Someone has said writing consists of three things: tell them in the introduction what you're going to tell them; next, tell them; and finally, tell them what you told them. So, in order to be a writer, I suppose I must now tell you what I told you.

John 11 is about a family of three people who lived about 2,000 years ago in Bethany, Israel. They knew Jesus in somewhat unusual ways from that of others. They knew Him intimately, as friends; they knew Him spiritually, as Lord and Savior; they also knew Him as God, possessing the power of life over death.

Each of them, Lazarus, Martha and Mary, knew Jesus differently as individuals. John described those differences and I attempted to explain the significance of their different relationships to Jesus. I also tried to show how each member of this family portrayed, in a symbolic sense, three, distinct nations---Israel, Great Britain and the United States of America.

I'm sure that many people will take issue with me on this matter. That's O.K. with me, for I'm used to this. I've been getting "flack" ever since I wrote my first book and don't expect full acceptance of this effort either. I don't mean to sound bull-headed or offended, though that response might be considered reasonable when a person is sharing what he believes to be the truth.

Perhaps I need to explain why I don't feel offended if the reader is opposed to, or disbelieves, what I have said in this book. First of all, as already stated, many people will never see allegory or metaphor in Scripture. Some have a built-in prejudice against it. They either have no affinity for it or a teacher of theirs in the past has already convinced them that evil lurks behind those who attempt to see hidden messages.

Well, I just want to reiterate that God is the author of allegory, not man. For example, it was God who inspired even Caiaphas, one who resisted God, to fulfill His message to mankind. And, He did it totally to the unawareness of this priest through whom He conveyed the wisdom. God can do things like this, much to our amazement. Certainly God communicates through the plainly spoken word. He also often does it through quiet, sovereign actions, as well as through metaphor and allegory.

Others may resist my views, believing God would never call and use specific nations, because to do so would tend to promote pride within them. Well, let's see if this kind of thinking "holds water" from God's perspective. Did Jesus not call specific individuals? Sure He did. He called twelve to be His disciples [knowing from the beginning of course that one of them was a devil]. And were not some of the disciples more outstanding and prominent than the others? Of course they were. Were they any better than the others? Not necessarily. Did these special apostles sometimes get the "big head"? Certainly they did. It is no easy thing to wear a crown. But it must be worn by somebody.

Think of John and Paul. I would be hard pressed to say which of these conveyed the more important information to us about God and His ways, and about man's relationship to God. But you know what? I doubt that either of these men fully understood the measure of wisdom God gave them. If they had, perhaps even these two great apostles might have been lifted up pridefully. I'm convinced that the Church today has more access to Godly knowledge than the people through whom that knowledge was delivered to us. I'm not saying we are better for the knowing, just that we have the information more complete before us. History, and Scripture, reveals this to be the nature of God's ways.

There has been a parallel in the nations God has called. Those nations I have repeatedly referred to as the two witnesses, for example, might be likened to the lives of any two of the individual disciples of Christ. [You'll recall I compared them to the two who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.] Who knows? We may even learn in eternity that all the individual disciples have had a national counterpart! Remember, Jesus commanded us to look at the "fig tree" (a symbolic designation of Israel) and all the "trees"; the obvious suggestion is that other nations were also implied in the Scriptures. I have simply attempted to see those that I believe fit the reality of history. And it doesn't cause me to be lifted up in pride; it increases my awe of God. What it really does is cause me to want to bow down before my God. This is the response I would like to see in the Church. On the whole, we seem to be oblivious to the fantastic blessings which have come our way.

My recommendation to the Church in America is to fall on her face and repent before her Master; to stop the compromising; to acknowledge the grace that has been shed upon us; to seek purity of heart and mind, both individually and collectively; and to do the main thing we were called to do---with all diligence, hasten to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world. This list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea: we should endeavor to be the witnesses that we are.

After now having read my book, there's an exercise that I would strongly urge the reader to do, in order to get the full effect from this wonderful passage of Scripture: get your Bible out (preferably a King James Version) and read, nonstop, the whole eleventh chapter of John. As you read, allow the Spirit of God to help you see the hidden messages He has incorporated into the passage. Once you see it, I promise you that you'll never lose it.

Now, let's move on to the next book in the New Testament, the book of Acts. Acts was written by the physician, Luke. But the story I want to cover is about the apostle, Paul. It'll be just as exciting, perhaps even more believable, because by now you have probably caught on to God's way of developing pictures through the Law of Double Reference.