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My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not ( 1 John 2:1 ).
Now, he is talking about the purpose of writing is to bring you into fellowship with God, but the thing that breaks fellowship with God is sin. In Isaiah 59 , "God's hand is not short that he cannot save, neither is his ear heavy that he cannot hear. But your sins have separated you from God" ( Isaiah 59:1-2 ). Always the effect of sin. God said to Adam, "In the day that thou sinneth thou shall surely die." And Adam sinned, and God came into the garden, and He said, "Adam, where art thou?" Fellowship with God had been broken as the result of sin, always is. So, in order that you might have fellowship with God, it is necessary that we sin not. And John is writing that you might have power over sin. And the power over sin, of course, comes through the abiding of the Holy Spirit within our lives. "These things have I written unto you, my little children," or, "These things write I unto you that you sin not."
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous ( 1 John 2:1 ):
The advocate is the intercessor, the one who intercedes for you. One who is representing you, one who stands there in your behalf, one who pleads your case or your cause. If we sin, we have Jesus up there as our advocate before the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. "Therefore, He is able to save to the uttermost all who will come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" ( Hebrews 7:25 ). Paul in Romans 8:0 tells us, "Who is He that condemneth, it is Christ who died, yea rather is risen again, and is even at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us." Writing to Timothy, he said, "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." So, when we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, one who is representing us, even Jesus Christ the Righteous.
When Job was going through all of his problems and his friends were trying to help him to understand his miseries, one of his friends said, "Hey, just get right with God and everything will be okay." Job said, "Look, I look at the stars in the heavens and I realize how vast God is to create this universe, and I realized how nothing I am. How in the world can I ever approach God to plead my case? He is so vast. I'm nothing. The gap between us is so great I could never cross it. The reach between the infinite and finite, impossible to bridge from man. And that's the shortcoming of every religious system, because they start with an earth base and try to reach to the infinite. Starting with a finite base and trying to reach to the infinite. Impossibility. The finite can never reach to the infinite, no matter how it much it may stretch. And that's every religious system comes short, because it starts with an earth base. The Gospel, Christianity starts with a divine or heavenly base, "For God so loved the world." He reached down. The infinite God reached down to touch finite man. No problem there. Being infinite He can do anything. And so, starting then with a divine base, God reaching down to man, there is success, there can be a contact made. And He reached down to man through Jesus Christ. That which was from the beginning, which we have seen, which we have looked upon, which we have heard, which we have touched was manifested, we beheld Him, we heard Him, we saw Him, we declare. God became man.
Now, this is what Job had a problem with, God is so vast. He's infinite, and here I am finite; how can I ever approach God to plead my case? He said, "For there is no daysman betwixt us who can put His hand on both of us." In other words, Job saw that the only solution for finite man to reach an infinite God was to be someone standing here in the middle, in this gap, who could touch God and who could touch man. But they don't exist, Job said. So here I am, no way to approach this infinite God. Now, that which Job was crying for, a daysman to stand betwixt, is exactly what Jesus is: one God, one Mediator, the man Christ Jesus. So that He touches God, because He was in the beginning with God and was God, and yet, He became man and He reached out and He touched men. And He lays His hand on us both. And so, if we sin we have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus the Righteous.
And he is the propitiation for our sins ( 1 John 2:2 ):
Or the one who has paid the price for the freedom from sin, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.
You see, in the death of Christ, He received the pardon for every sin of every man in all of history. There is not a sin that was not atoned for in His death. Jesus said, "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven man, except the blasphemy of Holy Spirit, which will not be forgiven, neither in this world nor the world to come" ( Matthew 12:31-32 ). Which is the rejection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit's witness that Jesus Christ is the only answer to your sins. You see, Jesus said, "I didn't come into the world to condemn the world, but the world through Me might be saved, and he who believeth is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, seeing he has not believed on the only begotten Son of God. This is the condemnation, light came into the world, but they would not come to the light" ( John 3:17-19 ). That's the only thing you're gonna have to answer for when you stand before God. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. There is only one sin that you must account to God for and that's the sin of not coming to the light, the sin of rejecting the fellowship that God has offering through Jesus Christ. The sin of rejecting God's love. This is the condemnation: light came into the world, they would not come to the light, because their deeds were evil. So God isn't gonna down a long list and enumerate every horrible thing you've ever done. If you should stand before the Great White Throne Judgment of God, there will only be one issue and that's your rejection of Jesus Christ. Your rejection of God's offer of pardon through Him. For He is the propitiation for our sins, but not only ours, but for the sins of the whole world.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments ( 1 John 2:3 ).
In the fourteenth chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus said, "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me, and he who loves Me shall be loved of My Father and We will come and manifest Ourselves to him" ( John 14:21 ). He that hath My commandments and keepeth them. It isn't enough just to have the commandments; it is keeping the commandments. Paul said, "Hey, just because you have the law, don't think that you're justified. It isn't the hearers of the law that are justified, but the doers of law that are justified" ( Romans 2:13 ).
Jesus said, "This is the commandment that I give unto you, that ye love one another" ( John 13:34-35 ). I can say, "Oh yes, I have His commandments, He told me to love one another," and yet, you hate everybody. You see, having the commandment isn't enough. How can I know that I know Him? If I keep His commandment!
Now he that saith, I know Him, and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, the truth is not in him ( 1 John 2:4 ).
Now, if I say I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior, then that very belief is going to bring about a certain style and manner of living. If I really believe it. Now, I can say I believe something that I don't really believe. And I may fool people into thinking that I believe something that I don't really believe, but I don't fool God. For true belief in Jesus Christ is going to be manifested my behavior. I cannot walk in darkness and possess the light.
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him ( 1 John 2:5 ).
And so, basically, the whole commandment comes down to this: love God and love each other. Love. "He that loves," Paul said, "has fulfilled the law" ( Romans 13:8 ). And when he taught love, he said, "Against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:23 ). It all comes down to loving, loving God first, supremely, and loving one another. That's where it's at, you do that and you done 'em all; you've kept them all. And that's basically what he, when he talks about the commandment, he is talking about loving God and loving each other, and you can't do one without the other. They go together. He that loveth God ought to also love his brother. He that saith that he loves God and hates his brother is a liar. How can you love God whom you've not seen and hate your brother whom you have seen who was made in the image of God? It's all in love.
Hey, some people say, "Oh, I have a rough time with the commandments of God." Well, what's so rough about loving God and loving each other?" Now, you see, the "Thou shalt nots" are all entailed in love. If you really love someone, you're not gonna lie against them, you're not going to steal from them, if you really love them. And so, thou shall not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness. You see, they're all superfluous if you love. If you really love God, you're gonna not take His name in vain, you're going to honor Him and keeps His days, your life wholly unto Him, separate unto Him. All of the rest follows along with loving God supremely and loving each other. And so, whenever you deal with the commandments, don't try and go down and enumerate the ten or the longer list, just deal with the two. Loving God supremely and loving each other. Keeps it simple that way.
And so, how can I love someone who is so nasty and mean? I can't, but He loves them, and as I submit myself to Him, He can put His love in my heart for them. And the fruit of His Spirit abiding in me is love. The love that suffers long and is kind, it envies not, vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, and doesn't behave itself unseemly, doesn't seek his own, believes all things, bears all things, hopes all things, proves all things. A love that never fails, as the Spirit of God is in control in my life.
So, "Whoso keeps His word, in Him verily is the love of God perfected." Oh, that God's love would be perfected in life. Oh, how I pray for that. How I pray for that. And you know it can't until I've really come to the end of myself. The old flesh, the old man, crucified with Christ. As long as I'm interested in me, and that's mine, that's my territory, and I'm, you know, drawing out my little area of territory, and don't you trespass, you know. The love of God is not yet perfected. Because the minute you come over on my territory, you're gonna get it, you know. You did that to me, you said that to me. How could you do that to me, you know. So interested in myself. God's love is not yet perfected in me. And the more God's love is perfected, the less there is of me, the self-life. Now,
He that saith that he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked ( 1 John 2:6 ).
He is our example. Look at His life; study His life. Jesus said, "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me" (Matthew 11:28-30 ). Learn about Him, study Him, because if I abide in Him then ought to be walking as He walked. Giving my life in concern and care for others. How many times you read in the New Testament, "And Jesus, looking upon them, had compassion upon them." Whenever He saw a person in need, He was always moved with compassion. He was touched in His heart to reach out and to help those that were in need. Now, if you see a brother in need and you shut up your heart towards that brother, then how can you say that God's love is dwelling in you? You're not walking as He walked; you're not being touched as He was touched with the weaknesses and infirmities of others.
Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither [where] he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes ( 1 John 2:7-11 ).
What is darkness? Hatred. What is walking in darkness? Hating. Now, if there is someone you are really upset with and you really hate them, you're walking in darkness. "But I can't stand them, I hate them." Look out, look out, you're walking in darkness. You may say you're in the light, but you're deceiving yourself. You're blind; you're stumbling along, you can't see where you are going. The darkness has blinded your eyes. There's nothing so blinding as hatred. When your heart is filled with bitterness and hatred toward someone, you become blind to any value or good that might exist there. You don't want to see it.
Love is like a light, no occasion of stumbling for that man who walks in love. Love lights the path. This basically is the whole teaching of Christ and the gospel all summed up in this concept of love, and loving God, and loving each other. And really, as John said, His commandment isn't grievous; it's really rather wonderful. It's very healthy to love people; it's very unhealthy to hate. Hatred and bitterness create chemicals that have a destructive effect upon your body physically. Love produces chemicals that cause you to glow. You ever see a person in love, how they glow? The chemicals that are being created in their glands, they just, you know, brings a glow to life when you love. And when you have hatred, other chemicals eat you up, sap, take away, shrivel your skin and make you look ugly. Oh, that we would learn the simple lesson of love.
We'll take up at this point next week in our study as he writes to the little children, fathers, and young men. So, we'll break it in the middle of that chapter.
Father, we desire tonight that Your love be perfected in us. That we might walk as He walked, react as He reacted, love as He loved. O Lord, work in our hearts through thy love. Not just in words, but in deeds and in truth. And so, may we show our Savior to the world. In Jesus' Name. Amen. "
Shall we turn now in our Bibles to I John chapter 2. And we'll begin tonight at verse 1 John 2:12 where we left off last Sunday night.
The book of I John is a book of proofs. It isn't what I say; it's what I am. And I can say one thing and do another. What I say doesn't count; what I do is what counts. For if I say that I have no sin, I'm only deceiving myself, and the truth isn't in me. If I say that I have fellowship with God and I am walking in darkness, I'm lying and I'm not telling the truth. If I say I know Him and I don't keep His commandments, I'm a liar, and the truth isn't in me. If I say I abide in Him, then I ought also to walk even as He walked. If I say that I'm in the light and I hate my brother, I'm in darkness.
Now John said,
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto, little children, because you have known the Father ( 1 John 2:12-13 ).
I believe that John is here referring to spiritual development.
There are people who have just received the Lord and they are babes in Christ. "I write unto little children," little children in your experience, and what he has to say to them is that your sins are forgiven. And hey, that's great, that's where you start. And there are a lot of people who are new in the Lord, and about the only thing they know is that their sins are forgiven. You know, they are not really versed in Christian doctrine. They really don't know too much yet about the nature of God and the nature of man and the nature of angels. They don't know much of Christian yet, but at least they know the important thing, that their sins are forgiven. And how important it is that we know that fact, that our sins are forgiven. So that's sort of your infancy state. In your first realization as a child of God is the fact that my sins are forgiven.
Now as we grow and mature, then He addresses the state of the young man, "You're strong." "I write unto you, fathers, because you know Him who was from the beginning." Now again, here is the declaration of the fact that Christ has always existed. This is something that the Bible does teach. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the same was in the beginning with God" ( John 1:1-2 ). Now, there are those who would try to reduce Christ to a created being and put Him in an angel category. The Jehovah Witnesses try to equate Him to Michael, one of the archangels, a created being of God. They deny the eternal existence of Jesus. But you know Him who was from the beginning. When Micah announced His birthplace in prophecy, he said to Bethlehem, "Out of thee shall come He who is to rule my people Israel, whose going forth has been from old, from everlasting" ( Micah 5:2 ).
Now it is interesting, there are a couple of Hebrew words that are translated everlasting. The one word literally means "to the vanishing point". Now what that means is that in your mind you think back as far as you can think, let your mind go back, back, back. The scientists say, some of them at least, there's a dispute on this, but some of them say that the universe is twelve billion years old. Well, let's go back beyond that. Let's go back beyond the twelve billion years that they say that the universe has existed and let's go, say, ten times farther back, 120 billion years ago. Can you conceive of 120 billion years ago? Well, let's go back beyond that. Let's go back a trillion years ago, ten trillion, 100 trillion years ago. How far can you go back before you hit a vanishing point? Your mind just sort of . . . All right, that place where your mind can't conceive of anything before that. I mean, your mind hits the vanishing point. It sort of fades out, your mind can't grasp it or conceive it beyond that point. That is the word in Hebrew that is translated everlasting. But there is another Hebrew word, and this word literally is "beyond the vanishing point". So when your mind gets to that vanishing point where you can't think any farther back, then beyond that. And this is the particular word that Micah used. Beyond the vanishing point. The one who existed beyond the vanishing point is the one who will be born in Bethlehem. Who God has ordained to rule over the nation of Israel.
"You have known Him," he said, "who was from the beginning." That which was from the beginning. He introduces the Epistle this way. "Which we have seen, which we have heard, which we have looked upon, which we have touched. The eternal God, Jesus Christ our Lord, became flesh and dwelt among us." So I write unto you, fathers, because you have known Him that is from the beginning.
And then, "I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one." So those who are really in the battle against the enemy and have experienced God's victory. God doesn't put the babes, so often, in the front lines. He sort of holds them back and lets them learn and lets them develop, and we grow through the testings and the trials that we have. But as we begin to mature, many times, God then allows increased trials to the strengthening of our faith and our trust in Him. And that is why the Scripture exhorts us, "Count it all joy when you fall into these diverse testings" ( James 1:2 ). It's part of our growth, part of the development of our relationship with God. It's the thing that causes our roots to go deeper in Him and in the Word. It's sort of exciting when God closes every possible door, because you know He's gonna do something now. He only can do something, we can't do a thing, you know. And usually you're in pretty good shape when God has closed every door. Because now you're gonna give up, because there's no place to turn, you just turn to God and say, "Well, God, it's impossible. It can't be done." And then He'll show you what He can do. He has the opportunity . . . .
We've heard, and it's not a scripture, but it probably should be, "Man's extremities are God's opportunities." I thought that was a scripture for a long time, because I heard it so much. But there's a lot of truth to that. God works, so often, when we come to the end of our resources, our genius, our devices. And when we give up is often when God then does His work, and oftentimes He does not do it until we get to that point. For the reason that if He would act prematurely, we would be apt to attribute it to our device that we had worked out. And then we would write success formula books. For we know how to do it now. We've got it all set out in a formula and we can teach people how to work the right combination and open the doors of everything, you know. And so God lets us get to that place of desperation, hopelessness in ourselves, that when He works, all we can say is, "I can't believe what God did today."
"I write unto young men because you've overcome the wicked one."
Then he goes back and he goes through the same progression again and saying the same thing to the little children, only declaring unto them this time, "I write unto little children because you have known the Father." And then
I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that was from the beginning ( 1 John 2:14 ).
Just declares the same thing to them, but then with the young men he changes.
I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one ( 1 John 2:14 ).
So, first of all, he just says, "You've overcome the wicked one." Now he gives you the secret of their strength and how it is that they overcame the wicked one. "I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, because God's Word abides in you." And that is always our strength against the enemy. None of us are immune from the attacks of the enemy. I don't care how far you progress in your spiritual experience and your relationship with God. You will, as long as you are in this body, not be immune from Satan's attacks. You never grow beyond temptation, in fact, many times the more you grow, the greater is the temptation that the enemy lays before you. You never grow beyond the point of being tempted. You never grow beyond the point of struggling with the enemy, being in conflict with Satan. But, "I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, because the Word of God abides in you." And that's the secret of my strength in overcoming the enemy is the Word of God abiding in my heart. "Thy Word," David said, "have I hid in my heart, O Lord, that I might not sin against you" ( Psalms 119:11 ). The power of the Word in my heart against temptation, against sinning against God.
When Satan came to Jesus with the temptations, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Jesus answered those temptations with the Word. "It is written," Jesus said. And the secret of His strength in overcoming the temptations of Satan was the Word of God abiding in you.
Now, there are many times when a person gets tripped up by the enemy and it is the time when there is a dearth of God's Word within your heart. Satan likes to see us so busy in so many things that we don't have time for the Word. And our soul becomes sort of parched for the Word of God. And I'll tell you, at that point you are very vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Oh, how we need to be strong in the Word, that we might be able to overcome the wicked one, because God's Word abides in us.
Now John enjoins us,
Love not the world, [that is, the materialistic world around you,] neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him ( 1 John 2:15 ).
Now, this is a pretty strong statement, and we better give it careful attention. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hold to one and despise the other, or he will love the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon" ( Matthew 6:24 ). You cannot, not you should not, you cannot. And mammon, of course, is that worldly materialistic things, the monetary system of the world. You can't serve them both.
Now John defines for us what he is meaning by the world.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world ( 1 John 2:16 ).
When Satan comes to tempt, you can be sure that the temptation will fall in one of three categories. Either in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or in the pride of life. Those are the three areas where Satan will attack. Go back to the Garden of Eden when he came to Eve there in the garden, "Hath God said that you can eat of all of the trees that are in the garden?" "Yes," Eve said, "all except the one in the midst of the garden, and God said that we should not eat of it. For in the day that we ate of it, we shall surely die." "Aw, you won't die. God knows that in that tree lies the knowledge of good and evil. He is trying to protect Himself to keep you from becoming like God." And when she saw that it was pleasant to eyes, a beautiful fruit, that it was pleasant to the taste, and it could make her wise as God, she ate. The lust of the flesh, great to eat, delicious, the lust of the eyes, beautiful to look upon. And, "Hey, it will make me like God," the pride of life. And Satan tripped her up.
Basically, when he came to Jesus, "Command the stones to be turned to bread," the lust of the flesh. The promise of all the kingdoms of the world, the pride of life. And of course, "Cast yourself down, he will give His angels . . . " again, the pride of life, do something spectacular, draw attention to yourself. These are the areas where Satan will attack you. These are the areas of the world.
Now today we are living in a day and age in which I feel that Satan is attacking in these areas in a greater degree than ever before. Jesus talked about, "Evil days shall wax worse and worse, and because the iniquity of the earth will abound, the love of many will wax cold. The iniquity of the earth is abounding, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man" ( Matthew 24:12 , Matthew 24:37 ). Days of Noah, eating, drinking and all, and hey, we've got a day and an age in which the opportunity of fulfilling the lust of the flesh are just myriad. And the lust of the eye, Satan has opened the flood gates of lustful material, magazines, billboards, movies, where there seems to be no holds barred, anything goes. And these things designed to inflame the passions, to start your mind thinking in these ways of the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and they're working together. Creating desires for fleshly fulfillment that is outside of the confines that God has established. If any man love the world, the world system, the things that are going on, the love of the Father is not in him.
There's a great inconsistency today, as so many Christians are taking and abusing their Christian liberty. Presuming on the grace of God and are trying to join with God and join with the world and make Christ one with Belial, you can't do it. You can't mix light and darkness. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he who has the love of the world in his heart has not the love of the Father." Pretty strong words. You better examine your own heart. Do I have a love for the world in my heart? Am I attracted to worldly things? Am I moving in those directions? If I have the love of the world in my heart, I have not the love of the Father. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life is of the world and is not of God.
Now, he gives to us then the rationale.
The world passes away, and the lust thereof ( 1 John 2:17 ):
Hey, if your life is bound up in worldly things, the lust and the desires and the love for the world, if that's where your life is, know that it's gonna pass away. "The world passes away and the lust thereof." You're investing in things that are gonna perish.
but he that doeth the will of God abides for ever ( 1 John 2:17 ).
That's great rationale. You see, our problem is that we so often lose sight of eternity. As we are in this world we get so involved in the worldly things, that our vision becomes clouded and we lose the sense and the consciousness of the eternal. And when you lose the consciousness of the eternal, then Satan can just really do a trip on your mind.
The seventy-third Psalm, Asaph speaks about that trip that Satan did on his mind, when he got his eyes upon the world and the people in the world. He said, "Now I know that God is good, but when I sought to understand a few things I was almost wiped out. Because I began to look at the prosperity of the wicked, I began to see how they got along and they didn't seem to have any problems," and this that and the other. And Satan just really started to put a real trip on him. And he said, "When I sought to know these things, I almost slipped." He said, "It doesn't pay to try and serve God. It doesn't pay to try and be good. And when I sought to know these things I almost slipped. Until I went unto the sanctuary of God and then I saw their end." In the sanctuary of God his vision was corrected and he got sight now of the eternal.
And that's why it's so important that we come into the sanctuary of God. Living in this materialistic world it's so easy to just get caught in the whole worldly flow, and we lose sight of the eternal. But it's important that we come into the sanctuary of God and we be reminded again that the world is going to pass away and the lust thereof, but he who does the will of God will abide forever, so that we get the right perspective on those things that we are drawn to or seeking after, that we keep the true perspective, that we don't get involved in those material things that are gonna pass away, but we keep our hearts on those things that are eternal. And that should always be our experience in the sanctuary of God, the correcting of the perspective, where we come again into the sense and the consciousness of the eternal.
Now there's where, of course, our problems lie as God deals with our lives. Because as God deals with our lives, He always has the eternal in view. And when I have only the temporal in view, many times my view differs from God's. And I say, "God, what are You doing? God, how can You say You love me? God, if You love me, why is this happening to me?" It's because I have my eyes on the temporal, material advantage and God is looking at the eternal plan and the eternal advantage. It's important that we step back and we get the long view and realize that the world is gonna pass away and the lust thereof. He who does the will of God abides forever.
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that the antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time ( 1 John 2:18 ).
Jesus said, "In the last times there will be many false christs that will arise." Many men declaring themselves to be the Savior. Now, that happened in John's day, and John took that as the sign that they were in the last times. But you know, I am convinced that it is God's desire that we all, in every generation, believe that ours is the final generation. I think that that is something that God wants to keep in the consciousness of the church. That this is it, that the Lord is coming soon. Because I really believe that this is one of the most purifying influences within the church and one the things that helps us to keep perspective almost more than anything else, is the realization that the Lord is coming soon. What difference does it make that the Lord is coming? Hey, He's coming soon. I'm very convinced that the Lord is coming within the next twenty years for me. I'll be extremely shocked if He doesn't come within twenty years for me. And hey, that's getting pretty soon, almost shockingly soon. The Lord is coming soon, sooner than what we realize or think.
Now, I personally also believe that He's coming for all of us very soon, even you young people. I believe that we are at the time of the end, and I do believe that God wants me to believe that, and God wants that to be in the consciousness of the church. Now, I do believe that there is much more reason to believe that today than there was to believe that twenty-five years ago. I believe that things have happened in the last twenty-five years in the development of certain technology that make Biblical prophecies now far more realistic than they could have been twenty-five years ago as far as their fulfillment was concerned. I really believe that we are getting down to the wire. I believe that we are in the last time.
John believed that he was in the last time, but I do believe that God intended him to believe that, as He intends all of us to live in the awareness or consciousness that at any moment the whole program can be interrupted. So that you don't get too attached to things. That you live lightly. As Paul said to Corinthians, and he also believed that, that he was in the last times, and writing to the Corinthians, in light of believing that this was it, he said, "The time has come when they that are married should be as though they weren't married." That is, your first priority should be that of serving God, rather than pleasing your wife. "When our every contact with the world," he said, "should be just as light as possible." That's the way we should always live, with a light touch with the world. Don't get so rooted, don't get so wound up in the worldly system that you're not ready to just drop it at moment's notice, at the blast of the trump of God.
So there were antichrists in those days. We are looking for the antichrist to soon come, but here it is plural, there were many antichrists.
Now John says concerning a lot of these who had turned against Christ that,
They went out from us, [some of them had even become a part of the fellowship of the church for a time,] but they were not of us; for had they been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us ( 1 John 2:19 ).
You know, it is a healthy body that is able to purge the poisons from its system. And when a body gets so weak that it can no longer purge the poisons, it will soon die. So it is a healthy body that is able to purge itself of poison. "They went out from us, but they weren't of us, for had they been of us, they no doubt would have remained with us, but they went out from us, that it might be made manifest that they were not of us."
But you have an unction [anointing] from the Holy One, and you know all things ( 1 John 2:20 ).
Now, we mentioned that there are two Greek words for know, ginosko, which is knowledge by experience, and then oetis, knowledge by intuition. What would you believe that this particular Greek word would be? "You have an unction from the Holy one and you know all things." Do you know all things by experience? Have you experienced everything? I haven't, and I'm glad. Lot of things I haven't experienced and I don't desire to experience them. So no, I don't know all things by experience, but I do know them by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. You have this anointing of the Holy Spirit and you know all things. There is a intuitive knowledge of the Spirit that comes to us. And it's an interesting thing, and almost a difficult thing when you have the intuitive knowledge of the Spirit and you're dealing a person that doesn't. You are absolutely amazed that they can't see it, because it's so clear.
This one problem we've often had is when God gives you an understanding, a knowledge of something, and you can see it so clearly and you try to explain it to somebody, and they say, "No, no. It's not that way." And they can't see it. It's almost frustrating. But the Spirit gives you an edge. And a lot of times you know things and you can't really tell how you know them. People say, "How do you know that?" And you say, "Well, I don't know how I know that, but I just know it." They say, "Oh, you can't know that." "Well, I do." You have an anointing from the Holy One, and He gives you this intuitive knowledge of people, many times, of circumstances and, of course, in this particular instance it is of people. "They went out from us." This intuition, you knew that they weren't really of us.
I have not written unto because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth ( 1 John 2:21 ).
And again, both of these words are oetis in Greek, knowledge by intuition. We know the truth. How do we know the truth? Because the Spirit of God has planted the truth in our hearts. We know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We know that He died for our sins. Try to explain that to someone who hasn't had the work of the Spirit within their heart. And all of the doubts and all of the misgivings and everything. So you know, thank God you know. You know by the work of the Spirit within your heart, thank God the Spirit worked in your heart, or you wouldn't know. You'd be just like the others, lost in the darkness of your own ignorance. "I have not written unto you because you don't know the truth, but because you do know it, and that no lie is of the truth."
Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Messiah? ( 1 John 2:22 )
As I say, you know that, you know that Jesus is the Messiah. How do know that? Because the Spirit of God has borne witness to your heart of this truth. A lot of people don't know this; they believe a lie. Those that deny that Jesus is the Messiah,
He is an antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son ( 1 John 2:22 ).
"Well, I believe in God, but I don't know why Jesus is necessary. You know, I believe that Jesus was a good man, a prophet and all, but . . . " No, you can't pass Him off as good man. There's too many inconsistencies there. You see, if He wasn't the Son of God, then He was a liar, and how can you say that a liar is a good man? He was a fraud, He was a deceiver, how can you say that He was a good man? You see, He was either God manifested in the flesh, or He was a deceiver and a liar and a fraud, and thus, He wasn't a good man. He was one of the worst charlatans who ever came down the road. If you deny the Father and the Son.
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same has not the Father ( 1 John 2:23 ):
"Well, I believe in God, but I don't believe in Jesus." No, you don't really believe in the Father. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by Me" ( John 14:6 ). Now a lot of people claim to believe in God, and I don't doubt their claim, I just don't know what god they believe in. You see, there are a lot of gods. David said, "The gods of the heathen are many." So a person says, "Hey, I believe in God, you know, a supreme being." Who does he believe in? I don't know. When Jesus talks about the Father, He is talking about the eternal God, the creator of the heaven and the earth. "Yea, yea, that's the one I believe in." Not if you don't believe in Jesus. You see, if you don't have the Son, you don't have the Father. If you don't have the Son, you can't come to the Father. "No man can come to the Father but by Him." So the only way to the God who is revealed in the Bible is through Jesus Christ.
Now there are many Jewish people today who say, "Well, we just pray to God. We don't need Jesus." Well then, I don't know to which god they are praying to. Because the God, even of their own Old Testament, required that before they could come to Him they had to offer a sacrifice and get rid of the sins, by the animal sacrifice. "Oh well, I just come to God with my good works, and I just believe that God accepts me because of my good works and my sincerity." Well, your god may, but he is not the god who is revealed in the Bible, because He said your works are like filthy rags in His sight. He has no interest in your works. The just shall live by faith, and not faith in your works, but faith in His work.
So there is a bond between the Father and the Son that you cannot have one without the other. To deny one is to deny the other; to receive one is to receive the other. They go together as a package and you can't separate them. Now the King James translators, here in verse 1 John 2:23 , added
he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also ( 1 John 2:23 ).
But that's just an addition to the text; you notice it's in italics. Which indicates it to be an addition to the text, and they're just trying to complete the thought, but the thought is complete enough without their addition. "Whosoever denies the Son has not the Father."
Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. For if that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father ( 1 John 2:24 ).
So in the beginning of their faith they were taught that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He came to be the Savior of the world. Now hold fast to that, let it abide in you, for you will continue both in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he has promised to us, even eternal life ( 1 John 2:25 ).
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" ( John 3:16 ). And Jesus said there in John 3:36 ,"He that hath the Son of God hath everlasting life, and he that does not have the Son of God shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And if you live and believe in Me you'll never die" ( John 11:25-26 ). So the promise that He has promised us is eternal life with Him in God's kingdom, that's the hope that I have now. I plan to spend my eternity with Jesus Christ, to forever be with the Lord. Wherever He is, there's where I'm gonna be.
These things I have written to you concerning them that would seduce you. But the anointing [that unction, same word] that you have received of him abides in you: and you need not that any man should teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in him ( 1 John 2:26-27 ).
Now, in the declaration that, "you have need that no man should teach you, but the Holy Spirit would teach you," and Jesus promised that. He said, "But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, in which the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have commanded you" ( John 14:26 ). And for you to really learn anything takes the work of the Holy Spirit within your heart. Now, the interesting thing is, though I may be teaching you God's Word and God's truth, and some of you are seeing it and understanding it, and it is being clarified, and you are saying, "Wow! Yea, man. Great," and others are saying, "What in the world is he talking about? When's this thing gonna get over? You know, I want to go to Bob's." And what's happening? With some the Holy Spirit is teaching you. You couldn't learn unless the Holy Spirit . . . . Even though you're hearing the truth, even though you read truth, you read the Word of God, unless the Holy Spirit teaches you, you can't really comprehend or understand it.
"The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them, they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual understands all things" ( 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 ). Now, what John is not saying is that we don't need teaching or men to be teaching the Word of God. For Paul says that the Lord has placed in the church, pastors and teachers, and God would not place them there unless we needed pastor-teachers. But though I may be called as a pastor-teacher and may be teaching the Word of God, you can't really learn the Word of God except the Holy Spirit bear witness to your own heart of the truth and plant the truth within your heart. So the teaching really comes from the Holy Spirit, that which really sticks in your heart and abides in your heart.
It's an interesting thing that I learn even from my own tapes. And a lot of times as I am listening to my tapes, I say, "Did I say that? I must be, it's my voice. I don't remember saying that. Hey, that's good, that's rich." Because of the anointing of the Spirit and the gift of teaching, and so that's what John is saying here. We need the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. Our hearts need to be open to the Spirit of God. We cannot learn the things of the Spirit, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in teaching us. That is why whenever we open the Bible to read it, we should pray, "Now, Lord, You teach me. Let the Spirit of God just instruct my heart in the way of truth."
And now, little children, what does the Spirit of God teach you? Abide in Him. That's the message--abide in Christ.
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming ( 1 John 2:28 ).
Now if you abide in Christ, then you will be walking as He walked. I wonder just what I will be doing when the Lord, suddenly, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye calls me home. Raptures His church. What will I be doing? Well, I'll tell you, I know what I don't want to be doing. Honestly, now really, to be honest with you, I hope I'm not watching a football game on T.V., especially if the Rams are losing to the Giants. I would think that would be sort of a waste of time, and I don't want the Lord to catch me wasting time. Even more than that, I hope I'm not watching A-Team. Now, I would prefer that I would be probably here preaching when the Lord comes. "Hey, all right. Look where I am, Lord."
Now we need to live in the awareness that the Lord can come at any time. You don't want to be ashamed at His coming. The Bible tells us to redeem the time, buy up the opportunities, take advantage of the time that God gives us. That we might have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
For if you know that he is righteous ( 1 John 2:29 ),
Do you know that He is righteous? How do you know that He is righteous? Oetis or ginosko? We know that He is righteous by the Spirit, intuitively.
then ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him ( 1 John 2:29 ).
How do I know that? Because I can see them, and by experience, I know those that do righteousness are born of Him. So you have the oetis and the ginosko, both in one verse there.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 John 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
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