Apostle John’s relationship with Jesus Christ

  • John had a unique relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • John referred to Jesus as the Word of God.
  • He was known as one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He was known as “John the Elder and Pastor.”
  • He was ordained in his youth, wherein he learned from Jesus.
  • John was part of “The Inner Circle” (which was Peter, James, and John with Jesus).
  • John refers to himself as the “one whom Jesus loves.”
  • Commissioned to write about many topics, including “The Divinity of Love,” “Real Christianity,” “God’s Will,” etc.
  • He lived through the time of Jesus’ teachings, Transfiguration, Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension.
  • He also lived through the forming of the first Church, as well as the persecution of the Christians.
  • He witnessed his brother James’ martyrdom.
  • He pastored the great Church at Ephesus.
  • He was eventually banished to the Isle of Patmos, wherein he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • He had a flashing temper, which was why he was called one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He became known as the “Apostle of Love.”

John’s declaration of Jesus was that “He is full of Truth and Glory, He is the Only Begotten of the Father.” This was found in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John had knowledge of foundational truths of Jesus and the Gospel; therefore, he was entrusted to such writings. John bore record of the Word of God, and had a testimony of Jesus Christ and the things, in which, he had seen. John was singled out by God to deliver to us the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

John the Beloved has a unique relationship with Jesus Christ, which was similar to the other Johns. But, what distinguished John the Beloved was that he was filled with the love of Christ. Mark 3:14-19: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

The Inner Circle means to me that it was a small group of people who held a more intimate connection with each other. Although Jesus worked with all His Disciples, He liked also to work with individual things, so having a small group was what He had done. The Inner Circle seemed to be Peter, James, and John, because these three were the most common to be seen with Jesus in a more intimate setting. Some of the examples include being with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37-41), when Jesus raised a ruler’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:35-38), at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28-29), and during a private consultation about the end times and false christs (Mark 13:3-7). James and John are also noted as being partnered with Simon (Peter) in Luke 5:10, and they followed Christ (Luke 5:10-11).

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The first Truth that we see in this lesson is “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous” (1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”). We confess our sins and He only has the power to forgive and cleanse from sin!

Then, in 1 John 2:3-5, we see evidence that He dwells in us and this is how we know Him. It is a way He perfects us. The Word accompanied by the Holy Ghost gives life. So, if He is perfecting us, it’s because of the Word in us working, which is evidence we’re in Him. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

In 1 John 2:6, we see that we shall abide in Him, walk with Him, and Trust Him in every circumstance in our life – if done, is evidence that He abides in us and that we’re in fellowship with Him. Also, abiding in His Word gives us endurance for every season of our lives. We must portray His footsteps in our life, and that as Jesus is obedience to the Father, we shall be also! “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Next, we see in 1 John 2:7-11 the evidence of knowing Him is found in our love. When we try to witness or evangelize, the world can sense the true spirit of Love inside us. “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

In 1 John 2:12-14, we see that Jesus Christ has overcome satan, which is evidence that we’re in a relationship with the Lord. We, then, are overcomers also, being children of God. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

For 1 John 2:15-17, we see another evidence that we know God, for our relationship is better for lacking love for the things of the world. We are not to love anything of the world, for the result of such is that the love of the Father isn’t in us. We see issues to avoid that are in the world, which involve the lust of the flesh and of the eyes, and the pride of life. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

More truths we see in 1 John 2:18-23, as this is a Prophetical Word regarding the End-Time. Unity of the Spirit will be the evidence that we know God, and that we’ll not be led astray by the antichrist. We need to let His love surpass our self-will that we can all walk together in the faith of Jesus Christ. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

Christ in us is apparent when the fragrance of His presence is in our lives. Exodus 29:7 says, “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.” Exodus 30:23-25 says, “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.” David writes that Jesus is the Anointed One as we see in Psalm 45:7, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

John confirms such truths that he writes and warns us against deception, as we see in 1 John 2:26, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.” Even more truths are revealed to us in 1 John 2:24-29, as we see that we will remain in the Father and the Son as long as we walk in the light, be honest with ourselves, confess our troubles & deal with sin, speak the truth, walk in integrity, and being an example overall of Jesus Christ. We fulfil such desire for relationship with the Lord if we hide His Word in our heart. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

In 1 John 2:25, we see a promise that occurs when we abide in Him: “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” Then, we see in 1 John 2:26-27 that John has told us that he writes such things concerning them that seduce you or try to lead one into error – but, we have an anointing that abides in us, that is Jesus the Anointed One, who will teach us – so that we don’t have to worry of new doctrines or false teachers. “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

As we finish out the chapter in the last two verses, 1 John 2:28-29, we see the result of abiding in Him: that we may have confidence and be unashamed before Him at His coming. If we know He’s righteous, then those that do righteousness are born of Him! Abide in Him through everything, because He will bring to us peace and confidence. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The anointing that we’ve received from the Lord abides in us, therefore, no one else needs to teach us of the anointing but the Anointed One, who is Jesus that lives in us. The anointing, I will say, teaches us to abide in Christ. It also keeps us drawn in to Him!

It’s also to note that many false teachers have a “special anointing” as claimed, so we’re admonished here that God anoints us, and that with Jesus being within us, He teaches us of the anointing so that we don’t have to worry about false teachers coming along and telling us of some “special” ungodly anointing they have (and how we can obtain it). All believers already have the true and correct anointing when they trust and abide in the Anointed One. Last thing to note: we receive this anointing as a gift, which is a graceful gift from the Lord. We don’t squander this gift, because it is part of our salvation. Therefore, we must also realize that we don’t need to “get God” in our lives, for we already have Him. We don’t need to try to get His anointing…we already have it!

We know God by His Word, because His Word is Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:20 says, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” The Son has revealed the Father unto us by helping us understand Him!

The proof of Divine Life as we see in this study is love. God bestowed His love upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Now we are the sons of God, and when He appears, we shall be like Him and see Him as He is! (1 John 3:1-2)

The Manner of Love that the Father bestowed upon us is that we should be called the sons of God. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

Those who abide in Him will not sin, for them that have sin has not seen Him or known Him. In addition, that no man should deceive you, for he that does righteousness is righteous. Therefore, whoever is born of God does not commit sin.

We have two natures; those are “spiritual” and “carnal.” These natures are at war within us. We who have an understanding of the law, spiritually, we know in our experience that the law is spiritual, but that our inner man is carnal. Being carnal, a man is fleshly and incapable of being obedient unto the law – for this is where spiritual and carnal war, because our spiritual man is leading us into things of the law, but the carnal man is leading us away (– because it is incapable of being obedient). We see in Romans 7:5, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Sadly, we cannot escape this carnal way while in our flesh, as we see in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” The flesh naturally does not know how to be obedient or perform good so it therefore wars against the spiritual. It’s a dilemma.

There will be many ways that a person accepts and applies the Word unto their life. Some are by the way side, which are those that hear – and then come the devil that takes it away from their hearts. Those that are on the rock hear and receive the Word with joy, but they have no root – so in the time of temptation, they fall away/sin. Those that are among thorns are they that hear and receive the Word, but go forth and are choked with the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life – to which they bear no fruit. However, those that are on good ground hear and receive the Word in an honest and good heart – keep it and bring forth fruit with patience. Overall, you have most people who are not on good ground, and need shepherded back to the Lord’s ways.

Jesus’ love was His laying down of His life for us, therefore, we should be the same way in our relationships with others. We should be willing to sacrifice. We don’t necessarily have to sacrifice our life, but general sacrifice is what brings love’s true nature. Therefore, if our brother has need, we need to sacrifice our time and help. If our friend calls on us, we should have patience and see to what he/she needs. For Jesus did the greatest sacrifice so that we would not have to deal with the sacrificial system anymore, therefore, we need to apply the principle of sacrifice unto our lives in our relationships with others. The example of family he gives us is that of Cain and Abel. His heart is burdensome for people not to repeat the sin of murder like in the situation of Cain and Abel.

Nonetheless, the Assurance of Jesus’ Love is found in 1 John 3:19-24, “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

God’s commandments are not grievous – this means burdensome in that His Commandments, rather, are an expression of His Love and protection for us. They are not burdensome, especially when they are kept. We receive the love of God when we keep His Commandments (1 John 5:3). The test of our love is loving as Jesus loved! He loved us first while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). When we walk in the love of Jesus, there is love for the saints!

What is required in the Prosperous Road is that we walk in the Truth overall. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 4:1-2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”

Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Colossians 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 2:6-7, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 2 John 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

A guide to who the Jews were

Introducing the Jews preluding the restoration prophecy

The Promises to Abraham: One of them was in Genesis 12:1-3, as we see that he will be made a great nation and will be blessed so that the name is great. He shall be a blessing, and will bless them that bless him and curse them that curse him – and in this, all families of the earth will be blessed. The second one was in Genesis 13:15, where we see that all the land, which he sees, it will be given to him and his seed forever. A third one would be in Genesis 17:2-7, where we see that a covenant will be made that he will be a father of many nations, making them exceedingly fruitful. A fourth one would be in Genesis 22:18, which we see that by his seed that all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

Jacob was born as the son of Isaac, and had a brother named Esau. Isaac and Rebekah gave the second of these twin sons the name “Jacob,” which means, “to hold the heel.” At birth, Jacob’s hand grabbed the heel of Esau (Genesis 25:24-26). When they grew, Jacob proved his name by taking what belonged to Esau – which was the family birthright and the father’s blessing (Genesis 27:36). God was clear that Jacob was chosen, and through him, God would fulfill the promises to Abraham. God used this man to continue the line of descent from Abraham, to Isaac, and then to Jacob. The nation that God wanted was one that would be a passage of blessing. That nation was commonly called Israel, which was after the name God called him in Genesis 32:28.

For Israel, the Prince then… Israel means, “God’s fighter, God’s hero, wrestler with God, ruler with El (God), Prince of God.” The Disciples asked, “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Jesus answered them in a way that He said in other places about End Times, restoration, etc. that it is not of their concern when the time shall come for the restoration. In a way, He is saying that only God knows when the true restoration of Israel shall come, and that there is work to be done until then.

There was a great prophecy concerning the restoration of Israel given by Isaiah, as he says in 49:6, “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” Then in 63:17, “O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.” The word, “restoration,” in the Old Testament is taken from the Hebrew word, “shalam,” which means, “to be safe, completed, to finish, to give again, to recompense, to make restitution.” In the New Testament, it comes from the Greek word, “apokathistemi,” which means, “to reconstitute in health, home, and organization.”

Malachi prophesied a restoration as well in 4:5-6, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Jesus then said in Matthew 17:11, “…Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” In the last days, the days of restoration, when the Lord will fulfill the prophecy of Joel and send us the former rain and the latter rain together (Joel 2:23), we will have that double-portion-anointed company of saints who will be raised up as deliverers with both the anointing of Elijah and of John. They will finish the old kingdom and bring in the new kingdom of God. Elijah’s ministry was to judge the system of idolatry and John’s ministry was to proclaim, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” and to call all men to repentance. This will be the double-portion, end-time ministry.

Israel would be a people who were peculiar, holy, and above all nations that are upon the earth (Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2). A Redeemed and chosen people (2 Samuel 7:10-11, 23). A People with a special ministry (Exodus 6:6-8; Luke 9:60). A People whom God has blessed (Exodus 23:11, 20). A People who cannot be destroyed (Numbers 23:23-24). A perfect People (Numbers 24:3-9, 17-20). A People whose King is the Star of Jacob and the Sceptre of Israel (Numbers 24:17). Paul says in Colossians 2:17 that all the laws and rituals of Israel’s past are only a shadow of things to come. We have now come to that hour when all things are about to be fulfilled. Are you a Jew?

The Tribes of Israel

Oh Reuben… Genesis 49:3-4, “Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.” Moses’ prophecy for Reuben was found in Deuteronomy 33:6, “Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few.” Reuben’s great sin was laying with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, as we see in Genesis 35:22, “And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve.” As Reuben reverted back to the way he used to be – as we see in Judges 5:15-16. But, they were called to come back out and help, and Deborah sent it to them also. However, when the call came, they just mocked and hissed, saying, “Ha, who is going to battle? Not me. No thanks! I don’t want to be involved.” Reuben was a “curser,” Deuteronomy 27:13, “And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.”

Hello Simeon! Genesis 49:5, “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.” There were two great revivals in the Old Testament days, on under King Asa and one under Josiah. The one that Simeon was involved in was in 2 Chronicles 15:9, “And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.”

A portion of that tribe was located within Judah, but they were already subjects of the southern kingdom. A small body of Simeonites formed in the norther kingdom, but many returned of their own free will. The prophecies were fulfilled when the Lord, “divided them in Jacob and scattered them in Israel,” for when the land was divided among the tribes in the days of Joshua, Simeon did not receive an independent territory in the Promised Land, but obtained his portion within the inheritance of Judah. Overall, Simeon and Levi were “divided and scattered.”

Well Levi then… Genesis 49:5-7, “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” The purpose of this tribe was to become the priestly family of Israel – those that would stand and offer sacrifices on behalf of the bride (Israel). How it differs from the rest of the Tribes is that the Tribe of Levi were specifically chosen to represent the priestly family due to their zeal against idolatry, and due to the significance of being born third and given the name that means “unity.” The most important, however, is that there were three different sections of this tribe, and the Aaronic Line was the one chosen for High Priest duties. Other Levites were responsible for cleansing of the temple and preparing of sacrifices, but those of the Aaronic Priesthood were responsible for conducting the sacrifices, especially of carrying the blood into the Mercy Seat and surrendering unto God in atonement for the people’s sins.

Other Tribes could not accomplish the duty given unto the Tribe of Levi, because God created their tribe as a special tribe – one called for His Service in the Temple. This is based on Moses’ prophecy found in Deuteronomy 33:8-11, “And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.”

The Levites were unpermitted to be numbered, because the Lord had chosen them as His Firstfruits Company – as we see in Numbers 1:47-49. He chose Levi as His Priestly Family, to which, was His Firstborn Family out of Israel. They represented all of Israel before the Lord. Their time of service was 25 years from age 25 to 50. After that, other ministry could conduct. We see these things detailed in Numbers 8:23-26.

Remember Judah… Genesis 49:9, “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?” Jacob’s prophecies on Judah were in Genesis 49:8-12, “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.”

We see here in the context of Genesis 37:26 that the brothers sold Joseph to some traders who took him to Egypt. This verse is speaking that it would be no advantage to them to conceal his blood – for if it was discovered, they would be responsible for his blood and God would take vengeance upon them, therefore, it would be more profitable to sell Joseph instead of destroying him. Judah reveals his gift as an advocate and intercessor as we see in Genesis 37:27. Judah has a good influence with his brothers and is a gifted mediator. He is seen as settling crucial and difficult problems, including crises. He also speaks and others agree with him. His brothers support him well, and he makes a great international statesman. His sin is detailed in Genesis 38:1-30, however, the most important pieces of information are from… Verses 11-19, where we see that Judah did not want to give another son to daughter of Shuah, therefore, Tamar thought of a plan to disguise herself as a prostitute, which would succeed in seducing Judah. Since this was his daughter-in-law, he saw later that she was pregnant, and hoped to get rid of her, until she revealed that he was the source of the pregnancy – therefore, she shamed him.

Tamar would give birth to twins. The elder of the twins began the line of descent from Judah to David, and finally Jesus the Messiah! What is said on them? Genesis 38:26, “And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.” Judah was declared a chief ruler in 1 Chronicles 5:2. Further down the line, we see in Micah 5:2 that a ruler shall be in Israel that will come forth from the Tribe of Judah, and from of old and unto everlasting (Jesus was, is, and always will be King, to which, Micah is talking about here). For Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:7, we see that Judah was the most powerful tribe, but besides protecting itself from enemies, it should help other tribes when in trouble. This tribe was also a praying and praising people (Judah’s name means, “Now will I praise the Lord” Genesis 29:35). Sadly, Moses did not speak anything of priesthood, but we know that Jesus did spring up from Judah (Hebrews 7:14). We see in Matthew 1:1-6/Luke 3:31-34, that Jesus is a member of the Tribe of Judah by lineage. We also see in Revelation 5:5 the apocalyptic vision of the Tribe of Judah – wherein we see Jesus described as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, who prevailed to open the book and loose the seven seals! Oh Glory to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

Do you remember Dan? Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:16-18, “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:22, “And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s whelp: he shall leap from Bashan.” The Danites were characterized as switch and ruthless in their actions, especially when they slaughtered the people of Laish and seized the town for themselves and renaming it Dan (Judges 18:7-10, 27-29). In Genesis 46:23; Numbers 26:42; 1:38-39; 1 Chronicles 2-8… We see that the Tribes are detailed except for Dan’s Tribe.

It appears that this tribe was left out of noting down info about it. Even in Revelation 7:4-8, there is no mention of the Tribe, as if the Holy Spirit is leaving the info out about them. Dan would be at the end of different lists as well – wherein, this all remains a mystery nonetheless. We see “warlike Dan” in Judges chapters 17-18 – The Israelite Nation at the time of this story had no central government and the people in the various tribes did what they pleased, which caused problems overall. In short, people of the Tribe of Dan had never won complete control over their tribal inheritance on the Philistine coast, therefore, they were clutched between Judah and Ephraim – and pressed back from the coast by the Philistines and Amorites. The Tribe of Dan became sore, because there wasn’t much expanse to call their own. The spies from Dan set out looking for land to claim, and found a suitable area in the far north of Palestine (Laish). The spies returned with good news that the place they explored had well fertile land and quiet people – so an attack would definitely be unexpected.

The people of Dan made their way then to conquer Laish and make it theirs. Micah had been kind to them earlier in the chapter as we see, however, they ignored that and decided to raid his shrine, rob him of his images, and bribe his priest to go with them. When Micah protested, he was threatened. Meanwhile, the tribe voyaged to Laish where they brutally slaughtered the people and scorched the town to crisp. They rebuilt the town soon after, renamed it Dan, and used Micah’s priest and images to establish their own idolatrous religion. In 2 Kings 10:18-36, Jehu is seen killing off members of Ahab’s family as well as breaking down the image of Baal and his temple. However, the golden calves stayed in Bethel and Dan, which caused the heart of Dan to become the heart of idolatry. We see in Ezekiel 27:19, for example, that Dan was worldly. Yes, skillful, but worldly – to the point that the love of nice things was a great temptation to Dan.

Worldly things even caused Dan’s greatest hero to fall, and their downfall is their idolatrous activity. Dan was one to know that Samuel was anointed to be a prophet (1 Samuel 3:20). God fought for Israel in the domain of Dan, because He was fighting for Dan’s property (Joshua 10:12-14). Jacob’s prophecy for Dan (Genesis 49:18): “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” Jacob intercedes so intensely more than the other tribes that Dan would be saved, restored, and redeemed.

Naphtali… Jacob’s prophecy: “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words” (Genesis 49:21). There are many similarities between Naphtali and Zebulun, for they always get along very well together. Naphtali has the ability to “scribe” the words God gives her, which in this way and in her gift of light, she is close to Zebulun. Moses’ prophecy: “And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the Lord: possess thou the west and the south” (Deuteronomy 33:23).

The west speaks of the land that lay to the west of Naphtali, which was the mighty Mediterranean Sea, and was the gateway to new lands and adventures – for God wants Naphtali to possess the nations and move out across the waters in new places in God both spiritually and naturally. The south speaks of the pleasant things at the foot of Naphtali, for just west of Naphtali was Zebulun. God wants the uniting of Naphtali and Zebulun, for it was in the southern coast of Naphtali that Jesus preached most of his life. God wants Naphtali to even possess the message of the Sermon on the Mount. Judges 1:33 refers to a problem… Naphtali did not complete their God-given task of driving out the enemies.

They dwelt among the Canaanites; claiming taxes from people. Nonetheless, he dwelt among the inhabitants in cowardice and sloth. Instead of collecting tribute, they should have expelled them. Because of her backsliding, God began to punish Naphtali. It began against Naphtali when King Asa of Judah leagued with King Benhadad of Syria to invade Israel (1 Kings 15:20). Eventually, the Naphtalites would be taken captive (2 Kings 15:29). More details, such as the listing of her sins was done in 2 Kings 17:6-23. Isaiah 9:1 will one day apply to Naphtali, as this verse shows God’s wonderful end-times promise to Naphtali and Zebulun, which was partially fulfilled when Jesus came preaching in their borders – but it will be completely fulfilled in the future, for Naphtali is able to travail herself through to victory. She knows the key to redemption and will cry and travail. She needs to praise, sing, prophesy, fight, leap over the hills, and trust in God as her covering. One day she shall be made glorious!

Now is Gad… The prophecies concerning Gad given by Jacob included in Genesis 49:19, “Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.” Gad on the east of Jordan, was more open to attack than the western tribes, but its men were fierce fighters who drove back the invaders. Gad, however, is overcome with self, the independence and strong will – God will help him overcome himself so that he may be redeemed.

Moses’ prophecy to Gad is found in Deuteronomy 33:20-21, “And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head. And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.” God promises a blessing to those who bless Gad. Moses also sees Gad as a “lion” – the king of beasts, resting in confidence and strength. This depicts the ferociousness also of this tribe. Overall, they kept their promise to help other tribes conquer Canaan and they were fierce fighters. God will enlarge Gad, expand his territories, and keep him safe and secure from his enemies. He destroys his enemies at the head and the seat of the crown – hurting the subject of their strength.

Meet Asher… in Judges 1:31, that they failed to drive out whom God told them to (inhabitants), but rather, the Asherites just dwelt with the Canaanites as if nothing was wrong. They had the chance to take the whole land! We see what enables Asher to rise up in anointing to take their place as a soldier of the Lord in 1 Chronicles 7:40, “All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father’s house, choice and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men.”

These men were eminent in courage and valor, willing to rise up as the heads of their fathers’ families. They had a large militia and were equipped of the Lord to battle! We see the information about the revival that occurred in 726 BC in 2 Chronicles 30:10-11, “So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.” They were seen confessing their sin and expressing sorrow and repentance – and then they were willing to obey God and attend his worship and ordinances.

Issachar… Prophecies first: Jacob’s, found in Genesis 49:14-15, “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.” We see that Issachar gained good prosperity from the good farming area they were part of, to which, they sadly submitted too often to the powerful Canaanites that controlled most of the area. Moses’, found in Deuteronomy 33:18-19, “And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” We see that Issachar would prosper (as well as Zebulun) through the agricultural success of their region. They were shown, during the great big feast in 1 Chronicles 12:40, to have brought many provisions for the feast. They are very generous people, to which, God needs, who will give their home and supplies, and even love. They are filled with such joy and rejoicing because of their wise investment in His Kingdom.

Hello there Zebulun… Prophecy of Jacob, Genesis 49:13, “Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.” The Tribe of Zebulun that settled near the Mediterranean Coast was enriched with trade that passed through its territory to the sea. In addition, the burden for souls will motivate the life of Zebulun. They will go and go when she cannot go any longer to help those shipwrecked souls crying for help. Prophecy of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:18-19, “And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.”

Just as Issachar, they will also prosper through their agricultural activities. You may not get to the mission field, but you will always have a burden and call for missions overall in your life. Zebulun shall dwell in the light and attract others to her. They did serve with King David, 1 Chronicles 12:33, “Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.” They likely had around 50,000 noted in the verse. In Judges 12:11-12, we read about the judge, Elon, a Zebulunite, “And after him, Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel 10 years. And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulon.” Elon means, “the prominent, elated, exalted, noble one; oak, strong one.”

He is named after one of the sons of Zebulun. In Deuteronomy 27:13, we read that Zebulun stands with Reuben, Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali to utter the warnings to the people of God. We read about a revival in Zebulun in 2 Chronicles 30:10, “So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.” We see the immaturity of a Zebulonite here, as there is mocking going on, laughing, and deriding. We see in Isaiah 9:1-5 the five good prophetic verses about Zebulun, which are full of promise. Out of the darkness of the conquered regions of the north, the Messiah, the one to lead His People to victory is coming to introduce an era of light, of joy, and of peace. Oppressors will be overthrown and war will be banished (which is good news for all of the tribes, especially those aiming for peace – such as Zebulun).

Oh yes, Joseph: The unusual part about these blessings was that Jacob pronounced them over Joseph (which factored in Manasseh and Ephraim). We see the blessings as follows in Genesis 48:13-20: Let Jacob/Israel’s name be named on them, and the name of his fathers Abraham and Isaac. Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. Become a people, become great – a seed shall become a multitude of nations. Make him as Ephraim and Manasseh. In Genesis 49:22-26, “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” We see at the time of Jacob’s prophecy, Joseph was very important and may have been attacked in the past – but only for God to strengthen and bless him. The two tribes descended from Joseph were likewise blessed, and though large in number, the regions they occupied were the best. Moses’ prophecy to Joseph is found in Deuteronomy 33:13-17, “And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.” The Joseph tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, were to inherit the best part of Canaan, and the God who once appeared in the burning bush to Moses would give them special power, so that they would become the leading tribes in the northern kingdom. In Judges 7:24, we see that Gideon sent to war against the Midianites, and sent the messengers through all the mount of Ephraim.

The Ephraimites had great victory, but then they wondered why he wanted to war with the Midianites. They blamed Gideon (a Manassite), for what God had not enabled them to do. There seemed to be quite a brotherly jealousy between the two. In Judges 12:1, we see envy and contention, as the men of Ephraim were preparing to fight with Jephthah. When they fought, the men of Gilead smote Ephraim. The Gileadites captured the fords of Jordan behind the army of Ephraim and whenever a fugitive of Ephraim tried to cross the river, the Gilead guards challenged him asking if he was a member of the Tribe of Ephraim. If he was not, they wanted him to say, “Shibboleth.” If he couldn’t pronounce it correctly, he was dragged away and killed. 42,000 of them died just then, which was of great humiliation and tragedy.

Then we see Benjamin… Jacob’s prophecy was in Genesis 49:27, “Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” Benjamin seems to have been declared too warlike for his own good, and brought trouble upon itself that it was almost wiped out. Jacob did not like calling his son this, however, there are two stages to this prophecy: One, in the morning, he ravin’s like a wolf, where he devours his prey. He looks for food, and fights for it (ravin means “tear to pieces.” He had to tear through and make his way into the world from his mother’s womb. It was at a great price he was born. This stage he was immature and youthful. In the second stage, he is seen as the one at night dividing his spoil, to which, he will share with others and reach a place of maturity willing to make sacrifices and give out the good things that God has given him.

The only time wolves share the carcass or other “spoils” is with family. God can do wonderful acts of maturity for Benjamin and the Benjaminites. For Moses’ prophecy, found in Deuteronomy 33:12, “And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” We see that Benjamin had its special blessing when the Temple in Jerusalem was built in its territory, even though the rest of Jerusalem was in Judah’s territory. The Lord will always watch over and protect them, though, and this is definitely a promise that God will be with them, for that’s what is said for the Benjaminites that a special protection is given to them. They became mighty soldiers of Israel and they shall ask, “Lord, where do you need me on the front lines today?” What is interesting about the history of Benjamin, is that, like the other tribes did, they did not drive out the Jebusites, but rather, inhabited with them (Judges 1:21) – which was disobedience to God. They were likely lazy, and of course due to spoilage, too comfortable. When Deborah called for help certain of the tribes did not come down, but in Judges 5:14, Benjamin is noted as coming to the aid of the warriors. They don’t mind working together with a woman, and he will be happy to cooperate. It was terrible for Benjamin that he didn’t drive out the Jebusites, for the Jebusites were sinful, full of sodomy, and every kind of evil. Benjamin fell into the same sins, and in Judges 19-21, the story involves these sins.

Because of this, all Israel joined to go to warfare against Benjamin, and although they fought bravely and won two battles, in the end the tribe was almost obliterated. Six hundred were left that fled to the wilderness. Later, they found women to be with and the Tribe of Benjamin was saved. This humbled them overall, so that God may move them in the direction according to His Will. In 1 Chronicles 12:16, 18, 29, we read that the Benjaminites and the children of Judah were the very first to go down into the wilderness to David while he was still a fugitive. They were indeed of the same tribe as the King, and it proves they were willing to leave their own family connections and loyalty to join David in the wilderness – even though he was of the Tribe of Judah. The warriors had one unique thing about them, they were left-handed, as we see in Judges 20:16, “Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.” They did so well shooting stones on a sling with their left hand. We see in Psalm 68:27, “There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.” Little Benjamin will be important, especially in the last days! Psalm 80:2, “Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.” The writer of this psalm is pleading for God to stir up His Power and save Benjamin, which shall be a fulfillment in the last days that God will save Benjamin!

Jeremiah 6:1, “O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.” Jeremiah seemed closely connected to this tribe and seemed to have warned them of the coming judgment for Benjamin. God wants the Benjaminites in the last days of coming judgment to flee out of the midst of the cursed thing, blow the trumpet, and set up signs of warning through the fire of the Holy Ghost, for evil is again coming from the north for great destruction. Jeremiah 33:13, “In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD.” No matter how hard things get, he knows there is a time of rest and peace coming again. Jeremiah 37:12, “Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself thence in the midst of the people.” Jeremiah wanted to leave the doomed city of Jerusalem to find a place of refuge in Benjamin because he remembered the promises of God to Benjamin, but he was arrested at the city gate and put in a dungeon. In 726 B.C., we saw the great revival under King Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31:1), and that Benjamin was in the middle of a new move of God. They went out with Judah and said, “Come and repent.” They pulled down the high places where idols were worshipped and burned up the devil’s idols, and tore up satan’s temples. There were many tribes that did move with revival, and even some mocked and scoffed – however, the Benjaminites were ready for battle, which was similar under the revival of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:9).

Who are the Jews today then?

There are three main types of Jews as we see in the Bible that reflect what we also see today: 1. Orthodox Jews (Also called Hebrews or Mosaic Jews)(Genesis 14:13; 32:28; 46:1; Exodus 19:5-6;); 2. Messianic Jews (Jews that believe in Christ Jesus)(John 12:11; Romans 1:16; 9:27; Jeremiah 31:31; 1 Corinthians 5:7); 3. Grafted Jews (Gentile believers in Christ who have been grafted into Israel)(Acts 28:28; Romans 11:11-24; Ephesians 2:11-22). The Tribes of Israel that were originally sworn in as we see in Numbers 26:53-55, “Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.” This origination makes up the Natural Israel.

The Natural Israel appears to be the Israelites/Israelis (former Israel inhabitants and current inhabitants) as we see in the Bible in the verses mentioned in the previous paragraph (“The land shall be divided…the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit”). All of the physical descendants of Jacob were God’s chosen People, Israel, in the physical and national sense (natural Israel). Not all were God’s People in the inward and spiritual sense, however. The Spiritual Israel appears to be the New Israel, the one that God’s People are part of, to which, we are new Creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Therefore, only Messianic Jews and Grafted Jews). Those who have turned from their sins and trusted in the saving mercy and grace of God could be called the true Israel.

Those that believe upon Jesus Christ will be saved, and there is no difference to the Lord between Jew and Greek, for He is Lord of all; therefore, the both deserve equal treatment (Romans 10:12-14; Galatians 3:28-29; 1 Peter 2:9; John 1:12). Many Orthodox Jews will not be saved, as they cannot accept Christ (see John 4-5 for example). It is best to explore the difference between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion, because we learn of the two different stages of God’s People: Those under the Law of Moses, and those under the Law of Love (Jesus Christ).

Mount Sinai is the place where the Law was given to Moses (Exodus 19:12-21; Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 5:4, 23-26). It was a place where His People would not trace, it seared with fire and was full of blackness, darkness, and tempest, there was a sound of the Trumpet and the full voice of God, they could not endure what was said from the mountain, and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake!” Mount Zion (Sion) is where Grace is extended to us, for out of Zion came the Deliverer who shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Romans 11:26). The 144,000, that is, the elect, shall stand on the mountain with Him, having the Father’s name written in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1). It is the Capital City of the Living God (Revelation 3:12; chapter 21), it is the Heavenly Jerusalem filled with an innumerable amount of angels (Revelation 5:11-14), it is the Church of the Firstborn, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Colossians 1:18), where God is the judge of all, where the Spirits of just men are made perfect (Revelation 6:9-11), unto Jesus, the Mediator of our Covenant (Matthew 26:38; Hebrews 9:15), and where the Blood of Jesus has been offered, for it speaks better things than that of humanity (Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 1:18-23).