Yeshua’s Spoken Word

Remaining in Lazarus

Scott Nelson 10/17  

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Introduction

Yeshua’s Spoken Word Remaining in Lazarus is presented as a logical argument and theory based almost exclusively on material found in the fourth gospel known as John. Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, the reader may assume that all chapter and verse references are taken from the fourth gospel. Also, unless otherwise indicated, all Bible quotes are taken from the New King James Version (NKJV). This argument is based upon a particular presupposition that must be given serious consideration before there will be any possibility of the reader considering the astounding new revelations that logically follow from it. That premise is the understanding that the fourth gospel was not written by John the son of Zebedee as has been traditionally accepted throughout Christian history. The author of the fourth gospel never openly revealed his identity by name in the text and all the evidence suggests it was his intention to keep his true identity veiled to the masses. The reasons why he veiled his identity will become obvious. 

What we do know about the author of the fourth gospel is that he was known as ‘the disciple whom Yeshua loved’. The established tradition that John was that disciple is based on the guess-work of the late second century ‘church father’ Irenaeus, and it has been accepted dogma ever since. But there is much evidence in the book itself that refutes this tradition and establishes the fact that John could not possibly have been its author. The premise that this article builds upon is the evermore accepted belief that the disciple whom Yeshua loved was none other than Lazarus. It is not in the scope of this article to debate and establish this point. It has been well argued and established by other authors to whom I would refer the reader if the necessary consideration of this premise is asking too much. The links offered below are just a few of the better works available online. You may choose to study them before continuing with this article, or hold the theory that Lazarus is the true author of the fourth gospel in the back of your mind as a definite possibility and come back to study it later.  

One word of disclaimer: The following works come from authors of the persuasion that the Bible is infallible from Genesis to Revelation. Those who are familiar with my work at www.judaismvschristianity.com  know that I do not hold Paul’s words to the infallible standard. Those who agree with me on this will have to look past the following author’s use of Paul’s words as proof of anything. Nevertheless, even without the Pauline support, it will be seen that the evidence suggesting Lazarus is the true beloved disciple and the author of the fourth gospel is extremely compelling if not overwhelming. 

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved by J. Phillips is an excellent work. It is written as a relatively short book and may be ordered from Amazon or read for free at http://www.thedisciplewhomjesusloved.com/book-the-beloved-disciple-ebook.pdf

Another great piece on this subject is written by Ben Witherington. It can be found at http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/01/was-lazarus-beloved-disciple.html

There is also an excellent article entitled: “Was Lazarus The Beloved Disciple?” It may be accessed at http://www.lazaruscomeforth.com/lazarus-the-beloved-disciple/

One may Google this subject and find numerous other articles on this issue. This subject alone makes for a very fascinating study. 

Getting Started

With the understanding that Lazarus is the beloved disciple and the author of the fourth gospel in place, it’s time to look at some astounding possibilities and even likelihoods that flow from this premise.

As one reads the fourth gospel over and over again and becomes very familiar with not only the subject matter of the book but also the author’s style of communicating, it becomes increasingly clear that the author is nothing short of a genius in the way he has hidden numerous secrets throughout his work. This should come as no surprise in light of the fact that the Holy Spirit co-authored the book with Lazarus in a special way. At one point, the Spirit even spoke in unison with Lazarus as you will see.

Not only was Lazarus’ identity carefully veiled, I believe there is one astounding secret about Lazarus himself that has been hidden since the days Yeshua walked the earth. What’s more, there is perfect wisdom in why it has been a kept secret until now. This, as well as other secrets hidden in the gospel, were intended to go right over the heads of everyone who lived then and since then until this age in which we live today. The revelation of these truths would have been useless and even counterproductive had they been made known before this time. The secret that it was Lazarus who authored the fourth gospel is the first revelation from which the others follow.

 

Lazarus’ Modus Operandi

The hidden truths in the fourth gospel may be uncovered if one becomes familiar with how Lazarus typically used catchwords and phrases to link various thoughts threaded throughout his gospel record. We know this to be his style because it is how he hid his own identity! It is in his varying usage of the terms “the disciple whom Yeshua loved” and “the other disciple” that we discover Lazarus was humbly referring to himself in the second person! Likewise, other hidden truths are to be found in the fourth gospel by connecting keywords and phrases found elsewhere in the book. This is the key to unlocking the secrets of Lazarus’ work. 

 

Three Veiled Truths

There are three things that have been veiled in the fourth gospel which together paint an astounding picture very different from what those who study the fourth gospel are accustomed. The first is that Lazarus is the true author of the fourth gospel. The second concerns the difference in the power of Yeshua’s spoken words in the physical hearing of his disciples as opposed to those words that were written down and what we read in our Bibles today. And the third veiled truth has to do with the fact that an ember of the power found in Yeshua’s spoken word remains with us to this day.

The Significance of Yeshua’s Spoken Words

We will now take a look at the great difference in the power of Yeshua’s spoken words over that of his written words. There is a major difference that Lazarus eludes to on several occasions. To clearly see the difference between Yeshua’s spoken words and written words involves making the connections between these passages. One should also notice that there a direct connection between what Yeshua said concerning his spoken words and what had occurred in history since then. That connection is found in the following two prophecies. In this first one, Yeshua told his followers they would work the same miracles he had worked and more!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also: and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”  14:12

Many sects of Christianity have sought to have these words fulfilled in them with zero success. No one has raised the dead or walked on water, calmed a storm or given sight to someone born blind, turned water into wine or fed thousands from a few small morsels of food. No one has done any of these, let alone anything “greater”! Aside from Yeshua’s first followers, no Christian has even begun to do what he did. When it comes to modern televangelists who claim to work miracles, honest people know that we have seen nothing but hucksters and charlatans who prey upon the desperate for the purpose of separating them from their money. In the process they have made a mockery of Yeshua and will have to answer to him for it on judgment day. The fact that no great miracles have happened since the time of Yeshua’s disciples should not come as any surprise in light of this second prophecy. When Yeshua was about to heal a man who had been blind from birth, referring to the miracle he was about to perform as a “work”, he said:

“I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 9:4

This then begs the obvious question: How can both of these prophecies be true? How can Yeshua say his followers would work his miracles and even greater wonders, and then say there was a time coming when no one would work miracles at all? There is only one way these prophecies may be interpreted whereby both are true. The answer is in understanding to whom he had addressed his promise in the first prophecy. Many Christians believe the promise was broad and general and extended to all believing Christians then and in the future, but it was nothing of the sort. Yeshua was speaking only to those who heard his voice with their ears! What Yeshua was saying is this: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he (of you listening to my voice) who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also…”. (This assertion will be further, and firmly established in a moment.) This promise was good only for those who heard it with their ears, because the night was coming when no one would work great confirming miracles. This we know all too well to be a fact of history! Of course there have been some miracles performed since the first century. In fact, a case could be made that many more genuine miracles have been performed among Jews! But all of these have been relatively small miracles compared to those Yeshua worked, and they would appear to testify more to God’s mercy than His outright endorsement. There simply has been nothing of the spectacular type of miracles that Yeshua worked which were intended to openly show to the world that he had the Father’s endorsement.

Yeshua further established this picture that night was coming when God would not work miracles in confirmation of the ministry of any man. He did this by contrasting the metaphor of the coming “night” to his time on earth as “light” and “day”.

Then Yeshua spoke to them again saying, “I am the light of the world,” 8:12

Yeshua answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of the world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”  11:9,10

Then Yeshua said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light,...” 12:35

The implications here should be clear. Yeshua, the light of day, was not going to be with the disciples much longer. When he left, the light would fade until the complete darkness of night set in when no one would work great confirming miracles anymore. 

 

Concerning Confirming Miracles

Yeshua made an astounding statement concerning the miracles he performed that should give everyone pause.  He said:

“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe me. But if I do, though you do not believe me, believe the works ...that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I in Him.” 10:37,38

And Nicodemus clearly understood this principle:

“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3:2

So let’s put together what we have so far. Yeshua clearly told his disciples they would work the same great confirming works that he did and even greater ones. He made it crystal clear that the works he performed were for the purpose of confirming that he had been sent by the Father. Yeshua also sent out his disciples in like manner as the Father had sent him. (We will be looking at this fact from chapter 17 in a moment.) The disciple’s ability to work great miracles were likewise for the purpose of confirming that Yeshua had sent them. Now, in the above passage from 10:37,38 Yeshua said that people were not required to believe if they did not see the confirming works!  

So where have all the confirming miracles been in Christian history if Christianity is Yeshua’s true representative? Yeshua clearly said his followers would work them, and without them people are not required to believe! Isn’t this what he said?  Could it be the confirming miracles haven’t occured because it has literally been the dark ages, or “night” since he left and his apostles passed away? Could it be that his words were meant only for those followers who heard them with their ears? Could it not also include the possibility that after Yeshua left the earth, the truth concerning him would quickly begin to be corrupted so that God simply would not want to confirm anyone other than those who actually walked with Yeshua and heard his words with their own ears?

Now please don’t jump to the conclusion I am suggesting everyone since Yeshua’s original hearers is doomed. There have been many genuinely good hearted people in the many institutions of both Christianity and Judaism, and if you are familiar with my work, you know that I firmly believe these people will be granted eternal life at the resurrection. If you are not familiar with my position on this, please read my chapter, Heaven or Hell, What’s at Stake at http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/heavenorhell.htm    However, it is the religeous institutions and their leaders with their many doctrinal errors--some of which are downright blasphemous--that make it impossible for God to want to put His stamp of approval on with His power.   

Since the days of Yeshua’s disciples, great confirming miracles have been non-existent. If even one sect of those who claim to follow Yeshua had been his true representative in the earth, would God not have endorsed that sect with the same great confirming miracles? Yet many have desperately wanted to work these works for the obvious effect of drawing people into their particular organization that it would have. After all, that is how it works! There have been many charlatans and fakers ...especially in the televangelist arena. In the catholic church, even a pope must have worked at least two miracles in his life before he can be canonized as a saint! Most never make it, and for those who do, the supposed miracles are pitifully small at best if not outright conjured up. Does this severe impotence sound like the kind of representation Yeshua would want to go before his true representatives? 

   

Back to Yeshua’s Spoken Words

There is something very different and powerful in Yeshua’s physically spoken words as compared to the written record of some of his words which we have today. Passages that bear this out are many. The very beginning of the fourth gospel sets the precedent. It is obvious that there is no separating the power of God’s word from Yeshua in the flesh!

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”  1:14

The next passage could hardly spell things out more clearly. When Yeshua was attempting to shake off a group of people who didn’t want to hear what he had to say but only wanted a free meal, he did so by telling them they needed to do something unimaginably repulsive if they wanted life. He told them they needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood! Though he was speaking figuratively because it was his intention to repulse them to get them to leave, he immediately afterward explained his figure of speak to his disciples. He clearly made the connection of his physical flesh-and-blood body to the physical words he spoke in that body.

“It is the Spirit who gives life: the flesh profits nothing. The WORDS that I SPEAK to you are Spirit, and they are life.” 6:63   

Yeshua could hardly have made it more clear to his disciples that literally eating his flesh “profits nothing”, but that the WORDS he SPOKE in his flesh and blood--those audible sounds waves that traveled through the air and hit people in the ears--were “Spirit” and “life.” It is interesting to note that nowhere is there any record in any of the gospels where Yeshua instructed his disciples to write his words down! He may have instructed the apostle John to write down what he saw and heard in a vision some thirty years later in a book now called Revelation, but there is nothing in the gospel records where Yeshua told anyone to write down his words while he was here. This is no small observation. They were all expected to be ear-witnesses of what he said by repeating what he said to others.

Now consider the following passages in this light that Yeshua’s physically spoken words in the physical hearing of his disciples puts them in a special and exclusive league of their own.

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does the works.” 14:10

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” 14:26

Why would they need the Holy Spirit to remind them of what Yeshua said when they could have just written down his words? They needed the Spirit to remind them because the power was in the sound of Yeshua’s voice! Every one of them would have been able hear Yeshua’s voice echoing in their memory the way a person can instantly hear the sound of a singer’s voice in a favorite song echoing in their head.   

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” 15:3

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” 15:7

If this isn’t compelling enough, check out what Yeshua said in chapter 17. It is the record of his prayer for his disciples. While reading this and taking note of the significance of Yeshua’s spoken words to his disciples, notice this passage begins with Yeshua claiming to have “revealed” the Father’s name to his disciples! Everyone back then knew exactly how the Father’s name was written, but no one knew exactly how it was pronounced! Yeshua therefore must have revealed the pronunciation of the Father’s name! In this observation alone, the superior significance of Yeshua’s spoken word in the hearing of his disciples over that of any written word is firmly established. As you read, take notice of whom Yeshua was specifically praying for in this passage.

“...I have revealed Your name to the men whom You have given me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to me, and they have kept Your word.”... “For I have given them the words which You have given me; and they have received them and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent me.  I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given me, for they are Yours.” … “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave me I have kept and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word and the world has hated them because they are not of the world.” … “Set them apart by Your truth. Your word is truth.   17:6,8-9,12-14,17

Then Yeshua said:  

As You sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”     17:18

Yeshua sent his disciples into the world to speak those same words in the world just as the Father had sent him to speak them! After this, Yeshua said something very interesting. Even though he just said he wasn’t praying for the whole world but only for those who heard the words he spoke, he goes on to extend his blessing to the second generation hearers of those words. 

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in me, and I in You; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that You sent me.”  17:20-21 

So the Father, Yeshua, the first generation hearers Yeshua’s words, and the second generation hearers are all to be “one”   “...that the world may believe…” Remember, Yeshua said people are to believe if they see the works!  All of this can be put together only one way. It should be apparent that Yeshua intended for both the first and second generation hearers of his words to work the same great miracles that would testify to all of them being one ...and his true witnesses.      

 

The SOUND of His Voice

To read the written records of Yeshua’s words in the gospels is one thing, but to hear Yeshua’s voice speak them is entirely a different matter. In the following quotes, notice the significance Yeshua places on the sound of his voice.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God; and those who hear will live.” 5:25

“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” 10:16

Put this last one together. “This fold” is not referring to Israel at large. It is referring to those who were listening to him then and there ...the first generation hearers of his voice. The other sheep then are obviously those second generation hearers that would come later!

“My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me.” 10:27

Now when he had said these things, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth” 11:43

Compare this last passage with 5:25 above!

“For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” 18:37

The power in Yeshua’s voice when he spoke a word is evident in many of the miracles he performed. When he told the wind and the waves to settle down, his disciples wondered what kind of man he was that even the wind and the waves obeyed the sound of his voice. Many of the miracles he performed were performed by just speaking a word. Through these, his disciples came to believe in him and rightly so.

If this is the case, it would perfectly explain why no confirming miracles have occurred since the days of the second generation hearers of Yeshua’s words! Yeshua’s mention of a night coming when no one would work fits perfectly with this picture. When Yeshua ascended and left the earth, it was as sunset of that day. The two generation hearers of his words lived on for a short time just as the light of day would naturally fade at dusk until it became perfectly dark. That total darkness would have occurred right around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.  We have then, for all practical purposes, been living in the dark ages ever since.

 

A Word on Paul

Paul was the single biggest factor in the corruption of Yeshua’s words in the ensuing dark ages. He is single handedly responsible for the separation of the Jews from their messiah. Paul taught against the law of Moses by teaching that Yeshua fulfilled the law and that believers in Yeshua were to abandon the law. Yeshua taught exactly the opposite. See Matthew 5:17-19. Among other damnable doctrines, Paul is responsible for replacement theology (Gal. 6:15,16) which is the belief that Christianity is the new true Israel of God when it most certainly is not! These, and many other lies Paul taught under the guise of being one of Yeshua’s true apostles and witnesses. But Yeshua had clearly stated what the criterion was for being one of his true witnesses. They had to have been with him and heard him.

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” 14:25,26

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me. And you will also bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” 15:26,27

The apostle Peter knew exactly what Yeshua would have required for one to be a true witness. When looking for a replacement for Judas, he said:

“Therefore, of these men who have who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Yeshua went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when he was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”  Acts 1:21,22

By his own testimony, Paul even rejected the authority that would have come from being a second generation hearer of Yeshua’s words! He certainly wasn’t one who heard Yeshua with his own ears! He may have heard some of Yeshua’s words from Peter during a short visit he had with him three years after his supposed conversion, but he clearly rejected them! Listen to his own words on this.

“But I make known to you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation…”. “But when it pleased God … to reveal His son in me… I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me: but I went to Arabia and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles ...except James, ....”  Excerpts from Galatians 1:11-19  

It should be shocking to see that Paul was actually trying to make a point of how little input he had from those who had walked with Yeshua! He seriously spoke of it as though this fact were an asset! The mention of only “fifteen days” with Peter was designed to communicate to the Galatians how uncorrupted by the likes of Peter and the other ‘Judaizer’ apostles he really was!  Wouldn’t you think that if someone wanted to establish credibility and authority for speaking on Yeshua’s behalf they would have highlighted any connections they might have to the original apostles who actually walked with him for three years and heard everything he said? But no, not Paul. He got his on his own ...by divine revelation!  He arrogantly put himself above those who walked with Yeshua and even belittled them. He cursed anyone who taught anything other than his doctrine,(Gal. 1:8,9) which in the context of his letter would have had to include Peter!

Paul even boasted to the Galatians of how he had put Peter in his place and called him a hypocrite in front of everyone for supposedly having acted like a Jew around Jews and a Gentile around Gentiles.

“But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed: for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, ‘If you being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jew, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?’” Gal. 2:11-14

Doesn’t the fact that Paul would put down and belittle one of Yeshua’s closest apostles bother anyone? What’s more, he did this in a letter where Peter is nowhere able to defend himself or address the accusation that he had lived “lived in the manner of Gentiles!” Simply eating with Gentiles was not living in the manner of Gentiles. But at the same time, Paul told the Corinthians that acting like a Jew around Jews and a Gentile around Genties is exactly what he did, and he said they should do the same!

“...and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law… that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save some.” “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God, Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many that they may be saved. Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.            1Cor.9:19-22 and 10:31-33

Paul’s arrogance and hypocrisy are absolutely breathtaking! Can anyone seriously imagine Yeshua ever saying something like he was “all things to all men”, or that he “pleased all men in all things?” Of course not. Paul never knew Yeshua. He never walked with him nor did he ever hear him teach. In light of the fact that he held up as one of his credentials how little input he had from those who did hear Yeshua’s words, is it any wonder he had absolutely no idea what it meant to “imitate Christ”?

All of this and much more Paul did at a time when the first generation hearers of Yeshua’s words were still alive and speaking the words they heard Yeshua speak! This fact alone should cause thinking people some concern. One has to ask the question: Why would Yeshua spend so much time training certain individuals to be his ear-witnesses, and then, while they were just getting started, go and zap a perfect outsider to do more on his behalf than all his personally trained witnesses combined? This scenario smacks more of a plan from hell to nip the truth in the bud! 

Unbeknownst to the world, while Christianity has been focused throughout history on Paul’s lies, a true first generation hearer of Yeshua’s words has remained with us all along! 

 

A Glowing Ember of Light has Remained!

It wouldn’t be out of line to suggest that no one since the darkness of night has set in has known that Yeshua left behind a glowing ember that would flame up at an appointed time and be a significant part of the dawning of his new day soon before his return. This is the third truth that has been veiled, and it has been hidden for obviously wise reasons. Had people known about this ember of light, many would have immediately tried to put it out just as they did Yeshua! On the other hand, those who did believe in the existence of this person, they would have made a god out of him!

Yes, I firmly believe there is a first generation hearer of Yeshua’s words still walking the earth today!  This person has heard Yeshua speak the Father’s name with perfect pronunciation in his hearing and the sound of Yeshua’s voice speaking it continues to echo in his memory! This knowledge alone is more valuable than anyone can possibly imagine. This person has also heard all the secrets of the kingdom explained to him as I will point out in a moment. Any person who hears him speak the truths that he heard Yeshua’s voice speak to him is automatically a second generation hearer of Yeshua’s words and one of those Yeshua extended his prayer of oneness for. They are also of the “other” sheep not of that particular fold that Yeshua referred to! The apparent ongoing patience and humility of this person defies description.

How do I know such a person walks the earth? Immediately after Yeshua prophesied of the dire events what would take place soon before his return, he made a promise to those listening to him that has baffled every scholar since. Yet surprisingly enough, those who heard him that day understood him correctly. The record of this promise also happens to be found in all three of the synoptic gospels. Even though there are some variations in the gospel records concerning what Yeshua predicted was coming at the end of the age, this promise is contained in two verses that are virtually identical in all three records. The promise is in two parts. The second part is inescapably connected to the first part in that it obviously explains why the first part is necessary. No one has proposed a realistic connection between the two promises when it should have been obvious there is a direct connection. With what I have explained concerning the power of Yeshua’s spoken word in mind, listen closely to these words found in Matthew 24:33-35, Mark 13:30-31, and Luke 21:22-23:

    “...So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth will pass away, but MY WORDS will by no means pass away.”

At one time I thought like virtually all Bible scholars and believed the second part meant the written record of Yeshua’s words would not pass away. But that interpretation cannot be reconciled with his words spoken in the previous breath where he said “this generation” listening to him then and there would not pass away! There is no reconciling these two statements with each other if you believe Yeshua was referring to the written record of his words. Yet it is obvious that these two statements are inseparable in that both are tied to the concept of certain things not passing away! The conflict that everyone is forced to deal with stems from the presumption that all those who heard him speak that day have long since died! But this is the mistaken presumption! Yeshua’s words would not pass away because a witness of his words from that generation would not pass away! 

 

Lazarus is That Ember Who Would “NEVER DIE”!

Yes, someone who walked with Yeshua continues to walk the earth today! He has not died or “passed away” in fulfillment of Yeshua’s words. That person also happens to be the true author of the fourth gospel himself. It is Yeshua’s beloved disciple Elazar, or “Lazarus” as he has come to be known. Yeshua promised Lazarus’ sister Martha that when he raised Lazarus from the dead, he would never die again!  What’s more, Yeshua’s disciples were there and heard him make that promise to her!

Every descendant of Adam owes a death to this earth. There are extremely few if any exceptions. One way or another that debt must be paid, but, every person owes only one death! Lazarus paid his debt! It would also appear that the debt is paid in full only after a minimum of three days in the grave. Yeshua was three days in the grave and arose and is “alive forevermore” Revelation 1:18. The coming three witnesses of Revelation 11:3-12 will lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days before they are raised back to life. Lazarus was in the grave four days. It’s interesting to note that Yeshua stayed away for an extra two days after he was told of Lazarus’ illness. Has anyone wondered why Yeshua didn’t hurry back to Lazarus as soon as he heard he was sick? The text seems to suggest that Yeshua had a reason for staying away a little longer! That reason must have been that Yeshua was making sure Lazarus’ debt was paid in full so that when he raised Lazarus he would never die again!

The story of Lazarus’ resurrection is found in chapter 11 of the record that Lazarus wrote himself at a later date. Here are the pertinent excerpts:

Therefore the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.” When Yeshua heard that, he said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Yeshua loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” …and after that he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” ...However, Yeshua spoke of his death. ...Then Yeshua said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe…” 

Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Yeshua was coming, went and met him, ...Then Martha said to Yeshua, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” … Yeshua said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Yeshua said to her, “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. He who believes in me, thought he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall NEVER DIE.   

It is clear that there was a plan in play and Yeshua intended to raise Lazarus from the dead right from the start. Lazarus’ illness and story wasn’t going to end in death. Yeshua also made it clear to Martha that he had the authority to raise whoever he desired from the dead whenever he desired. Yeshua clearly told Martha that Lazarus didn’t have to wait till the last day if he decided to raise him then and there. It is also obvious that Yeshua was trying to communicate to Martha that once he raised Lazarus from the dead, he would never die again! This interpretation is the only way the two sentences highlighted above can be reconciled with each other! If in the first sentence someone who “believes” in Yeshua “may die”, how in the second sentence can someone who also  “believes” in Yeshua “never die”? The only possible explanation is that the second sentence refers to those whom Yeshua has caused to live again. Those will never die again. Keep in mind that Yeshua’s disciples were also there and heard him say these things to Martha.

 

So Where is Lazarus Today if He is Immortal?

Since Lazarus can never die again, he must still be alive in the flesh somewhere! This leaves us with only one of two possibilities of his whereabouts. Either he was taken to heaven like Yeshua and Elijah and Enoch, or he still walks the earth today! One might jump to the conclusion that Lazarus must have been taken from the earth, but bear in mind that Yeshua said that that generation would not pass away. Someone would remain with his words until he returned. This point alone is compelling enough, but there is another very interesting thing Yeshua said to Peter about the beloved disciple in particular that suggests it was indeed Yeshua’s intention for him to stay. It is found at the end of the fourth gospel where the author finally identifies himself as the beloved disciple. The storyline goes like this. After Yeshua’s resurrection, he meets his disciples by the sea of Galilee and has breakfast prepared for them. After breakfast they go for a walk and Yeshua asks Peter three times if he loved him, to which Peter said yes three times. After this Yeshua tells Peter something about his future that Peter interprets to indicate how he was going to die. The narrative continues:

Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Yeshua loved following, who also had leaned on his breast at the supper…  Peter, seeing him, said to Yeshua, “But Lord, what about this man?” Yeshua said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me.” Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Yeshua did not say to him that he would not die, but. “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”  21:20-23   

Notice that whether or not Lazarus would remain till Yeshua returned is left an open question here. It is not positively answered either way! The author intentionally leaves the question technically unanswered, then throws people off by stating that Yeshua did not say the disciple would not die. That is true. He didn’t say that to Peter ...at that time. But Peter clearly remembered hearing Yeshua tell Martha that Lazarus would never die again. This is undoubtedly why Peter asked Yeshua about the beloved disciple Lazarus in the first place! Peter believed he heard Yeshua tell him how he was going to die, so then he inquired about Lazarus’ future. Peter’s future sounded dire, so he naturally became curious about the person whom he had heard Yeshua say would “never die”. That is also why, when Yeshua suggested he might want Lazarus to “remain” until he returned, everyone immediately interpreted it to mean Lazarus would not die! Bear in mind that it is Lazarus himself writing these things and that he has been veiling his identity throughout the book. He knows he is not going to die, and he knows full well that it can’t be made known that he is immortal and staying, so he’s veiling this fact as well! He knows what the world would do with that knowledge.

From our perspective in time nearly two thousand years later, we have to ask: Why would Yeshua even suggest the possibility that Lazarus could remain until he returned! It would have been a pretty far out hypothetical question for Yeshua to ask just for the purpose of telling Peter to mind his own business. If indeed Yeshua’s question had been purely hypothetical, would he not have continued in the hypothetical sense and said, “...what would that be to you” as opposed to “...what is that to you”? Does it not sound like he was indeed indicating that his will was for Lazarus remain?

It is also interesting to note that right after Yeshua asked Peter what it meant to him if Lazarus remained, he told Peter explicitly, “YOU FOLLOW ME.” Could this not be interpreted to mean that Yeshua was concerned that Peter might follow Lazarus? Would this not be a natural thing for people to do to someone whom they believed was immortal? Again, keep in mind, it’s Lazarus writing these things, and he’s trying to steer future casual readers from coming to the conclusion he still walks the earth. He and the Holy Spirit knew full well what man would have done with that knowledge had it been known before it was time.

 

Lazarus and The Holy Spirit Sign and Notarize the Gospel     

Nearly every Bible scholar who has commented on the authorship of the fourth gospel has repeated the belief that the last chapter was edited by others who added at least one verse to it. This is true even of those who believe Lazarus wrote the gospel! Here is a classic example taken from Ben Witherington’s article cited above. 

Most scholars are in agreement that John 21 makes clear that while the Beloved Disciple is said to have written down some Gospel traditions, he is no longer alive when at least the end of this chapter was written. The “we know his testimony is true” is a dead giveaway that someone or someones other than the Beloved Disciple put this Gospel into its final form and added this appendix, or at a minimum the story about the demise of the Beloved Disciple and the conclusion of the appendix.

This position is based on a couple of misunderstandings. The belief that the gospel was edited by the author’s followers in an effort to clear up a misunderstanding after the author was dead is a very natural conclusion to come to if in fact you believe the author died! The assumption that the author died makes the argument somewhat self-supporting. If the author hasn’t died, you have some new interesting alternate possibilities for those words being in there. The other misunderstanding, expressed by Mr. Witherington as “a dead giveaway”, is the assumption that the words “we” and “his” must have been written by someone other than the author.

Here is the entire verse in question:    

“This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things and we know that his testimony is true!” 21:24

At first glance the common interpretation appears unassailable, but if you look closer you might notice at least one inconsistency. One might have expected an outside editor to have used the past tense version of the verb “testified” instead of the present tense “testifies” if he was referring to someone other than himself who had died! But this is a small point to make in light of the following. 

It is indisputable that the first word of this sentence, “this”, is in reference to the beloved disciple, and unless the author is referring to himself in a kind of second-person fashion here, it truly doesn’t sound like something a person would naturally say in reference to himself. This observation is compounded by the fact that the words “we” and “his” are used shortly afterward thus making it appear the supposed editors were speaking of someone other than themselves. But let’s take a look at the use of the plural word “we” first. 

Keep in mind the rule that to understand the secrets of this book one must find the keys to understanding difficult passages in other places of the book.

The subject matter of this verse has to do with a person’s testimony. There is another place in this gospel where a person’s testimony is mentioned. In this case, the person speaking is referring to his own testimony ...and strangely enough, he suddenly begins referring to himself in plural terms as well! It was Yeshua in his discourse with Nicodemus.

Yeshua answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.”  3:10-11  

Bible teachers typically have no problem stating that the Holy Spirit of the Father was speaking in unison with Yeshua in these words. In Matthew 10:20, Yeshua explained this phenomenon: “...for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” So why can’t this be true of Lazarus? The subject matter of one’s testimony is the identical subject matter in both! Compare again.

“This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things and We know that his testimony is true!”

Now let’s take a look at the use of the word “his”. There is a third passage in this gospel that is again strikingly similar, where the subject is centered around someone’s testimony. The astounding thing about this passage is that the author must have been referring to himself in the second person! There simply is no other way to explain it.

And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 19:35

Who is able to claim that someone else knows they are telling the truth? No one can! No one can claim on someone else’s behalf that some other person knows they are telling the truth! One is capable of claiming that they know someone else is telling the truth because they themselves are also witnesses of that truth, but that’s not the same thing. No one can state on someone else’s behalf that they know they are telling the truth. Only the person himself can possibly make that claim. This is obviously the author humbly referring to himself in the second person again! This has been his character throughout the gospel! He has kept his identity veiled and he simply never draws attention to himself! Not once in the entire gospel does the author use a pronoun like “I” or “me” in reference to himself. The one and only place that it appears he used the word “I” in reference to himself is found in the very last sentence of the book, and interestingly enough, the pronoun is not found in the Greek text, but is added by translators who believed it was implied! Unlike Paul, who constantly used personal pronouns in reference to himself... even dropping his own name as though it were a household name throughout the Roman empire that must be reckoned with (see Galatians 5:2), Lazarus hid his identity and put the focus exclusively on Yeshua.

With the knowledge that the author has kept himself out of the picture and referred to himself in the second person with terms like “his” before, be aware that a term like “this” could also be a second-person reference to himself ....and read 21:24 again.

This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things and We know that his testimony is true!”

No editor put this sentence in there! Lazarus and The Holy Spirit wrote these words together!

 

The Dark Ages are Nearly Passed!

If Lazarus continues to walk the earth today one would naturally like to know where he is he and what his mission is. One could speculate on some possibilities, but the core reason would obviously be to keep the power of Yeshua’s spoken words from passing away. They remain in the earth in him!  He is the fulfillment of that generation not passing away! How those words come out in these days shortly before Yeshua returns is anyone’s guess, but just for the fun of it let’s do some guessing.

I believe Yeshua’s words remaining in Lazarus will have to come out and be spoken by Lazarus to others somewhere. I believe this will begin the dawning of Yeshua’s new day. Yeshua said, “I am the light of the world”, and his presence in the world causes it to be “day”. It has been night for nearly 2,000 years, but when he appears at his return it will be like sunrise on that new day. With this picture in mind remember that there is the dawning part of a day where the light begins to show in the east and grows ever brighter until the sun finally appears and the actual day begins. The reverse of that would have occurred when Yeshua left.  When he left, it was like sunset and dusk settled in. It grew darker and darker until it became total night when no man, Jew or Gentile, would work great confirming miracles. Yeshua’s followers, those who heard his words with their own ears, as well as those who were second generation hearers of those words, continued to work miracles that testified to their being his true witnesses, until the total darkness of night set in. I believe that time occurred right around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D.

I believe Lazarus is an ember of light that the Holy Spirit will cause to flame up at the appointed time and begin the dawning of the new day. He will make himself known to certain believers in Yeshua from both the Jews and the Gentiles to whom he will speak Yeshua’s words. Lazarus is a first generation hearer of Yeshua’s words. He knows the exact pronunciation of the Father’s name... and anyone who hears him repeat Yeshua’s words is automatically a second generation hearer of Yeshua’s words and someone Yeshua specifically prayed for.

Lazarus Has the Keys!

There is evidence that Yeshua gave Lazarus the keys of the kingdom... the secrets to the kingdom God, just as he did to Peter as recorded in Matthew 16:18,19. This evidence is found in the only other record known of Lazarus’ resurrection. At one time there was another gospel record of sorts called ‘The Secret Gospel of Mark’. No one has seen this gospel record since the second century, but other early writers made mention of it. Clement of Alexandria was one of those early second century writers who wrote concerning it in a letter to an acquaintance of his named Theodore. Clement explained to Theodore how the secret gospel of Mark had been severely corrupted and was no longer trustworthy, but in his opinion, there remained a part that had not been corrupted, and it just so happened to be the record of Lazarus’ resurrection ...which he quoted! Just how accurate this record is is debatable, but there are a couple of things in it that appear to corroborate deductions others have made concerning Lazarus. One of them is that he and his sisters were wealthy, and another, that he was the young man who wore only a linen cloth over his naked body and fled naked when the guards tried to arrest him along with Yeshua as recorded in Mark 14:51-52. Here is Clement’s quote of that text:

"And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan."

It is after making two credible statements that the text tells us Yeshua taught Lazarus the mysteries (or secrets) of the Kingdom of God. I tend to think this is credible as well. At any rate, to what extent Lazarus would pass those secrets on to others if he knew them is another question, but it could be a part of the plan needed to bring back the miracles that confirm a first or second generation hearer of Yeshua’s words as a true witness of his. One can’t work miracles if he doesn’t have the keys and know the secrets to working them!        

 

Lazarus a Priest?

Lazarus is also a priest! He is certainly a priest in one way as you will see, but there is also the possibility that Lazarus was of the Levitical priesthood as well. His birth name would have been Elazar as mentioned. This name would have been shortened for everyday use to Lazar. Lazarus is simply the Hellenised version of Lazar. But his birth name, Elazar, is a form of the name Eleazar. It was customary at that time for Jews to name their children after members of their family tribe. The fact that John the baptist wasn’t given a priestly name like that of his father Zacharias came as a shock to everyone! See Luke 1:59-61. The name Eleazar is a name that was also typically given to those of the priestly tribe of Levi. Now add to this the fact that in the story of John 18:15-16 it says “the other disciple” (Lazarus) was “known to the high priest”. It is evident in this account that his identity with the high priest must have had significant clout with the servant girl because she opened the gate for Peter after he talked to her. It would appear that Lazarus might have been a nephew or some distant relative of the high priest!

But even if Lazarus was not born of the Levitical priesthood, he most certainly is a priest now. Yeshua said that he was “the resurrection and the life” to Lazarus’ sister Martha, and that once he raised someone from the dead, that person would never die again. Along with this he also indicated to her that he could raise Lazarus from the dead any time he chose and that Lazarus didn’t have to wait till the resurrection at the last day. With this picture in mind, consider the promise given to all those who take place in the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

So Lazarus is a priest in at least one way. He is probably a priest in both ways! Being a priest, his calling could be similar to that of John the Baptist who was also of the priesthood. It was John’s mission to prepare the way for Yeshua and baptize him before his 3 year ministry of miracle working. It might well be Lazarus’ mission to likewise baptize the coming two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 before their 3½ year ministry of working miracles. This of course is pure speculation. Someone might wonder if Lazarus himself will be one of the two witnesses, and the answer to that is no. Lazarus could not be one of the two witnesses because the two witnesses will be required to lay down their lives in Jerusalem as Yeshua did. Yeshua said Lazarus will never die again.  

 

Is Lazarus the Origin of “The Wandering Jew” Legend?

A strange legend was born in Europe in the 16th century where a bishop by the name of Paulus von Eizen claimed to have met a Jew named Ahasuerus in Hamburg in 1542 who declared that he was “eternal”. According to the story that was published some time later, this Jew told the bishop that he was doomed to wander the earth till the second coming of Yeshua because he had supposedly taunted Yeshua as he passed by bearing the cross, saying, “Go on quicker.”  Yeshua is said to have replied, “I go, but you will wait until I return.”

This legend has gone the route of other legends and been embellished and blown all out of proportion. It got to the point where the wandering Jew seemed to be sighted somewhere every other day. Of course, all of these subsequent sightings were imaginary and/or concocted for sensational effect, but one can’t help but wonder what the truth might be in the supposed original encounter with this person. My question is: Who would ever think to fabricate a hoax like this? Hoaxsters have always had a purpose for concocting their hoax. There is always an underlying reason. Hoaxes were usually designed to support and promote some questionable doctrine, but in the wandering Jew legend there is nothing of any support for a strange doctrine that a bishop of that time would have wanted to promote.

It is in the fact that someone claimed to have met a Jew who said he was immortal from the time of Yeshua that I can’t help but have my curiosity aroused. Could it have been Lazarus? One can only wonder. 

 

Summary and Conclusion

The thought that Yeshua’s words could be remaining on earth in Lazarus is a prospect that should cause all who love Yeshua to desperately want to hear Lazarus speak them. Just alone, to hear the Father’s name pronounced flawlessly with all proper sounds and inflections would be a treasure of incalculable value. Then to hear the words that Yeshua actually spoke ...and then potentially learn the secrets of the Kingdom... 

Yeshua said, that generation would not pass away before he returned, but that some first generation hearers of his voice would carry the power of his words until he returned. He clearly said that neither that generation nor his words would pass away. He said that Lazarus would never die again, and he clearly indicated that the picture of Lazarus remaining until he returned was a possibly if not actually his will. What conclusion must we come to from these facts? 

Yeshua said the night was coming when no one would work the great confirming miracles that he did. Again, Yeshua was so right. It has been the dark ages ever since he, the light of day, has left. The truth concerning him was corrupted early and his people were divided against each other. Jews, and Gentile believers in Yeshua (Christians), have gone separate ways because of the false apostle Paul’s lies and misrepresentation of Yeshua. Thanks to Paul, Christians believe the Law of Moses was fulfilled by Yeshua and therefore we are not obliged to keep it any more, and thanks to Paul, Jews believe that to embrace Yeshua as messiah one must turn his back on the Law. Both desperately need exactly what they reject in each other. Christians desperately need to embrace Moses and the Law and recognize Israel as the older brother and rightful heir, and the Jews desperately need to embrace Yeshua their messiah. Both need to completely reject Paul as being any kind of representative of Yeshua. Then and only then can the God of Israel’s people be united under His Messiah as one. The divide and concur plan from hell has worked flawlessly to bring in the night and the dark ages.

But that is about to change. The dawning of Yeshua’s new day is about to begin and I believe Lazarus will be a part of bringing back the light in Yeshua’s word that begins that day. It’s difficult to say if Lazarus will make himself known openly to the world. I tend to think he will not, but it should become apparent with whom he has had contact! We can hope and pray that it be those of us who know about him. Knowing the likelihood he still walks among us certainly can’t hurt. One can hope that possessing this knowledge is itself the first step toward meeting him.   

 

 

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