Loving God and other people in a cynical world
This is perhaps one of the most difficult articles I ever had to write because John is dealing with much sin and hatred in the early church. If a Christian reads 1 John 3: 9-19 and does not squirm and struggle with these verses something is wrong somewhere. As this writing progresses you will see exactly what I mean.
In verse nine the Apostle mentions three times that we are born of God and two times that sin is not in that nature. One out of the three times he uses the term ... "His seed remaineth in him." ... but this is just another way to describe our born again position before God through His Son Jesus Christ. There were many farmers in that day so he wanted to bring this message to their world so they understood what he (the Apostle John) was saying to them.
In verse ten John is basically saying that if we are true Christians we will be living a righteous life and of course John goes on to say you heard this message from the beginning. The Apostle goes to an extreme example going all the way back to Cain but he does this for a reason. Cain had murder in his heart and he did slew his brother because his works (Abel) were righteous but John uses this story as a steppingstone to ask us, "Should you really be surprised if the world hates you?" I will talk about that in more detail in a bit but we did pass from death to life and the Apostle says that ultimate evidence of this is we truly love our brother. Always look for the emphasis in Scripture. Some Christians believe winning a theological debate will score them extra points in heaven but the real truth of the matter is it will not especially if we engage in this with the wrong spirit. If anything we will lose points if you know what I mean.
John goes on to state the obvious that if we hate our brother we do not have eternal life abiding in us but then goes to the opposite end and writes if Jesus Christ laid down His life for us we should desire to do the same for our brethren. Then he even gets more specific and says if we are blessed and see our brother in need we should have compassion for him and then assures us that the love of God dwells in us. To love in word and tongue is important but not nearly as vital as showing Godly affection in deed and truth. If we do this we know we are of the truth and our hearts will be assured before God. Let me just quote the original text for you and then I will expand on these biblical precepts and principles.
(9) Whoever is born of God doth not commit sin for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot commit sin, because he is born of God. (10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (11) For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (12) Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. (13) Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. (14) We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. (15) Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in Him. (16) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (17) But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him. (18) My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. (19) And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him." 1 John 3: 9-19.
There is a difference between the children of God and the children of the devil. There are distinct characteristics to look for because the Bible does say we will know them by their fruits. When verse nine talks about seed that can also go the other way. The seed of the serpent is neglecting our faith in one way or the other. We need to be very careful what goes into our minds and hearts because this becomes part of us and then is a permanent part of our spirit. If we do not allow God to correct us we will go down a dark path.
A Christian will live a righteous life but that does not mean we will never sin. This is why John starts at the beginning of the book of 1 John about the Christian repenting of their transgressions. The early church was having a problem with sin and loving their brother. In verse eleven John recommends fraternal Christian love. Before we can truly do that we have to love Jesus Christ but just as important value His affection for us. This is why we need to get to know Him which can be work but special when the Holy Spirit sheds light in our minds and hearts about the Son of the Living God.
This is the part when the Apostle John gets heavy duty in explaining the whole situation. This is why I said in the beginning of this article that I was squirming much because John is blunt and we are all going to have to do some really serious soul searching about ourselves.
John uses the example of Cain because he was the first that imitated and resembled the wicked one who is Satan. Cain had ill will (if we have this we need to stop right away) toward his brother because he had no restraint. This went so deep in his spirit that he committed murder.
If we indulge in sin we are positioning ourselves where we will continue to commit transgressions with no bounds. In plain language we will keep doing it over and over again and our consciences will become seared. Restraint does not sound like a spiritual word but it is more biblical than we could ever possible imagine.
I need you to think about what I am about to say. Cain was vexed with Abel being superior because of his obedience to God but what if he turned the whole thing around? What if Cain admired and imitated Abel and got right with God? Cain did not have good will toward Abel and let this be a learning process to us because that will teach us hate and revenge. This is why John goes on to say marvel not that the world hate you. He was going back to the original example of Cain to explain to Christians why the world has disdain for you as a believer in Jesus Christ. This is not to say that the majority of unbelievers will hate you but some will reach that level of sin and then he adds it should not shock us as Christians.
Love for God and our brother is a mark or evidence of our true faith in Jesus Christ. It is kind of interesting to me but every credible afterlife experience in hell gives me the same report. The demons in hell have such hatred toward God and unregenerate sinners that they could actually feel the hate. What if unbelievers in life could actually feel our love?
John is encouraging us to have a particular love to our brothers and sisters in the Lord. It is simple --- God loves them and we should also because we passed from death to life in Jesus Christ. Hatred is a sign of a deadly state in darkness (Satan). We should desire the welfare of someone else not bad to become their life. This involves the disposition of our heart and unfortunately hatred is emotional murder. This person does not have eternal life abiding in him.
The Apostle John explains that we need to follow the example and reality of Jesus Christ which should inflame our hearts with holy love. The Lamb of God died for our sins and as a result we should love those who the Triune Godhead loves and presently has deep affection.
This is the hard part of the message that John is portraying to his readers. Our love for our brother should be so fervent that we should be willing to suffer or die for him or her. If I were to stand up on the platform of where I work and say, "I love you guys and I am willing to die for you" I would either be hauled away to the funny farm or labeled as a man that had one to many drinks. The only way I could get away with that statement is if I were in a bar and did have to much alcohol.
I am saying this to describe the cynical way of life and the way we were taught be weary of people taking advantage of us on this earth. We need to understand that life is a cosmetic setup of the devil but it is also a test from God to us to see what is truly in our character.
What John is saying is we are to be compassionate, communicative and liberal for our brother's welfare and benefit. Remember we are going to be spending eternity with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Verse seventeen is a very important verse in the Bible because we can usually get away with this under an earthly law but we will never get away with this under the heavenly law. Read the verse again which is in the fifth paragraph of this article.
If we can help in a tangible way we should in another person's plight but we are never called to be their enabler in their sin. If you feel yourself growing cold in your busy daily routine and do not stop to help someone in their hour of need then count to ten if you know what I mean because God will be offended by your lack of response. We should have a mind and heart set to help because this is part of our character. Our Godly affection in this case would be service but do not just walk away in their time of despair.
If we do this we will be more sincere in our faith and our hope in Jesus Christ will increase which should say there is nothing like having integrity in our walk with Jesus Christ. If we follow the biblical precepts and principles that the Apostle John is talking about we will have more inward peace and abound in love through the Person of Jesus Christ.
If you are one out there that has not accepted Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord you may want to repent of all your sins and invite Jesus Christ to come into your life. God loves everyone so much and desires you to have love for Him and other people. This is so much better than living your life apart from Jesus Christ.
God Bless you,
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Monday, November 19, 2018
Abiding in Jesus Christ, living holy and the rapture
God the Father has bestowed a strong matter of love toward us as His children because this is part of our adoption as children of God through His Son Jesus Christ. It is the delight of God to call us His sons. We are to love God because this is a two way relationship but that is not what the Apostle John is keying on here in this passage.
We can not comprehend how much Jesus Christ loves us but I can say this is the main reason the world does not recognize us because they do not know Jesus Christ Himself. They may understand us as the carpenter, the hairdresser or the single Mom but not as a born again Christian. Read through this article and I will explain what I mean.
In this passage John talks about the rapture of the church. He says it does not yet appear what we shall be (unless of course you died, went to heaven and were brought back to life as a believer in Jesus Christ) but when He does appear we shall be like Him and see Jesus Christ. This does not mean we will know as much as the Son of God but it does mean we will have our resurrected bodies. By the way we will all have different faces because God created us as individuals.
The hope that John talks about is the rapture (Blessed Hope) but we are encouraged to purify ourselves even as Jesus Christ is pure. Grace is gracious but John admonishes us to live holy lives rather than sinful paths in our journey through life. If there are three realities that the Apostle keeps writing about it is living holy, the rapture of the church and abiding in Jesus Christ but not necessarily in this order.
If anyone commits a sin they do transgress against the law of God but Jesus Christ was manifested to take away our sins because there was never even one sin in Him. He is our perfect sacrificial atonement but we just have to make sure we accepted Him into our hearts based on what He did for us on the cross approximately 2000 years ago.
If you ever desired to know in a nutshell how not to sin it is abiding in Jesus Christ because He is 100 percent pure. There are different degrees of abiding in Christ just like there are different levels of sin and repentance. That is why it is pivotal to abide in Jesus Christ in a very deep way because then we will be pure in Him. In fact that is a promise in 1 John 3:6. Going the other way is not knowing Jesus Christ.
Once again John refers to his readers as, "Little children" and goes straight to the positive. He basically says if we live a righteous life this is good because God is righteous. John also explains that a person that keeps sinning as a lifestyle is of the devil and mentions that Satan sinned from the beginning. Jesus Christ did not just come to take away our sins but He also came to destroy the works of the devil. Let me quote 1 John 3:1-8 so you will see the original text.
(1) "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. (4) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (5) And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. (6) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. (7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. (8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:1-8.
The Apostle John argues for holy living as opposed to sin. John starts by being very encouraged by the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ in the Power of the Holy Spirit. The world can not perceive a God that would love us this much or they would have come to know Jesus Christ in a very personal way unless of course they are playing the excuse game. They may even see us as contaminated but we are the favorites of heaven and will be inhabitants there forever according to what the Bible teaches. We are strangers in this world and remember Jesus Christ Himself was treated horrible when He was down here on earth. The glory of our son ship and adoption is reserved for heaven. This did take place on earth for us as His children when we became born again in Jesus Christ but we live in a corrupted world so glory is reserved for heaven. Let the prideful person try and receive glory on earth and there are plenty of them in this world.
It is already determined that the rapture of the church will take place (Verse 3) and we are very close but I don't know how soon. This is up to God the Father. Our likeness will enable us to see Him as He is in heaven.
John urges us to be holy because those that hope to be with Jesus Christ must live pure lives because this "Hope" will constrain every true believer to live righteous. To sin as a lifestyle is a contraction to the very God we are serving who is our Creator.
If we are sanctified by faith for our salvation in Jesus Christ then we must be sanctified by hope through pure living as we prepare for the rapture which is a sign less event. It could happen at any moment. This Blessed Hope purifies us for the "Hope" of heaven. We could never be happy in this world in our present state because it is evil and we are not destined to stay.
John talks about sin and holy living much and even argues his case. We have to do business with either heaven or hell. If only two people do construction work we have to choose one and that is the same with the way we live here on earth. We are either doing business with holy or evil but it is one or the other. If someone is in the middle that is called lukewarm which is a sin according to the account of the Laodicean church in the book of Revelation.
Jesus did not just save us if we are a believer because He is chipping away flesh in our life which can be painful and conforming us to Himself. This is one reason why our communication with God should be pure because sin is in opposition to Jesus Christ but purity is real union with Jesus Christ. If we abide in the Son of God we can not continue in the practice of sin. Christians that abide in Jesus Christ are keeping their covenant with Him which is holy living. Don't you think it is a pretty good idea to abide deep into the Person of Jesus Christ? Bible reading, prayer and living holy/righteous.
One question would be are we to renounce sin? Of course because this is good evidence of saving knowledge in our Lord Jesus Christ. The practice of righteousness through Jesus Christ is true salvation in the Son of God but the practice of sin and a justified state in Jesus Christ is inconsistent. True faith in Jesus Christ takes integrity and a strong conscience.
A person that always sins has a relationship with the devil or they are doing business with the kingdom of darkness. If we commit sin we are living under the power and dominion of that transgression. This is why repentance is a practice that every true believer in Jesus Christ should be engaging in every day. Jesus Christ conquered sin so we should let go of our transgressions more and more and let the one that defeated death to destroy this in our lives. We were regenerated from sin so we should try and relinquish it from our daily living. We will slip and fall but allow the Holy Spirit to pick us up through our repentance to God through His Son Jesus Christ.
To be a born again Christian (the Bible says we must be born again in John chapter 3) is to be inwardly renewed and restored to a holy nature by the power of the Spirit of God. Grace should be renewed in our life all the time because it is an abiding principle. We have a new nature in Jesus Christ so a true regenerated person in Jesus Christ can not sin as a lifestyle. This person can not practice sin without repentance because he is born of God not the devil.
It is hard to see the malignity and evil of our transgression if it is a besetting sin because it comes so natural to us but trust what the Bible has to say because it is there even if we do not see the contamination. There should be a bias in our heart not to sin. We should have a bent that is against transgressions.
A person that is not saved is morally unable to abstain from sin because he or she does not have the power of Jesus Christ in him or her. Most unbelievers that I know of don't even struggle with their sin but an authentic believer in Jesus Christ will so where do you want to be in life and eternity?
If you are one that never accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God in your life please do so because sin will destroy a life and an eternity apart from God. Jesus Christ came and died for our sins in the most cruel and brutal way so you must know this is a very serious subject. I trust you made that all important eternal decision and will live for Jesus Christ.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ remember we were saved by faith in Jesus Christ but our Blessed Hope is living a pure life. If we do this proper preparation for the rapture of the church is taking place in our lives and we will be ready when the trumpet sounds. The Apostle John keyed in on abiding in Jesus Christ, living holy and the rapture of the church. If all three are incorporated in our life we will be the profitable servants for Jesus Christ. I pray and hope that everyone will make the right decision because life is short but eternity is long.
God Bless you,
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Basic biblical precepts with Holy Spirit guidance
This is a very interesting study because the Apostle John delves into different realms but they tie in with each other based on the backdrop of the subject regarding seduction. One of the verses is not very complicated but very difficult to break down in simple terms. There is another verse that is one of the most popular verses in the Bible but it is almost always taken out of context.
In verse 24 John mentions the word " That " twice. I would agree it is an extremely simple word but powerful because the Apostle is urging them to go back to the simple for a variety of reasons. At the end of verse 24 a true Christian is defined in biblical terms.
I will be going over 1 John 2: 24-29. I must confess this is one of the most difficult articles I ever wrote because John puts together two subjects that are the same yet different.The key is to understand the progression so we can follow the order and stay strong in Jesus Christ.
In verse 25 we are promised eternal life through Jesus Christ if we meet the conditions of verse 24. In verse 26 he reminds them of the seducers/deceivers in the various fellowships. In verse 27 which is an extremely difficult verse to break down (I promise I will make it simple) if we meet the standards of verse 24 we will have an anointing straight from God in our hearts which serves multiple purposes. Verse 28 talks about the believers judgment seat in heaven but it is almost never spoken of in proper context. This scripture verse is quoted all the time. Verse 29 reminds us that God is righteous and we should be living the same way in our journey through life.
(24) "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (25) And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life. (26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27) But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him. (28) 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. (29) If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him." 1 John 2: 24-29.
In verse 24 "That" is used twice. The first time is a strong urge to stay or go back to the origin of the original doctrine and teachings that the Apostle John and other great Bible expositors taught them regarding doctrine and biblical precepts. For example doctrine would be Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day. A teaching would be John going over John chapter 15 which is the great abiding chapter in the gospel of John. Obviously these are two examples he went over with his congregation but there were many more that he and others elaborated on in great detail. "That" is mentioned again in the same verse and this is a promise from God in that they remained in the basic biblical teachings and refused to be deceived by some sort of lie that had nothing to do with Jesus Christ. At this point they would be continuing in the Son and the Father. These are the true genuine Christians.
In verse 25 God promises eternal life to these Christians. Technically speaking eternal life starts when we first became born again Christians but in this context since these believers in Christ chose to be biblical sound on a daily basis they were continuing in the Son and the Father. Eternal life here probably means heaven. It is not referring to the person that accepted Jesus Christ in his or her heart 20 years ago and just does not care about God.
In verse 26 John once again reminds them about the seducers in the various fellowships. A seducer is one that entices someone or a group away from the original truth. Not only do they have to live with this lie but will be responsible and accountable for deceiving others into a pit of darkness. John is extremely concerned with these people because he did not want his work to be in vain but that was not what he was primary concerned with because he cared for them as little children and desired them to have a continual fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Verse 27 could be perhaps one of the most difficult verses in the Bible but remember it is only for those Christians that are meeting the guidelines of verse 24. If you need to review these verses it is in the fifth paragraph of this article.
These true Christians received an anointing from the Holy Spirit Himself and it abided in them. Yes they were taught by the greatest teachers but no man taught them this "Anointing." This gift from the Third Person of the Trinity taught them all truths (present tense) and it was pure truth which means there was no lie in this teaching. The seducers were liars so John was reminding them that they should be able to discern their false theology because they chose to remain in the basic biblical teachings that were originally taught to them which gave these Christians true instruction from heaven.The result was these unbelievers got saved through the Person of Jesus Christ. They were blessed and had such joy in their hearts.
The Apostle John adds an extension to this verse by saying, ..."Even as it taught you, ye shall abide in Him." John gets very detailed in John chapter 15 but he adds another insight on how to abide in Jesus Christ because he is saying this anointing is in you, teaches you in the present tense because you chose to persevere in sound biblical principles. He was saying this will prop you to abide in Jesus Christ. The moral is "Stay" with basic Bible precepts with an earnest spirit, understand the Holy Spirit is witnessing in our spirit and continue to abide in Jesus Christ as a lifestyle.
Verse 28 is always quoted but almost never in context. "Before this passage says ... "When He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming" the Bible states "And now little children, abide in Him." John just got through explaining in detail these basic truths in Scripture and "Then" he says we will have motive for the right reason to abide in Jesus Christ.
It is not until we get to verse 29 that reviews God is righteous and we ought to be living pure lives before Jesus Christ. At this point we will be confident at the judgment seat in heaven which is reserved for believers in Jesus Christ as opposed to being ashamed. As strange as this may sound the emotion of shame is possible in heaven even though it is a perfect place. John is comparing the words confident and ashamed in the same verse.
I would like to give some more thoughts regarding this particular passage. This situation is somewhat similar to the Ephesus church in the book of Revelation but they forgot that love was supposed to be residing in their hearts. They would have kicked these seducers out so fast that ten seconds would not have even expired. This other group the Apostle John is talking to had love in their hearts but were very susceptible to a "New" teaching.
Truth is older than error. For example before the fall there was nothing but truth until Eve ate the piece of fruit that she was not supposed to digest and then Adam took a bit. This was a new teaching that was against the will of God and as a result all of humanity had the curse of sin from that point into future generations.
When we got saved with the truth of Jesus Christ we are not suppose to exchange that for a lie. This is when the real problems start. We need to remain in the Bible so we can have holy union with God through His Son Jesus Christ. If you think this is a simple message why are so many Christians defecting from the faith?
Abiding in Jesus Christ helps us abstain from sin because the Lamb of God is pure. The seducing message may look so good on the outside but it will cause much harm on the inside. I hope nobody ever forgets that we were originally saved through Jesus Christ and given eternal life. We should believe and live the way we were originally taught. We did not get redeemed through some strange teaching. Nobody but God can give us eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. No church, no man or some other entity can do this for us. When someone claims to know the "Answers" run the other way if they are not going to the Bible.
I did say verse 27 (this verse is in the fifth paragraph) is very detailed but it is only obvious that if we as Christians do not have inward confirmation of the Holy Spirit witnessing in our hearts with sound biblical doctrine and principles then what good is great teaching from a person who goes straight to Scripture and righty divides the word of God? Just because a singer hits all the notes does not mean they are necessarily reaching the souls of other people listening to the song.
The conviction to stay in the Bible every day with earnestly before God with the sustainment power of the Holy Spirit helps us preserve against seducers/deceivers that are trying to lure us away from the truth in Jesus Christ.
I wrote regarding a highly quoted verse (28) about first abiding in Jesus Christ so we can have confidence before Jesus Christ when we are judged as Christians in heaven. Jesus Christ persuades us with His love and as a result we do not desire to sin. This will happen after the rapture of the church. The what we did and why we did it will be analyzed and then we will receive our reward. If we continue in Jesus Christ through all our temptations we will have confidence and joy in the sight of Him. According to verse 28 we will either have confinence or shame as we give account of our life to Him.
If you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ according to the Bible you will have to face a different judgment at the Great White Throne for all the sins you ever committed in this life because if this is the case you are under the full weight of the law. If you reject Jesus Christ in this judgment your case will be in shambles before holiness and righteousness. It would have to be obvious that you need to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life. Only God through His Son Jesus Christ can save you and give you eternal life.
I hope you just made that eternal decision so you can learn biblical precepts from the Bible in the power of the Holy Spirit and allow this strength to guard you against sin and discern lying deceivers in this world that want to do you harm by enticing you away from the truth. Trust the Bible because the Apostle John mentions seducers/deceivers on several occasions that are straight from the devil. They live this lie as a lifestyle but I am hoping you will live a lifestyle of abiding in Jesus Christ. He is the truth and there is no lie in Him.
God Bless you,
Sunday, November 11, 2018
Who is true and who is false?
The Apostle John referred to his readers as "Little children" and you will see why as this article progresses. He reminded them it was the last days on several occasions. John told them the antichrist is coming on the world stage but he was far more concerned with all the mini antichrists that opposed the kingdom of Christ. In this particular context they left the Christ centered fellowships because they were pretending to be Christians. The Apostle reminded them that they were the ones that had an unction from the holy one with knowledge. Since they knew the truth they had the advantage in winning this battle because there is no lie in the truth. They were denying that Jesus is the Christ and as a result the Apostle John defined them as liars. These particular people were denying the Father and the Son. If anybody denies Jesus Christ they are denying the Father but those that acknowledge Jesus Christ have the favor of God the Father.
(18) "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists whereby we know that it is the last time. (19) They went out from us; for if they had 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. (20) But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus Christ is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." 1 John 2:18-23.
The end of the age of grace is coming which would be a reference to the rapture of the church. A disciple of Jesus Christ should always be warned that there is a haste for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His bride. There is a sense of urgency to get the gospel of Jesus Christ out to a dying world.
John is really keying in on one particular sign of the last days. In simple terms many people oppose the kingdom of Christ which can take on many different forms. It can take place in the classroom when Creation can not be taught. It can take place in certain places of society when Jesus Christ can not even be mentioned. It can take place in a court of law or so many other realms that I can not even count.
This should come as no surprise to Christians that there are all kinds of mini antichrists in this world. The Bible says in verse 18 that ..."Even now there are many antichrists"... so the mystery of iniquity is already working at present. It is a sign that we are living in the last days but it is way worse now in comparison to approximately 2000 years ago. What I am seeing is so bad that I can not compare it to any other time frame in the history of mankind. There is a campaign against Christianity around the world and this dark bond can be felt by serious Christians that are mature in Christ.
A mini antichrist is a seducer so they will not be able to stand the company of serious Christians for any length of time. This is the reason why they left a genuine fellowship. In this day and age people leave good churches all the time but that does not mean they are against the kingdom of Christ. In the particular context of this time in history John was saying they were impostors and against Jesus Christ.
Even the purest fellowships for the Son of God can have apostates in the church. A true disciple has a sacred truth in his or her heart because they truly know Jesus Christ but these hypocrites that were pretending to be for Him could not stand to be with true believers in Jesus Christ. That is why the Apostle John said they would have continued with us so these apostates were confessing through their responses that they did not have true faith in Jesus Christ. They were made manifest or obvious so the reality was they were reduced because they did not know the truth. Only settle for Jesus Christ Himself. If you do not know the Son of God repent of all your sins and accept Him into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord and invite the Lamb of God into your life. I hope you just made this all important eternal decision.
We need to understand John is encouraging these very serious disciples of Jesus Christ in their very hour of being seduced. This is why the Apostle is referring to his readers as "Little children." The Apostle was not so concerned with them being deceived because they were mature in Christ but he was extremely involved in them suffering under many lies that were opposed to Jesus Christ. John had much empathy for them in what they were enduring for Jesus Christ.
In verse 20 this passage says, "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." The true believers had some sort of anointing from the Holy Spirit which is His grace that Jesus Christ Himself bestowed on His children a certain gift / gifts but these false people had no anointing from the Son of God because they were against Him. Our Savior and Lord does this because He desires His children to be like Him but the Son of the Living God is certainly not going to give a mini antichrist anything because they are straight from the devil.
When John says ..."And ye know all things" this means the truths concerning Jesus Christ and His ways so when they saw a person oppose the kingdom of Christ they knew because understanding the original (Jesus Christ) means we will not be deceived by the counterfeit (the devil). Satan can only imitate Jesus Christ but he can not come up with anything new on his own.
As you can see John was not being negative because of their ignorance but he was encouraging them as they battled these deceivers who were against Jesus Christ. They loved the Lamb of God because He died for their sins but the other group hated the Son of God. They were at the very least being persecuted because of this deception. They were having a very difficult time dealing with all the lies. Did you ever just look at someone who says they are of Jesus Christ but knew deep down that he or she was false and lying? It hurts and vexes the spirit.
What was in their favor was they knew the truth who is Jesus Christ and there is no lie in the truth. John knew they were prepared to discern the mini antichrists and what is inconsistent with the truth because they were well taught with a spirit of obedience to God. The other group did not know the truth and had absolutely no desire to have true faith in Jesus Christ. How could they if they were against the Son of God?
Frauds are incapable of speaking the full truth because nothing but lies are inside of them. In detailed terms they were denying that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah. These people are direct enemies to God the Father and Jesus Christ. They are rejecting the witness and testimony of God the Father. Well if you deny the Son of God who is Jesus Christ you are denying God the Father.
Of course John encourages his readers to continue to abide in the real doctrine of Jesus Christ. I would like to urge Christians to read the Bible and discern the real truth then you will be able to discern someone that is against the kingdom of Christ. They probably despise you and this is where you have to be very strong in Jesus Christ.
Some people may be saying that John said we were in the last days about 2000 years ago so we may not even be close to the rapture. They were in the last days but we are really close to the return of Jesus Christ. Remember John wrote Revelation chapter 13 and he did understand demonic miracles but had no clue about holographic technology. He wrote what he saw but now we have this deception in the form of computers. Oh look how beautiful this is --- no it is a lie and the world system knows just how to make this look real.
Dear Christian please stay strong in the Person of Jesus Christ. Dear unbeliever in Jesus Christ please make that all important decision to ask Jesus Christ into your heart. I know I gave the invitation once already in this article but I felt led again because Jesus Christ is truth. This is way better then to be surrounded by lies and not even have the ability to discern who/what is true and false or against the kingdom of Christ.
God Bless you,
Friday, November 02, 2018
Rejecting Jesus Christ or embracing Jesus ChristIf you are a Christian your sins have been forgiven through Jesus Christ for His name's sake. John in this particular passage speaks to the mature Christians and commends them for overcoming the wicked one because they truly knew the Father. The Apostle also writes to young Christians. He does mention their strength but really keys on their steadfast practice of abiding in Jesus Christ and overcoming the devil. I suppose if there were one overriding message John is trying to portray is if you love this world the love of the Father is not in you. I will be going over 1 John 2:12-17 and it is true that verse 16 is one of the most popular verses in the Bible but not necessarily the most applicable in this passage. The world and lust will pass away but ... "He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:17.(12) "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. (13) I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (14) I have written unto you, fathers, from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:12-17.Christians are in different standings with God. Some are babes in Christ and others are older and more mature in in our Savior and Lord. John goes down in this passage and lists some of the truths they both have in common. One principle he lays out is they both have love for God and contempt for the world. This does not mean hating people (In fact we are to love people) but the fact of the matter is the very core of this world is run by the devil. 2 Cor.4:4. My heart is very taken back by this reality.Let me give you another example of what the babes in Christ have in common with the mature in our Savior. Their sins were forgiven for His name's sake but that means knowing our transgressions were pardoned through Jesus Christ. We are strongly obliged to relinquish this world. Here is the principle --- the more we understand our sins are forgiven through the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) the less we will desire this world. Trust me you are not missing much.Do you find yourself holding on to parts of this world? Don't be so hard on yourself because as a child most of us were trained to be this way. The only reason at this point we are withdrawn from this world is because we have grown in the knowledge of God. The two are not in keeping with each other. Even if I did not know Jesus Christ in a personal way at this point I would not be attracted to this world. If you ask why I say please look around you and your heart will not have to travel to far to figure out this is an evil world. Most of what I see is negative and very sad.The most widely asked question in the world is, "How can a good God allow evil in this world." I was talking to a man just the other day and he was speaking of all the darkness in this world. I replied, "Sometimes God allows these things to happen for His purpose." The man said, "I'm not a believer." Then he started mentioning all the evil in his surroundings. His conclusion seemed to be either there is not a God or I just refuse to become a believer in Jesus Christ. In this particular situation I was not able to get many words in but I can tell you the main reason God allows evil in this world is to refine the righteous. Contrary to popular belief God sees everything from A to Z. He has a purpose and all I can say is if you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ He does not need to be rejected because of His plan He needs to be embraced because of His love and wisdom.In this passage of Scripture the Apostle goes from babes in Christ to the very top of the school but both will always need further instruction in the word of God. We will never stop learning even in heaven. The moral is wherever we are in life we have to position ourselves before God to be taught by Him.John knew that mature Christians were more able to relinquish the world but he still encouraged them to stay strong in Jesus Christ. Keep in mind John was talking to believers that were achievement oriented in their Christian experience so in a round about way he had to remind them that their true strength was in Jesus Christ. For example in verse fourteen in the second part John does say to the young you are strong but I can not help but read between the lines that he knew the babes in Christ were far more tempted to rely on their own strength. In this case they allowed the word of God to dwell in their hearts and were in a position to defeat the devil in their life.People will attack us in this world in one form or another. The real question is are we going to "Try" and defeat the devil in our own strength or are we going to be victorious over the world system through the power of Jesus Christ. Even as Christians we have the choice.The Apostle considered the word of God abiding in their hearts "Vital" to practically winning this war that the Bible talks about and once again the victory is in Jesus Christ. Remember John wrote the great abiding chapter in John chapter 15 so it is just common sense that he reviewed this with his students. They were taught well and I'm sure in this setting everybody took serious notes because there were no tape recorders.In verse fifteen John makes it very clear that everybody should be crucified to the world. A child of God should have their love reserved for Jesus Christ. The Apostle did not want them wasting their love on the world because it is either one or the other (the love of the Father in our hearts through Jesus Christ or this earth in it's sinful form). At the risk of repeating myself we need to make a choice. Once we do this God will honor our decision and work with us but if we try and startle the fence we can not expect the aid of the Holy Spirit because this is called being lukewarm.One thing I found out about the human heart is it seems to be very narrow. What I just said reminds me of that verse in Matthew chapter seven when the word of God says narrow is the way and few that be that find it." God did not design us to have affection for Him and the world at the same time so it would have to be overwhelmingly obvious that love for this world or any kind of lust is not ordained by God.Verse 16 is in the second paragraph of this article and one of the most popular in the Bible. The things of the world are broken down into three categories but what most people do not understand is this involves the depraved nature of the human heart especially if we go deeper and deeper into one of these three.The first is the lust of the flesh which are the luxuries in this world. I am not like this but have seen people that are and they usually have much apathy to God. They just do not care and at the very least this is gross unbelief for Jesus Christ. Why have faith in the Son of God when living in luxury? God is not looking at our assets as much in that He is searching our heart.The lust of the eyes is covetousness. If we do this it is almost inevitable that we will fall into some sort of sin. When ancient Israel went to war sometimes God would command them not to take even one spoil after the war. That is something that probably applies to the lust of the eyes.The pride of life involves ambition. This usually involves earthy thrusts apart from God. We as Christians are to set our goals and live by faith in God but ambition in our flesh is just walking away from Jesus Christ. This is why if we built our own house as Christians God may get a hammer and smash it to pieces. What I say is, "Thank you God" no matter how painful it is because multitudes of people die in their ambitious dream state and go straight to hell. When I did this and God broke my house the pain was unbearable. If somebody were to ask me on a scale of 1 to 100 how much pain was I in when God applied this principle to my life I would have said 2000. Let me ask you a question --- Isn't that better than the eternal fires of hell? Be grateful when God intervenes in our life even if there is much travail.All these appetites must be mortified and subdued. Earthy things will vanish but the person that does the will of God will live forever. The truth of the matter is the things of this world are already in the process of dying. The object of our love has to be for God because the world will die but our affection to Jesus Christ will last for eternity. This particular love for God will never fail because true Christians are promised to be a heir of immortality to eternal life through Jesus Christ.If you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ I hope I portrayed the gospel of Jesus Christ in an honest and accurate way. If you would like eternal life accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the living God into your life. Love God and remember that the world/lust will pass away but the person that does the will of God will abide forever in heaven.God Bless you,Bob D.
The blessing of love and the warning of hate
The Apostle John starts out talking about an old commandment which is love. He urges Christians to walk through life with the true light shining through our spirit who is Jesus Christ Himself. He warns people in two out of five verses to watch out for people that have the spirit of hate in them especially those who say they are walking in the light. John does give the good news of believers in Jesus Christ who are walking in love but he also gives the end result of those who are living a life of darkness.(7) "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. (8) 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. (9) He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. (10) He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (11) But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." 1 John 2: 7-11.John makes it very clear that he is not writing about a new commandment but an old commandment. "Old" means the beginning of time which would be the very first human being ever created by God who was Adam. Even after he sinned Adam still had this law written in his heart (love) but the problem is the conscience gets seared and some other negative emotion takes the place of this pure "Love" and literally replaces something good and now bad or evil wins this fight. Yes I am actually saying we have to be proactive and fight this spiritual warfare so ultimately if we put on the whole armor of God as mentioned in Ephesians chapter six we will be walking in the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ. Did you ever notice that people who are passive in their relationship with Jesus Christ always fall into some emotion that has nothing to do with God?(12) "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:12-13.Remember we are Christians now so the darkness we had in our life should be gone unless we allow it to become part of our lives and surface because of our neglect for our souls which is a lifestyle of repentance, faith and obedience to God. People that do not know Jesus Christ in a personal way for the most part really don't make any claims that they are not ignorant of the Son of God and His precepts but that should not be true for Christians because the "Light" who is Jesus Christ should be shining through our hearts. If this is not happening we should be doing everything before God to get right so this becomes a reality in our hearts. When John says in verse eight ... "And the true light now shineth" he is saying that we can not truly love unless this reality is taking place in our lives. This is difficult and what I mean by that is our approach has to be proactive because living clean before God is an everyday process.Jesus Christ is full of grace but that should also be true in our own lives. If darkness is distant from us Jesus Christ shines through us and of course it will just come natural to desire and obey God. One thing many Christians do not realize is we are building on a foundation be it good or bad but this process is happening in our life for our eternity.If we allow this particular love from God to govern our souls we will be Christians who are approving the "Light." in life to be good, genuine, earnest and authentic and it will be easier for us to love other people that are not all that appealing. When we do this our heart is the same as Jesus Christ. We probably do not understand how much God loves everybody yet the Bible says "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13. I suppose if there is one thing I grieve the most in my heart it would be this painful eternal reality that the Bible says is true.When verse ten says ... "There is no occasion of stumbling in him." it is in the context of a child of God allowing the true "Light" who is Jesus Christ to shine through him or her. This individual loves God and other people. It really does not matter what happens to this Christian because this person is so grounded in the Person of Jesus Christ that he or she can not fall because the proper foundation in this house has been built through the Person of Jesus Christ. He or she made the right choices by proceeding with these very principles John has written in 1 John 2:7-11.The Bible is extremely strong on Christian love because we value the soul of our brother in Christ but our heart is vexed at the mere possibility that something injurious could happen in their distress or easy going nature and circumstances thus stealing peace for themselves and even their family.It is interesting to me that in this particular passage John has bookends. In verse ten the Apostle is talking about loving his brother but the top verse (nine) and the bottom verse (eleven) John really desires to make his point that hatred is equated to spiritual darkness. Both love and hate are strong emotions but the thing with hatred is you have to keep feeding it over and over and this emotion is never satisfied. I hope it is obvious that any person like this has malignity in their heart in a spiritually contaminated state because of this "Hatred" John is writing about to his readers. They are trapped in their own soul and in serious trouble with God.We need spiritual "Light" from Jesus Christ and this liberating truth has to be coming out of our spirit. We need to shine for God to others because they don't understand the love of Jesus Christ. John goes on to say that darkness is exactly what it says in that ... "He knows not whether he goes, because darkness hath blinded his eyes." If we are literally walking in the dark without light don't you think we will bang our legs on a table? We may even walk into a wall.Jesus Christ is the Lord of love so we should allow the "All Knowing God" to educate us because love will always be at the beginning, middle and end of our lives. Many people accept Jesus Christ into their hearts but disciples have got to have love in their hearts from God. This is a choice but giving that the Apostle John shows us the blueprint for the true "Light" who is Jesus Christ Himself shining in our hearts why would we be perhaps apathetic or strong on living in darkness through hatred in our hearts?If you are one who does not know Jesus Christ you may want to make a decision to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting Him into your life. This passage explains the precept of love rather than hate which just divides and destroys lives and perhaps the eternal destiny of a person or even worse many people.The choice is up to you but this passage of Scripture is very clear that allowing the true "Light" who is Jesus Christ to shine through our souls is the way God wants us to live. It is also what the redeemed saints, angels and other created creatures are doing in heaven and they will be rejoicing in this to the glory of God for all eternity. I hope and pray I have or am convincing you in the present tense that this is the truth and perhaps you will embrace what John says in this passage of the Bible for your life and eternity.God Bless you,Bob D.