Discussion Regarding the Question, Is John the Apostle Dead?

>You begin by saying it is a possibility and end by saying Johns being
>alive is a requirement. So, which one do you think it is – a possibility
>or a requirement?

The major point of my post was to point out two prophecies that require that
John continues to live until Jesus comes again. The first prophecy is that
John was to be martyred even as Jesus was, but John was not martyred. He
just disappeared and was presumed dead. Since that prophecy was not
fulfilled, John must continue alive to fulfill it. The second is the
prophecy that requires that John prophesy again before many peoples,
nations, tongues and kings. That didn’t happen. Therefore, John must remain
alive for it to happen. These two prophecies were not fulfilled. God
cannot lie. Therefore, they will be fulfilled. These prophecies require
John to be alive to be fulfilled. Hence, the Bible requires that John still
lives. Do you have an alternative without making it all into figures of
speech?

>
>2) From my understanding of the word translated into our English word
>’death or die’ – it can mean, and does mean a separation. In the Garden of
>Eden we correctly understand God’s statement to Adam that if he eats the
>forbidden fruit that he shall die to not mean a separation of the spirit
>from his physical body.
>You state:
>However, there have been two men taken by God that have survived thousands
>of years up the present day. Enoch’s translation is described in Genesis
>(Gen 5:24) where the text simply says, “He was not; for God took him”.
>Likewise, Elijah was taken up by God as described in II Ki 2:11 where it
>says, “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven”
>
>To further offer proof of John still being alive because we have no record
>of his death (I’m implying here a separation of the spirit from his
>physical body) is again to perhaps misuse the word ‘die’.

Maybe I am reading too much into what you say, but I am inferring from what
you say here that you do not believe that the spirits of Enoch and Elijah
still inhabit their original bodies. That is what Jas 2:26 means about
“dead”, and it is what I mean by “dead”. Like James says the body without
the spirit is dead, that is what I mean. The spirit separates from the body
and the body dies. By John still being alive, I mean that his spirit still
inhabits his body. I mentioned the “death” of John simply to show that
there was a historical anomaly regarding his supposed death–they never
found his body, which is very strange considering his advanced age and welll
known location in Ephesus. You are right that not finding the body is no
proof of his death. But not finding the body is at least circumstantial
evidence that he could still live. The major evidence I cited was the two
prophecies. The historical evidence provides for the possibility that the
prophecies could yet be literally fulfilled.

>
>3) If God took John, as He did Enoch and Elijah, why didn’t He simply tell
>us as He told us about Enoch and Elijah?

If it was Paul that was caught up into the third heaven and experienced
things that it was not lawful for him to utter, why didn’t he plainly say
so? (II Cor 12:2). God has reasons for things that are not always apparent
to men. Maybe Jesus did not specifically say that John was to be translated
for the same reason that Paul was given a thorn in the flesh–so John would
not be exalted above measure (II Cor 12:7). There was already huge
jealousy among the apostles regarding John’s request to sit at Jesus’ right
hand (Jn 10:41). Considering the history of jealousy among the apostles,
perhaps the best Jesus could do under the circumstances was to hint at what
was to take place. He did, after all, distinctly mention the possibility
that John would live until Jesus came again. Why mention such a bizarre
eventuality unless He meant it? He could have just told Peter like He did
in Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the
Father hath put in his own power.”

>Your statement:
>His being caught up and ultimate return provides an eyewitness of Christ
>from the Christian dispensation to those who live at the end of the age
>and completes the company of witnesses from the Patriarchical, Mosaical
>and Christian dispensations.
>seems to imply those who are living at the ‘end of the age’ need an
>eyewitness of Christ.

Yeah, they need some heavy evidence because the wonders the Devil will work
will be so convincing to people that they will need counterbalancing. Here
is some more context from the Ascension of Isaiah

4:9 And the greater number of those who shall have been associated together
in order to receive the Beloved, he [Beliar] WILL TURN ASIDE after him.
10 And there will be the power of his miracles in every city and region.
11 And he will set up his image before him in every city.
12 And he shall bear sway three years and seven months and twenty-seven
days.
13 And many believers and saints having seen Him for whom they were hoping,
who was crucified, Jesus the Lord Christ, [after that I, Isaiah, had seen
Him who was crucified and ascended] and those also who were believers in Him
– of these few in those days will be left as His servants, while they flee
from desert to desert, awaiting the coming of the Beloved.

To this situation, the Bible agrees for in Mt 24 it says,
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew
great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall
deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24)

and Paul also assents to the great deceptions that are to be worked in those
days when he writes,
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one in any way DECEIVE you, for it will not come
unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the
son of destruction,

and then

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord
shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the
brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with ALL POWER and
SIGNS and LYING WONDERS,
10 And with ALL DECEIVABLENESS of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them STRONG DELUSION, that they should
BELIEVE A LIE:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness.

Obviously the deceptions of that time at the end of the age will be so great
that believers will need some help. God sends that help in the form of His
eyewitnesses working wonders to warn the believers to hold fast to their
faith.

>
>My question would be Why? Why does anyone need an eyewitness of Christ?
>John wrote his gospel account so those who read it could understand Jesus
>was the Messiah – why would anyone need another witness?

When the power of the Evil One has increased, so have the powers of God’s
prophets been increased (e.g. I Ki 18:24, II Ki 1:10, Jas 5:17, Dan 2:27-28,
3:26). At the end of the world, the Evil One works such great wonders that,
if it were possible, they would seduce even the very elect (Mk 13:22, II
Thes 2:9-12). At the same time that the Man of Sin and the False Prophet
are working their wonders (Rev 11:7, 13:12-13, 19:20), God sends His Two
Witnesses to Israel who work wonders there (Rev 11:3-6, 8).
>
>
>I don’t have a problem or issue with you believing John is still alive,
>you have the freedom to believe whatever you desire, but I do not see any
>Biblical evidence that would lead to the conclusion “the Bible evidence
>requires that John the apostle still lives”.

You didn’t deal with the evidence I submitted. The main evidence was the
two prophecies. You do not mention those prophecies.

>You mention IF John died a natural death in AD101 and IF John died a
>natural death in Ephesus as most historians SUPPOSE….and then conclude
>and since John did NOT drink the cup.
>
>There are two IF’s and one suppose followed by a definite conclusion.
>
>That is the problem I have and the reason I said there is no biblical
>evidence to support the conclusion John is still alive.

There are only two possibilities regarding John’s death. He is either dead
or he is not. Nobody can establish that he is dead. Therefore, the secular
evidence admits the possibility that he is alive. The Bible prophesies that
John will die a martyrs death. He did not. Therefore, John still lives.
Likewise, in AD 95 John was to again prophecy before many people, nations,
tongues and kings, and he did not. Therefore, John must still live. This
is the Bible basis for my conclusion. There is no if and suppose about
these two prophecies, and the supposing is done the historians, not by my
article. The two prophecies require that John still lives, for he never
fulfilled them.

About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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