Jesus had just told Peter to “Follow me” when Peter looked back and saw the Apostle John following along. When he enquired of Jesus, he was told “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.” Somehow word got out that John would not die, but this is not what Jesus said, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” John did die, of course, the only apostle said to die by natural death. However, like his Old Testament counterpart Daniel, John was kept alive to receive the prophetic vision, to witness the unfolding of historic events, including the return of the Lord and to record them. His tarrying, so to speak, let him be present to see and record God’s Great Plan.
Reading the Book of Revelation, with its many symbols, one can easily be drawn to the futurist view of God’s message through John and most churches today accept this view. In my booklet, “The Hidden Message of John 21,” I called John the greatest mystery writer of all times because so much of what he recorded hides truths, most of which I believe were left for revelation in the last days. John 21, for instance, seems to be an unfolding of events from Adam to Christ’s Return. And there is so much more evidence that John wrote about this unfolding of events.
John 11, for example, has been a subject of my past articles. I showed the significance of the name of Lazarus, another form of the Hebrew name, Eleazar, which in itself means the “elect”, which, of course, represents Israel. Some of you will correctly identify Lazarus of the Rich Man and Lazarus as Israel as well. John 11 is, of course, a story of the Resurrection but the clues to a hidden story are many. For instance, Jesus stays two days where He was and only after the two days did He leave for Bethany and in my article I suggested this could relate to the 2,000 years (2 Peter 3:8) between the two Advents and His Return after the two days. You might like to refer to the article but suffice to say, the four days Lazarus was dead; the disciples accompanying Him upon His Return and Martha running to meet Him while Mary stayed in the house all have significance to the hidden message. Jesus’ words, “Take ye away the stone’ is important to His next words, “Said I unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.” Then comes the important words “Lazarus, come forth” which, based on the opening sentence of this paragraph, might be taken as “Israel, come forth” or “Elect, come forth.” Fortunately 1 Thessalonians 4:16 refers to the “dead in Christ’ that will acknowledge the “shout.” By the way, someone once asked why Jesus included Lazarus’ name when He said “Lazarus come forth.” Of course, if he didn’t then, everyone would have been resurrected.