|2009 A.D.: The 'John, then Jesus' Pattern|
|Written by Dan Curry|
|Friday, 13 November 2009|
Johns, (Sometimes Simons) Then Sent Ones. Is There A Pattern?
***As you read this, I apologize that some program or virus on my editing page seems to remove various words that I type. Bl ood, k ill, mur der, etc. Apparently it is supposed to remove violent language or something. It's on some of the other accounts on this website also. I don't know how it got there, and I don't know how to get rid of it. Sorry. It leaves the suffixes sometimes too. Like 'kil lers' might become just 'ers'***
Once I was with a Christian friend, and we were discussing who might be the person destined to become the anti-Christ, if it was a famous person already living. We decided to pray, and ask God to give us a clue from the Bible. So, we asked Jesus to tell us the person's name or a clue about them. That's when an unlikely thing happened.
With closed eyes, I flipped my Bible over several times and rotated it several times in my hands, then stuck a finger in it. I was exactly on the name 'John'. I asked for confirmation, and did it again. I was exactly on the words 'his name is John.' Then I asked God if I could have it confirmed one more time, and that time my finger was on (exactly on, for the third time) the name 'Johnathan'.
I think it seemed to us both that something spiritual had guided my finger, and we discussed whether it could possibly be a bad spirit, or if it had to be God. Stupid, huh? But it was a question that occurred to us. I was, after all, using the Bible to 'divine' something, and once I thought about that, I wasn't sure if the Lord would think of that as 'divination', which is generally a bad thing, though his Levite Priests were allowed to enquire of him in a certain prescribed manner, using a God designed object called the Urim and Thummin. Also, the 'ephod' was sometimes used - twelve gems set in a plate, worn on the high priest's chest. Various stones lit up to give God's answer, according to old writers such as Josephus. I am not, unfortunately, a Levite priest, and have no Urim and Thummin, or Ephod. But I had asked the Lord to tell us, if He wished, before doing this. So, in the end, I have come to believe that we probably heard from the Lord. But it's not a certainty. You judge.
Since then, it seems like I've seen a real pattern of 'Johns' preceding people or things which were sent by God, 'Annointed Ones' sometimes, specially sent persons, in the scripture, and in the history of Israel. It won't be too surprising to me, at this point, if there is a John associated with the 'Coming World Leader' (read that 'Anti-Christ'), or if the Coming World Leader is actually named John. It would certainly fit pretty well with the scriptural pattern. I'll go into more detail, but just as a synopsis:
John the Apostle may be on hand when Jesus returns to rule as king. Simon (Peter) was told something by Jesus which hinted that it was a possibility. A John and a Simon are in this occurrence.
John the Apostle (assuming that he is 'the disciple whom Jesus loved') also stood beneath Jesus's cross as he, crucified, hung dying. Jesus told him to take care of Mary, Jesus's mother, and for her to take him as her son. Also, a Simon (Simon of Cyrene) was provided by God at the crucifixion, when Simon Peter was absent due to a time of fear that he experienced. Simon of Cyrene not only helped Jesus carry his cross, but the event caused him to become a Christian, and he was the principal leader at the church of Antioch, along with his sons, some years later. So a John and a Simon feature in this event.
Mark, of the Gospel of Mark, was actually named John, the scriptures say. Simon (Peter) cut off the ear of the Jewish High Priest's servant Malchus, on the night that a young man who might have been John Mark shrugged out of his linen garment and fled , when the mob who came for Jesus tried to grab him also. If so, there was a Simon and a John at this occurrence. Mark 14:43-51.
John the Baptist preceded Jesus, and loved him. He Baptized Jesus. The next day, when Jesus walked by, John saw him and said "Look, the Lamb of God". Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, and another man standing near heard John say this and went to meet Jesus. They spent the day learning from Him. The first thing Andrew did the next day was go to tell Simon Peter his brother. John 1:35-40. So there was a Simon and John here also.
Mark chapter 9 tells of the event called the 'transfiguration' in Jesus's ministry, when he took three of his disciples, James, Simon Peter, and John, and went up to a mountain. While on the mountain Jesus became dazzling white, and Elijah and Moses appeared to speak with Him. So it's an important event in Jesus's ministry, and a John and a Simon are there. Who else are there? And Moses and Elijah are thought by most to be the two end time witnesses spoken of in the Book of Revelation. The ones that preach for 3 1/2 years, and who can harm those who try to harm them with fire from their mouths.
John Maccabee, 2nd century B.C., preceded Israel's ruler Simeon (John's own brother) and Simeon was granted some pretty strange authorities by the Israelites of his day who made him head of their government as well as their high priest. Simeon is similar to Simon. And there's a John, obviously.
Jeremiah was held captive in the dwelling of Jonathan the Secretary by order of Israel's King, Zedekiah, as God's chosen instrument - the King of Babylon - besieged Jerusalem. No Simon in this occurrence, that I noticed. (Jeremiah 37:15)
Jonah preceded God's threatened destruction of Ninevah. The name Jonah contains the 'Jon' sound. Sort of close, right? After all, the name John might have sort of evolved among the Israelites as the centuries passed, From Abraham to Jesus was about 2000 years after all. But on the other hand, Jonah maybe doesn't belong. You decide.
Jonathan, son of Abiathar the priest, warned Adonijah, the rebel son of David, that all the commotion and noise they heard off in the distance, in Jerusalem, was Solomon being proclaimed King. A horn was blown in Jerusalem also then too, which they heard. That is interesting, because there is a trumpet blast (a horn sound) that will occur when the Lord Jesus comes to gather his own before the Earth's great punishment, upon His second coming, according to the Book of Revelation. Adonijah was a rebel against Israel's authority figure (King David), just as the 'coming world leader will be a rebel against God.
Jonathan, Saul's son, preceded King David, and should have followed Saul as King. Yet he told David that even Saul knew that David would be King. Yet Jonathan didn't mind. He loved David greatly. I didn't notice a Simon involved near this event.
To sum it up, there just seems to be a lot of John-type names preceding and surrounding important Biblical 'savior type' figures, or annointed people, and of course around the Lord Jesus Himself.
In light of that, consider this: At the beginning of that 1000 year reign of Jesus, still a future event, the Beast and the False Prophet, who assist Satan, will be captured by Jesus's angels and hurled into a pit of burning sulfer. Satan himself will be bound by God's loyal angels and held in the abyss beginning at that time. (Revelation 19:20) So Jesus's arrival on the scene will feature someone (two 'someones) who 'die' at about the time of his coming. And the great enemy Satan is bound and held for the next 1,000 years.
The Dragon (Satan) is supposed to be released from the abyss after that 1,000 years. He will gather and lead the rebellious people of that day against the rule of Jesus, who is actually governing Earth at that time. But ultimately, Satan will be defeated by Jesus's (by fire from heaven) in the final war, at the end of Jesus's thousand year reign. Then Satan is thrown down into the pit of burning sulfer where his two henchmen - the Beast and the False Prophet - have already been suffering for 1,000 years. There, the three of them will be held forever. (Revelation 20:10)
Will there be a significant John in the picture when Jesus comes again? A Simon or a Peter?
Maybe. Jesus left a strange hint that the Apostle John might 'tarry' until Jesus's second coming, perhaps never dying, though the writer of the Gospel of John was quick to point out that Jesus didn't say that precisely. Could that John be present at Jesus's second coming? (John 21:20 - 23)
Another instance: what about the Gospel of Mark. His name is not really Mark. It is John. He was just called Mark, as it says in Acts 12:12. In that section of scripture, Peter had just been loosed from Herod's prison by an angel. Then it says in Acts 12:12 that Peter "....went to the house of Mary, mother of John, also called Mark." So Mark was a John. A 'good' John.
And that Mark could be an especially interesting case. There we have an association with a John, and the word 'Mark'. In other places, we have an association between the word 'mark' and 'the Beast'. Certainly this could be a weak connection of some sort, like a vague clue, or perhaps it's relatively meaningless. Not that God ever does anything totally meaningless, but any man could easily misconstrue anything that God does, says, or teaches. And in an exercise like this one - trying to investigate links between the name John and Jesus, annointed persons, or the end times - such a conjectural investigation is rife with chances to get it all wrong.
Let's look at another John - John the Baptist. John the Baptist fits the pattern, though he was an especially righteous man, not a bad one. But in the sense that he was a 'John' character preceding a 'sent one' (in this case the greatest 'sent one' - Jesus) John fits the pattern. John died at about the time Jesus's ministry began, aroung 27 A.D. John died fairly shortly after baptizing Jesus. Herod killed John the Baptist shortly after Jesus (the Annointed One) arrived on the public scene, due to the urgings of a wicked woman that Herod had a desire for. John preceded Jesus.
In a somewhat similar vein, in around 1020 B.C., David (King David) had a friend named Jonathan who died just before David assumed the throne of Israel, as previously touched upon. This Jonathan was the son of the preceding Israelite king, Saul. King Saul's son Jonathan and King Saul were both killed on the same day, fighting the Philistines. Saul's was from God. Saul was being punished by God for presuming to do such unholy things as consulting a medium and ordering the death of priests, and also for presuming to do holy things which only a priest was allowed to do, such as offering up an animal sacrifice to God before a battle, due to worrying that the priest Samuel wouldn't arrive on time.
Shortly after Jonathan's demise, by public acclamation of much of Israel, David became King and founded a new dynasty, and so, like Jesus, he was an 'annointed' King (literally annointed by Samuel many years before this), and David ruled over Israel and Judah, as Jesus rightfully should have the first time He came, but certainly will in the future. And, David's coming on the scene as King involved the demise of a John (well, actually a Jonathan). So it's another case of the pattern more or less appearing.
At the end of King David's life, king David, knowing he was old and near de ath, was intending to give the kingdom to his son Solomon. But another son, Adonijah, tried to organize a coup and seize the throne. But, even as Adonijah threw a party with his co-conspirators not far from Jerusalem, the plot was stopped. King David was informed of Adonijah's plot, and he called Solomon to him, and quickly had Solomon publically coronated as his replacement. Horns were blown to celebrate, a procession of people was formed, who celebrated loudly. David had his bed brought out before the crowd and he bowed down to his son Solomon, thereby publically acknowledging Solomon as his chosen successor.
Below the city, at the rebels party, Adonijah and his guests heard the commotion up above on the hill, and didn't understand what it meant. They thought they had already succeeded in stealing the government. But then a mesenger came and told them all what had happened, and all of Adonijah's co-conspirators abandoned him and fled.
Do you know what this messenger's name was?
From 1 Kings 1:41, picking up at the point when the people at Adonijah's 'rebellion party' hear the noise :
"Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab said "What's the meaning of all the noise in the city?" "
"Even as he was speaking, Jonathan, son of Abiathar the priest, arrived. Adonijah said "Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news." "
" "Not at all!" Jonathan answered. "Our Lord King David has made Solomon king. ..........." "
Again, a John of sorts (Jonathan is close, right?) precedes the coming of a chosen one....precedes the coming of the rightful heir Solomon. And in Adonijah, a sort of an 'anti-Christ' type figure precedes a figure that has some attributes of the Lord Jesus. Adonijah was like the anti-Christ in that he wanted to usurp what belonged to the rightful king. And as for Solomon, he was the chosen heir to the throne, and had some attributes in common with the Lord Jesus. For Solomon did go on to be considered the wisest of the wise, the richest of the rich, and enjoyed a reign of unchallenged peacefulness (until he was old and had become pretty sinful on account of indulging his many hundred wives.)
So, again, a 'John' is involved right before an 'annointed one' arrives on the scene.
Here's another example from Israelite history. In the second century B.C. the Israelites rebelled against the Seleucids, and were victorious. One reason for the rebellion was that one of the Seleucids, named Antiochus Epiphanes, had come with his army, forced his way into the Jewish temple, slaughtered a hog there, right inside of the 'Holy of Holies' area, and then also put up some sort of abomination (thought to be a plaque commemorating the false God Zeus) right there at the temple. It was an outrage to the Jews!
Eventually, a father and his sons, who became a famous trio of brothers in Israelite history, led the attacks against the Seleucids. They were called the Hasmoneans.
The first Hasmonean brother to lead the revolt against the Seleucid powers was named Judah. He led the fighters quite successfully for a time. When he died, leadership fell to the second brother. The second brother, John Maccabee, (called 'the Hammer') did great exploits in war and politics, but then was killed treacherously by their enemies, so John's brother Simeon took over, and Simeon led well and was very popular with the Israelites. And he was even given a rather unique 'dual office' by Israel.
He was annointed as the political leader of a new dynasty, (given the title of Prince of Israel), giving him political authority, and he received the office of High Priest of Israel, thus giving him spiritual authority. And strangely, Simeon was proclaimed, by those Israelites who installed him as their country's leader, to be ruler forever, or until a rightful prophet should arise.
So, here's another case where the one that followed a John was treated as a very special ruler, given an endless term of office, given both political and spiritual authority. That sort of ruling power is similar to what the Lord Jesus will hold: complete authority, no time limit.
Jesus, when He comes the second time, will be instilled as a King forever also. Simeon Maccabee was the first 'Prince' of the Hasmonean Empire of Israel. Like Jesus will have when he one day comes again, John was given all temporal and all religious authority in Israel. And his rise was preceeded by the arrival of a John.
Simeon was eventually betrayed, assassinated by his own family, falling prey to a plot by his son-in-law.
Consider this strange thing: In the Maccabean family there was an imporant Judah, John, and Simeon. In Jesus's ministry, there was an important John (the Apostle), and important Simon ( Simon Peter) and an important Judas (Judas Iscariot). Almost the same major players!
Similarly, Jesus was the promised first Prince of a new dynasty, a holy heavenly dynasty, and He also fell prey to betrayal and a plot by his own people, the Jews, and one of his own Apostles, named Judas.
In 70 A.D. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. A man named Josephus, who was a Jewish governor, then general, then captured general, and finally eye-witness captive historian, watched and chronicled the destruction of his nation and it's chief city Jerusalem while he was a guest/prisoner of the Roman high command.
We know that this 70 A.D. destruction was promised by Jesus when the Jews failed to acknowledge Him as their promised Messiah. So, the Lord destroyed Jerusalem, though he used the Romans to do it. And Josephus felt that a man named John, of Gischala (who was a terrible enemy to Josephus also) was a tyrannical trouble maker, a power seeker, a rebel, a liar, a provoker, and a chief instrument for causing Roman doom to fall upon Israel and Jerusalem. This John was killed by the Roman's when Jerusalem was taken (shortly afterwards, actually). In Rome, where this John was brought, Vespasian, the Roman Emperor, had him tor tured and burned to de ath. So this John was kil led by an instrument of the visitation of God's wrath - a Roman.
And what about the prophet Jonah? Jonah is a little different than John, but it is similar. So let's look at Jonah. Jonah rebels against God. He's given the task of preaching to Ninevah, but he doesn't want to do it.
We learn that Ninevah has 120,000 souls. That is the same as if there were 10 entities with 12,000 people each. Is this like 10 of the tribes of Israel? Is it like the 10 horns on the beast that rises out of the sea in Revelation? Or something different. Or maybe it's not a symbolic number at all, who knows? Anyway, instead of obeying, Jonah hops aboard a ship going the other direction.
Why? Ninevites are the people in the chief city of a cruel nation that has often harmed Israel. Jonah doesn't want to go warn them to change their behavior or be destroyed by God. Jonah would be just fine with seeing Ninevah get destroyed.
But God doesn't allow Jonah's rebellion. God's punishment to Jonah comes from above, in the form of a terrible storm that God sends. The ship's crew eventually throw Jonah overboard into the ocean to save themselves, and the storm stops right after they do that.
But Jonah sinks to the roots of the mountains beneath the sea. He is beneath the waves (which certainly reminds us of Jesus). There, crying out to God, he is swallowed by a large fish, then vomited back onto the land after 3 days. He then decides to go obey God.
Jonah has some similarities to Jesus, and some similarities to the anti-Christ. But as a disobeyer of God's commands, he is certainly more of an anti-Christ figure. As a rebeller against God, he is also more of an anti-Christ figure. As one killed by God's appearance (albeit God's presence is a storm only) he is also like the book of Revelation's anti-Christ, who is captured at Jesus's coming, then cast into a pit by angels. Jonah, by contrast, is doomed by God's storm, then cast into the deep by sailors.
But to simplify: before God appears (in the storm), we have a rebel named Jonah. This Jonah is destroyed, but later raised. Though Jesus was kil led, then raised alive, it is also true that the anti-Christ (or Satan, at least) will be allowed out of the pit one more time also, after Jesus has a '1000 year' reign. So, he is raised in a way also. I can never decide who we should believe Jonah is more like!
***An interesting point to make about Jonah is that once he preached to Ninevah, Ninevah listened and repented. Jonah waited off to the side of the city to see what Ninevah's fate would be. As he waited, a vine grew up, and it's shade protected him. But then, this wonderful vine, which grew in a day, was first chewed through by a worm and withered, then withered more by the scorching sun and a strong east wind. Jonah was bitter about this also.***
To me, this probably refers figuratively to the house of Joseph, the tribe of Joseph, so to speak, which I believe , in part at least, is the USA and Britain. Joseph is referred to as a fruitful vine in Genesis 49. North America was known as Vineland back in the Viking days.
I wonder if the 'east wind' refers to the powerful withering affect that China's growth has had upon the US? I am not sure what the worm might refer to, if this is right. But there are Silkworm missiles in the Chinese arsenal. And some unnamed great trading nation is going to perish by fire in the end times spoken of in Revelation. And America owes China about a zillion bucks from loans that I don't see how we'll ever pay off. Will China be patient forever? Hope so.
I wouldn't be too surprised if Jonah might represent the slow moving Christian church in a day still future, when they are asked to go speak to the people of the 10 powers who are their enemy at that time. And since there is a vine shielding the church (Could that represent American political power?) I could see that metaphorical 'vine' suddenly going away, courtesy of the growing power of the East, and of America's own sins. China rises!! And that's fine with me, if it's of God. God raises who He chooses.
Yet that theory of the vine being America doesn't all fit, because Jonah takes up a place East of Ninevah to wait, and that's where the vine grows up at. Who knows, but you have to go pretty far from most places in the East to have America be to your 'East', though all places are eventually 'East' of you if you just keep travelling.. Same with Great Britain.***
There are more examples of John-like names preceding 'sent ones', but this is probably enough to sort of display the idea. There is a pattern that develops throughout the Bible involving Johns, Johnathans, Jonahs, and they seem to preceed 'annointed ones', or powers sent by God. It is possibly predictive to some degree of the arrival of the anti-Christ, and of Jesus's coming.
Even the Apostle John, who received and wrote down the words found in the book of Revelation, was actually taken, in a vision, to see the events surrounding the second coming of Jesus. So, he is one John at least who was there in a sense - there when the Annointed One returned.
Of course, maybe John type names are just that common!
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