College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. At that institution he has served as a science advisor to the students and also teaches biology. From the perspective of the biology associated with human reproduction, Dr. Chiang has been of great help to me as I tried to grasp some of the physiology and histology associated with human reproduction. Thank you, Dr. Chiang.
Dr. Timothy Conklin, Pastor of the South Bay Bible Fellowship, East Moriches, New York. Dr. Conklin was for-merly the Academic Dean of Grace Bible College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Prior to his tenure as Dean, I attended a small church in Southern California where Tim served as pastor/teacher. It was there that I came to respect his grasp of the “deeper” teachings of The Word of God. He loves The Scriptures and, I believe, he provided me with many insights that related to a better understanding of God’s workings. Thank you, Dr. Conklin.
In addition to the three individuals mentioned above, I received invaluable comment and direction from two other people. Dr. Jerry Bernard, a fellow-Board member, was extremely helpful in some of the theological issues. I have integrated a number of his “weighty” suggestions directly into the text. He also corrected some of the “mechanical” problems that were found in the manuscript. Thank you, Jerry.
And Mr. Rob Sachs, a friend extraordinaire, who provided me with “lots” of editorial comment and encouragement in the writing of this article. Thank you, Rob.
Lest I forget, my wife of 52 years, Marilyn. What a mainstay she has been. During the last 1½ years of under-graduate training, followed by 9 years (when I was a part-time student) of graduate work at the University of California, Riverside, she was the main force in the raising of my three daughters while taking care of me (and that was no small task!). Let me also add, she “typed” “zillions” of papers, theses, and dissertations for other students who were also working on their degrees at UC Riverside. She and I did not want to send our children to public school, so she took on this added burden to accomplish this goal. She knows the English language backward and forward, and is a “whiz bang” with
punctuation, syntax and grammar and serves as the final editor of all of the Scripture Research’s that are mailed to those
of you who are on our mailing list. What a job this has been
for her. God was very gracious to me when He gave her to me. Thank you, my sweetheart!
TWO DIVINE SURGERIES:
A CONSIDERATION OF THE NATURES OF
THE FIRST AND LAST ADAM
Charles W. Asbell, Ph.D.
In the Scriptures there are two Adams whose two acts produced two very different and defining results in mankind. In addition, two different surgeries performed by two different surgeons at two different times and at two different sites on these two respective Adams have resulted in two results that have impacted all of humanity. This manuscript examines some of the implications generated by these TWO DIVINE SURGERIES.
The first surgery (as is obvious) has to do with our “great-grandfather,” Adam, thousands of years ago. The second surgery has to do with our Lord, The Last Adam, Jesus Christ, some 2000+/- years ago.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (I Corinthians 15:45 AV).
This short paper will deal, to a limited extent, with the physical constitution of both the first and the last Adams and the resultant impact on the physical make-up of our “great- grandmother,” Eve.
The issue of The Sin (referring to the sin nature in mankind) and sins (the sinful actions of mankind as a result of
the inner sin nature) will be discussed. Coupled with this theme of “sin” and “sins” will be some thoughts relating to the sacrifice of The Lord Jesus (circa, Passover, 29 AD).
I am indebted in my approach to this subject to one of my mentors, Dr. Arthur C. Custance. His biblical and medical/human physiological insights found in his The Seed Of The Woman* provided a wealth of information in the preparation of this current study. In addition, and prior to the release of the first edition (1980) in the Spring of 1973, it was my privilege to attend several lectures given by Dr. Custance on this subject. These lectures became the textual materials used in writing this magnum opus.
The Genesis Account(s) of the Creation of the First Adam
Note that the plural “accounts” is used in the above subtitle, because both the first and second chapters of Genesis will be examined in this section.
Genesis 1:21-31 (AV):
(v. 21) And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind and every winged fowl, after his kind; and God said that it was good.
(v. 22) And God blessed them saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
(v. 23) And the evening and morning were the fifth day.
(v. 24) And God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind”: and it was so.
*Custance, Dr. Arthur C., The Seed Of The Woman, Joshua Press, Montreal Canada, 2002.
(v. 25) And God made the beast of the earth after his
kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that
creepeth upon the earth after his kind; and God saw that it was good.
(v. 26) And God said, “Let us make man in Our Image
after Our Likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Cp. Psa. 8)
(v. 27) So God created man in His Own Image, in The Image of God created He him; male and female (ADAM/EVE) created He them.
(v. 28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
(v. 29) And God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, every tree in the which is the fruit of the tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
(v. 30) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat”; and it was so.
(v. 31) And God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good! And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
With respect to the creation of man and woman in this passage, several items should be emphasized:
On the sixth day, God (Elohim) created male and female (“them,” v. 27). Was Eve separated from Adam on this same day?
(In responding to this query, Genesis, chapter two, must be examined.)
On the sixth day, the naming of all of the created “beasts” and “creeping things” was accomplished.
Commenting further about the events of the sixth day
are those events found in Genesis, chapter two:
(v. 6) But there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
(v. 7) And The LORD God formed man (Adam/Eve) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and he became a living soul (nephesh).
(v. 8) And The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man Adam (Adam/Eve) whom He formed.
Elohim’s Charge to Adam
(v. 15) And The LORD GOD took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
It would appear that the man (First Adam) was not created in the Garden of Eden, but elsewhere, and that after he was placed in the Garden, he was to “dress and to keep it,” i.e., assume the role of horticulturalist/agronomist of the Garden.
(v. 16) And The LORD GOD commanded the man saying, “Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat,
(v. 17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
(v. 18) And The LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make an help meet (suitable) for him.”
Was “the fruit” of the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil” real? Or was it figurative?
This author assumes it to be literal!
Note that God’s command to Adam, “…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it,” was directed to Adam (at least in this context) before Eve was removed from him. It is interesting to speculate as to how (or if) this same “prohibitive” information was passed on to Eve by Adam after Eve was “brought” to him by God.
The Record of The First Surgery
(v. 18) And The LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make an help meet for him.”
The man (Adam/Eve) was lonely, even with The Divine Person being his friend/mentor. Remember the time-line in this account. This was still the “sixth day.” There was a Divine motive to resolve this loneliness in Adam.
(v. 19) And out of the ground The LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
(v. 20) And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and
the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Several things are obvious in vss. 19 and 20:
Adam (prior to the removal of Eve) named all of the animals. His new role was as a zoologist/taxonomist.
The substance for creating the animals was “the ground.” The same substance was used in the creation of Adam. However, it is not stated in this context that animals received the “breath” of God and, thus, became a nephesh (Heb. - nephesh = psuche [LX] = soul [AV]) in like fashion as that of Adam -- man. The Book of Genesis does, however, disclose that the animals are nepheshes (Gen. 1:20, 21, 24, 9:10, 12, Lev. 11:46).
During this sixth day, and after naming all of the animals, Adam became lonely (“he was alone” – AV), as a “help meet [suitable] for him” was not found (cp. vs. 2:18). Elohim remedies the “loneliness factor” through the first surgery by removing Eve from Adam.
The Actual Surgical Procedure (and the Fashioning of Eve)
(v. 21a) And The LORD God caused a deep sleep to
fall upon Adam.
Since THE SIN (i.e., the evil “root,” the fallen nature in mankind) and SINS (the resultant expression in mankind of presence of THE SIN; see Romans 5 and 6) had not entered into the human race experience at the time of the first surgery, the inevitableness of death is the result of sin, but not death itself. Hence, there was apparently no concern for death of the patient, as death is the result of sin. Let me hasten to add that the First Adam (prior to the fall), like that of the
Last Adam, could die (by accident, etc.), but he also had the potential to live forever, assuming that he suffered no accident, etc.
The Septuagint version (LXX) of the Old Testament
(OT) states that Adam was in a trance for the surgical pro-cedure.
Being properly sedated (“he [Adam] slept”), He (The Divine Surgeon, The LORD God, v. 21 b), took one of Adam’s “ribs.”
The name of the portion that God removed from Adam is found in the Authorized Version (AV) as “rib.” This word differs from that found in Daniel 7:5, where “bony” body fragments (three ribs) are seen in the mouth of the bear –- an entirely different word!
In Genesis 2:22-23, Elohim took “the rib” from Ish* (Heb. man, a male, a husband), and “made” Ishah* (fem. form of Ish, Heb. female), namely, Eve.
But what is “rib” if it is not a literal rib? In the original language (Heb.) this word is tsela. The LXX equivalent is pleuran (). It can be seen that this root has been transliterated into such English words as pleurisy, pleural, or pleuralpneumonia. Webster’s College Dictionary** indicates it has to do with “one pair of serous membranes, each of which covers a lung and folds back to the corresponding side of the chest wall.”
Hence, from this “pleural” element taken from the first Adam, Elohim fashioned Eve (Gen. 2:22-25):
(v. 22) And the rib, which The LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.
(v. 23) And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
* See Companion Bible marginal note and Appendix note 14.
** Webster’s College Dictionary, Random House Pub., New York, 1990, p. 1038.
(v. 24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
(v. 25) And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
From the foregoing context it would appear that the surgery took place on the Sixth Day of the creation week, as found in Chapter One of Genesis. To enumerate, the order of events of this same day (Genesis 1) were:
“The living creatures,” i.e., cattle, creeping things, beasts of the earth, were created and God states that “it was good.”
Elohim stated, “Let us make man and let THEM have dominion….”
“So He, Adam,” (outside of the Garden) was created. Later, he was placed in the Garden. It was here that Eve was formed in the Garden (also on the sixth day).
“And God saw everything He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.”
Enter the Fall of Adam and Eve
The Scriptures are silent in the matter of how long our original parents remained in the sinless state. God had set a
prohibition on Adam (Gen. 2:15-17) with respect to the eating of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” In addition, God outlined to Adam his assignment to “dress” and “keep” the Garden.
Digression and theological thought is again in order. What was the ultimate role of Adam in the Divine Design? Evidence suggests that, since his “office” was superseded by
the Last Adam, he (the First Adam), in a non-fallen condition,
and after he “achieved” maturity and spiritual growth with God, was to function as a priest to those unfallen offspring he and Eve and their children were to bring forth.
The actual events relating to the transgression of Adam and Eve are found in Genesis, Chapter 3. Accompanying the Genesis account, Romans, Chapter 5, provides commentary on the results of our first parents’ failure to obey God (concisely, Romans 5:12):
Wherefore, as by ( - through) one man sin (the Sin - ) entered into the world () and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned (sin - η - no definite article).
The Book of Romans makes it clear that the sin-principle entered the human race through “the one man –
Adam,” not through Eve, resulting in HIS passing on this same affliction to all of his sons and multiplied great-grandsons, and great-granddaughters (as they are the product of a man, with his sin nature, and a woman). The death element, however, is passed on via the male only. Dr. Custance* calls
this the passing on of death, a/the mortogenic factor (death
factor). First Corinthians 15 provides commentary upon this death phenomena:
(v. 20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and be-
come the firstfruits of them that slept.
(v. 21) For since by () man came death, by () Man came also the resurrection of the dead.
The Apostle now elucidates the two former verses:
*Custance, Dr. Arthur C., The Seed of the Woman, Joshua Press, Montreal, Canada, 2002, p. 15.
(v. 22) For as in (the first) Adam all die, even so in
Christ (The Last Adam) shall all be made alive.
Some controversial food for thought resides in the repeated word “all” (s -- without articles in both cases) in verse 22. Within this I Corinthian 15 context, is this the same “all” in both occurrences? It would be illuminating for the reader to research this word (with and without the definite article) in a good lexicon or Bible dictionary.
Therefore, the mortogenic (death) factor was placed in the First Adam and not Eve. Put another way, for emphasis’ sake, death was/is passed on by the male of the species, not the female. Whatever constituted the rib (pleura) taken from the First Adam, after the fall it did not, nor did it have the capacity to pass on the death sentence from the woman to her offspring.
In Genesis 3:15, God now issues a statement concerning
And I will put enmity between thee (the Serpent -- the Shining One [Heb. nacash]) and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy
head and thou shalt bruise His heel.
Who is her Seed (this is rhetorical!)? The answer is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, The Last Adam!
What “mechanism” or medical procedure (antibiotic, surgical technique, etc.) did God employ to protect The Coming One from the Sin Principle (η αμαρτια) which resulted in His not receiving the mortogenic factor which comes from the male of the species (as was demonstrated in the
sinless walk of The Lord)? At conception, did God “purify” the Seed of the Woman from the Sin (principle) or, in some other, unknown method, protect the Seed from receiving the Sin principle?
Perhaps, at this point, it is important to review one of the several scriptural passages that speak to the issue of the entry of the sin principle (η αμαρτια) and the concomitant death “sentence” (on man when he sinned - αμαρτια) which it brought into the world. Romans 5:12 and 18a speak to this negative intrusion that occurred thousands of years ago in the Garden of Eden:
(12) Wherefore, as by one man, sin (the principle, i.e., η αμαρτια) entered into the world (κοσμον), and death by (δια) sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (AV).
(18a) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all (παντας) men to condemnation.
Let us now consider how God did, indeed, protect the Seed of the Woman and the Divine (and magnificent) procre-ation process of bringing forth a human child in the Person of The God-Man.
The Human Conception Process,
The Scriptures And The Birth Of
The Lord Jesus Christ
Turning to the Book of Luke (1:30-34), the Divine element and the human element are singled out and merged into the conception of The Lord Jesus:
(v. 30) And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
(v. 31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS.
(v. 32) He shall be great, and shall be called The Son of The Highest: and The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David:
(v. 33) And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever: and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”
(v. 34) Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
(v. 35) And the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost (holy ghost, αγιον, without definite article [i.e., referring to the “power from on High”*]) shall come upon thee, and the power of The Highest shall overshadow (dunamis uphistou episkiasei -- s ) thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called The Son of God.”
Mary’s reply to the angel in verse 34 (i.e., “I know not
a man”) is substantiated in verse 27, where it is stated that
she was a virgin (parthenon --).
With the conception of The Lord (Last Adam), this marked the 77th generation** from Adam (first Adam) found in the Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-3.
Within Mary was the Promised “Seed of the Woman” which the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” to perform the miracle of Christ’s incarnation.
Medical and histological considerations of how the Promised Seed was protected are now in order. The charts
and figures below provide insight into the Divine “protective” mechanism(s) God employed in the birth of our Lord.
In the rather extensive and necessary quotation cited ________
*See Bullinger, E.W., The Giver and His Gifts. Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1905. (This book has been reprinted a number of times.)
** Custance, Dr. Arthur C., The Seed of the Woman, Joshua Press, Montreal, Canada, 2002. See appendix VI, p. 467 & 491.
below, reproduced from The Seed of the Woman. Dr. Custance* provides detail and a complex explanation at the cellular level about the actual fertilization and histological processes.
This chapter (19) can quite safely be by-passed by anyone who is becoming impatient with technical details and prefers to move on to the more strictly Biblical aspects of this subject. However, I do not think the average reader will have any difficulty with it, and it does show how wonderfully the Lord prepared the way, in His design and creation of the reproductive mechanism, for the recovery of Adam’s original constitution in the midst of a dying world.
It may be helpful for those who are uninitiated in such matters to set forth in a generalized form (which is admittedly very much over-simplified but nevertheless essentially correct) the life history of the ovum in one generation from the time of its fertilization until the time that it presents itself once again for fertilization to initiate the next generation.
This will help show, perhaps, why it is possible to speak of a true continuity of the germ plasm and in what way it is quite correct to credit the seed with immortality in a situation where the vehicle or carrier (the female body in this case) has a very limited life span. Like the amoeba, the seed has the potential for unending self-replication without experiencing death in the sense that no corpse need be left behind to make a break in the continuity of the germ plasm, unless the germ plasm is actually destroyed by some external agency or circumstance.
*Ibid, pages 229-232
It is sometimes suggested that, when the fertilized egg divides into two, it experiences a kind of death in that it is changed into something else. But I think Weismann’s answer to this was effective. He observed that the ovum no more dies in becoming two ova at a certain stage in development than the boy dies in becoming a man at a certain stage of development. The fact is that the ovum, considered as a living organism (which indeed it is), need never experience death, provided that it is induced to divide and multiply by successive divisions. This may happen in nature without fertilization, but normally it is the result of fertilization by a sperm. With this one condition fulfilled, the single ovum becomes another ovum one generation later in history, and no corpse is left behind as evidence of its death. The two “daughter” cells in turn divide, if fertilized, and so the line goes on unbroken and can continue endlessly so long as accident does not terminate it.
Fertilization of the ovum is really only a means for preserving its integrity one generation later, as it is again released and presented for fertilization. And so it is simply passed on and on, generation after generation, in an unbroken chain of continuous life. The living ovum is the ovum of yesterday perpetuating itself, not as a mother perpetuates herself in her daughter and then dies while the daughter lives on, but as a girl perpetuates herself by growing up into a woman without experiencing death in the process. Such process does not constitute death but fulfillment.
Now this can be set forth diagrammatically, granting much over-simplification, in such a way that
these events can be visualized. First of all, we allow a single black dot (a) in Fig. 14 (below) to signify the original fertilized ovum. At (b), cleavage has taken place and the ovum has become two ova. The original
ovum has not “died,” it has merely converted itself into two viable duplicates half the size of the original. This process of multiplication continues until a change takes
place (c), and further multiplication leads to the emergence of cells, which by now differ in their constitution from the original ovum. These differ-entiated cells are shown from (c) to (e) (in Fig. 15) as open circles. The undifferentiated cells, which have not changed their constitution, but have retained the full potential of the original ovum, although they are now considerably smaller, are still shown as black dots. From then on, the history of the two kinds of cells, the differentiated and the undifferentiated, follows a decidedly different course.
In Fig. 15 the history of these cells is continued and the divergent end products of each group of cells is set forth diagrammatically by showing that the open circles become a separate entity, the body, while the black dots continue to replicate in a mass by themselves – outside the body of embryo proper. This stage is therefore termed “extra-embryonic development.” It should be understood that these germ cells really are multiplying outside the body of the developing embryo. Later, this mass of multiplying germ plasm cells will migrate by amoeboid movement
from its position beside the life-support system of the
embryo into the embryo itself. In the diagram, the
schematized growing embryo at (f) is shown with a kind of harbour facing towards the mass of germ plasm,
which is merely to indicate that there is an appropriate
place being prepared to receive the germ plasm in due
time, as at (g). From this “harbour” (the ovary), one ovum at a time is released for potential fusion with a spermatozoon, as shown in Fig. 16 below.
The mechanism governing the differentiation of the cells into germ cells and body cells appears to result not from any change in the nuclear content of the cells themselves, but in some change in the surrounding cytoplasm in which the nucleus is immersed. The initial
process of replication by which the fertilized ovum
multiplies itself until it forms a mass of germ and body cells is called a morula, (e) of Fig. 14. It results in a gradual reduction in the size of each of the multiplying
cells which, though their number is greatly increased, actually still occupy very nearly the same total space as the original ovum. This is called cell cleavage. It is not what will happen later when cells divide and multiply, because from then on the total volume of the cells begins to increase and not merely the number of cells. In this later process each body cell grows larger and larger until it has approximately twice the volume it originally
had, at which critical point an internal change occurs in the cell and it divides into two, each the size of the
original cell before it began to grow. This process is referred to as cell division. The multiplication of cells
from the initial fertilized ovum to the morula stage is therefore quite different from cell division. The
distinction is necessary because, at this earlier period in cell life history, the cells divide into two without first gaining size. Each cleavage therefore reduces the size of the cell, but the number of cells steadily increases. The ovum, which begins as the largest cell in the body, keeps dividing until its size is very substantially reduced. Then, later in its life, when the individual reaches adolescence, and just before one of the germ cells is presented for fertilization by a sperm cell, it increases in size and regains its status once more as the largest cell in the body. This will be observed in Fig. 16 (below).
Now, although the cell size decreases steadily from ovum to morula, the nucleus itself remains approx-
imately the same size so that the ratio of cytoplasm to nuclear material steadily decreases. This means that a selection of the cytoplasm is being made with each sub-sequent cleavage, some of it being apportioned to one daughter cell and some to another. By this method, the reduction in cell size can be achieved. Each successive
cell during this process therefore receives not merely a different amount of cytoplasm, but cytoplasm of a different constitution containing only a selection of the constituents in the parent cell, as well as very probably a different internal organization. It is believed that this is what leads to progressive cell differentiation and therefore the growth, in due course, of specifically different tissues and the development of different organs within the body.
Identical genetic material in the nucleus then finds
itself surrounded by a series of different intra-cellular environments, and the interaction between nucleus and cytoplasm initiates the cell specialization which the
developing organism demands. The subdividing of the substance of the egg qualitatively is believed to be a sufficient cause for the initial establishment of different
lines of cells, most of which are body or somatic cells, and each of which will develop along different lines – even though the nuclear material in every cell is thought to retain all the characteristics of the original ovum.
Any cell nucleus transferred to an enucleated ovum is
found to have the totipotency* of the initial ovum. Cell
character is therefore not merely the result of the nuclear material but the interaction of this nuclear material and its associated cytoplasm, and this cytoplasm is in a continuous state of change during fetal development.
In Fig. 16 we observe the final housing of the germ plasm. This in no way disturbs the integrity of the germ plasm itself which continues through certain stages of
development that will prepare the individual germ cells for the time when they will be presented in the adult animal for subsequent fertilization. The important thing to bear in mind is that this reservoir of germ cells is given safe haven within the fetus which, as far as is known at present, completely isolates the germ cells, thus preserving their integrity.
*Totipotency: the ability of a cell to multiply into a whole organism.
In this Figure, one of the germ cells (h) is being ejected in enlarged form prior to being presented at the
time of ovulation. At (a2) the cell has become an ovum and is now fertilized by the sperm. At (b2) the first
cleavage has occurred and we are back at (b) of Fig. 14 and about to begin another cycle of development.
And so, generation after generation, the seed of the woman reiterates itself in its original form. Thus was preserved the continuity of the germ plasm from the first to the second Adam, from Eve to Mary. And, just to keep the record straight, it has to be remembered
that the process is still continuing. It did not stop with Mary. (End Quote)
Enter Mary, the mother of the humanity of our Lord and the recipient of the application of the foregoing to our present inquiry. As best as we can determine, based upon current knowledge and/or information:
When Mary’s “seed” (The Seed) was released at ovulation, it consisted of half the DNA complement normally required for the production of a new individual, plus the normal component of non-nuclear cytoplasmic organelles and membranes.
Man (male), at conception, provides the remaining DNA and a small component of small cytoplasmic organelles.
It must be remembered that a woman, and in this
case Mary, contributes(d) the XX chromosome in procreation. The male, and in this case God Himself, contributes(d) the XY chromosome.
(For additional comment in regard to this discussion, please see Appendix note 1.)
By simple deduction, if it had been possible for Mary
to conceive without “knowing a man” and without Divine intervention (parthenogenesis), her offspring’s gender would/could have only
been FEMALE, not MALE!
● Histological studies show that the developing somatic cells do not give rise to reproductive organs or tissues.
● There is speculation, based upon some research, that the male seed (sperm), without the cytoplasmic component, is potentially immortal. Histological studies have also shown that the male DNA appears to be potentially immortal, linking the mortogenic “poison” to the cytoplasmic fraction of the male gamete. Putting it another way, based upon Dr. Custance’s* work and from sources he cites in his book, it appears the male germ cell (the sperm) is contaminated by the non-nuclear portion of the reproductive cell itself (this is called “acquired charac-teristics”).
It would appear the “mortogenic”/“poisoning” factor (as found in Romans 5 and I Corinthians) is introduced by the male of the human species and, perhaps, is found as a “plasmogene” -- a non-nuclear, cytoplasmic inheritance factor.
● The physiological repercussions (death) were/are not found in the female’s DNA contributions.
Around B.C. 6 to 4, the Divine stage for putting into motion the birth of The Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Son of
God, and The Father’s plan to redeem and reconcile humankind (kosmos) was drawing near. The “fullness of the time (chronos – χρονου)” (Gal. 4:4) was at hand. Also, the
consummation and “filling up” of all the Levitical types was now to be placed upon the shoulders of the promised seed of the woman.
The Lord Jesus Christ lived the perfect, sinless life. His obedience to The Father’s will (in all things) was one without sin as He lived His life as The Last Adam here on earth. The Father declared Him the perfect Lamb of God, as stated in I Peter 1:18, 19:
(v. 18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not re-deemed with corruptible things as silver and gold,
from your vain conversation received by tradition from
(v. 19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.
Events Leading Up To The Second Surgery
Although Luke was a physician, the second surgery was recorded in the Book of John, chapter 19. It was this author’s opinion, based upon “types,” “parallels” and “implica- tion(s),” that when our Lord, The Last Adam, was conceived, God reconstituted the genome and the anatomical and physical characteristics resident in the First Adam (76 generations earlier; hence, The Lord Jesus was the 77th generation and was truly THE LAST ADAM, never to be repeated again).
To restate for emphasis’ sake (and let me reiterate that I have no documented data for this assertion), the Last Adam not only had the same genome, but He also had the same physical/anatomical make–up as the First Adam BEFORE
EVE (the rib, i.e., side) WAS REMOVED. In order to repre-
sent all of humanity (male and female), He must in all respects represent all the progeny and their subsequent offspring that Adam and Eve were to produce. (Question: Is there any significance in the fact that, in the Levitical offerings,
both male and female animals were slain?)
To truly represent all of humanity as our sin substitute on Calvary, the perfect Lamb of God had to be divinely constituted to accomplish this task. Hence, the reconstituted genome of the Last Adam could and did more than suffice, for in Him all of the possible human genetic combinations and expressions representing male, female, black, white, brown, yellow, et al., were found in THE SEED OF THE WOMAN, the Last Adam.
Note what the inspired, Holy Scriptures say regarding The Lord Jesus as an acceptable sin offering:
John the Baptist’s declaration (John 1:29b):
“… Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh [Gk., is taking] away the sin of the world” [kosmos].
The Father’s declaration at The Lord’s baptism
(Matthew 3:15, 17):
(v. 15) And Jesus answering [to John the Baptist] said unto him, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us [John and The Lord] to fulfill [Gk. pleroma -- to fill to the fullest or complete] all righteousness.” Then He suffered him.
(v. 17) And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
The Father’s declaration on the holy mount (Matthew 17:1-5):
(v. 1) And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.
(v. 2) And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
(v. 3) And behold, there appeared unto them Moses
and Elias talking with Him.
(v. 4) Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses and one for Elias.”
(v. 5) While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and, behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.”
Pilate’s declaration in the matter of His guilt (the
viewpoint of the Gentile ruler with respect to The
Lord’s innocence) (Matthew 27:19-24, Mark 15:1-15,
Luke 23:1-4), quoting Luke:
(v. 1) And the whole multitude of them arose, and led Him unto Pilate.
(v. 2) And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding
to give tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a king.”
(v. 3) And Pilate asked Him, saying, “Art thou the
King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said,
said, “Thou sayest it.”
(v. 4) Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, “I find no fault in this man.”
Herod’s declaration in the matter of The
Lord’s guilt or innocence or worthiness of death
(Luke 23:14, 15):
(v. 14) … said unto them, “Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people; and, behold, I having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those things whereof ye accuse Him:
(v. 15) No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to Him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.”
The apostle Peter sums up the purity of The Lord’s Levitical and sacrificial qualification(s) (I Peter, chapter 1, verse 19):
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (As a note: “the Lamb” points back to Isaac, “God will provide Himself a lamb” [death]. Christ had no death principle working in Him, “without blemish and without spot.”)
Before we proceed to Calvary and ultimately to the second surgery, let us stop for a moment and consider the mag-
nitude of our Heavenly Father’s great love and grace to us as He allowed His Son to be sacrificed for all of humanity. On Passover, +/- AD 29, God’s forensic justice was satisfied when
The Lord Jesus became our sin substitute. To wit, that He
(The Father) is no longer angry with humanity; we have been reconciled to Him, and He is at peace with His creation (despite what Christendom might argue to the contrary). Now let us, His created, be at peace with Him in the assurance that the sin question (that once separated us from Him) is no longer an issue.
When our Lord cried out, “It is finished,” (John 19:30, tetelestai--ι [perfect, indicative, passive]) the sacrifice
was done once with resultant action(s) lasting in perpetuity (the force of the perfect tense). The Father validated His Son’s work by rending the veil in the Jerusalem temple’s Holy of Holies (the naos -- s) from top to bottom, and three days
later by raising The Lord Jesus from the dead.
All of the Levitical types that were implied in our Lord’s statement to the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17), i.e., “to fill up/complete all righteousness,” were now accomplished.
With the death of Christ Jesus, several other important items were accomplished:
It was at Passover, at the correct time for Levitical slaying of the sacrificial animals. It was “outside” the gate. It
was at the fullness of the time (Galatians 4:4). It was at the end of “the last times” (1 Peter 1:18-20).
THE ACTUAL SECOND SURGERY (John 19:34)
As God prepared His patient (The Last Adam) for surgery (again), the operating room was the not an idyllic site, like that of the Garden of Eden, but rather it was “outside of the gate,” on a rugged hill, with maximum world exposure, no doubt overlooking the Temple.
The surgeon was not God-Elohim, but most probably a
pagan Gentile (Roman soldier). He possessed no refined surgical instruments. Instead, his scalpel consisted of a warrior’s spear. The Patient to be operated on at this stage of the crucifixion drama was already dead, yet the “surgeon” plunged his lance into the Divine victim, the perfect, acceptable-to-God, sin-substitute’s “side” (His pleura). The word used in John 19:34 is the same word (in the LXX) as is found in Genesis 2:21, where God-Elohim removed a rib, pleura, from Adam and formed Eve.
It is important to realize what our Lord had stated during His ministry years to Israel: “No man taketh My life, but I lay it down of my own accord.” The Lord Jesus died
actively, while we die passively! The cross was not the cause of
Christ’s death, but merely the occasion for His death. His was
an act of His will, as He had absolute control. Christ Jesus dismissed His Spirit. His act was not suicide, which is self-
murder, self-destruction, self-slaughter, self-violence, etc. Some theologians indicate that this was not martyrdom. The question arises, What was it, if He was in absolute control? Perhaps one of the following words comes close to expressing this divine act: Offering, Forfeiture, Relinquishment, Atonement, Forfeit, Yield. Regardless, we as humans have no control over our death. He, on the other hand, in a mode of total subjection to
The Father (see Philippians, chapter two), functioning in total servitude to the will of His Father, Who then (in reality) determined this issue of the type of death He should suffer. We do know that His death was in the most heinous way of that day, a cross.
When The Lord’s side was lanced, blood and water came forth. What is the significance of these two substances, if indeed The Lord Himself was the antitype of all of the Levitical
sacrifices, ordinances, and furniture, including the tabernacle itself? Remember the response to John the Baptist by our Lord at His baptism, “Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill [πληρωσαι - fill up, bring to completion, complete] all [pasan-] righteousness.” Again, if He is the antitype of ALL of the Old Testament types, then where is He “antitypical” in the “typical” places in the Tabernacle itself? Consider the following:
Exodus 25:12, 14, 37:3 states that the Ark of the Covenant had “sides” (pleura) in which the rings were cast.
Exodus 26:26-27, 36:25, 31-32 states that the sides (pleura) of the Tabernacle itself were composed of boards of shittim wood.
Exodus 26:35, next to the side (pleura) of the Table of Shewbread outside the veil, the lamp stand was placed.
Exodus 38:7, the Altar before the veil had staves located on its two sides (pleura).
(In some rare and isolated passages, pleura is also used in the LXX in a non-Levitical context; as an example, referring to the side of a hill.)
If type is “filled up” with anti-type in the all-sufficient work of Christ, then The Father, The Consummate Judge, on
Passover, AD 29, could look down and view the Law and the
Tabernacle (with all of its ceremonies and types) hanging on
the cross embodied in The Person of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and He, The Father, nailed the Law and all its accompanying rituals and symbols to the cross.
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. (Colossians 2:14)
And what of the blood and water that issued from our Lord’s “side” (pleura)? Quoting from John 19:
(v. 34) But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
(v. 35) And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
(v. 36) For these things were done, that The Scripture should be fulfilled, “A bone of Him shall not be broken.”
The Book of Hebrews, chapter 9, provides commentary on the antitypical element provided by The Savior when He was crucified. First, BLOOD:
(v. 12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He [Christ Jesus] entered in once into The Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
(v. 13) For if the blood of bulls and goats, and ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
(v. 14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot [or genetic, spiritual and physiological defect] to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve The Living God.
The WATER element:
(v. 19) For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the [panta, without the def. article] people,
(v. 20) Saying, “This is the book of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.”
(v. 21) Moreover, he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
(v. 22) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Interestingly, sprinkling, using blood mingled with water, is not seen in the Levitical offerings as found in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. It is, however, found in the book of Numbers, chapter 19 [see the following paragraph].
Alford’s* comments related to this water/blood puri-fication ceremony bear review as he associates this ritual of purification of the individual with that “typical” ritual found
in Numbers 19 that was performed “without the camp.” In this context, water and the ashes of the red heifer are used to
cleanse the unclean person. How utterly magnificent is Jeho-vah’s care for His Old Covenant people as this ceremony of purification was, as was stated previously, performed “without the camp.” Now, with the institution of the New Covenant only a few hours earlier, the crucified Savior was sacrificed “outside the gate,” BECOMING THE ANTITYPE, and cleansing His people ONCE FOR ALL.
Perhaps the identification of the sprinkling of water by
hyssop found in Ezekiel 36, foreshadowing John the Baptist’s
*Alford, Henry, D.D., The Greek Testament, Vol. IV, page 176, Rivingtons, Waterloo Place; and Deigton, Bell, and Co., Cambridge, 1861.
ministry, might also be implied in the Book of Hebrews context [note particularly vss. 23-31; further note vs. 25 as The Lord had just initiated the New Covenant only a few hours before the crucifiction].
BLOOD & WATER, I John 5:6-8:
(v. 5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that beliveth that Jesus is The Son of God?
(v. 6) This is He that came by Water and Blood, even Jesus Christ; not by Water only, but by Water and Blood. And it is The Spirit that beareth witness, because The Spirit is Truth.
(v. 7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, The Father, The Word, and The Holy Ghost; and these are one.
(v. 8) And there are three that bear witness in earth, The Spirit and the Water, and the Blood; and these three agree in one.
According to the Nestle Greek* text (literally), verses 7 and 8 are translated as follows:
(7) Because three there are the (ones) bearing witness,
(8) The Spirit and the water and the blood, and the
three in the one are.
Note that the locations for “the witness,” heaven (v. 7) and earth (v. 8), are missing from the literal English and Greek texts.
In reviewing the literature relating to this passage, the exegetes and commentaries were not in agreement. Hence, no
*The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, The Nestle Greek text with a new Literal English Translation, Translated by Rev. A. Marshall, D. Litt., B, Samuel Bagster & Sons Ltd., Second Edition 1958
consistent interpretation(s) was found.
In an attempt to apply a possible new meaning to the I John 5:6-8 context, it must be remembered that according to Deuteronomy 19:15, to establish a matter, there must be at least two or three witnesses to validate. I John 5 provides
this authentication that “Jesus is The Son of God” (v. 5) by
stating that this One came by WATER and BLOOD, and that The Spirit bears witness to this fact.
At Golgotha, at the time of our Savior’s death, and associated with His death, at least three important elements (perhaps obscure) are related to His sacrifice:
● In John 19:30, The Lord delivered (paredoken -- παρεδωκεν [from paradidomi – παρδιδωμι, aor., ind. active – to give over, hand over, deliver up, to commit, to entrust, to yield up] The (His) Spirit (to pneuma – το πνευμα). Is this dismissal of The/His Spirit one of the two to three witnesses to affirm His Sonship (I John 5:5)?
● The witness of the BLOOD and the WATER. Two remaining items constituting the second and third witnessing elements are necessary to establish “a fact/ thing.”
Returning to John 19:
(v. 35) And he (John) that saw it bare record, and his record is true (i.e., I John 5:7, 8): and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
John, the beloved Apostle, bore witness (based upon Levitical requirements) to the events that transpired on the
cross on that eventful day, and he, unequivocally, stated that The One who was sacrificed:
● Actively gave up The/His Spirit. Hence, He sacrificed
Himself, as no one took His life.
● After His death and upon being pierced by the
centurian’s lance, BLOOD and WATER POURED forth from His side (pleura), outside the gate!
Our great-grandfather Adam, in the Garden, failed in
his charge to “mature” in his walk with God. Apparently he wanted to achieve the “knowledge of good and evil” by taking a short cut, i.e., by eating of the forbidden tree and thereby attaining it, rather than experiencing trial and testing and then achieving acceptance by God by/through his walk of Faith. Our Lord, in contrast, learned obedience to The Father under testing, and was proclaimed “a Priest forever after the order of
Melchisedec” (Hebrews 4:15, 5:6-10). When type and antitype are considered, it would appear that the First Adam was to function/act as a priest to God for the offspring that he was to produce.
By not transgressing (hamartia), nor possessing the sin nature (the hamartia), our Lord, (because the female gamete was free of the hamartia), The Last Adam, did not partake in the death sentence nor share with the rest of mankind in this fallen condition.
CHRIST JESUS WAS THE ACCEPTABLE SIN
● The Father declared it to be so.
● The Jewish leaders could not find fault with/in
Him. There was no credible witness to His guilt.
● The Gentile leaders, Herod and Pilate, found no
fault in Him.
● Insofar as the Divine calendar was concerned,
The Lord Jesus’ death was right on schedule:
When the fullness (pleroma) of time (chronos) was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under The Law (Galatians 4:4).
…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:2).
On the Cross, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (II Corinthians 5:18-21).
Wherefore, when He cometh into the world, He saith, “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body Thou has prepared Me” (Hebrews 10:5).
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the BODY of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10).
(IN HIS BODY [THE “LIVING” TABERNACLE, THE ANTI-TYPE, i.e., OF ALL THAT THE TEMPLE AND TABERNACLE FORESHADOWED, INCLUDING ALL OF
THE SACRIFICIAL TYPES AND SACRIFICE(S)], CHRIST JESUS FILLED UP [PLEROMA] ALL TYPE.)
Outside the gate, the Gentile surgeon, on Passover, pierced our Savior’s side, and the necessary blood and water issued forth to all humanity -- ONCE FOR ALL!!
During the review process, Dr Gary Chiang provided me with some interesting and very thoughtful insights in respect to this area of discussion. I quote (direct, unchanged) from his correspondence:
(Under it must be remembered, p.19) … “The male and female contribute a full half-complement, with just one being the sex chromosome. Mary contributed an X, plus 22 other chromosomes, and God contributed a Y, plus 22 other chromosomes (the homologous pairs). But you must also remember that this applies only if Jesus were diploid. There is the possibility that He could have been only haploid, as could have been Adam, and all God had to do was alter the X chromosome in Eve’s seed to make a fully male human being. Haploid organisms are abundant in nature. In the plant world, they are called the gametophytes.”
Hidden In Plain Sight
Four ways to see =
Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo
J.W. Bernard, Ph.D.
Things and ideas can be hidden from view. However, most of these concealed or secret ideas and objects can be found in a dedicated and intense search. Then there are things and ideas that are hidden in plain sight. They, many times, are the most difficult to discover. It is in front of you and you can’t imagine that it is there.
Eyes are of the utmost importance. We use them to safely move from place to place, examine the pages of recorded history, math, and science, and judge living situations. Courtroom prosecutors search for eyewitnesses to come forward and testify, even though, many times, they give conflicting reports of what they saw. However, if we are able to uncover the ability to truly see what was concealed or lying in secret, what brings about the revelation? What gives one the power to see the invisible? Is it a gift?
As an example: how does one counter-balance physical blindness with the activities of life in order to function in normal
circumstances? I am told that many times the hearing and smelling grow more acute in blindness. This may or may not be the case for all blind people. However, we have eyes to see with, and many
times we cannot comprehend nor explain the events we have looked upon. In our observations, we think we understand what we see and then look over the difficult encumbrances of others. That is how many people escape the responsibility for the needs of others and the problems of life.
When two individuals look at an event in the same time frame, they are gazing upon the same objects and activity. However, many times they see it altogether differently. This happened in the first century, when the most astounding event of all times took place, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gift of Seeing
We read of olden times, when God spoke of how the morning stars once sang together for joy (Job 38:7). What was this writer trying to say? As Job heard God speak, did he actually think that God spoke of singing planets? He spoke of something that had happened beyond the natural sight of men. And, too, we have learned from our own experience that his testimony was far more than poetic expression. We understand that it was God’s version of reality...a reality of something more real than what human reason defined as reality.
As we drop our attention from God's symphony of the heavens to our innermost being, we find another reality that must be taken to heart within the corridor of our soul. We hear a still, small voice. With time, both realities (the voice of the morning stars and the inner voice) grow clearer and stronger, like voices heard at a distance, approaching slowly and steadily. Yet, somehow, at the beginning, when we first hear the voice of God, we know that what we are listening to is very real. The silence now and then testifies to the fact that He speaks again and again.
As we ponder the thought of God’s speaking in the inner
being of His subjects, it is interesting that life is not the way most
have perceived it to be. Life, real life, is different. Real life is a surge of dynamism, and it operates from a personal guide called
faith (based upon the written Scriptures) that there is a spiritual
world around us and that God lives inside of our very being. We are given the gift to see the unseen and realize that what is not seen is more real than what we observe in our daily activities.
As an example, take the story found in I Kings 19. This story concerns the great prophet Elijah and the word of the Lord, which came to him in a cave on Mount Horeb after he had fasted forty days and forty nights. God spoke to him and said,
Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord.
And it is written that when the Lord passed by...
A great and strong wind rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire a still, small voice.
God was in the still, small voice! This is the dynamic interchange between God and man that awaits us all. Elijah understood that his God was present in every thing. However, what was this lesson about? God was not in the wind. Yet Moses testified that God blew with His wind and the enemies of Israel were destroyed. II Samuel 22:11 says that God rides upon the wings of the wind. And, also, He was not in the earthquake. Yet in Isaiah 29:6, God visited with an earthquake and fire. Even though He had been in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children, at this time He was not in the fire. The lesson for Isaiah was that the genius and reality of God's dwelling place is in the center of the heart of man. Man must become quiet and listen to the inner voice in order to see the indwelling God.
Great artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Titian and Veronese have sought to capture that genius and reality on canvas and in frescoes. The same was with great musicians like
Palestrina, Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin and Wagner. They were
good at looking within and bringing to the surface what was real. They were real because they searched for and listened to that small inner voice. They were real. So is God. And so was Elijah.
On a personal level, listening to that still, small voice is seeing Him who is invisible. What do you see? Or may I ask, "To whom are you looking?" If you are looking within, at yourself, do you see yourself as God sees you or as to what others say about you?
To get the true picture.... First, you must look away from yourself and look at Christ Jesus. This will give you a clear vision of who you are in God's eyesight. He will give you the same vision of yourself that He has of you. What do you see?
For a better understanding of how to look at things, let us go back 2,000 years and investigate the actions of several people who looked upon the same event -- the resurrection of the Christ of God. To begin with, it may or may not help us to understand exactly who wrote the account in the Gospel.
Who is the author of the Gospel of John?
First of all, consider some facts that are hidden in plain sight in the "so-called" Gospel of John. I will begin by saying that it is my firm conviction that the Gospel should be titled as "The Gospel of the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved." For, in reality, the author signed it that way.
John 21:20-24 -- Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following, which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, “Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?” 21 -- Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, “Lord, and what shall this man
do?” 22 - Jesus saith unto him, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.” 23 -- Then went this saying abroad among the
brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus
said not unto him, “He shall not die; but, If I will
that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?”
24 -- this is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
The author of the Gospel says that he is the disciple whom Jesus loved. I wonder why the other disciples were in an uncertainty about this disciple's future. The reason that they asked, "Would he die like others?" was because he had already died and had been raised from the dead.
Before this signing by the author...
John 21:2-24 says that the disciples were fishing and did not recognize Jesus standing on the shore (v. 4). Then Jesus asked the disciples if they had fish to eat. They told him that they had not caught a thing. He told them to cast their nets on the other side of the ship. Their nets were filled. Then...
That disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, “It is the Lord” (v.7).
This special disciple recognized Jesus when all of the other disciples did not. Was this disciple one who had a greater relationship with the Master?
Before this miracle...
John 20:1-10 says that, after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved ran to the sepulcher. The other disciple was first to arrive at the tomb and the first to believe (v. 8).
Before this resurrection...
John 19:25-27 says that Jesus saw his mother and the
disciple standing by whom he loved (v. 26). And that disciple took
her unto his own home (v. 27). brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus
This disciple had a special place in the life of Mary and Jesus. Jesus trusted him above all the rest.
Before this crucifixion...
John 18:12-18 says the disciple was known by the high priest. The disciple, whom Jesus loved, went in to the trial with Jesus while Peter stood outside (vs. 15,16). Apparently, this disciple was the only one whom the high priest knew. The one that had been raised from the dead was very disturbing to the Chief Priest and authorities. He drew too much attention to the authority of Christ Jesus.
Before this trial...
John 13:21-28 says that one of the disciples would betray Him. The disciple whom Jesus loved was leaning on his bosom (v. 23,25) and asked, "Who is it?" Peter asked this disciple to ask Jesus who it would be." This disciple had a special place beside Jesus.
Before this Passover meal...
Lazarus, the friend of Jesus had died. Lazarus' sister said...
Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick (v. 3).
Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus (vs. 4, 5).
Jesus speaks of Lazarus as Our friend Lazarus (v. 11). Jesus was so overcome with the death of Lazarus that "he groaned
In the spiri t and was troubled" (v. 33). Then Jesus wept (v. 35).
Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! (v. 36). Then
Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave (v. 38). Jesus raised his friend, Lazarus from the dead.
Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, butthat they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus (John 12:9-11).
This was the disciple whom Jesus loved. This was the disciple that was known by the high priest. This is the only disciple that the Scripture testifies that Jesus loved. This is what is hidden in plain sight for the reader. Lazarus wrote the Gospel of John.
An interesting thought is that perhaps Luke 16 was a prophecy that, even though Lazarus would rise from the dead, the chief priests and Pharisees would not believe. Lazarus became a living testimony to the resurrection power of God, and many of the Jews who witnessed the raising of Lazarus believed on Jesus. This is truly the disciple whom Jesus loved. Is the story of the rich man and Lazarus a prophecy that was hidden in plain sight?
The theme of this Gospel is life. And who better than Lazarus could tell us of this fact? The author of this Gospel tells us how the resurrection of Christ was seen by those nearest him.
“See” in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo.
Mary sees objects. . .
John 20:1 - The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and SEETH the stone taken away from the sepulcher.
Mary was from Magdala (now Mejdel), a fishing village north of Tiberias. She was the first to arrive at the tomb. The gospel's author, the disciple (whom Jesus loved), here named her alone, of the three women present. The time was early in the morning when lamps were needed to light the early hours. In the darkness, Mary sees only the outside of the tomb and makes her assumption.
Mary considered carefully the objects that she saw or did not see. The darkness is noticed by the author of the gospel of John to account for her seeing nothing of what Peter and the disciple (whom Jesus loved) afterwards saw, when the morning light began. She saw in the darkness that the slab that had formerly closed the sepulcher had been removed. Seeing this, she naturally concluded that the tomb had been violated, possibly that the authorities, for purposes of their own, had removed the body. Her conclusion came from what she saw and was not the reality of what had truly happened. What happened next?
John 20:2 - Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple (Lazarus), whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.”
This was a false report. However, it was what Mary saw
(Greek: blepo) with her very own eyes. She was unable to testify of any other scenario. This is what she saw. To consider care-
fully the objects of what one sees is never enough to understand and come to know truth. Mary saw the opened tomb and assumed that a great violation had taken place. He had been taken away by others. She runs to those whom she knew would be the most interested in her gathered facts. Breathless and anxious, she exclaims, "They have removed the Lord from the tomb and we know not where they have laid Him." She had no idea that her eyes had deceived her or that the resurrection had taken place and that He was alive. Her statement was far from the truth. She ran from the opened tomb and was preaching a false premise.
“See” in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo.
The disciple whom Jesus loved sees objects...
John 20:3-5 -- Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. (4) So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. (5) And he (the disciple whom Jesus loved), stooping down, and looking in, SAW the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
However, the truth of what happened to Christ Jesus in the tomb had not dawned upon Peter. The disciple (whom Jesus loved) stood outside and peeked in to see if what had happened to him was a resurrection. Had a resurrection like Lazarus' resurrection happened to Jesus also? Lazarus could never get the thought of resurrection out of his thinking. It was everything to him.
"See" in Greek; eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo.
Peter sees with a theory...
John 20:6 - Then cometh Simon Peter following him (Lazarus, the disciple whom Jesus loved), and went into the sepulchre, and SEETH the linen clothes lie...
Peter did not stop. He went up to the door of the sepulcher and saw the strips of linen used for swathing the head, and the cerecloth. This material was from a woman's dress. Peter was held back by dread of pollution and did not enter the tomb. However, he observed the situation and wondered.
John 20:7 -- And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Peter was developing a theory from the objects.... Then, unafraid, Lazarus, the disciple (whom Jesus loved), entered the tomb. It did not occur to the disciple (whom Jesus loved) to hold back from entering the tomb of the dead. He had already been laid to rest in one himself.
"See" in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo.
The disciple whom Jesus loved sees differently...
John 20:8 -- Then went in also that other disciple (Lazarus, the disciple whom Jesus loved), which came first to the sepulcher, and he SAW AND BELIEVED.
This is the kind of eyewitness that a court prosecutor wants for his case. The disciple (whom Jesus loved) realized that Mary's impression was only an assumption of people taking
the body away. He knew that her perception was incorrect.
Lazarus saw that, for a quick transfer of the stolen body, the wrappings would have been left on the Lord in the transfer. No one would undress the corpse in order to transport it from one place to another.
While Peter was standing there developing a theory about the empty tomb, the disciple (whom Jesus loved) saw the reality that His Lord had awakened from death and gently removed His burial cloths and headdress and neatly laid them aside. Neither Peter nor Lazarus had prior revelation of any scripture that would confirm a belief in what they saw. Yet, the disciple (whom Jesus loved) saw what the facts before him truly said, and it caused him to believe the reality of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 20:9-10 -- For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. (10) Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
Not understanding that a resurrection had occurred, Peter had a theory about the objects. On the other hand, the disciple (whom Jesus loved and raised from the dead) understood the objects he saw and believed in the truth of the resurrection. The disciple (whom Jesus loved) did not visit any other tomb. He questioned no one about the situation. He believed and had no patience to wait around for the realization of truth to dawn upon Peter. It was time to spread the news.
Let's look again at what happened. After hearing that the body of Jesus was taken from the tomb, "the two" (Peter and
Lazarus, the disciple whom Jesus loved) ran together (John 20:4) in eagerness to reach the empty tomb of Jesus. Outran Peter is
used in Luke 19:4 where the disciple (whom Jesus loved) ran ahead more swiftly (John 13:27) than Peter. In other words, the disciple (whom Jesus loved) won the race.
Then, stooping and looking in (parakupsas), they both saw the linen cloth (John 19:40). This is the important fact that
must not be missed in this passage. The disciple (whom Jesus loved) notices this fact at once. If the body had been removed, these clothes would have gone also. The thieves would not stay long enough to take the burial clothes from the body and fold them neatly to the side. They would have just stolen the body with everything else. Lazarus' confident nature made him pause (yet, mentoi, however).
Peter impulsively went on in and beheld (theorei) the napkin in a separate place, rolled up (entetuligmenon). The Greek gives us the perfect passive participle predicate accusative = to wrap in, to roll up, already in Matthew 27:59 and Luke 23:53. It was arranged in an orderly fashion. This means that there was no haste. By itself (chris) is an old adverb, apart, separately. Then therefore (tote oun).... After Peter in time, Lazarus, the other disciple (whom Jesus loved) saw and believed (kai eidn kai episteusen). (Both aorist active indicative second and first). Peter saw more with his eyes when he entered than he did in his first glance. Lazarus saw with his experience and insight into the meaning of it all better than Peter. Peter had more eyesight, the disciple (whom Jesus loved) insight. This is Lazarus' own record of being the first to believe that Jesus was risen from the tomb, even before he saw Him physically.
According to Luke 24:12, Peter went wondering still what it all meant. The Sinaitic Syriac and 69 and 124 wrongly read here they believed. The disciple (whom Jesus loved) was evidently proud to be able to record this great moment when he
believed without seeing the Lord, in contrast to Thomas (20:29), seeing Him and placing his finger on the scars and wounded side. Also, Peter and the disciple (whom Jesus loved) did not see the angels. For (gar) the Scripture (ten graphen) was talking about Psalms 16:10. Jesus had repeatedly foretold his resurrection, but that was all forgotten in the great sorrow in their hearts. Only the chief priests and Pharisees recalled the words of Jesus (Matthew 27:62).
Then the scriptures say, unto their own home (pros hautous). Actually, this means to themselves. Luke 24:12 has pros hauton about Peter (to his home). This use of the reflective pronoun for home (literally, "to themselves") is like what occurs in Josephus (Ant. VII. 4, 6). The disciple (whom Jesus loved) had taken the mother of Jesus to his home (19:27), and so he now hurries home to tell her the glorious news of what he believed to be the truth of His resurrection. Her Son was now alive, not stolen like Mary Magdalene has reported. Lazarus must tell her.
"See" in Greek: eidon; theoreo: orao; blepo.
Mary Magdalene's theory vision…
John 20:11-14 -- But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, (12) and SEETH two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain, (13) and they say unto her, “Woman, why weepest thou?” She saith unto them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” (14) And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and SAW Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Mary had developed her seeing from the standpoint of blepo (Greek word in verses 1-5) to theron (Greek word in verses 11-17). And yet, she still did not see the truth of a living Christ.
The objects that she saw were in her way. The neatly placed garments did not fit into her scenario of violating the tomb. She
had returned to the tomb after the men, but could not share in their belief. Her understanding and observation of the empty tomb made her helplessly and hopelessly weep. She had told the disciples that the tomb was empty and she saw them come out of it and run away. She afterwards peered into the tomb and could not believe her Lord was gone. The angels spoke to Mary with no result. Her eyes were open, but could not see the truth.
John 20:15 -- And Jesus saith unto her, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”
Mary's theory in her sorrow would not allow her to recognize that the object of her love and admiration (Christ) was the subject of resurrection. Thinking the worst, Mary did not recognize Him as He stood behind her. She also expected Him to look like He did in the days before His demise. Unknown to her, He had put on immortality and was not recognized as the One in His past life. She supposed Him to be the gardener or keeper of the garden. This was not because he had on gardener's clothes. Probably He wore merely the short drawers in which He been crucified. To her thinking, no one was likely to be in the garden at that early hour but a gardener. This was Mary's limited reasoning in the dark hours of the morning.
“See” in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo.
Mary sees truth and tells her theory...
John 20:16 -- Jesus saith unto her, "Mary," She turned herself, and saith unto him, "Rabboni;" which is to say, Master. (17) Jesus saith unto her, "Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto
them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
Mary's theory (Greek: theoren) was overshadowed with the revelation of the living PERSON of Christ. His uttering her name shattered all theories and revealed that He was a friend that knew her. She instantly turned and gazed upon Him. With surprise, recognition, relief and joy, resulting from that gaze, she reached for Him. He said that His continuing presence with her would come after He ascended to His Father. He asked her not to hold on to Him. She had heard Him say that the "little time" (16:16) would pass quickly and that He would return. She thought that His presence in the garden was the Return. He tells her to go to His brothers and tell them the truth of what must happen next.
John 20:18 - Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had SEEN the Lord and that He had spoken these things unto her.
“See” in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo.
The Disciples see the truth...
Now look at John 20:19-31, where the resurrected and immortal Son of God visited the disciples.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, “Peace be unto you.” (20) And when he had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side.
Then were the disciples glad, when they SAW the Lord.
The doors were shut securely so that no one could enter. His resurrected body was not subject to the conditions of the natural; He passed through walls, wherever He would. In His sudden appearance in the room, He immediately spoke to them, calming their fears.
(21) Then said Jesus to them again, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (22) And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” (24) But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
As God breathed into Adam and created life, the Lord Jesus Christ breathed upon His disciples. This was life and power for them. They received the Spirit of God and now believed that God had raised Him from the dead.
“See” in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo
(25) The other disciples therefore said unto him (Thomas), “We have SEEN the Lord.”
“See” in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo
Thomas sees the truth...
(26) And after eight days, again His disciples were
within and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be unto you.” (27) Then saith He to
Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and BEHOLD my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it
into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.”
"See" in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo.
Thomas Sees the Truth and Speaks of Another Kind of Seeing...
(28) And Thomas answered and said unto Him, “My Lord and my God.” (29) Jesus saith unto him, “Thomas, because thou hast SEEN…
The Lord did not reject Thomas' confession, but reminds him that
there is a higher faith than that which springs from the visual evidence to which Thomas testified.
“See” in Greek: eidon; theoreo; orao; blepo
...Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not SEEN, and yet have believed.”
This kind of faith, believing before seeing, was what the disciple whom Jesus loved had. Then Lazarus ended his Gospel with...
(30) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in
this book: (31) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have (resurrection) life through His Name.
Do we witness to what we see or believe?
If we are to be "witnesses" today, what do we witness of since we did not live in the first century? Are we to witness only to what Jesus has done in our hearts?
In the first century, Jesus sent his "witnesses" to preach the Gospel to the Roman Empire. However, that is not exactly what is told to us today: He said,
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in
all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matt. 24:14).
This was fulfilled in the first century and afterwards; all the witnesses died. On the other hand, most modern ministers tell us
that the Gospel could not possibly have gone to the whole world in the first century. They conclude that we are still trying to accomplish this very difficult assignment today and therefore assume that we must be the true "witnesses." Jesus later said this:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Paul clearly states that this was fulfilled in the first century (actually, by approximately AD 57 when the letter to the Romans was written):
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. But I ask, Did
they not hear? Of course they did:
Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their
words to the ends of the world (Rom. 10:16-18).
Here is what the first-century disciples witnessed. He told them,
This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:46-48).
Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up
from us . For one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection (Acts 1:21-22).
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact (Acts 2:32).
You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this (Acts 3:15).
We are witnesses of everything He did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed Him by hanging Him on a tree, but God raised Him from the dead on the third day and caused Him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with Him after he rose from the dead (Acts 10:39-41).
...God raised Him from the dead, and for many days
He was seen by those who had traveled with Him
from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now His witnesses to our people (Acts 13:30-31). You [Paul] will be His witness to all men of what
you have seen and heard. Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of Me and what I will show you (Acts 26:15-16).
Peter claimed legitimacy by noting that he was an eyewitness:
To all of you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed (I Pet. 5:1).
No one today witnessed any of this. In fact, Jesus clearly said that Christians in the future would not be witnesses:
Then Jesus told him [Thomas], “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29.
It is quite common for Christians to give their "testimony." What exactly does this mean? A testimony is something provided by a witness. So, again, what have these people witnessed? Of course, people are usually referring to what Jesus has done in their personal lives. However, the New Testament does not use the word testimony in this way.
Seeing the truth...
If the unseen is more real than that which we are unable to see, why are we looking forward to seeing God? At this moment, we cannot see that Person Who abides in our hearts. However, we know that He is very present in our hearts. He must be seen by faith, as an unmixed and undiluted reality in our hearts. See Him and listen to His voice. In contrast to Thomas' belief, the disciple
(whom Jesus loved) magnifies the fact that he believed that Christ
had risen from the dead before he saw the living Lord.
In the next chapter (ch. 21), we find the Lord showing Himself again to the disciples and verse 4 says, “…the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.”
The disciple's (whom Jesus loved) record is again showing that faith without sight is better than looking (with physical eyes) upon the Christ and then believing. Why did the disciples not recognize the Man that they had lived with for the past three years? Like Mary, looking at an empty tomb, they were only looking at empty nets and thinking about their job of fishing. They
were too busy about THINGS and OBJECTS of life. And, yet, the reality of resurrection was there, within the reach of their eyesight. It is as plain as day that the answer for them was insight, not eyesight.
The Lord, prompted by their ignorance of His identity, told them to cast their nets into the sea again. This time the nets were full of fish. It was perhaps one of their biggest catches ever. THEN God was in a still, small voice as the disciple (whom Jesus loved) said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
The clean and undiluted insight of Lazarus, the disciple (whom Jesus loved), spoke the message of truth to Peter. This shattered Peter's eyesight of theorizing and caused him to see the Christ to be as Who He really was. Oh, that our preachers today could see and proclaim the truth of the believer’s dwelling in Christ and God’s indwelling the believer. May I say, "What a message!" My prayer is that God will apply the cleaning eye salve of insight for our eyes to see your truth.
After the fishermen came to shore, the Lord built a fire as the one fish was prepared to eat. As they sat down to eat, no one asked Him if He was the Lord. They could not trust their eyesight. They were left with the still, small voice of the disciple whom Jesus loved: “It is the Lord.”
1. When was Mary saved?
2. When was Lazarus saved?
3. When was Peter saved?
The subject of resurrection life casts many shadows in our thinking. Those shadows are usually the objects we gaze upon in our daily devotion. The shadows should point us to that which is casting the shadow. However, the object is invisible to our traditional eyesight. It is like looking at the wind blowing the leaves of the tree. We only look at the moving leaves in order to perceive in our minds the blowing wind.
My insight should cause me to...
• Stop worrying about who I am when I SEE Who He is.
• See that I am crucified with Christ (Romans 6), and dead to sin
• See that I am raised with Christ (Romans 6), and alive unto God.
• See that I am seated with Christ (Ephesians), so that I may SEE
His work and cease from my own.
Salvation requires a belief in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For Paul said,
... if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)
When did Mary, Lazarus and Peter believe that God "raised Him from the dead”? When did they SEE the reality of His resurrection? They did not believe in their hearts that God would raise Christ from the dead in the early part of His ministry, for the Lord had taught them that He would be delivered into the hands of murderers.
Luke 9:44-45 – Let these sayings sink down into
your ears: for the Son of Man shall be delivered into the hands of men. (45) But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.
Later, in the middle part of His ministry, they still did not believe in their hearts that God would raise Christ from the dead.
Luke 18:32-34 – Then He took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem,
and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. (32) For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: (33) And they shall scourge Him and put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again. (34) And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
They even believed not in their hearts that God raised Christ from the dead until after the resurrection when He opened their understanding. Then they SAW it.
Luke 24:44-46 – And he said unto them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me.” (45) Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (46) And said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.”
If, by Paul's message, the three, Mary, Lazarus and Peter,
were not saved during His ministry, when did their salvation come?
Paul Gives the Time of Salvation:
Romans 13:11-12 – And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now (AD 62) is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand:
Paul wrote this some eight years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The day of salvation was at hand. It was near, so it was time for them to awake. No one should be asleep at
a time like this. The day of salvation was very near. In Paul's later epistles, he seems to contemplate not merely the possibility, but the probability, that he himself would not live to see it. The true day of salvation dawns only when Christ appears the second time.
I Thess. 5:9-10 – For God hath not appointed us
to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (10) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Paul says that whether awake in life or asleep in death, the salvation event of living with Christ was "obtained" in the time of the Parousia (presence). “When He appears, we shall be like Him” was their hearts’ cry.
For we shall SEE Him as He is.
The Grace of God had appeared so that all believers could look upon it. How should they SEE what had appeared to all men? If a man saw the true message of Grace, it would teach him to deny godless and worldly desires. It would encourage him to
live soberly, righteously and godly. The day of INSIGHT arrived
for many when He appeared to them.
Grace and nothing else.
I was once told that if it was by grace alone, we could live
any old way we were pleased to live. I told that individual that, when he saw divine grace for what it truly is, he would certainly live any old way he pleased. However, it would be a life pleasing also to God and of thankfulness and gratitude to God. It would be a life of sharing the wonderful grace of God with others. That over-whelming grace would be filled with love and forgiveness on the part of those who really saw it for what it is. It would then be a
life of new insight, seeing the world in an entirely different way. It would not be a philosophy of "get all you can, can all you get and then sit on the can." It would be a life of giving and sharing. It would be a life of love because we are loved.
Titus 2:11-13 -- For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this
present world; (13) Looking for that blessed hope (day of salvation), and the glorious appearing (Parousia) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
The first-century Christians were heirs of salvation because the day of salvation had not arrived yet. In the absence of Christ, angels were sent to minister to the heirs.
Hebrews 1:14 -- Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
The Parousia was the day of salvation. The first-century Christians looked for its immediate arrival.
Hebrews 9:28 -- So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Peter Testifies of the Time of Salvation...
Peter understood that they were living in the "last time." The hard times were trying their faith. However, Peter knew that the risen Lord was soon returning with reward. Peter remembered the words of the risen Lord to Thomas,
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.
Peter understood that they were kept by the power of God until the day of salvation. That day was soon to arrive.
I Peter 1:5-9 – 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.
Also read verses 10-13
(10) Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: (11) Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory
that should follow. (12) Unto whom it was revealed that not unto themselves, but unto us they
did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you
with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. (13) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Peter says that grace would be demonstrated in its fullest at the Parousia or "revelation of Jesus Christ."
Hebrews 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
The first-century believers awaited their salvation in His Parousia or coming. They were all saved by grace through faith that God raised Him from the dead and that He would soon be with them. This was their assurance and blessed hope of the glorious appearing of their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Perfect insight is a gift of knowledge
Take a good look at the Christ of God. He is the evidence of the true God. When one obtains this insight, God will be seen in a very personal relationship with humanity. It unveils what redeemed humanity is in God's sight. Truth must come through insight, not eyesight. This is a truly wonderful gift from God. As God opened the eyes of His disciples and revealed the truth of the death, entombment and resurrection of Christ, He will open our eyes to see His truth. With the gift of insight let us always be searching for and looking upon the things and ideas that are usually hidden in plain sight.