This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

2 John 4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we received commandment from the Father.

3 John 4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

No greater joy do I have than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

John rejoiced greatly over Gaius’ Christian life, for walking in the truth and, with reference to his hospitality, for his faithful work with the brothers in his congregation and his love before the congregation. John referred to himself as (presbuteros), older man, as he was about 98 years old at this time. It could be that Gaius was a convert to the faith by the apostle John. Then again, it could have been that John simply helped him to grow in the faith. Regardless, his paternal love for Gaius, this younger brother in the faith, is evident.

The Apostle John penned these words about 98 C.E., when he was almost 100 years old. He had spent a lifetime of making disciples, and helping them to maintain their walk in the truth. This writer has spoken many times about the number of Christian denominations today, numbering around 41,000. Those denominations that are walking in the truth today are those that reflect Scripture, as though it were a fingerprint. When a detective lifts a fingerprint from a crime scene, and there is a match to a criminal, it is done by determining how many points within the print match up. We can use this as an analogy for those who are walking in the truth. If we use the Bible as lines in a fingerprint, how many points match up? However, for the sake of argument, let us assume that you the reader are in a denomination that highly reflects the Bible, and first century Christianity. How can you be certain that you will be able to maintain your walk in the truth?

There are many difficulties in this life, which can sap you of your strength to continue your walk. Maybe you have grown discouraged because of serious health problems, or family difficulties. Then, there are those that have become distracted chasing after the lifestyles that this world has to offer. What can you do, so as not to drift away, fall away, turn away, refuse, or become sluggish in your walk in the truth?

Consider Jesus Christ

Jesus did not live in an ideal time. He lived under the Roman Empire that expected taxes from its citizen, and he lived under the Jewish system, who demanded their taxes as well. Many Jews were very poor, and the Jewish Law was very oppressive on its people, because the religious leaders added so many oral traditions. When Jesus finally started his ministry, he was tempted personally by Satan. In addition, those who chose to follow him were very difficult to deal with, because Jewish pride kept them seeking their own interests. Furthermore, Jesus faced those that mocked him for his message, as well as Jewish religious leaders that were trying to kill him for that message. Moreover, he knew how things were going to end, how he was going to be betrayed by one of the twelve, arrested, beaten within an inch of his life, and executed as a blasphemer. (Matthew 4:8-11; John 6:14, 15) Regardless, of all the difficulties that came his way, Jesus continued walking in the truth. What was it that gave him the ability to persevere?

Hebrews 12:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

12 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Paul informs us what it was that enable Jesus to endure. It was ‘the joy, which had been set before him.” He knew the result of his obedience right to the very end, and so he kept walking in the truth, as should we. We too can keep in mind the reward of eternal life. (Rev. 22:12) As we are walking through life, there may be, some very atrociously difficult times, where getting up each morning seems overwhelming. If one can focus in on the destination of this journey, it will make each step of the way, just a little easier. Therefore, we can find our walk in the truth, somewhat easier, if we see the life that awaits us.

Consider the Apostle Paul

2 Corinthians 11:23-29 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

23 Are they servants of Christ? I reply like a madman, I am more outstandingly one: I have done more work, been imprisoned more often, with countless beatings, and often near deaths. 24 Five times I received 40 strokes less one from the Jews, 25 three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I experienced shipwreck, a night and a day I have spent in the open sea; 26 in journeys often, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own people, in dangers from the nations, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers among false brothers, 27 in labor and toil, in sleepless nights often, in hunger and thirst, frequently without food, in cold and lacking clothing.[1] 28 Besides those things of an external kind, there is what rushes in on me from day to day: the anxiety for all the congregations. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not incensed?[2]

Philippians 4:11-13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content[3] in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to be made lowly, and I know also how to be abounding; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret of both being filled and going hungry, both to abound and to be lacking. 13 I can do all things through[4] him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share[5] with me in my affliction.

your-word-is-truth

We have to appreciate the power that is offered to us, just as it was offered to Jesus and Paul, and other servants from the Hebrew Old Testament (Ps. 55:12). It is not the power to fulfill our wishes or desires, but the power to carry out the will and purpose of Christ. Our ability to walk in the truth through such things as that, which Jesus and Paul walked through, does not come to us naturally. However, this power to endure is very much available to us today as well.

Isaiah 40:29-31 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

29 He gives power to the tired one,
and full might to those lacking strength.
30 Youths will tire out and grow weary,
And young men will stumble and fall;
31 But those hoping in Jehovah will regain power;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not tire out.

What kinds of things would be in harmony with the will and purposes of God, by which we may be empowered? The world requires so much of our strength to cover the necessities of food, housing, and clothing. We may be worn out from work, so we need the strength to carry out our daily personal Bible study, going to Christian meetings, Christian activities, and especially our evangelism of the Good News.[6] We may need strength to maintain our Christian walk in the face of temptations, discouragement, or some form of persecution.―Psalm 1:1-3; Romans 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 17; Hebrews 10:23-25

Satan is the god of this wicked age.’ (2 Cor. 4:4) Christians are his primary targets, as we are alien residents to his world. Therefore, we should not be at all startled that there is the extra difficulty of living a righteous life in an unrighteous world. When we accept Christ, it is as though we have arrived in a new land, the land of Christianity. It is not an isolated nation but is embedded in a world of nations that are contrary to its very essence. It is no easy task to pick up stakes in the land of worldliness. You must let go of old friends, and begin to discover new ones. You must learn a completely new culture. In this land, you are the minority, and most people see you as though you are a stranger in their land.  As Christians, our walk in the truth can take us through many difficulties in life, but our destination is life in a renewed world, and not this wicked fallen one.

How does this analogy play out for the Christian? You must now learn how to live according to the Spirit, not the flesh, an entirely new moral code. Shortly thereafter, you will develop a new personality that is reflective of your new land of Christianity. “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of [Jehovah] and serve him with one accord.” (Zeph. 3:9) As a new member of Christ’s Kingdom, you will have already given up your former ways.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men of passive homosexual acts, nor men of active homosexual acts,[7] 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

There are far more benefits to this move from the land of worldliness to the land of Christianity. First, the land of Christianity has a population of persons that live a morally clean life, who accept and love you for who you are, not who you were. (Luke 18:29, 30) Second, there is the strength that you are given to cope with this new life, as an alien resident in the land of worldliness. Third, there is God’s Word, the Bible, which if followed will generally lead to a far better outcome that the former days of being led by the flesh. Fourth, you now have the hope of life, while before it was the inevitability of death. (Phil. 4:8-9) Most importantly, you will now be a friend of the Creator of heaven and earth. James 2:23; Matthew 7:13, 14; 1 John 2:15-17

Consider Your Spiritual Health

It is generally true that if you take care of your physical health, you will seldom fall ill; and should you fall ill, the recovery is easier and faster. The same is true of spiritual health. If we fall ill spiritually, the recovery will be easier and faster, if we were healthy, to begin with. We need to keep the benefits that we have received from obeying Scripture, and the hope that awaits us at the forefront of our mind. Of course, we cannot completely sidestep the difficulties of this imperfect world or its people, but if we have maintained our spiritual health, they will not overcome us.

Continuously Walking in the Truth

John 4:24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

24 God is spirit, and those worshiping him must worship in spirit and truth.”

What does it mean to worship in spirit? In spirit is not a reference to the Holy Spirit, but more of an attitude, a mental disposition, a way of thinking, or a mindset. We worship in “spirit” when we following our hearts, which are filled with faith and love. We worship in “spirit” when the inspired Word of God, trains our Christian conscience, the inner law that helps us to determine what is right, and leads us to recognize what is wrong. We worship in “spirit” when our worship is pure, based on an accurate knowledge of God’s Word, having grateful hearts. We worship in “spirit” when we apply God’s Word in our lives, having our spirit; mental disposition in harmony with the Holy Spirit’s leading.

What does it mean to worship in truth? It means honestly, biblically, centered on the Word of God. In other words, we study the Word of God, having biblical truths revealed to us through the study, and then we worship according to that truth. In addition, it means that we are to be obedient to the truths revealed. This would include “truth of the gospel,” which focuses on Jesus Christ and his efforts in the vindication of the sovereignty of his Father. (Galatians 2:14) God will allow a strong delusion to fall on those that “refuse to love the truth,” ‘condemning those who do not believe the truth.’ (2 Thess. 2:9-12) Therefore, salvation only belongs to those, who upon hearing the Gospel, accept it as truth, and begin to walk in that truth.—2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Ephesians 1:13, 14.

Al true Christians should strive to be “fellow workers for the truth.” They would certainly want to follow in the steps of John and Gaius as they defend the truth (Jude 1:3; 1 Pet 3:15), and like “children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 3-8) They are doing so by going out into the community, proclaiming the Gospel, bringing people into the truth. They were to stay committed to the Gospel that they had heard in the beginning when they were first brought into the truth.

First-Century Christian Worship and the Truth

The early Christians met in congregations, which for many of them, were private homes, to take in the truth. (Romans 16:3-5) The book of Hebrews tells us some of what took place at these meetings. They were there, in part, to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24-25) Tertullian of the late second, early third century (c.155–after 220 C.E.), wrote, “We meet to read the books of God … In any case, with those holy words we feed our faith, we lift up our hope, we confirm our confidence.”[8] In order to become a Christian, certain requirements had to be met, as we can see from the Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity,

As before, people who converted to Christianity were baptized. First, however, the new believer would be properly instructed in the beliefs and practices of Christianity. These ‘beginner’ Christians were the ‘catechumens’ (from the Greek meaning ‘oral handing down’, that is, teaching by word of mouth) and the way in which they were instructed developed as time went on. In the First apology, published in the middle of the second century, the Christian writer Justin Martyr (c. 100-165) gives us a valuable insight into how people were admitted into the church in Rome:[9]

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father, and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water.[10]

Thus, there were clear requirements before someone could be baptized: praying, fasting, and a commitment to live a moral life and an understanding of Christian beliefs.

Preaching the Truth through Persecution

Jesus told his disciples, “‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) He also said later in prayer to his Father, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” According to the Roman historian Tacitus:

Besides being put to death they [the Christians] were made to serve as objects of amusement; they were clad in the hides of a beast and torn to death by dogs; others were crucified, others set on fire to serve to illuminate the night when daylight failed. Nero had thrown open his grounds for the display and was putting on a show in the circus, where he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or drove about in his chariot. All this gave rise to a feeling of pity, even toward men whose guilt merited the most exemplary punishment; for it was felt that they were being destroyed not for the public good but to satisfy the cruelty of an individual.[11]

Church historian Philip Schaff describes persecution under Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius as:

Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher on the throne, was a well-educated, just, kind, and amiable emperor, and reached the old Roman ideal of self-reliant Stoic virtue, but for this very reason he had no sympathy with Christianity, and probably regarded it as an absurd and fanatical superstition. He had no room in his cosmopolitan philanthropy for the purest and most innocent of his subjects, many of whom served in his own army. He was flooded with apologies of Melito, Miltiades, Athenagoras in behalf of the persecuted Christians, but turned a deaf ear to them. Only once, in his Meditations, does he allude to them, and then with scorn, tracing their noble enthusiasm for martyrdom to “sheer obstinacy” and love for theatrical display. His excuse is ignorance. He probably never read a line of the New Testament, nor of the apologies addressed to him.

Belonging to the later Stoical school, which believed in an immediate absorption after death into the Divine essence, he considered the Christian doctrine of the immortality of the soul, with its moral consequences, as vicious and dangerous to the welfare of the state. A law was passed under his reign, punishing everyone with exile who should endeavor to influence people’s mind by fear of the Divinity, and this law was, no doubt, aimed at the Christians. At all events, his reign was a stormy time for the church, although the persecutions cannot be directly traced to him. The law of Trajan was sufficient to justify the severest measures against the followers of the “forbidden” religion.[12]

Tertullian wrote:

They think the Christians the cause of every public disaster, of every affliction with which the people are visited. If the Tiber rises as high as the city walls, if the Nile does not send its waters up over the fields, if the heavens give no rain, if there is an earthquake, if there is famine or pestilence, straightway the cry is, “Away with the Christians to the lion!”[13]

It was through staying power that the early Christians overcame persecution throughout a period of about 300 years when they faced persecution off and on from the Roman. Early Christians suffered unspeakable persecution for just being a Christians. Yet, most never wavered for a moment, as they were burned alive, or thrown to the beasts in the Roman coliseum. This persecution actually had the opposite effect, as Christianity grew even faster under the most heinous persecution, as they found joy in seeing faithful ones remain steadfast to the truth, bringing renewed zeal in the preaching work.

Misdirected Zeal Concerning the Son of Man

John 7:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me.

While Jesus was on earth, he served as one who came from the Father, to carry out his will and purposes.

John 16:27-28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father.[14] 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”

His very existence, his life, the miracles, his knowledge, and insight, over 40 Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled with him, established that he was the long-awaited Messiah. However, the majority of first-century Jews by far did not accept him as such. Why? Because they had, their preconceived ideas of what the Messiah would be like. They believed he was going to be a glorious King, who would overthrow the oppressive Roman Empire. (John 12:34) Moreover, they did not believe he fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures, as they understood. The Messiah was to set up a Kingdom that would never be brought to ruin and would crush all other kingdoms.

Daniel 2:44-45 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will the kingdom be left to another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 Just as you saw that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will happen after this; so the dream is certain and its interpretation is trustworthy.”[15]

Daniel 7:13-14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

13 “I kept looking in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.[16]

Daniel 7:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

18 But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever.’[17]

Daniel 7:27 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

27 And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
will be given to the holy ones of the Most High;
his kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’

Jesus certainly did not accomplish these tasks, as they were expecting. However,

John 18:36 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

36 Jesus answered, “my kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, my kingdom is not of this world.”

Moreover, the Old Testament is all too clear that anyone who is hanged on a tree is accursed.

Deuteronomy 21:22-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

22 “If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed of God; you shall not defile your land that Jehovah your God is giving you for an inheritance.

From the Jews point of view (including Saul, who became Paul), “these words were clearly applicable to Jesus,” comments New Testament Bible scholar F. F. Bruce. “He had died under the curse of God, and therefore could not conceivably be the Messiah, upon whom, almost by definition, the blessing of God rested in a unique measure. To claim that Jesus was the Messiah was, therefore, blasphemous; those who made such a preposterous claim deserved to suffer as blasphemers.”[18]

Even Saul (Paul) agrees with this assessment, when he later wrote, “we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews.” (1 Cor. 1:23) What Saul and the other Jews were unaware of was, Jesus was coming again, which would then fulfill the King and the Kingdom, and that Jesus was not accursed, he died so that he could carry humankind’s accursement. They would have known these things if they had stopped long enough to listen.

Galatians 3:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”[19]

Saul had great zeal; it was just misdirected through ignorance.

1 Timothy 1:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

13 although formerly I [Saul/Paul] was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and a violent man. But I was shown mercy because I had acted unknowingly with a lack of trust,

Romans 10:2-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

For I [Saul/Paul] bear them witness that they [Jews] have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge.[20] For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law to everyone who believes.

What has been demonstrated here thus far? Just because one is very active in their Christian denomination or church, this activity does not guarantee that they are receiving God’s approval.

Matthew 7:21-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’

It was Saul/Paul’s zeal and his conscience that was pricked to defend what he thought was the truth, and yet he clearly admitted that he was over-zealous, that his zeal was misdirected, because of ignorance. This should cause us to pause and reflect. The presence of false teachers in the Christian congregation from the first century onward means that one cannot just accept naively that they are getting the truth. It would be foolish to assume such.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

The word “examine” (or “test,” ESV) (dokimazete) denotes a careful examination of “everything.” If one is to make a careful examination of everything, it will require that they are not just passively going along, but rather, one should be buying out the time, to have an accurate understanding of God’s Word, by doing an in-depth study of God’s Word.

Acts 17:10-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness,[21] examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Certainly, if Paul is under examination, no one else is above examination. The Jews of Berea did not just accept what Paul was saying about the death and resurrection of Jesus, as being so. (See 17:3) This was no brief or superficial examination of the Scriptures either; they met daily to examine the Scriptures. For the above reasons, it is only through living by faith and accurate knowledge that we can receive God’s favor.

Personal Conduct

1 Peter 2:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.[22]

As Christians walking in the truth, we need to take these words very serious, as we get them down in our heart. If our conduct is to be honorable, what type of conduct are we to avoid. While Paul does not give us an exhaustive list, what he says to the Ephesians are the types of conduct we would avoid.

Ephesians 5:3-5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or greediness, must not even be named among you, as is proper among holy ones; And there must be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no sexually immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

This goes beyond our personal conduct, as we need also to avoid the immoral and violent portions of the world of entertainment in music, movies, video games, and so on.

[1] Lit and in nakedness

[2] Lit I am not on fire

[3] Or “self-sufficient

[4] Lit in

[5] Or have fellowship with

[6] I am not of the mind of the rest of Christianity, who believe that sharing their conversion, or what God has done in their life is our “evangelism.” Our evangelism is to preach the Good News, to teach Bible doctrine, and to make disciples by conversion, none of which is being done in Christianity at this point and time.

[7] The two Greek terms refer to passive men partners and active men partners in consensual homosexual acts

[8] Thomas C. Oden, Ministry Through Word and Sacrament, Classic Pastoral Care, 59 (New York: Crossroad, 1989).

[9] Jonathan Hill, Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity, 46 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006).

[10] Justin Martyr, “The First Apology of Justin”, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson and A. Cleveland Coxe, 183 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885).

[11] Henry Bettenson and Chris Maunder, eds., Documents of the Christian Church, 3rd. ed. (Oxford UP, 1999), p. 2.

[12] “Nero.” Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 2005. “Christianity.” Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 2005.

[13] Tertullian, “The Apology”, trans. S. Thelwall, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume III: Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson and A. Cleveland Coxe, 47 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885).

[14] Other mss read from [the] God. The reading τοῦ πατρός (the Father) is strongly supported by B C* D L X al.

[15] 2:44 stand forever. God’s kingdom ruled by Messiah is the final rule, never to be replaced. It has a millennial phase and an eternal future, but it is the same King who rules both. 2:45 stone . . . mountain. The stone is Messiah (cf. Ps. 118:22, 23; Is. 28:16; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:6; esp. Luke 20:18). The mountain pictures God’s all-transcending government that looms over weak, earthly powers (4:17, 25; Pss. 47:8; 103:19; 145:13; Rev. 17:9). Messiah is “cut out” of this sovereign realm by God, which accords with the Son of Man coming (7:13, 14). without hands. This denotes that the Messiah comes from God and is not of human origin or power (cf. the same idea in 8:25). The Virgin Birth and the Resurrection, as well as the Second Coming, could be included in this reference to supernatural origin.―MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 33490-33497). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

[16] 7:13, 14 Son of Man. The Messiah (cf. 9:27), Christ is meant; He often designated Himself by this phrase (Matt. 16:26; 19:28; 26:64). “The clouds of heaven” are seen again in Revelation 1:7. Here, He is distinct from the Ancient of Days, or Eternal One, the Father, who will coronate Him for the kingdom (2:44). The picture of old age is not that of being feeble; rather, it highlights God’s eternality and divine wisdom to judge (cf. 7:9, 10).―MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 33671-33674). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

[17] Lit and unto the age of the ages

[18] F. F. Bruce, New Testament History, 228 (New York: Doubleday, 1971).

[19] Quote from Deut. 21:23

[20] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.

[21] Or with all readiness of mind. The Greek word prothumias means that one is eager, ready, mentally prepared to engage in some activity.

[22] I.e. Christ’s second coming to judge