What does it mean to walk in the light? Loving God means keeping commandments. When you love God, you inevitably love your neighbor. Johannine Comma. Re-birth.
[00:00:15] Jason: Welcome back to the weekly deep dive podcast on the add add on education network podcast where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussion, try to add a little insight and unique perspective. I am your host Jason Lloyd, here in the studio with our friend and this show’s producer, Nate Pyfer.
[00:00:32] Nate: Yes, baby. We’re back. We’re back.
[00:00:35] Jason: We needed mean we’ve done really well being consistent. These last little two weeks have been bumpy, but we are in the driver’s seat. We’re in control. We’re back on schedule. We’re delivering. We’re firing on all cylinders.
[00:00:51] Nate: We’re back on the horse.
[00:00:52] Jason: We’re back on the horse. Back on the wagon.
[00:00:55] Nate: Back on the wagon. All right, let’s do this.
[00:01:00] Jason: I felt bad I wasn’t able to include you on Peter last week. Peter’s your man.
[00:01:05] Nate: He really is.
Peter’s my man.
I love him.
[00:01:13] Jason: I think you would have really enjoyed jumping in on that. Sorry. Sorry you guys at home that didn’t have Nate on there. Sorry, Nate, that I wasn’t able to pull you in on that. But we get John and John’s a little bit. It’s interesting.
They complement each other in different ways. Peter, as we talked last week, he’s coming at this as love God before you love your brethren and you have to love God in order to be able to love your brethren.
And John’s take is almost taking it complimentary to say, well, if you love God first, then inevitably you will love your brethren and how important it is that it follows that you love your brethren. So it’s a good compliment to Peter. It’s a different emphasis. It’s a different push.
But I don’t know. We’ll get there. We’ll see how it is. I’m looking forward to talking through this with you tonight on John. Yeah, let’s do it.
John is responsible for the gospel of John. And then we have these three letters and then we get into the book of revelation. It’s interesting, the authorship of these letters.
Originally, there was not a lot of dispute. I think everybody just kind of accepted that it was John. The content from the internal evidence seemed to be consistent with the gospel of John. The external evidence pointed towards this all coming from John. It’s not till later in the 20th century that some scholars start pointing out a few things to where now I think there’s room for debate. There’s a little bit of lack of clarity there and it’s anyone’s guess. I’m not going to go into whether or not he wrote it. I’m just going to take it for what it is and see what we can glean from it and let you kind of reach your own conclusion.
[00:03:00] Nate: But you were saying there are a few things in here we can pretty definitively say we’re not John.
[00:03:05] Jason: Yes.
We’re going to get to that with the Johanneen comma.
[00:03:10] Nate: Okay.
[00:03:10] Jason: In John chapter five, it’s kind of interesting. We’ll get there.
[00:03:14] Nate: But other than that, we’re going to take it for what it yep.
[00:03:19] Jason: So starting us off to begin with, John, he’s going to talk about walking in the light, and to preface this discussion and maybe add a little bit of fodder to where we’re headed with this. I know, Nate, that you are a big fan of Talmage and Talmudge’s parables. Yeah.
[00:03:43] Nate: His three parables, I think is what he calls it.
[00:03:46] Jason: Yeah.
[00:03:47] Nate: The bee.
[00:03:48] Jason: The lamp.
[00:03:49] Nate: The lamp. And the train.
[00:03:50] Jason: And the train. And the train was kind of the one I was thinking about on this one, because correct me if I’m wrong, the trains rolling into is it a snowstorm?
[00:04:02] Nate: Yes, the train is rolling into a snowstorm. A nervous passenger goes up to the engineer I don’t know, what do you call him? What do you call train driver? Conductor.
Is that right?
[00:04:17] Jason: Maybe.
[00:04:18] Nate: Is the conductor the one that’s, like I always thought the conductor is the person that’s like walking. Yeah.
Anyways, the coal shoveler. Yeah. The engineer of the train, just to be like, hey, how do you feel? Safe. And he said, look at this light on the front. I think it covers what was it, 50 yards or something like that. I don’t remember the exact details, but he’s like, as long as we can see what’s, 50 yards ahead of us, that gives us enough time to slow down if we need to.
If the track is out or if there’s been a wash across the track, this light gives us enough time to be able to slow down so we can have confidence that as long as we’re not outrunning this light in front of us, we’re going to be safe and we’re good to make adjustments as needed.
[00:05:09] Jason: And he makes a strong comparison in life, saying we don’t need to know all of the track or the course that we run in our personal lives. Sometimes all we need to know is what’s directly ahead of us. As long as we get to that, the next light will reveal what we need to do next. Right?
[00:05:28] Nate: Yep.
[00:05:29] Jason: So John, as he’s talking about this, this is John, chapter one, and he says, if we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth, but if we walk in the light as he is the light, we have fellowship one with another. And the blood of Jesus Christ the Son, cleanses us from all sin. And they’re talking about Christ, and in fact, I probably should have started reading this in verse five. Verse five says, this, then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. And so if we say we have fellowship with Him who is light, yet we walk in darkness, we have no fellowship with Him. And I was thinking about this.
We were talking about this in our come follow me with our family.
And the question was asked by one of my children, isn’t it? Sometimes we’re asked to walk in darkness where we don’t exactly know everything, and how do we rectify not always having that knowledge and yet still following with Christ when he is not darkness?
How do we know that sometimes when God asks us to have faith and trust and to step into the darkness, if John’s telling us that if we walk in darkness, we have no part with him, how do we square that up?
And so I figured, kind of starting with Talmudge, maybe enlightens that subject a little bit. Wow, that was sad.
[00:07:07] Nate: Good job, dad.
Nice joke, dad.
[00:07:14] Jason: But I don’t know. Nate, do you have any thoughts on.
[00:07:18] Nate: I mean, I think that we’re already kind of hitting the idea that I would come from or the perspective that I think I would have on this, which is I think this entire journey is there has been a veil put over our minds. Right. Like, to some degree, this entire life is walking in a midst of darkness, is walking with unknowns. Right. And you and I, I feel like we’re pretty convicted, dudes. Right? We’re in.
I don’t want to step out of bounds by talking about even some of our personal conversations, but we’re pretty honest and open and, like, yeah, there are still some nights, at least in my life, where you kind of look up at the ceiling and you go, even if it’s just for a brief moment, like, man, I really hope this is true. Right. I hope that the lights just don’t go off at the end of this.
As convicted as I would suggest you and I probably are, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m very careful even to go, oh, I know for sure that after this life 100% with every fiber of my being, I avoid a lot of those terms when discussing things that I don’t know.
And I deeply believe that the lights just don’t go out after this life. Right. And even then, I don’t know that I can’t know that by the way. I’m not supposed to, in my opinion, always just feel like I should know all of these things, because what I do know is that I’ve been commanded to have faith and that I’ve been told to exercise faith and that the greater my faith, the greater power comes in that right. Yes.
I do hope that in certain things that I can feel like as any man can know something that I should and would hope to be able to know things, but that doesn’t drive me towards or away from where my testimony is anchored. Right.
I don’t think that where a lot of people might have a deeper need to know something of assurity.
I am totally okay with the phrase I don’t know, but what I do know is that this works for me. And as I’ve continued to try to maintain my faith, even when some nights are darker than others, right. But as I try to continue to maintain faith and like the parable, at least walk at a speed where I’m like, hey, that light ahead of me illuminates enough of this path that I can continue to trust in that, I guess then for me, I don’t know. I guess I don’t feel like I’m walking in darkness, right?
Objectively? Yeah, I am. We all kind of are. But it doesn’t feel like that because I do everything I can to have enough of the Spirit with me, to give me 50 yards ahead of me.
[00:10:55] Jason: It reminds me of James when we were talking a couple of weeks ago when it says, but ask nothing. Wavering.
That concept of not wavering, when we looked at even Christ, who said, if it be thy will, take this cup from me. And is that not wavering? And maybe what looks like wavering is actually still securely fastened to an anchor, but it just feels like wavering when we know there’s still going to be follow through. Right.
It almost takes us to that second parable that Talmudge does with the lamps when he has a lamp salesman that comes, right? And his lamp that he thought was so bright.
And I don’t know. I don’t want to ruin this, but when a salesman comes and turns his light on and he sees what a real light and how much brighter it is and how much his light kind of pales in comparison, maybe the darkness that we’re talking about is just dark compared to the light that we sure.
[00:12:11] Nate: But you bring up a good point with that parable, and maybe the most important point of that parable was that context is everything in the middle of the day. The salesman basically was like, hey, let me come back later tonight and show you this, when it actually is dark outside and we can really actually see what the two lights can do, right? And so to your point, even in darkness, even a small glimmer of light can feel like the brightest thing in the world. So therefore, we’re taught that every man is given the light of Christ, right?
But how much more incredible of a gift is it to have the gift of the Holy Ghost or to have illuminated like, a testimony of Christ? Again, in Third Nephi, when Christ refers to himself as that, or when he says, do men light a candle and hide it under a bushel? And you’re like, well, then what is that light? And later he’s like, It’s me. I’m that light.
And you go, oh, okay, cool.
Back to the parable, right? When John says, don’t walk in darkness, I don’t take that as, hey, don’t expect there to ever be dark times around you. I don’t think that he’s saying that. I think what he’s saying is, if you have the light of Christ with you as you’re going through the lone and dreary world, which we’re all commanded to do I mean, we talked about in the Carl, you look at Lehi’s vision, Lehi’s dream, it’s like what happens as soon as Lehi starts on the path is it gets dark. I don’t think John’s saying that. Hey, no, trust me, everything’s just peaches and cream. Like, once you start on the path, like, the sun comes out and you just look around, there’s no danger around anywhere. That’s not what’s being said, in my opinion. What’s being said is if you’re anchored in Christ, if Christ is your light, you can traverse through a world of darkness, being able to have all around you illuminated in such a bright way. Because the light that Christ does bring can give us the safety, can give us the peace, can give us the comfort of knowing. Hey, I can see again. I can see that 50 yards ahead of me. I can see that mile ahead of us.
I can see the dangers that are in the way and therefore be able to make adjustments because of the light that Christ is and the illuminating source that that testimony can bring me.
[00:15:05] Jason: I think it’s important as we read these scriptures that we don’t take that to mean that we are never going to feel lost when we’re following the gospel. In a sense, maybe we never do feel lost, completely lost.
[00:15:18] Nate: But the gift of the Holy Ghost, in my opinion, is peace in the storm, and that’s always been that promise. Right, but the storm’s inevitable, in my opinion, yes.
[00:15:29] Jason: You can’t go through life and not expect moments where you’re not exactly sure exactly how you’re supposed to handle this or what you’re supposed to do or what the answer is or how this is. There will be moments when, comparatively, it feels like we’re walking in darkness. Like you said. A great example with Lehi’s vision, when the people found the path and grabbed onto the rod of iron, that’s when mists of and they even call it darkness, mists of darkness, cloud the way, where maybe they don’t see everything from the beginning. And I love that you bring up Lehi because Lehi has kind of a different path to traverse than the typical trail with the iron rod. He has an angel come and talk to him, and he starts following this guy into a wilderness when all of a sudden, the guy disappears. And when you lose your guide and he’s lost in this darkness, and he cries to the Lord for deliverance, then he sees the tree. And so it’s almost he has a different path to the tree than anyone else, but it’s almost always the same path still. And it starts with somebody, an anchor, a guide, the word of God who’s going to direct you. And when you start walking, maybe you go through a dark tunnel like a train. Or maybe you go through a dark period where you’re trying to figure this out.
But it’s different from the darkness that you feel when you turn away from the Savior.
Almost like the comparative difference between the lights. Maybe there’s a comparative difference between the darkness and you’re never truly in the dark. As long as you’re still holding on hope and you know who to turn and who to trust, you’re never truly walking in darkness. So when John says you don’t walk in darkness when you’re trusting in the Savior, that’s very different from saying you’re never going to have a moment where you’re feeling that darkness or you’re not sure exactly what you’re supposed to do. In fact, that’s kind of expected and how do you handle that and holding on to that source of light to deliver you through that process.
[00:17:33] Nate: Look at some of the most profound learning experiences that Jesus’disciples had was usually on a boat in the midst of a some of these were some of the greatest environments for some of the most profound lessons. And I mean the biggest lesson a lot of the times where everybody’s freaking out in the midst of a storm and Jesus is literally there with them going, what don’t you get? You know what I mean? Like if I’m here with you, you should know that you are safe when you are with mean, isn’t that the point of the whole?
And even when he said that he was going to send the comforter, right, like when he was explaining to them what the power of the Holy Ghost would be, what the gift of the Holy Ghost would be, right.
And even using the word comforter, right.
I think that hopefully at this point, not misconception, but at times, sometimes a misconception is for a lot of people, especially converts or maybe people that have gone maybe a little bit too long without taking the time to really strengthen where they’re at is sometimes this idea that, well, if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, everything will be good or everything will be happy, or everything will be whatever that is. Right. And it’s like, it’s almost the idea that it’s like, my goodness, no.
[00:19:23] Jason: What.
[00:19:23] Nate: We’Re promised is calm and peace.
We’re not promised that the storm is always going to go away, right. And we should sometimes most of the time, maybe all the time, take comfort in that because then we can look at all of these examples, which is during those hairy times is when Jesus found the most incredible times to teach deep important lessons to his disciples. And if that’s what we are, Jason, can I throw out there that it’s like we should be expecting that the deeper our discipleship grows, probably the gnarlier, the storms that are going to arise around us are.
And if we really are anchored where we’re supposed to be, we can take comfort. I’m using that word deliberately in knowing that God’s going to be there with us, that he’s given us His Spirit to be with us always as long as we’re doing what we’re supposed to, right? And what an incredible opportunity it is to weekly partake of a sacrament where the promise at the end of that is that we’ll always have His Spirit to be with us.
I’m going to throw out there that again, the storms are an inevitable part of this and what an incredible opportunity we get to learn and grow and still have peace in those circumstances.
[00:20:56] Jason: And I guess that’s the blessing, right? It’s not to say that you’ll never find yourself in a lion’s den or a fiery furnace or like you say on a ship in Galilee or like Jonah or a belly of a whale.
[00:21:12] Nate: Actually just kill me, that’s it.
[00:21:16] Jason: But to find comfort in those situations maybe you don’t get spared all of them but there’s still light in them to be found.
[00:21:23] Nate: So I think we’ve explored it just to put a bow on it. I don’t think that John is suggesting that. Again, we’re assuming that John wrote this who was with Jesus?
He’s been on these boats, right? He was there for yeah, he was there when Christ was being falsely accused.
He’s been through dark times. It would be hard for me to assume that he’s saying don’t ever walk in darkness. It’s like if he is in the garden of Gethsemane waiting around just to know a troop of soldiers coming in. And I’m just saying it’s like John lived through darkness.
[00:22:08] Jason: John was charged with the care of Christ’s mother, okay?
[00:22:12] Nate: John had assignments in the midst of this darkness. I think it’s only fair to assume he’s not saying, hey, make sure that you’re only walking around in fields of daisies in the midst of the sunlight and just frolicking like john’s seen some.
[00:22:28] Jason: Things he does, he’s interesting. He tends to go to one argument kind of often here. This is the very end of chapter one and verse ten. He says, and if we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and His Word is not in us. And so this is an argument you’ll see it again in chapter five where he’ll say he appeals to God’s claim. And so in chapter five it’s going to be when Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened and God said, this is my beloved son.
And so if you say that Christ is not the Son of God, therefore you’re calling God a liar.
And that’s what John’s saying here too. If you say you don’t have sin, therefore you’re calling God a liar. John’s not even saying take my word for it. He’s saying take God’s word for it. And so it’s interesting, as you say, because John is a witness to a lot of these events and he kind of pulls himself out of the equation a little bit. He does this in the gospel. He always talks about himself as a third person, as if he’s not there. Right. And he’s saying, let God speak for himself. And if you have an issue with this, then take it up with God, because you think God’s the one lying to you. It’s kind of interesting how he puts God in for himself to kind of make his defense or say, look, take it up with God. You’ve got that issue with him, not me.
[00:23:58] Nate: It would be so interesting to do kind of some of the modern brain typing of John.
Yeah, I wonder who John was, because it is interesting that he follows a lot of like, you see a lot of pattern in his style. It’s like, Peter’s pretty easy, right? Like, Peter, I love Peter, by the way, I’m so glad we did the New Testament together because it’s given me such an opportunity just to be like, okay, I am totally down with Peter. I’m 100% down.
John, I mean, I’m down, but it’s like there are things about that. It’s like him referring to himself in the third person, stylistically, not my favorite thing in the entire world.
[00:24:41] Jason: Well, for him even talking about you’re always walking in the light and how important it is that love is the case, and not injecting himself in these arguments, but saying, look, you have a problem with very it’s different. Yeah. He’s not very confrontational. He’s very peaceable. He’s trying to really just make things sound good and try to it’s a.
[00:25:08] Nate: Different approach where Peter’s pretty honest about a lot of I mean, to be fair, though, peter’s also the one that stepped out of the boat. Peter’s also the one that grabbed the sword and started chopping mean, I’m just saying, like, you can even just see in how they lived their lives.
[00:25:26] Jason: And to be fair, didn’t John outrun.
[00:25:28] Nate: Peter to so, okay, so maybe John’s a little bit faster, but, dude, even then, he wouldn’t put his name on it. I’m just saying, like, it is interesting to me, though, that when Christ was building his church, after he left, he’s like, look, I guess I could go with like, peace, love, kumbaya of my disciples, or I can go with the guy that I know is willing to grab a sword and start chopping ears for like I’m just saying.
And I mean, really, even Paul, I feel like, tends to lean a lot more Peter than he does John. Right, right.
There’s something to be said for that.
[00:26:12] Jason: And it takes all kinds, right?
[00:26:13] Nate: It does, but there’s something to be said for that. That’s all.
[00:26:18] Jason: Got yeah, you’ve got different messengers for different people, but at the same time, when you need leadership, you need something a little dynamic, maybe, or you just whatever.
[00:26:33] Nate: John did such an incredible job, by the way, too, though, of record keeping. You know what mean? Like, again, like, I’m not trying to discredit anybody. Before anybody’s furiously jumping on their email to email us at email@example.com. Before anybody furiously is doing this, I’m just noting there’s just different styles. One, I tend to gravitate towards.
All right, that’s it.
[00:27:03] Jason: That’s it. Okay, I’m going to go into chapter two. There’s a couple of verses.
[00:27:06] Nate: You’re nervous, aren’t you? You’re nervous.
[00:27:07] Jason: I’m not nervous.
[00:27:08] Nate: You’re nervous. We’re getting an email about this?
[00:27:10] Jason: Absolutely not.
[00:27:11] Nate: Send us the email. I don’t even care. Send it to me. I’m ready.
[00:27:15] Jason: I don’t think there’s anything to send an email on yet.
Maybe we’ll see if we can’t get there before all right, great. Before the episode is over. All right, this chapter two, and there’s a couple of verses here I did want to highlight, and verse three, and hereby we do know that we know Him if we keep his commandments.
This is John who I mean, is there any question as to whether or not he knew Christ? I mean, he laid in his bosom, he says he was the one that Jesus loved, and yet John’s measuring stick for whether or not we know God is if we keep his commandments. And then verse four, and he that saith, I know Him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in Him. So here we get a little bit of abrasive with John. John’s not saying, God says that you’re a liar. I’ll call you a liar right here. If you say you know God, but you’re not willing to do his commandments, then you don’t know God.
[00:28:16] Nate: I love a that’s a hard thing to defend in the grace versus works argument.
I mean, at a certain point, John’s telling you, either you keep the commandments or you got to stop claiming that you have a claim on God’s good grace.
[00:28:40] Jason: And arguably, there is nobody that knew Christ better than John in the New Testament, and he’s saying, if you knew Christ, you would keep his commandments. That’s how it is.
How do you be in the presence of a man like that and not want to be the best person you can be when you’re around Him? How do you not try to and this goes with what Peter was saying last week.
When Peter says sanctification comes before obedience, which kind of shook me a little bit. I always thought you had to be obedient in order to be sanctified. Like, you have to keep his commandments and do what he has, and that’s the reward for that. And Peter’s saying, Whoa, whoa, whoa, no sanctification. In fact, John even backs that up a little bit when he says, just as chapter four, verse 19, we love Him because he first loved us.
And that’s what Peter was saying, christ love to us and being in his presence and feeling that the sanctification that comes, the purification that comes, the desire to remain there, to be there, how can you but be obedient and keep his commandments? You want to. You desire to. And that love first comes and inspires obedience from us. And that inspiration of wanting to change, to be better is what helps us. It is the evidence that you know Him. And for John, john makes that very clear here. You cannot claim to know God if that evidence is missing. That evidence shows that you love God.
You’re not being honest. If you can’t keep his commandments, you obviously don’t know Him. It’s very clear for John.
[00:30:47] Nate: Let’s keep going.
[00:30:51] Jason: All right.
Sorry, I changed too far back on the pages, John says a few things. I’m just going to skip through these kind of briefly. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loved the world and loved not the Father, the love of the Father is not in think.
I think there’s an importance to appreciating the world in which we live.
Had Christ not stood up and said, here am I, send me, the world could not be created, and all things in the world were created for the beautification of it, for the purpose of man, for us, for joy, for beauty, to be appreciated.
And so again, I think this is a little bit more nuanced than what John’s saying. If we love it more than following God. If it takes us away from worshiping God, then we’ve allowed it to replace Him and go back to the commandments, thou shalt have no other God before me.
I think there’s a big difference between saying there is no other God but me, as opposed to Thou shalt have no other God before me. Don’t put priorities above me. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t appreciate these things, you shouldn’t love these things. But when these things become more important than following me, then you’ve shift your priorities out of order and you need to adjust that. So going John makes a few of these statements when he talks about this and how important it is that nothing take you from God and from loving Him.
And then verse 17, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever when he talks about things perishing and the world passing away. But listening to God, it has to be the highest priority because even the things that you appreciate in the world and the flowers and the beauty and the organization, the people, everything’s going to pass away. But finding permanence in God and finding something that’s going to last with God, that’ll help you appreciate those things even longer.
And let’s go, let’s turn the page.
I want to talk about chapter three, verses twelve and 13. And I think John here lays out a pretty good example.
And they’re talking about when people don’t like you for whatever reason, and you start to wonder like, what did I do? And he lays out this example. This is. Verse twelve not as Cain, who was of that wicked one and slew his brother, and wherefore slew he him because his own works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
And as I was thinking about this marvel not, I’d have to wonder, like, Abel sitting there in the field, just doing what he’s supposed to be doing, and all of a sudden Cain raises up and slay him. Like, what did I ever do to him? What did I do to deserve this? Why does my brother hate me so much? And all Abel’s doing?
From everything we can tell in the scriptures, he’s offering the offering that the Lord asks him to offer. He’s taking care of the flocks. He’s trying to love his brother. He’s trying to raise his family. He’s just trying to be a decent guy.
And how do you not marvel with when your brother comes in and hates you so much that he’s going to kill you? Like, what did I ever do to Cain to deserve this? And I think sometimes we do ask that question when somebody rises up or hates us and it feels this, john actually gives us a little bit of closure to that. And I can imagine Abel sitting there, Why?
And John says, Marvel not. And it’s not that there’s anything that you did to deserve it. There’s nothing that Abel did that would have justified this. If you just focus on what Abel was doing, you’re going to marvel for all eternity. Like, what did I do wrong? But he says marvel not because his own works were evil and his brothers righteous.
Sometimes it’s not even your fault when people start hating you, when you’re trying to do the right thing, when your works are righteous.
Those righteous works are sometimes what stokes the fire of anger in the heart of somebody doing evil. And when they rise up to take it out on you, has nothing to do with what you did or what you didn’t do, but everything maybe to do with what they’re doing and what you’re doing stands for. And I made that a lot more complicated than it had to be.
[00:35:45] Nate: But I’m with you.
I’m with you.
[00:35:48] Jason: I just feel like sometimes you get hate, maybe even from the ones that you love most. Like in the case here, it’s Cain and his brother, right? Sure.
[00:35:56] Nate: Nephi and his brothers. It’s the whole thing, man.
[00:35:59] Jason: A lot of times you might have issues in the family where a family member decides to do things a little bit differently than everyone else.
And maybe you start getting texts in the middle of the night where they’re just mad and angry because nothing that you did, but maybe because the choices that they make. So don’t marvel about that anymore. Just let it go.
[00:36:16] Nate: Stop marveling.
[00:36:18] Jason: No more marvels.
[00:36:20] Nate: All right, dude, seriously, by the way, stop marveling. Whoever’s still making marvel movies. Okay, let’s keep going.
[00:36:28] Jason: All right, chapter four.
[00:36:33] Nate: I know that was a dad joke, too, but I was actually being serious about that.
[00:36:38] Jason: He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.
And I think a lot of John is going to be this, and we read that verse already. We love him because he loved us first. So much of this is going to be about love for John. If you love God, inevitably you’re going to love your fellow being. You can’t hate people and still say you love God.
It’s a necessary step. And just as Peter points out, you must love God before you love your neighbor. John is really good at pointing out you can’t help but love your neighbor if you love God. It’s not that one has to precede the other, but when you do one, the other subsequently will follow. You don’t have to worry about it. Loving God will lead you to loving your neighbor. And if you have problems loving your neighbor, maybe look at your relationship with God and see what you need to do. And inevitably, the other is going to come following along in that process.
All right, let’s go to the Johanne Comma. This is John, chapter five.
And John’s going to be talking about baptism. He’s going to be talking about being born again. And he talks about the Spirit and the water and the blood.
And in verse seven, it says, for there are three that bear record.
Now, this is right here, after record. You can put a mark in your Scriptures however you would like. This is the beginning of the Johanneen Comma, and it reads in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one, and there are three that bear witness in Earth.
That’s where the Johanne comma ends after Earth. So if you want to mark your Scriptures, verse seven and verse eight, it’s between record and in. And verse seven. And in verse eight, it’s in between Earth and the when it says witness in Earth and the Spirit. So what happened here with the Johanne Comma? Erasmus is the one that we have to thank for this. As he was reading John, chapter five, verse seven, he looked at this and thought this was a great place to insert an argument on the divinity of God, the Trinity, the idea of God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit being one God. And so when he talks when John originally this verse read, for there are three that bear record, the Spirit and the water and the blood. And these three agree in one. That was it. That was what this verse read. And he’s talking about these three and being born again, the water, the Spirit and the blood. And when Erasmus comes along and he sees this, he looks at it and decides to inject his own kind of thoughts on this. And make a case for Trinity. And so he inserts here three in heaven, bearing witness of one and his side comments.
If you look at the Greek versions of this scripture before Erasmus, his addition is missing in every one of them. And then the King James version, when they come and translate the scriptures, they use Erasmus’s version and it makes it into the King James version, which then makes it into all sorts of different English versions and it kind of proliferates from there. We have Erasmus to thank for this. This is an actual addition to the Bible that was not part of the original text. And it’s fairly clear in the history of the text where this came from and how it got interjected here. So I like pointing it out. This is called the Johanne comma. And this is a clear example of somebody afterwards, hundreds of years, interjecting their thoughts into the scriptures and this actually becoming the scripture, even though this wasn’t part of the original text.
And if you wanted to mark that and have that in there, that’s where it is.
[00:40:40] Nate: Awesome.
[00:40:42] Jason: Nate, I know you were having some conversations with your children about being born again.
And I know the fire, the water, the blood, and we talk about this, even the Spirit, the blood, the water, this resonates with pearl of great price for me when he talks about being born again. And in here, in the pearl of great price in the book of Moses, god is explaining the baptismal process. I believe it’s actually to Enoch. And Enoch is asking about this and he explains how Adam was baptized and how Adam needs to be born again by blood, by the water, by the spirit.
And these three things are what’s going to sanctify and how you were born into the world with these three. You’re going to be saved again in eternal life with these three. And so as we’re diving through these concepts and these three bearing witness of Christ, I just wanted to give you a chance to interject any thoughts or anything you had that you wanted to share along those lines.
[00:41:42] Nate: No, just a lot of just the symbols are I don’t want to say interchangeable, but how a lot of the symbols should we should be thinking of them outside of just the context that we’re used to seeing them in, right.
For this specific example, when I was trying to help my young children understand baptism, right. And as we’re talking about the water and as they’re starting to kind of put together the idea of both water symbolizing the blood of Christ and vice versa, right. The idea that it’s like they’re like, well, that’s kind of gross, or to think that if you’re in a baptismal font that you could imagine that that water also being blood. But I’m like, well, isn’t it the blood of Jesus that actually cleanses our garments? Right. Isn’t it the blood of christ. That is the thing that actually can make us clean again, right? And I know a lot of times you and I kind of push back against the idea of baptism as a cleansing bath or whatever, that it’s been unfortunately referred to in a lot of baptismal talks and things like that. But you’re like, okay, well, if we are going to look at this as a cleansing thing, couldn’t the symbolism of blood and water be interchangeable?
Isn’t it through the death of Christ that we can be reborn again? Right. Isn’t it through the blood of Christ that we can die and live again? You just see what I’m saying. And so the idea was that as we were kind of talking through it, there was a lot of we started just looking deeper. And it was nice as a parent for me to see kind of my children putting a lot of this together, starting out with the baptismal or not baptismal, with the sacrament, right. Where when we take the water, what does it represent? Oh, it represents the blood of Christ. Okay, well, there’s our first example, maybe for them, at least, right? Hey, here’s our starting point of where we can make the parallels between the water and blood. Now let’s go through the other ones.
And as we kind of talked a lot about even the idea of we’ve talked about this, about how a lot of people saw the distance between us and God through the heavens as like, water or an ocean, right, where we get spaceships from, right? We use the word ship from. And it was awesome to see them kind of going like, oh, okay, so when we go under the water and we come back up under the water, maybe that’s being born again, but with Jesus this time or with Heavenly Father this time. And I’m just, of course, like, yes, my kids are getting this, right?
Hey, when you were born in this Earth and I’m explaining not in super detail, but in enough detail that they kind of understand, hey, when you were born in this Earth, there was a lot of blood and there was a lot of water involved as you guys were getting shot out of your mom, right? Well, draw the parallel now of when you’re being put under the water and raised back of the water. Could that not be a way to be born again, but this time through Jesus? And we’re told that we have to be born again through Him to be able to be saved and to live with Heavenly Father again. It’s like we just drawn a lot of these parallels, and it’s cool to see your kids get it. And to be totally honest, it’s a really awesome chance for me to even start just making bigger connections and kind of deeper connections with some of that stuff, too.
You and I talk a lot about we’re really trying to get down to the bottom of what the baptismal covenant, quote unquote, is and isn’t right. And my studies have taken me to go, man, I used to think that it was very specifically one thing and I’ve come to go, wow, it could be a lot bigger than what I always thought it was, or it could be even more simple than what I thought it was, really? Depending upon which prophet is telling you, right? As we read through the scriptures, it’s like, oh my goodness, what is the baptismal covenant? It depends on who you ask, right? And as I was talking through this with my kids tonight, as we were talking about specifically about covenants, it’s interesting because it’s like, oh my goodness.
Now thinking of that process of baptism again as being reborn very specifically, it’s like, hey, this is the chance to be born again of Jesus. It’s like, okay, cool, then what does that covenant, you know what I mean?
I’m not even going to say specifically some of the answers I came up with, but what I loved is that it was an amazing chance for my kids to go, oh, when we are baptized, maybe the covenant that we’re making is as simple as we want to be children of Jesus, we want to be reborn as disciples of Christ. It’s just like, sweet, sweet, let’s not overthink this, you know what I mean? Like, in this case, it’s like so many other covenants that you’re going to make throughout the rest of your lives are going to have some very specific language that tell you what you’re promising and what is being promised in return. Like kind of what a beautiful ordinance baptism is being understood in the most profound understanding of this is your chance to be born of Jesus, you know what I mean? Like, this is your spiritual rebirth. You were born physically into this earth by your mother sitting at the table with us when you’re baptized. This is a chance for you to be born again spiritually. This is your chance to enter back into the presence of God again through a death and rebirth. What all those things like, man, maybe all of again, at least my thought process is like, wow, my kids are teaching me maybe how much more simple maybe that covenant is than what I have attached to it throughout the last 40 years of my life.
I don’t know. I like it.
It’s some of where we were going earlier tonight.
[00:48:10] Jason: Well, it’s good fodder to take us to the second epistle of John because John starts this off. Verse one, the elder, and he’s referring to himself again. I don’t know why he doesn’t just.
[00:48:22] Nate: Refer to himself, John.
[00:48:25] Jason: Everyone else, Paul, Peter, anyways, the elder unto the elect lady and her children whom I love in the truth. And not only I only, but also all they who have known the truth. And he’s referring to this elect lady. And you’re like, Wait, what? Who are you talking to? And her children.
For me, when he refers to the elect lady, and I think this is going to be helpful when we get into the Book of Revelation and he starts talking about women in Revelation and what they symbolize, right?
For me, Israel is the elect lady.
The church is the elect lady. It’s the bride.
And Christ gave his life for the church, for Israel, for this organization, if you will.
And so therefore, this elect lady and her children, her children, how are they born and how do you become born? So if we take this example, and I think you did a good job talking about this with the water and the spirit and the blood, when our children turn eight and they become baptized, you have those elements. You have the gift of the Holy Ghost that’s being confirmed to them afterwards, and the presence of the spirit. And you have the water that they come out of being baptized by water. And yet all of this is made possible through the blood, the atonement of Jesus Christ that was spilt so that these children can be born again. And if they’re being born again, that’s the question you have to ask. Who are their parents?
I was born here of my mom and my dad. Well, now that I’m born again of this covenant, well, the church is the one that offers this covenant, and I become a member of that church. And I take that church’s name upon me so that it’s logical to assume that that church is going to be my parent. But if I’m just a product of this church, how do I know that this church is going to be able to save me? Right? The church can’t save me alone. And no single parent has the ability to produce offspring, with the exception of Mary in a miraculous virgin birth. But even then, arguably, Christ isn’t the product of Mary. He’s the product of God through Mary.
And that’s what’s happening here with this rebirthing process, is Christ gave his life to Israel, to his covenant people. And that’s really what it comes down to, covenant people. The covenant is the mom and the organization that allows us the structure, the priesthood that allows us to make those covenants, thereby becomes the mother, the bride, and we become its children.
Through the blood of Jesus Christ, we’re able to be born. And so this family structure where God becomes our parent and the church becomes our mother, becomes very apparent in this rebirth process and what John’s going through. And for me, this kind of brings it to life. When I read Isaiah 53 and I read about the atonement as this process that allows life to be born, because first, who shall declare his generation, he’s not going to have any seed. He’s cut off from the land of the living. But then it almost sounds like he’s going through this whole process and delivering seed. But you have to couple this with Isaiah 54 that seeing, o thou that was barren. Talking about the woman in Israel, the covenant, she’s going to produce more children than the married wife. And through that covenant relationship, becoming the seed of Abraham, becoming this product of Israel is only made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ. And the gateway through which we are able to enter into any of this, or the birthing canal, if you will, is the waters of baptism.
[00:52:45] Nate: I kind of want to even let me throw something at you, too. So part of what we were talking about tonight, a lot of this actually was kind of spurred by a question of my kids going like, well, after we die, what if some of us go to one kingdom and the other ones go to the other kingdom? My kids were kind of, like, distraught a little bit about the idea of us not being together as a family, right. And I explained to them when your mom and I, we got sealed in the temple, and as part of that promise, you guys are sealed to us as our children, right?
And I told him, I’m like, I don’t know if I understand the fullest extent and power that that actually is, but I do trust that it’s powerful, right, and it’s interesting with the analogy that you brought up the idea, yes, we are being born into when we’re baptized and become a part of Christ’s covenant family. Let’s just call it that, right? If the church is the bride and he is the husband here, then aren’t we being born into a family with those same ceiling powers, right, with that same ceiling covenant?
We’ve talked about this in the past few lessons, like, well, why why would you want to make why would you want to be making these covenants super early in life instead of just waiting till, like, your deathbed to be doing this? Or like, you know, why wouldn’t you just wait later in life and then hurry and be baptized and repent in the whole thing, right? But what a comfort and what an incredible gift it is to know that we’re being born into a covenant people, right? And when you look at the evidence of how many times Christ redeemed his people, even when they were blowing it, it’s like he loved them, like they’re still family, right? Like they’re still his people.
And it’s thinking through kind of this analogy and then thinking through the promises that we have when we bring children into this world, into a sealed marriage, right, into a covenant making family or household.
There’s something that, as simple as it is, gave my kids comfort hearing that, just me explaining to them on the most basic of levels tonight, like, hey, you’re anchored to us, right?
And there is something incredible and beautiful, and I think deep and maybe even a lot more profound than I think I even understand. But I’m just kind of really just kind of as we’re talking through this starting to really connect some of those dots.
But I think it’s pretty special and.
[00:56:05] Jason: I think it gets profound when you start looking at all the stories of families, particularly going back to the Old Testament where you have families like Jacob and Esau where it doesn’t matter how big of a rift there is.
They’re still brothers. They’re still born from their parents and at the end of the day they still find a way to reconcile. They still find a way to come back. And if you’re my brother it doesn’t matter that you hate me or even that you’re trying to kill me. It doesn’t change the fact that we’re still from our mom and our dad, that we’re still related, that we’re still family. There’s something special about that family bond. And when you go back and you read the stories of Joseph being thrown into a pit by all of his brothers and yet his brothers and him being reconciled at the end, I think a lot of us are going to blow it. And a lot of us have to rely on the one who didn’t blow it to forgive us in the end and realize that we are family. And there’s something there that these scriptures take on an added meaning or an added life. In some of this context in particular, what comes to my mind is thinking about how many times Peter and Paul talk about wives being subject to their husbands and what if the big point on this isn’t so much wives need to be subject to their husbands as much as the church, the organization, the structure. As the wife of the Lord who’s able to bring about new life through baptism and the covenant making needs to stop. Telling Christ how to run his church needs to be subject to the way that the Lord has done it, just as the Lord has been subject to the church and giving his own life. Maybe we need to not tell Christ how to run his church but be subject to Him in return.
[00:58:05] Nate: I now know what I’m going to be studying my personal studies for the next little while too is it’s kind of inspired me to really try to better understand what is the sealing power of that covenant, right? What does that actually mean?
Because again, if we’re going to see your analogy through right, there has to be something there then, right? Because I can only imagine. I mean Christ talks about his people being sealed to Him, right? And therefore like, okay cool. Then again then it really becomes a matter of how powerful are we going to let God be? Right?
What limitations are we going to put on Him?
What limitations that our comprehension puts on us? Are we going to then put on him too. Because again, I want to know what that covenant actually is then and how deep it goes and how powerful it is.
[00:59:21] Jason: And I would argue that what pulls those families together is the power of love. And I want to look at the example of maybe even Joseph. For as much as he was upset at his brothers, for as much as maybe he wanted to really stick it to them and make them accountable for what they did to him, he knew what it would do to his dad to reject them.
And so first he loved his dad to the point where he could love his brothers and go back to that order, what we saw with Peter, go back to what we’re seeing with John.
If we want to love our brothers, if we want this family to last, first we need to learn how to love God. And when we see our brothers through God’s eyes, from his perspective, when we have that love and that appreciation, then we can go, as John is saying, take it to the next step. Inevitably, we’re going to keep his commandments because, one, we’re being sanctified and it’s motivating us to do right, but two, love will follow for the rest, to be able to love them the way that the Father loves them, to be able to hold that family together. So if we want to be able to keep our family together, it’s not going to be by focusing on the errors and focusing on the problems. It’s going to be focusing on first our relationship with God, learning how to love God in such a way that that spills over into our relationship with everyone else. And that’s going to be what’s going to hold us together or make it work in the end. Love it.
[01:01:05] Nate: And luckily, we’re sealed to somebody who is committed to redeeming us.
[01:01:14] Jason: Even when.
[01:01:14] Nate: We’Re knuckleheads, which sadly is more often than not, but it’s awesome. All right, anything else you want to.
[01:01:23] Jason: John makes that point. I’m going to go backwards and I’m going to read this in chapter two, verse one. And it’s probably a good place to end with John when he says, my little children, these things write, I unto you that we sin not, which is a pretty tall order.
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 our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
I write these things to motivate you, to help you to try to make it so that you don’t sin. But if we do, we’ve got Christ.
[01:02:07] Nate: It’s awesome.
Thank you guys for listening. Thanks for being patient with us the last couple of weeks. We’ve had some scheduling issues, but we love doing this and we’re committed to doing it.
And we appreciate you guys being willing to give us an hour of your week, sometimes a little bit more, sometimes a lot more than an hour of your week. But we do appreciate it. It’s always appreciate any feedback, questions, comments, et cetera.
Get a hold of us at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are running out of weeks. This got we’ve got revelations left which Jason’s been looking forward.
Mean, he is just as giddy as a schoolboy here.
And then we have a Christmas episode, which I’ve loved doing every year that we’ve been doing this. And so that’s about what we’ve got left for the year and then we get to get into the Book of Mormon. So appreciate you listening. Until next week.
[01:03:13] Jason: See ya.