1 John - Amplified With Commentary - Part 1 Priscilla Van Sutphin
1: 1 WE ARE writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.
2 And the Life [an aspect of His being] was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw [as eyewitnesses] and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life [in Him] Who already existed with the Father and Who [actually] was made visible (was revealed) to us [His followers].
3 What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [ which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 4 And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [ and your joy may be complete ]. 5 And this is the message [ the message of promise ] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [ no, not in any way ].
Since God is light He is perfect. He is the only Perfect One. And we who have this light in us, go from glory to glory, more and more light as we have communion with Him. He is the one Who drives out the darkness in us, through increasing His presence in us.
6 [So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents].
7 But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [ true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [ keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations ].
If we walk in the light as He is in the Light then we have unbroken fellowship with one another...we maintain fellowship with other Christians...because We are to be ONE.
If we communion with HIM, then we love one another as He loves us. We do not hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness,
Because we cannot, and truly have fellowship with Him. If we commune with Him we will be convicted by the Light He manifests to us, and will have to repent and forgive. Because He cannot be unfaithful. Even if we are unfaithful, He is not. It is us who put up the blocks to intimacy with Him.
8 If we say we have no sin [ refusing to admit that we are sinners ], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].
Some people think they have to put on a pretense of not having any sin in their lives to look good to the church or others, but pretense is living a lie. We are sinners, saved by HIS grace. Every day there are things we do that are an offense to Him. If we put everything in His hands we will ask Him daily, and NOT HIDE. Lord, show me any offenses I have committed today that I am not aware of. We don't have to fear...below says HE is Faithful to forgive, if we confess. And it also helps to thank Him daily, when we do, that He is doing all He can to lead us into paths of righteousness and helping us to overcome, one step at a time. We don't need to live condemned.
9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
So, continual fellowship means we continually are washing our feet..as Jesus said, if we will daily wash our feet, we have no need to wash our bodies. He wants us to keep a short leash to confess our sins daily...not let it go and confess them that He will cleanse us daily and we will then have that unbroken fellowship...continually flowing to and from the throne room.
10 If we say (claim) we have not sinned, we contradict His Word and make Him out to be false and a liar, and His Word is not in us [the divine message of the Gospel is not in our hearts].
1 John 2:1 MY LITTLE children, I write you these things so that you may not violate God's law and sin. But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father--[it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright, just, Who conforms to the Father's will in every purpose, thought, and action].
2 And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.
He is our COVERING...the atonement for our sins ...that is what atonement means...He covered our sins....
3 And this is how we may discern [daily, by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]: if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments).
This is how we know we are growing in our knowledge of Him if we can see that we are more and more keeping His commandments. We may not be where we want to be, but there should be progress.
4 Whoever says, I know Him [ I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him ] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him.
5 But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [ who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety ], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him:
6 Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.
That is our objective as Christians to be followers of Christ in deed as well in words. Without evidence of a changed life, how will those in the world see us as any different than themselves ?
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message which you have heard [the doctrine of salvation through Christ].
8 Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true (is realized) in Him and in you, because the darkness (moral blindness) is clearing away and the true Light (the revelation of God in Christ) is already shining.
9 Whoever says he is in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even until now.
That is pretty clear; if we hold grudges against our brothers and sisters and do not forgive them their trespasses, as He forgives ours, then He says He won't forgive ours and here it says that that person abides in DARKNESS.not the Light of God.
10 Whoever loves his brother [believer] abides (lives) in the Light, and in It or in him there is no occasion for stumbling or cause for error or sin.
11 But he who hates (detests, despises) his brother [ in Christ ] is in darkness and walking (living) in the dark; he is straying and does not perceive or know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Not only that, but that anger & hatred sends out assignments of demons against that brother or sister...hatred sends murderous spirits towards another.
1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Matt 5:44-45 NKJV But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matt 5:21-22 NKJV "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder,' and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.
Prov 10:12 NKJV Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
Prov 10:18-19 NKJV Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
12 I am writing to you, little children, because for His name's sake your sins are forgiven [ pardoned through His name and on account of confessing His name ].
13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be aware of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have been victorious over the wicked [one]. I write to you, boys (lads), because you have come to know (recognize and be aware) of the Father.
I think John addresses all these ages of men to know it applies to all of them, not just mature men.
14 I write to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be conscious of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the Word of God is [always] abiding in you (in your hearts), and you have been victorious over the wicked one.
15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [ greedy longings of the mind ] and the pride of life [ assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things ]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world [ itself ].
Why does John suddenly divert to talking about the world ? Because the love of the world makes our hearts to grow cold towards the Lord and His purposes in our lives. It is easy to happen when we become comfortable as the whole old testament shows...or if we are beaten down by the enemy. God is good, when He brings a slap on the wrist in this area. He is trying to maintain His relationship with us when that happens...Above all HE desires fellowship with us. It's not what we can DO for him that matters as much as the LOVE relationship we have. If we get too busy , too much like the world in how we live...IT draws us away from our constant Source of LIFE. HE is the LIGHT we need to keep going, to keep walking in the Light.
17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.
He wants us to keep our eyes on HIMnot on the worldon what is eternal.
18 Boys (lads), it is the last time (hour, the end of this age). And as you have heard that the antichrist [he who will oppose Christ in the guise of Christ] is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, which confirms our belief that it is the final (the end) time.
It seems weird to read this in this age almost 2000 years later, but the antichrist has been here from the beginning . Having an awareness of the end times being imminent seems to accompany great moves of God.. Amy Semple MacPherson talked about it in her sermons and at the time many thought because of the world war it was the end of the world.
19 They went out from our number, but they did not [really] belong to us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But [they withdrew] that it might be plain that they all are not of us.
Now, John has been talking of antichrists [ those who oppose the truth of the gospel- not those who oppose a lack of love ] and this scripture has been so misused by some pastors to use against anyone who leaves their flock. You know, some people just need to find someone who loves them enough to not abandon them, to not let them stew in their problems. Some people need to find where they FIT. Most people I know, whether they were right in their perceptions or not, left sheepfolds due to people NOT ministering to their needs ..not loving them enough to take time with them, or to get to know them. And I once read in a book somewhere, that the reason people are drawn to cults is the lack of love in the church. The 5 fold ministry is to empower and equip people in their gifting...not to hoard that power or gifting.....but to create MORE apostles, prophets, teachers....etc.
20 But you have been anointed by [you hold a sacred appointment from, you have been given an unction from] the Holy One, and you all know [the Truth] or you know all things.
21 I write to you not because you are ignorant and do not perceive and know the Truth, but because you do perceive and know it, and [know positively] that nothing false (no deception, no lie) is of the Truth.
22 Who is [such a] liar as he who denies that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah)? He is the antichrist (the antagonist of Christ), who [habitually] denies and refuses to acknowledge the Father and the Son.
This shows even further that he is talking about those who deny CHRIST.
23 No one who [habitually] denies (disowns) the Son even has the Father. Whoever confesses (acknowledges and has) the Son has the Father also.
24 As for you, keep in your hearts what you have heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the first dwells and remains in you, then you will dwell in the Son and in the Father [always].
25 And this is what He Himself has promised us--the life, the eternal [life].
26 I write this to you with reference to those who would deceive you [seduce and lead you astray].
There were Judaizers, and antichrists who were leading some out of faith in Jesus Christ.
27 But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [ being rooted in Him, knit to Him ], just as [ His anointing ] has taught you [ to do ].
This is interesting what John says."you have no need that anyone should instruct you." They were walking in a greater amount of the anointing then than we are now...that is evident. For if the "anointing" of the Holy Spirit is strong in you, then you are taught by HIM. He is known as the teacher who leads you into ALL TRUTH. Hallelujah ! God did that for a purpose that no man should boast or say, I am of Paul, or I am of Peter...When all hear from HIM...there is UNITY.
When men hear from the same Holy Spiritit is amazing how the body is ONE.
28 And now, little children, abide ( live, remain permanently ) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence ( boldness, assurance ) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming.
If we do not shrink back to following the Law instead of JESUS...then we remain in HIM;
if not.we come again under a curse so remain in HIM...then we have no shame, no condemnation.
29 If you know ( perceive and are sure ) that He [ Christ] is [ absolutely] righteous [ conforming to the Father's will in purpose, thought, and action ], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [ and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will ] is born (begotten) of Him [God].
Those who are carnal are evident and obviously either unhealed or under delusion that holiness doesn't count. For he whose heart is in HIM...will want to be LIKE him...will not want to displease Him, for he loves Him. If you love Me , then obey Me He said.
1 John 3:1
SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [ be permitted to ] be named and called and counted the children of God ! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.
2 Beloved, we are [even here and] now God's children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [ hereafter ], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God's children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is
3 And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).
We must come to Him...not hide our condition...not hide from His presence...Because, this is the only way to be cleansed and healed from what causes us to sin. We have no strength to withstand temptation if we don't get it from Him. We have no strength or power to overcome bad habits or sin without abiding in HIM.
4 Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [ that is what ] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God's law by transgression or neglect--being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will.)
5 You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [essentially and forever].
6 No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him--deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].
We all sin, but we hope to not deliberately sin ; yet unless the enemy's strongholds on our soul have been broken, we can continue in willful sin once saved. The Light of His love must shine on us and drive out all the darkness. And we must comply with the will of the Holy Spirit. If we have demonic bondage on our soul in whatever area the enemy has a stronghold there will be darkness....in Luke 11:34-37 Jesus said to be careful that the light in you is not darkness. Satan can make himself an angel of light and many of us continue for a time in deception till we are renewed by the WORD of God and realize what is sin.
Every believer needs to really know and understand the LOVE of God. That is why Paul prays in Eph 3 for us to know the depth, length, width and breadth of His love, that we may be filled with the fullness of HIM !!!!! It is singularly the MOST important thing because if the enemy can get us to feel condemned, not knowing His love.then he can keep us in lifestyles of sin and hopelessness.
7 Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [ who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous.
Jesus looks upon our hearts... that is the issue... and who of us knows another's heart ? Only GOD alone knows what is in the heart of a man.
8 [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
9 No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God's nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.
He cannot, because his conscience will afflict him...maybe not immediately but eventually ( from a lifestyle of sin ). Now I have been in times where my pride caused me to have grace withdrawn, so I could see what a wretch I am without HIM. God will do that you know, and also will sometimes do that to test us; to see if we will hang in there or give up. Our minds need constant renewal as well...because we can become blind due to sin. That is why we need to be in the WORD daily, as well as spend time in the presence of Him Who is the Living Word.
10 By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [ who does not conform to God's will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow believer in Christ).
11 For this is the message (the announcement) which you have heard from the first, that we should love one another,
12 [And] not be like Cain who [took his nature and got his motivation] from the evil one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities, works) were wicked and malicious and his brother's were righteous (virtuous).
Jealousy is often a reason for conflict in the churchI like to say it that we have a problem with sibling rivalry.just like little children we want in our childishness and lack of healing sometimes, to see if God loves one more than another, and actually this does derive from that insecurity...of not being loved unconditionally, and since there is so little of that in the world, it can be a major problem in the church when there are a lot of unhealed people.
13 Do not be surprised and wonder, brethren, that the world detests and pursues you with hatred.
Yes, this should never come as a surprise from non-Christians, but when it comes from Christians, that is where we have problems...but Jesus also was hurt in the house of his friends.
14 We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death.
This is a strong statement. When we find ourselves getting cold to the church not loving them as He loves them, then we are walking in spiritual death the Lord says ! WOW that surely could be a cause for much pain and suffering in the church then. And also a reason for lack of closeness to Him...FOR GOD IS LOVE. A good test is can you pray for them ? Can you pray with an honest heart, without praying controlling prayers ?
15 Anyone who hates (abominates, detests) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding (persevering) within him.
This is also clear ! If we detest or hate someone...we are a murderer in our hearts. Yet we get so shocked when someone actually commits a murder...when in our hearts, most of us at one time or another may have had the same heart.
16 By this we come to know (progressively to recognize, to perceive, to understand) the [essential] love: that He laid down His [own] life for us; and we ought to lay [our] lives down for [those who are our] brothers [in Him].
Putting ourselves last instead of first all the time is laying down our lives. Looking out for the benefit of others and not just ourselves is laying down our lives. Self denial is laying down our lives...so our lives may benefit others.
17 But if anyone has this world's goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him?
OK now John begins to lay down how to love. If we have the ability to help, but don't and see someone in need...someone in our own body of Christ, and yet we close our hearts, he sayswe are not walking in the love of GOD. That is pretty clear. Yet the church has often gotten so big and impersonal that so many go without their needs being met, and the Lord is grieved by that, I can tell you for sure. And if we can't do it for a brother, how will we help the lost ? Juan Carlos in his book Discipleship about the Argentinian revival talks about the cell groups needing to be community groups where all believers have things in common like the early church...that is, if one person has 2 TV's and another has none, that they share ! That is just one example...but he was emphasizing that the revival would have gone further if that had taken place. In the days ahead we face perilous times and we will surely be tested on it. Even today 30,000 people lost their jobs with K-Mart....some may not be able to find alternative jobs....HOW will we help those who are around us when stuff like this comes close to home ? That is the acid test of being a Christian you know...Pure and undefiled religion is this James says...to care for widows and orphans...to visit the sick etc...
18 Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).
I had a mother who did not receive the love she needed and did not know how to give it when I needed it some of the time. She left us with grandma & foster parents several times in the first 7 years of my life. She would come and visit and tell me " I love you".
But then she would leave me with this harsh woman who didn't understand me, and all I wanted was to be with my mother...who would give me the affection at least that I needed so badly. Over and over I heard her say, "I love you". But in my child's heart I no longer believed she did, because she wouldn't do anything to change our circumstance..... because I was denied her love day to day.
I don't want to get into that so much, as to say that saying I care means NOTHING to a person unless it is followed with actions that match it, and everyone knows it. No one is fooling anybody in the church. Those who are not accepted or cherished, know they are not cherished and accepted. Sheep are not so stupid. It takes a very special shepherd to overlook the rejection standing in front of someone of their sheep and an even more loving shepherd to love them and pray with them and ask about them and have real relationship. That cannot be done in a large church which is why we need cell groups with co-pastors to help minister to the sheep. One pastor cannot do that with 100 people.
19 By this we shall come to know ( perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence,
20 Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God's hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].
21 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God,
These scriptures above are very reassuring to me.because I know I have often failed so much to love others as HE loves them. But HE is greater than our hearts and will keep those who are in His hands, even when we have not the ability to love them like we should. At those times since salvation that I have not felt the love I neededit was always the LORD who came and encouraged meand now He will also send someone to help pick me up so to speak when the enemy has got me into wrong thinking.
I saw Gene Edwards in an interview on TBN last night. It was so wonderful to hear this wonderful man of GOD share his heart, how he doesn't "like" to pray, to read scripture, or even go to church for that matter, etc and admit that in his natural heart he can't do very much that is right. But in HIM...in fellowshipping and being in God's presence all is made right. We get what we need from HIM if we will be honest with the Holy Spirit. He also said something I heard TD Jakes say Sunday....That GOD allows us to fail...that we might see that He truly loves us unconditionally...that is even if we fail...that is when HE loves on us MORE and MORE...till we truly are convinced that NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of GOD...It demonstrates that the love of GOD leads us to repentance...because when we so majorly fail, He continues to love us, which makes us ashamed for the ways we have acted, or not loved Him as much as we wanted to....His love leads us to repent for our foolish thinking....and habits...for our doubts and worries.
22 And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.
23 And this is His order (His command, His injunction): that we should believe in (put our faith and trust in and adhere to and rely on) the name of His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and that we should love one another, just as He has commanded us.
24 All who keep His commandments [who obey His orders and follow His plan, live and continue to live, to stay and] abide in Him, and He in them. [They let Christ be a home to them and they are the home of Christ.] And by this we know and understand and have the proof that He [really] lives and makes His home in us: by the [Holy] Spirit Whom He has given us.
We are to be a holy habitation for the Living GOD...and He is to be ours. He said He would make temples of flesh instead of stone...we are made to be ONE with HIM.
Priscilla Van Sutphin