Thursday, January 09, 2020

Episode One of a Weekly Podcast Called The WAbe

The WAbe Podcast is a new weekly podcast where "tough questions get real answers" and can be found on your favorite podcast platform.

Abe Wright and I (Wade Burleson) will answer questions that have been submitted to, or respond to comments direct at the #TheWAbe through the broadcast platforms.

The WAbe stands for "Working At Biblical Encouragement," and it's our desire to help bring encouragement to those struggling with the questions they wished they could ask Sunday morning in church.

Abe is a former college football star (Colorado) and NFL player for the Miami Dolphins who has recently earned his Masters in Apologetics. I am an avocational historian and author who has served as teaching pastor at Emmanuel Enid for 28 years.

Abe and I work together well at Emmanuel, and the WAbe will be a lively back-and-forth debate that will leave you wishing Sunday morning church discussions were more like the WAbe.

 Below is Episode One of the WAbe. Listen. Like. Share. And, send us your questions!


Rex Ray said...


Glad my computer speakers work! I thought Wade and Abe Wright saying “The fall of man led to a greater glorification of God”, was tremendous. Without the fall of man, there wouldn’t be the song, “The Old Rugged Cross”, or John 3:16.

Willing to die for Him would be the ultimate in glorifying our Lord. Jesus told how Peter’s death would glorify God in John 21:9. Jesus was talking to Peter: “Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God.”

The question I want Wade and Abe Wright to answer/discuss is, wouldn’t Jesus want the apostle that Jesus ‘loved’ to glorify his Father? (In my opinion, there’s not much ‘glorification’ by dying of old age.)

Scriptures to consider.

“Jesus replied, “If I want him [John the apostle] to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? So, the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all…” (John 21:22-23 NLT)

“…Are you [James and John] able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?” “Oh yes,” they responded,” we are able!” Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup…” (Matthew 20:22-23 NLT) and (Mark 10:38-39 NLT)

“About that time King Heriod Agrippa…had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with the sword.” (Acts 12:1-2 NLT)

According to Tertullian, John the apostle was plunged into boiling oil.

RB Kuter said...

GREAT podcast, Wade. Good job! Loved the venue, the format and of course, the two personalities involved. I believe that a lot of folks will be blessed by viewing the future dialogues and this first one was a really good beginning. Sure enjoyed it and, like your blog, gives a lot of food for thought.

Rex Ray said...


I don’t blame you for not giving your name because there are 27 errors in what you wrote.

Rex Ray said...


If I was you, I’d delete the same ‘trash’ that “Unknown” has made on your last 3 post.

Bob Cleveland said...

I watched the podcast and thought it excellent. I will be a regular watcher.

Some of the difficulties you discussed are caused by the simple fact that we think we can understand an infinite God and how He acts. And we cannot, beyond what He reveals to us.

Anonymous said...

'At that time, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and declared, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was well-pleasing in Your sight.'

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks, Rex,

I'm not sure how SPAM gets through Blogger - but I've deleted it.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray noted regarding Wabe, “The fall of man led to a greater glorification of God”, was tremendous." Me too!

I think that perspective reveals a lot about the lofty and transcendent perspective God has on things which so often goes way over our heads. I think it also reflects how why so many lazy people create cults to dumb-down the things of God to the level of their ability to relate to it instead of studying and praying and searching to come closer to God so as to acquire insights closer to that held by God. Like the Mormons who can't figure out how God has always been, so they make Him a created being like men. Or Jehovah Witnesses who can't figure out how God can be the Father, Son AND Holy Spirit so they make God to be The Father, Jesus to not be God, and completely reject the Holy Spirit as being God.

Thank goodness for those like WAbe who do struggle and search and pray until God blesses them with true insight into His ways and thinking.

RB Kuter said...

One additional thought that came to mind during that WAbe dialogue regarding the question, "Why would God allow Adam and Eve to be free thinkers if He knew they were going to sin?"

My son has gone through some struggles and praise God, he has grown out of some tough times to become a Godly young man, husband and father whose life glorifies God. But it was REALLY agonizing for some time for his Mom and I prior to that blessed turnaround. Also, raising a child cost a LOT of money! Imagine what I could buy now in my old age if I had all that money back that I had invested in my son!

BUT if I had had the ability to foresee what it was going to cost me to have a son PRIOR to my having him, and I had the choice of whether or not to have him, I definitely would not have hesitated and would have said, "Heavens yes! Bring that boy on! The blessing and joy will be so much greater than it would be without him in our lives!" Today we not only have our amazing son, but his wife who is like a Godly daughter to us and two fine, amazing, perfect GRANDBOYS!

Ken F said...

"According to Tertullian, John the apostle was plunged into boiling oil."

Hi Rex,
Do you have a link to the statement by Tertullian?

Rex Ray said...


I still see the SPAM.


We agreed many days ago that the King put John in boiling oil. You believe it didn’t kill him, and I believe it did.

Rex Ray said...

“Joe Deupree was in the Civil War. He went to school in Bonham, Texas, and graduated as salutatorian at Baylor University. After giving the salutatorian speech, General Sam Houston, who was in the audience, said, “Young man, you’ll go far in this life ahead of you.”

He was in the battles of Belmont, Shiloh, Corinth, and Britton’s Lane. He was captured by Union forces, and held prisoner for 23 months. On the night of July 1, 1864, with five others, Joe tried to escape by swimming 2 miles across the Delaware bay. They tied several empty water canteens on themselves. He was the only one captured and remained until April 10, 1865 when he was freed by a prisoner exchange.”

This story is interesting to me because my brother-in-law’s name is Joe Deupree.

Rex Ray said...

Joe Deupree is 89 and sharp as a tack. He is almost blind, but delights in hearing a joke on me.

Ken F said...

"We agreed many days ago that the King put John in boiling oil. You believe it didn’t kill him, and I believe it did."

Hi Rex,
The reason I asked you for a link is because the only quote I can find from Tertullian says this: "At Rome, the Apostle John, having been immersed in hot oil, suffered no harm at all from it."

You say that Tertullian believed John died from the oil, but the only quote I can find says otherwise.

Rex Ray said...


Yes, we agree John was put in a large container of boiling oil.

Olive oil boils at 405 degrees, and today’s cost is $736 a barrel.
Crude oil boils at over 1,000 degrees, and today’s cost is $60 a barrel.

Which oil do you think the king used?

Ken, I’ll not believe the words of tradition over the words of Jesus when he told John, “…You will indeed drink from my bitter cup…” (Matthew 20:23 NLT)

Also, “…Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering.” (Mark 10:39 NLT)

Say, “baptism of suffering” gives a new view of baptism by boiling oil.

Ken F said...

"Yes, we agree John was put in a large container of boiling oil."

Do we? If the only record we have of John being boiled in oil is from Tertullian, we either have to believe he was correct or he was incorrect. How can we say he was correct in saying John was thrown into hot oil, but incorrect in saying he survived, since the same record says he was both thrown into the oil but also survived? Without evidence one way or another, your belief must be based purely on ideology. The reason you believe John died from boiling oil is because you want to believe it. But in fact, we cannot know for sure either way without some kind of coroborating evidence. Your position would be more defensible if you were to not insist that he was thrown into boiling oil. You would be better off saying we don't know how he died.

Rex Ray said...


“How can we say he (Tertullian) was correct in saying John was thrown into hot oil, but incorrect in saying he survived, since the same record says he was both thrown into the oil but also survived?”

Would you agree Tertullian was not an eyewitness? So, his information was based on hearsay. And the ‘hearsay’ is recorded by “So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all…” (John 21:23 NLT)

This John was the John the king threw into boiling oil.

Ken, how about emailing Wade and Abe for their take on the subject? Their email is:

Christiane said...


Tertullian's account has to be taken with a grain of salt . . . . it's a 'legend' about St. John the Evangelist being put into boiling oil and not burned and was meant to tell about a miracle.

For many in ancient Church, there are 'legends' that were passed down but we mostly know which ones are myth and which ones tell of something with connection to reality. Glad I checked in so I could help out with this, hopefully. Been a rough week for me, this. Take care.

Rex Ray said...


Sorry you’ve had a rough week. Hope you feel better.

Another “grain of salt” would be if there was a story about John’s brother surviving by his head being reconnected as Jesus reconnected an ear.

Likewise; any story that refutes the prophesy of Jesus: “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering.” (Mark 10:39 NLT)

Ken F said...

Hi Rex,

There are two aspects of your belief about John that I don't understand.

First is your insistence that he was most certainly boiled in oil. We don't know that for sure because it looks like Tertullian was the only one who promoted that idea. Also, if you believe that statement by Tertullian it makea no sense to not believe the rest of the statement that John survived. In context, Tertullian appears to be trying to explain why John lived to such an old age - the emphasis was on his longevity more than it was on the oil. I don't see any reason to so firmly believe only part of Tertullian's assertion - it seems like both parts of his statement swim or sink together. While Tertullian appears to be the only source of the hot oil story (please provide evidence if I am wrong), John's longevity is more widely documented by early writers such as Polycarp, Ignatius, and Irenaeus. His longevity has much more corroboration than the oil story.

Second, I don't understand why this is such a big deal for you. Why does it matter whether or John was killed early? Also, it seems like experiencing the same baptism as Jesus should be through crucifixion, not beheading or boiling oil. In this sense, neither of the brothers fulfulled the prophecy. This is one of the reasons why I think it appears that Jesus was talking about something other than martyrdom. It could be why Paul said in Rom 6 that all believers are baptized into the likeness of his death. That verse cannot possibly mean that all believers are martyred. This makes it entirely possible that John likewise could have been baptized into his death without being martyred.

What is the real issue for you here? Why do you push your perspective so hard? What practical difference should it make for us?

Rex Ray said...


We can know if John lived by knowing if he lived to write III John. Sure, I know about everyone believes John the Apostle wrote it, but that’s not what this link says.
J.M. Carroll’s Trail of Blood Book states:

“The Jerusalem church had 50,000 members or more. (Acts 2:41; 4:4, 5:14) They, with their many elders, began to lord it over God's heritage (III John 9).

Here was the beginning of an error which has grown and multiplied into many other seriously hurtful errors. Here was the beginning of different orders in the ministry running up finally to what is practiced now by others as well as Catholics. Here began what resulted in an entire change from the original democratic policy and government of the early churches. This irregularity began in a small way, even before the close of the second century. This was possibly the first serious departure from the New Testament church order.”

Ken, did you get that Carroll said in III John 9 it was many elders who began to lord it over God’s heritage?

BTW, Carroll, a Baptist preacher, had collected one of the greatest collections of church history books in the world. After his death, it was given to SWBTS which his brother, B.H. Carroll had founded.

Rex Ray said...


Wonder if Paul had problems with the same elders that Carroll mentioned in Third John when Paul wrote to the Galatians.

“…Who has held you back from following the truth?” “I just wish those troublemakers who want you to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.” (Galatians 5:7,12 NLT)

“…some so-called Christians there—false ones…sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we had in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations.” (Galatians 2:4 NLT)

“Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.” (Galatians 1:8 NLT)

Ken, lets read some of Third John, and see if the author is John the Apostle or John the elder who gets cursed by the leader there. Also, if the “traveling teachers” are the same kind that Paul called “false Christians”.

Verse one: “From John the Elder...” (Living). “The elder unto the…” (KJ). “This letter is from John the Elder…(NLT). “The elder: to my dear friend…" (Holeman)

“I sent a brief letter to the church [Jerusalem Church?] about this, but proud Diotrephes…leader of the Christians there, does not admit my authority over him and refuses to listen to me. When I come, I will tell you…what wicked things he is saying about me…” (3 John 9-10 Living)

“When I come, I will report…the evil accusations he [Diotrephes] is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do, he puts them out of the church.” (3 John 10 NLT)

Ken, I believe Diotrephes, was doing what Paul taught about cursing anyone who taught a different kind of Good News.

Ken F said...

Hi Rex,

The Trail of Tears has been widely discredited. The only reason to believe it is ideology or wishful thinking because historical evidence contradicts it on multiple counts. But putting that aside, it makes no sense to trace Baptist history through the various groups on his chart because most of those groups have nearly nothing in common with the various Baptist groups that formed over the last 400 years. The Donatists are a great example because they were Catholics on steroids. The fact that he included them in Baptist heritage makes better satire than history. I think the Trail of Tears is an example of a theory where no amount of evidence can deter true believers from believing it.

I think I asked you a question in our last discussion on this that you did not answer. How did Baptists end up with a New Testament identical to the Roman Catholics? A related question based on the fact that the Paulicians deleted many books from their NT. If the Trail of Blood flows through them, when did the Baptists restore the rejected books and why did they restore them in such a way as to perfectly match the NT used by false churches?

Rex Ray said...

You said, “I think I asked you a question in our last discussion that you did not answer.”
If you really wanted to know; read your past comments. (You didn’t ask.)

Have you intentionally gone blind by not replying to my last two comments about Third John?

You’ve wander off into space with “Trail of Tears” and how does Baptist have the same New Testament as Catholics.

The subject we’re discussing: Did John the Apostle die from old age, or was he martyred like his brother?

Jesus said to the two brothers: “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering.” (Mark 10:39 NLT)

If JOHN THE APOSTLE wrote Third John (as most people believe), that would prove he died of old age. In my opinion, I’ve quoted Scripture that proves Third John was written by JOHN THE ELDER.

Why have you avoided discussing Third John?

Ken F said...

Hi Rex,
It looks like we are talking (writing) past each other. I believe historical facts are like legal cases in that they cannot normally be established with 100% certainty, especially very old history. But we can be reasonably confident based on a preponderance of evidence. In the case of John, I think the evidence is good to support the belief that he lived to an old age. But there is no certainty either way.

You seem to be very certain that John was martyred by being boiled in oil when he was still young. The evidence you cited is some bible verses that could be interpreted in more than one way, a statement by Tertullian that claims John survived, and the discredited Trail of Tears. While your belief could be true, I find it highly unlikely based on the evidence.

As to 3 John, whether or not John wrote it is irrelevent to the question of the age when he died because if it was not written by him it does not prove that he did not live to an old age.

Ken F said...

"Trail of Tears" was supposed to be "Trail of Blood" in my last comment. Sorry for the mistake.

Rex Ray said...

Hello Ken,

Been busy, and sorry for the delay in responding to you’re saying: “As to 3 John, whether or not John wrote it is irrelevant to the question of the age when he died because if it was not written by him it does not prove that he did not live to an old age.”

You’re right!
As far as what Tertullian wrote, how can we depend on any of it being true if his writing was based on hearsay? (If he was an eyewitness, I believe he would have said so.)

Four facts:

1. Jesus said to James and John: “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering.” (Mark 10:39 NLT) To me, that means they would die a martyr's death as he did.

2. The king killed John’s brother. (Acts 12: 2) (A martyr’s death.)

3. John dying of old age was NOT a martyr’s death.

4. Those that preach ‘inerrancy’ of the Bible like the Bible to be written by more ‘honorable men’ than just an elder of a church.

Ken F said...

He Rex,
Thanks for replying. What are your thoughts on how Baptists ended up with exactly the same New Testament as Roman Catholics?

Rex Ray said...


It’s hard to answer your question because I didn’t know their New Testament was the same as ours.

There’s nothing in the New Testament that says to pray to Mary; so why do Catholics pray to Mary when Jesus said to ask him:

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” John 14:13-14 NLT

Ken F said...

Hi Rex,
The NT that the Baptists use is the one canonized by the stream of Christianity from which came the Roman Catholics. It was not canonized by the stream of Christians in the Trail of Blood. In fact, at least one of the major groups in the Trail of Blood rejected parts of the NT along with all if the OT. So why would the Baptists have chosen to use the version canonized by the people they consider to be apostates? Wouldn't it make much more sense to use the version that was pared down through the Trail of Blood? That seems like the topic of a conspiracy. I was thinking you might be interested in how that happened.