The Epistles of John the Beloved - Part 1
Priscilla Van Sutphin
www.blogtalkradio.com/Upstream
www.upstreamca.org

1 John  NKJV
1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life —  2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us —  3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 

When you know you have eternal life it surely should make one JOYFUL, and not sour, or too serious. It should fill our hearts with JOY, that one day this earthly coil will be gone and we will be with HIM.  To be absent from the body is to be present with Christ.  Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in eternal life.  It’s no wonder they are so serious and that there is no real HOPE in that.  Can you imagine being a Christian as you are, that this was all there was in life, is this life ?  It is almost as depressing as the doctrine of reincarnation of the Mormons or false religions.  Imagine having to live this life over again !  Now that would be a really cruel GOD – to make you live it over and over till you get it right ?  It’s hard enough for many of us, I sure can’t imagine that.  So surely we should be JOYOUS over the promise of eternal life through Christ.  Why then are so many Christians lacking in Joy ?  I think because of walking around not really in fellowship with HIM, or because of giving in to condemnation and a religious spirit…they kind of go together.

      1 John 1:5-8 AMP
5And 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].
GOD is LIGHT – He alone is GOOD. He alone is HOLY.  He alone is KIND. He alone is LOVE and everything else that we need.  He is not evil nor practices any evil.  This is how we know that CHRIST was perfect and sinless.  Yet some in the church have succumbed to the delusion that Jesus Christ was not perfect.  Well He got angry they say, so he wasn’t perfect !  Getting angry is not sin, it’s what you do with that emotion that makes it sin.  So many are deluded by such preachers into rationalizing all kinds of falsehoods, and often their own behaviors.

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]

This makes it clear that he who walks with HIM, walks in the light. Does that mean we never sin…NO.  It just means that THIS is the test of true and constant fellowship with the Father and the end result of perfection in Him.  So if we are not walking totally in the TRUTH…then there is still some evidence of in us of lies we have believed, or imperfection that daily needs to be brought to the cross.

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 are IN HIM, then we will have unbroken fellowship with HOLY SPIRIT. And then we will be repenting daily, and as we do that He removes from us all sin and guilt.  This is WALKING IN THE LIGHT…to always be IN HIS LIGHT…walking with Him…with a consciousness of Him always with us, daily confessing our sins and going on in fellowship with HIM continually.

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].

Pride will always tempt us to think somehow we’ve arrived, and do not sin anymore. Pride blinds us to our own sin, and will literally make us SICK.  Pride is one of the deepest roots of all sin.  We delude ourselves if we do not admit our sins.  Remember the parable of the publican and the sinner.  The sinner stands in back…ashamed of his faults, and admits them. The Publican on the other hand, doesn’t admit his faults, but stands there with no fear of the Lord thanking God he is BETTER THAN this other man.  He was blind to his own sins.

1 John 2   NKJV          The Test of Knowing Christ 
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  

Advocate: NT:3875   parakletos (par-ak'-lay-tos); an intercessor, consoler:
KJV - advocate, comforter.

PROPITIATION
2. hilasmos NT:2434, akin to hileos ("merciful, propitious"), signifies "an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted." It is used in the NT of Christ Himself as "the propitiation," in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, signifying that He Himself, through the expiatory sacrifice of His death, is the personal means by whom God shows mercy to the sinner who believes on Christ as the One thus provided. In the former passage He is described as "the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." 
The italicized addition in the KJV, "the sins of," gives a wrong interpretation. What is indicated is that provision is made for the whole world, so that no one is, by divine predetermination, excluded from the scope of God's mercy; the efficacy of the "propitiation," however, is made actual for those who believe. 

In 4:10, the fact that God "sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins," is shown to be the great expression of God's love toward man, and the reason why Christians should love one another. In the Sept.,  Lev 25:9;  
      Lev 25:9 NKJV   Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 
    [  Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement in the Jewish feasts and is a type of the JUBILEE given to us by CHRIST and His death on the cross. – comment by Pris  ]
       Num 5:8 NKJV   But if the man has no relative to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for the wrong must go to the LORD for the priest, in addition to the ram of the atonement with which atonement is made for him.
          1 Chron 28:20 NKJV   And David said to his son Solomon,"Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God — my God — will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
          Ps 130:4 NKJV     But there is forgiveness with You,That You may be feared. 
          Ezek 44:27 NKJV And on the day that he goes to the sanctuary to minister in the sanctuary, he must offer his sin offering in the inner court," says the Lord GOD. 
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publ

     3.The Test of Knowing Him  - Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 

KEEP: NT:5083   tereo (tay-reh'-o); from teros (a watch; perhaps akin to NT:2334); to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon;  KJV - hold fast, keep (-er), (pre-, re-) serve, watch.

KNOW; NT:1097  ginosko (ghin-oce'-ko); a prolonged form of a primary verb; to "know" (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed):  KJV - allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know (-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.

The keeping of His commandments happens when we really KNOW Him, in the sense of putting all our trust in HIM, and knowing how much we are loved by him.  We can only apply what we KNOW, and none of us see him Absolutely, thoroughly, through and through until He works that into us. So there is process in getting there, to the top of the mountain.

5  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 
       Note that here John says that the one who keeps His word, the love of God is perfected in HIM.  Therefore, if we don’t keep His words, the love of God is NOT perfected in us, meaning we don’t understand the fullness of His love. 
It says in Eph 3:19  AMP  [That you may really come] to know [ practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being]  unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 

This is heavy duty scripture.  We are to walk as HE WALKED.  The person who is perfected in His love will walk like Jesus, talk like Jesus, be full of the Spirit as Jesus was. Do the things He did. David said in Psalm 17:15 NKJV As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. 

That has been my prayer for a long time. I wish I could say I'm there. There are far too many in the church who think they have "arrived" somehow, and that you just put all the past behind you.  YOU cannot put it behind you without facing it and resolving all the hurts and pain through deeper forgiveness -forgiveness is a process so it sometimes takes a while.  We are not yet living in an apostolic age, walking in the glory they walked in. But it is coming. God is working still on all of us, sanctifying us daily.

7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard * from the beginning. * 8  Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 

            The words between astericks were added and not in original Greek text.

DARKNESS: NT:4653  skotia (skot-ee'-ah); from NT:4655; dimness, obscurity (literally or figuratively): KJV - dark (-ness). NT:4655  skotos (skot'-os); from the base of NT:4639; shadiness, i.e. obscurity (literally or figuratively):  KJV - darkness. NT:4639  skia (skee'-ah); apparently a primary word; 
"shade" or a shadow (literally or figuratively [darkness of error or an adumbration]): KJV - shadow.

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 

ABIDE:3306  meno (men'-o); a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):  KJV - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own.

The Lord once asked me, “who is your brother ?” and before I could answer, He said,
“ Anyone made in the image and likeness of GOD.”  Therefore we are not to HATE anyone.  We are to hate sin and be intolerant of sin.  But we are to love men and women who are made in the image and likeness of GOD. He came to the world because He loved us, even while WE WERE YET SINNERS !  He loved us.  He forgave even the Pharisees for their murderous hatred. So how should we react to those who now will persecute us ?  Will we be able to forgive them and show love as He did ?   Only if we abide and grow in His love.