And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
— Genesis 5:27
Most of us are aware that Methuselah is known as the oldest man in the Holy Bible. Most of us assume that this is an easily provable bit of Biblical knowledge. It would certainly seem, on the surface, that this is indeed the case and that such proof would be quite easy to establish. However, if we look deeper and if we are willing to believe what is written in God’s word, this idea proves to have a shakier foundation than we first realize. It seems that there are strong indications that perhaps more than one person in the Holy Bible may have lived more than two millennia! That’s over 1000 years longer than Methuselah. It seems also that one of those persons who perhaps lived a long life may have been specifically identified.
Before we proceed with the above thoughts, let’s realize that this is a topic whose conclusion does not alter our standing in eternity. That is, our eternal life and salvation does not depend upon our own personal conclusion concerning the issue addressed in this chapter. Indeed, the absolute conclusion to the matter discussed in this chapter is perhaps not as absolute as we might like. Nonetheless, the discussion below is based upon solid evidence in the Holy Bible of God. Probably the only reason to think that we might be misunderstanding the scriptures, is that the idea seems so “far out” to us or too “on the fringe” to us. Because of the unusual nature of this subject, and because of the minimal scriptural evidence, we should remember that perhaps as humans who possess only human understanding we might be missing some additional bit of information concerning this particular essay. However, the scriptural evidence that does exist, along with secular literature and legends, certainly suggest to us that the information below is correct, and that indeed there are people now alive in this world who are over TWO THOUSAND YEARS OLD! Read on.
Jesus told his disciples that some of them – a plural number – would not die prior to seeing Him come WITH POWER in his Kingdom! The Greek word translated as “power” implies a strong, mighty, or miraculous power, and does not connote a matter-of-fact definition of the English word power. It is a definite reference to the POWER of the Messiah in His coming Kingdom. Since we know that his Kingdom has not yet come with POWER into our world, and since he made this statement over 1970 years ago to adults who were all likely above twenty-five years old, and perhaps most were over thirty years old, this would mean that there are now people (more than one) in this world who are over 2000 years old! Let’s read the scriptures. And let’s note that the idea expressed was so important to God that this particular thought was recorded THREE times in the first THREE gospel accounts of Jesus’ life. Note that the Apostle John was the only gospel writer who did not record this statement by Jesus.
Matthew 16:28 – Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mark 9:1 -- And said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with POWER.
Lu 9:27 – But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
What can we learn from the above statements? We notice that some of Jesus’ disciples were not to die UNTIL. UNTIL what? Until they see the Kingdom of God. But more than that, it also states UNTIL they see the Son of Man (Jesus the Messiah) COMING in his Kingdom. But it is still more descriptive even than that – it is UNTIL they have seen the Kingdom of God come with POWER. Let’s remember these descriptive terms as we continue our look into this matter. They were to see not only the Kingdom, but they were to see Jesus COMING and they were to see Him coming with POWER.
Let’s now discuss the normal and typical response to these scriptures from those who are formally educated in the Holy Bible – Ministers, Preachers, and Priests of almost all denominations. What do they tell us is the answer to this unbelievable passage in God’s word? Practically any formally trained theologian or Biblical scholar will refer us to the passage which, in all three instances, follows the verses we just read above. They will explain to us that the proper interpretation of these scriptures requires that we notice that the following verses tell us about the “transfiguration.” So, they point out, we must understand that Jesus was referring to the transfiguration, when he said that some of His disciples would see Him COMING in POWER in his Kingdom. This is most definitely a very convenient, and not totally illogically, explanation if we begin with the premise that there cannot be anyone still alive from the first century. But is it certain that God has not kept some of Jesus’ followers alive since the first century? And does the explanation really fulfill the requirements of Jesus’ prophetic statement?
Matthew 16:27-28 – For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Matthew 17:1-9 – And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the VISION to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
Notice first the scripture we just read which says “the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” This statement by Jesus immediately precedes his promise that “some … shall not taste of death”! Can the above description of the transfiguration fulfill the prophecy of Jesus coming in his Kingdom with power? With his angels? With his rewards? Such an idea surely seems to be a stretch of the imagination, does it not? We easily notice that Jesus himself referred to the transfiguration as a VISION. Can a VISION qualify as Jesus coming in his Kingdom? Do we have a description in scripture of Jesus coming in his Kingdom in power? Let’s consider the following passage.
Matthew 25:31-32 – When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.
Does the vision from Matthew 17 which we call the TRANSFIGURATION qualify as an appropriate fit for the above description of Jesus coming in his Kingdom? Notice that He will have all the angels with Him, He will sit on a throne, and all nations will be gathered to Him. None of these things happened in the vision; much less did they happen in actual fact. Is there more that we know about Jesus’ return? We know that he will be returning from a wedding. We know that he will return as a conquering King. We know that the saints will accompany him. The vision above simply falls terribly short of fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy which says that some will not die until they see the Son of Man COMING in his KINGDOM with POWER.
Luke 12:35-36 – Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Below is a better description of the wedding from which Jesus will be returning, and of the POWER he will display at his COMING in his KINGDOM.
Revelation 19:5-21 – And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
It seems that there is NO WAY that the transfiguration can remotely fulfill the prophecy of Jesus coming in His Kingdom as described in the above passages. The images above are from the future when Jesus shall come as KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS. This absolutely is a description of his future return. This has not yet occurred. From this information are we not required to conclude that there therefore must be some people still alive from the first century?
Let’s also ask ourselves why Jesus would make such a statement to His followers (There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death) if he were referring to the event of the transfiguration which was less than one week away? Can we not contend that ALL who were standing there had not tasted death six days later? Would that not be a strange statement for Jesus to make if he were referring to an event that was less than one week away? If he were referring to the transfiguration, why would he not simply say “some of you standing here” will see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom with Power? Why would he add the phrase “shall not taste death,” since it was only six days later?
There is yet another question that begs an answer. The apostles were taught and the apostles passed on the teaching that the Kingdom was to be given to the Gentiles for a time. Since they knew that the kingdom was to be in the hands of Gentiles, how could they integrate such knowledge with the idea that the transfiguration was the Kingdom coming in power? Let’s pay particular attention to the following scriptures.
Matthew 21:42-43 – Jesus said to them: Have ye never read in the scripture, The stone which the builders rejected, hath become the head of the corner: this is from the Lord; and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore I say to you, That the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a people that will yield fruits.
Luke 21:20-24 – And when ye shall see Jerusalem with an army encompassing it, then know ye, that its destruction draweth nigh. Then let them who shall be in Judaea, flee to the mountain district; and let them, who are in the midst of it, flee away; and those in the fields, not enter it. For these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that nurse children, in those days; for then will be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be carried captive to every place. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles shall be completed.
Romans11:25-27 – And that ye, my brethren, may not be wise in your own apprehension, I wish you to know this mystery, that blindness of heart hath in some measure befallen Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles shall come in: and then, will all Israel live. As it is written: A deliverer will come from Zion, and will turn away iniquity from Jacob. And then will they have the covenant that proceedeth from me, when I shall have forgiven their sins.
We easily see from the above scriptures that the Apostles very well knew that the Kingdom was not to come immediately, but rather that the Gentiles would first gain control for some unknown period of time. This knowledge could not be reasonably coordinated with the idea that the transfiguration was the Kingdom coming in power. Undoubtedly, the transfiguration was nothing more than a VISION and was called such by Jesus himself.
Let’s now consider just who was standing with Jesus when he made the statement of prophecy. Among others, the Apostle John, who was seemingly his closet friend, was with him. Do we have any reason to think that he may have been referring to the Apostle John, in addition to others, when he said that some would not taste death? There are indeed a few interesting passages concerning the Apostle John.
John 21:20-24 – Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
The above passage in and of itself is certainly not proof that the Apostle John is still alive, but it does pose the curious question as to why Jesus responded in just this manner – especially in light of a couple of other verses from the Book of Revelation. In Revelation 10:11, John was told by an angel that he must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. John was told this at the close of the first century. There is certainly no record of John actually having PROPHESIED AGAIN before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. So, if John was told that he must prophesy again, and he hasn’t yet prophesied again, when will he prophesy again if he is not still alive? The entire context of the passage around this verse is quoted below. After reading the entire passage, let’s then discuss a couple of other points which will present themselves.
Revelation 10:1-11 – And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Revelation 11:1-12 – And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
We can now ask some questions about the above information. We read about the voices of seven thunders, but then John says that he was instructed to ”Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” Why was this information even mentioned in the Book of Revelation? There is nothing in Holy Scripture by accident. There was a reason for this passage to be placed in the Book of Revelation. Is there any other place in scripture where a prophet is told to seal up a prophesy?
Daniel 12:4 – But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
We can see that the prophet Daniel was told to “seal the book, even to the time of the end.” Is it reasonable to think that just perhaps the voice of the seven thunders will be sealed until the time of the end, in a manner similar to Daniel’s prophecy, and that they will then be explained to the world? If that is to be the case – if the voice of the seven thunders are to be explained at the time of the end, then who would explain the voice of the seven thunders, since John was the only human to hear them and he wrote no additional information about them? From the seven thunders we do not even know a single enigmatic phrase or any words which could be “interpreted” by another person with wisdom and understanding. Only John knew what the words were. This passage had to be placed in the Book of Revelation for a reason; it would serve no purpose and seem pointless if the seven thunders have no future part in witnessing to the world. Only John can tell us what the seven thunders said. Could it be that John will perhaps be one of the two witnesses? Could it be that he has been kept alive for 2000 years so as to act as one of the two witnesses?
John was told to measure the temple. The temple had been destroyed in 70 A.D., thus it is apparent that the temple must be rebuilt in order for John to measure it. We can also notice that apparently John did not measure the temple at that point in time, since no measurements were described. So, we can ask WHEN will John measure the temple? Perhaps John will measure the temple after it has been rebuilt in the future. Could it be that he has been kept alive so that he can indeed measure the temple in the future?
Is it not curious that in this same passage and immediately after John was told to measure the temple, that John then discusses the two witnesses of Revelation? Though there are several logical arguments as to whom the two witnesses might possibly be, there seems to be no other possibility which furnishes more logic then to suggest that perhaps John will indeed be one of the two witnesses. There is another interesting thought concerning the possibility of John being one of the witnesses. Notice that the witnesses after being killed are to be seen by “the people and kindreds and tongues and nations.” Notice then that just a few verses prior to this John was told that he “must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” That is certainly an interesting use of a very similar phrase. Perhaps when John does “prophesy again,” his prophesies will be as one of the two witnesses.
In addition to the scriptural information above concerning the Apostle John, there are some quite intriguing bits of information from secular history. In considering secular history, let’s start with the records of the deaths of all the apostles. Following is a list of how all the apostles died according to secular history.
- Matthew was killed by a sword.
- Mark was dragged by horses until he was dead.
- Luke was hanged.
- Peter was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross.
- James the Greater was beheaded.
- Bartholomew was whipped to death.
- Thomas was speared to death.
- Jude was killed with arrows.
- James the Just was thrown down more than a hundred feet from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple and was then clubbed until he died.
- Matthias was stoned and beheaded.
- Barnabas was stoned to death.
- Paul was beheaded.
The list above leaves us only with the Apostle John. All of the above were killed in the various manners listed according to the records of secular history. History also records that John was sentenced to execution by the Roman government. He was to be boiled in oil.
According to secular history, John was boiled in oil in Rome. However, he was not harmed by the action and he did not die. There are even a few reports of the government trying twice to execute John. The other attempt was by poisoning; it failed also. After the government failed in its attempts to execute John, he was sentenced for a time to the prison on the island of Patmos.
Thus we have records of the deaths of all the apostles except for John. And we have records that the Roman government made TWO attempts to execute John. Should we ask why John was the only apostle who escaped some horrible execution? There seem to be very reliable records that John lived to almost 100 years old, but then the information on John’s life fades away. We do know that of all the apostles, John is the only one whose death is not recorded. The Dictionary of the Apostolic Church by James Hastings, Scribners, 1915. P. 627 states concerning John that "as to the time and place of his death, our ignorance is complete." Edgar J. Goodspeed who is considered a great Greek and Semitic scholar stated in his 1957 book “The Twelve” : "There is no record of John's martyrdom."
John was among the Christians banished from Rome by Domitian in 96 A.D. In the following years under Trajan, from 98 to 117, Christians were executed for their beliefs. Ignatius, who was a student of the Apostle John, died as a martyr during this era. Yet in the first list of martyrs, the Apostle John is not listed! (Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, P.742).
Many in the Greek Orthodox Church have always believed that John did not die. John is said to be the only Apostle for whom no relics have been preserved by the Greek Orthodox Church. As per the legend which is reported in several different and separate records, John lived in Ephesus following his exile on Patmos. Early one morning John and a few of his disciples went out to pray. While praying he directed them to dig an upright grave in the form of a cross. He was then covered with soil up to his neck. They placed a cloth over his face, and then covered his head with soil. The next day when other of his close friends heard of this they went to the grave and dug into it and found nothing. This legend may be found in "The Great Collection of The Lives of the Saints." This same legend is also recorded in the "Daily Lives of the Saints and the Calendar of Feasts," by Tom Mitrakos. Another similar record may be found in a book titled "John, Whom Jesus Loved," by Dr. J. Culross. The book is so old it has no date of publication. Dr. Culross wrote that the belief that John had not died continued after the first century on through the Middle Ages. Many have sought John's remains, but none have ever been found. While these stories are secular and are debated among scholars, they most definitely demonstrate that there is no conclusive evidence of the death of the Apostle John.
Let’s move on now to one other individual mentioned in scripture who may possibly be one of the “some” who is to not taste death until he sees the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom in power. In this instance it is certainly more of a stretch to draw any conclusions. But since we know that at least two people were the subject of Jesus’ prophecy, then the following is perhaps worthy of mentioning.
John 1:45-51 – And Philip found Nathaniel, and said to him: We have found him, of whom Moses wrote in the law, and the prophets, Jesus the son of Joseph, who is of Nazareth. Nathaniel said to him: Can there be any good thing from Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come, and see. And Jesus saw Nathaniel coming towards him, and said of him: Behold a real Israelite, in whom is no deceit. Nathaniel said to him: Whence knowest thou me? Jesus said to him: Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathaniel answered, and said to him: Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus said to him: Because I said to thee, that I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou wilt see greater things than these. He said to him: Verily, verily, I say to you, That hereafter ye will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending unto the Son of man.
There are two items we want to notice in the above passage. First Jesus seemed to be impressed with Nathaniel, lest he would not have made the statement “Behold a real Israelite, in whom is no deceit.” Jesus then told Nathaniel that he would at some point in the future “see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending unto the Son of man.” There is no record or indication that Nathaniel ever saw such a thing. If he did not see the ascension and descension of angels in the first century, when will he see this activity? We might argue that all Christians will see such things in the Kingdom of God, but at that point Christians will be born again immortal spirit beings. Why would Jesus single Nathaniel out to promise him this future event if it were something that will happen to all Christians? Perhaps Nathaniel is still alive and will live to see such activities as a mortal physical human. As we said, this one was a little bit of a stretch, but was perhaps worthy of mention.
Before we complete this chapter on Brother John, let’s consider two more minor points. First, it seems that if we are incorrect in any assertion that there may be 2000 year old humans somewhere in the world, then the verses and information we have discussed surely seem to be at least a little confusing. If indeed there are 2000 year old humans somewhere in our world, then the confusion we experience in deciphering the scriptures disappears.
I Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Secondly let’s remember our discussion of “generation” from Chapter 4. One of the meanings of the Greek word translated as “generation” is the whole multitude of men living at the same time. If some members of that generation, such as the Apostle John, are still alive, then we have no need to even discuss whether the translation should have been “this” generation or “that” generation.
Matthew 24:34 – Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Finally, just a minor thought – for what it might or might not be worth. In the passage from Revelation 10, John was told to eat a little book which would be sweet in his mouth but would turn bitter in his belly. What was that about? We have no apparent way of concluding what the little book was, but just for fun let’s draw a supposition. Let’s just suppose for the moment that the little book represents John’s life. When he first tastes of life with the idea that he will not be martyred as were his friends and that he will not die any time soon, it might seem to be a really fantastic opportunity – a long life would be so sweet. But then as John actually begins to live that life, it soon turns bitter. Most all of his friends including ALL of the other Apostles died horrible deaths. John was imprisoned. From that point forward, John would likely watch all of his children, grandchildren, and great-great-great…….grandchildren die. He might very well see several wives and all of his loved ones die. He would become quite lonely. He would witness all the wars that have been waged in the name of Jesus. He would see the corruption of the supposed Christian church and Christian community. He would learn of the corruption of the whole world, and would watch the family of Christianity truly fall apart. He would have no choice but to endure this corruption for over 2000 years. For the man who loved Jesus so much, this life would become a truly bitter experience; only a person with as much love in his heart as John might be able to endure such a trial and still retain his faith. Whether the little book represented John’s life, it is apparent that living as an Apostle for 2000 years while remaining in seclusion from public knowledge would be a bitter book to swallow.
Epilogue to Chapter 15
After reading the information in Chapter 15 on John the Apostle, we are most likely prone to ask the question, “So, where is John?” From the Biblical information cited, it seems close to certain that John has not yet died, but it is conceivably possible that as opposed to living for 2000 in this world John was at some point “snatched away” or “harpazoed” or “raptured”. After all, were not both Enoch and Elijah snatched away? It is even stated that Elijah will return.
Malachi 4:5 – Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
If Elijah and Enoch were raptured or harpazoed, and if Elijah is to return, perhaps John might be in the same category as these prophets. However, we must remember that John was not the only person to whom Jesus’ prophecy pertained; John was simply the only one who seems to have been specifically identified. Probably, the prophecy pertained to enough people that a small group could be formed with John being the Apostolic leader of the group. The group probably also contained Elders and Deacons so as to make a “Church” group dedicated to Jesus the Christ.
James 5:14-15 – Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Where today do we find a Church organization which has Elders with healing powers? We have established in Chapter 6 that the “Churchianity” organizations of our world’s religions are not God’s true Church. Anyone may be a part of God’s Church – Church simply means “called out.” But beyond that, is it not likely that there is – somewhere in this world – a small organization of believers who represent God’s one and only true church. According to James, Elders with healing powers must be somewhere, but apparently today such a Church group must be small and quite unknown to the world. If it were known to the world, the governments of the world would continually attempt to destroy the Church and all its followers. Thus we do not know the location of this group.
It would seem that somewhere behind the scenes, the Apostle John has probably played some significant role in history. We could speculate that he probably, in some manner, interacts with the Royal family of England (and perhaps with the Royalty of other European nations), since it seems likely that the Royal Family are descendants of King David. John would also be constantly aware of the events in and around Jerusalem, since Jerusalem is God’s capitol city. Since John, and the remainder of the group to whom Jesus made the prophecy, were all Jews, it would make sense that perhaps they have always been close to Jerusalem.
It would also make sense that this group, in some fashion, has always been involved in the publishing of the Holy Bible. The nations who possess more Bibles than any other book, and the nations in which (until very recent years) are found Bibles in almost every home seem to be mostly Israelite nations – descendants of Jacob to who the covenant promise was made (the lost ten tribes). Very possibly, John and his followers have played a significant role in facilitating that the Word of God be highly published in the Israelite nations and then to the whole world. Remember that the commission to the Apostles was to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). If John is still walking the Earth, he is working toward fulfilling this directive.
For the “bottom line” as to John’s present location, we simply do not know. God has kept him hidden and he is under God’s protection regardless as to his location. If he really is to be one of the two witnesses of Revelation, we will likely soon find out just exactly where John has been.