1 John – Testing to Know – Test 6 Part A

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Test #6 Becoming an Anti-Christ

1 John 2:18 – 19
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

Wow – When I first read this verse, I couldn’t understand it.  Why wasn’t antichrist capitalized?  And why is John saying that there are many antichrists?  And that antichrists have already arrived in the first century?

Didn’t he know the Bible taught of the one coming Anti-Christ who would rule the world, work with Satan and have a false prophet as a side kick?

Let’s consider what the Bible says about  antichrist.  As a matter of fact, lets consider what 1st and 2nd John says about the antichrist, since this topic is restricted to these two books.

Four verses in all the Bible speak of antichrist.  Let’s see what they can teach us.

1 John 2:18
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

This verse, which we are currently looking at, simply defines the occurrence and timing of the coming of antichrist.

  • They are coming.
  • They are present, that is, in the first century at the time of John’s writing.
  • And they signify it is the last hour.

1 John 2:22
Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

This verse actually gives us a definition of antichrist.  A deceiver and denier of both the Father and the Son

1 John 4:3
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

A bit more definition of antichrist – one that does not confess Jesus (as Lord).  Also that there is a spirit associated with antichrist.

2 John 1:7
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

John’s second epistle describes antichrist as a deceiver and denier of the humanity of Christ.  This is 1 John 2:22 retold!

So, as a test for believers, 1 & 2 John is instructive regarding antichrist.  Defining antichrist gives guidance for believers.

Our particular set of verses in 1 John 2:18-19 speak of consistency of faith.  Perseverance in following the Jesus described in the Bible, who has been raised from the dead, ascended bodily into heaven, and reigning from above.

In summary, these verses speak of antichrist not continuing with the family of God. This verse is often called upon to defend an Augustinian theology, but that is not my goal with this blog.  I would like to be practical for once.

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A living faith in the Son and the Father requires a living relationship with His people.  Continue with His people, or it may appear that in pulling away from a fellowship of believers, the actions of antichrist are being replicated.

Dear reader, do not fall for the teaching that is popular nowadays, that church can be virtual, that Christianity can be lived through a monitor.  A monitor does not have a beating heart for God, a sense of belonging with one another.  The television monitor becomes a barrier in fulfilling these exhortations.  The family of God is a one another community.  We need each other.

I will publish a list on “one another” commands found within the New Testament in our next installment.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 5 Part B

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Test #5 – Don’t Love the World – Continued

In our last post we considered John’s teaching of loving the world, what it meant and our responsibility to not do it.  In this post, lets consider the second portion of the verse, not loving the things in the world!  Let’s read the passage once more, prior to digging in.

1 John 2:15 – 17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world.

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Things in the World

Initially, when I read this phrase, I automatically think of my Prius. Or my computer.  Or my phancy phone.

You know, material “things” of the world.  But as I read the 16th verse, it doesn’t say … all that is of the world…

John declares that three things are in the world, that is according to verse 15, which believers are not to love.

Those three things are as follows

  • the lust of the flesh
  • the lust of the eyes
  • the pride of life

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Now of course I could see that my racing Prius appeals to my lust of the flesh.  (What?)

But buying a Prius doesn’t mean I have loved a thing of the world, unless it was purchased to consume upon my own desires (lusts) and pride.

By the way, the stripes were a gift from my awesome daughter, but that is another story!  You can read of it at the post Let Me Tell You a Story – A Racing Prius

What is my point?

The things of the world are not to be relegated to material things.  The things of the world are those characteristics, attributes, desires and traits that pull us away from the Father and His Messiah.   A Prius, on it’s own, can not pull me away from the Father!  But watch out – if it appeals to the lust of my eyes, then yes I have a problem.

77's pride of lifeThese three “things” of the world make us seek independence from God (pride of life), drives us to satisfy sexual desires outside the confines of a loving marital relationship (lust of the flesh), and propels us to accumulate possessions, power or people (lust of the eyes).

I freely admit my struggle with succumbing to loving my lust and pride, but I can honestly tell you that owning a racing Prius isn’t the result obeying the lust of my eyes!

Where is your struggle?  The desires of the believer are addressed here and the message is that we can decide on what our desires are to be.

Feelings follow faith.  A life of seeking the will of God (even when desire may be weak to non existent) will produce long term desire for the will of God to be realized.

Seek the will of God.  It’s got a brighter future!

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 5 Part A

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Test #5 – Don’t Love the World

1 John 2:15 – 17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world.

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Ok – John brings to our attention two topics that believers are not to love!  This has always been a confusing set of verses for me, especially since a brother once compared John 3:16 with them

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Same Greek word used in both sets of verses.  We are told not to love the world, and yet God so loved the world.
This is difficult!
Or is it?
The Greek word is kosmos and has the following definitions (BLB Strongs Dictionary)
  • an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government

  • ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:3

  • the world, the universe

  • the circle of the earth, the earth

  • the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family

  • the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ

  • world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly, the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ

  • any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort                                            the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)

kosmos.pngThe World
Kosmos is used to describe multiple ideas, ranging from the commonly thought of “world” as in the universe, or the physical earth, all the way to describing an arrangement or order.
Within this varied word usage, as in John 3:16, kosmos describes the totality of lost humanity, those for whom Christ died.
1 John 2:15 depends on an alternate available meaning, that is, the order or system of the world. This is what I call the “ways of the world”.
We all would recognize it when this “system” is used against us.  When a lie is uttered to defame our reputation, we realize someone is using deceit (a “way of the world”) to attain power over us (a goal of those using the ways of the world).
When a boast is made to puff us up, we can (and should) recognize this is a method used to influence us for someone else’s priorities.
When an advertiser uses a scantily clad woman to entice us to buy 12 widgets, we need to recognize this “way of the world” is depending on our fallen nature to lure us into providing funds for their bottom line.
These “ways of the world” are systems that we must not depend on, and need to recognize as being temporary, fleeting and trending to destruction.
And if you love this system, the love of the Father is not in you.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 4

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Test #4 Loving my Brother

1 John 2:9 – 11
Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.

Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

In the last post, we dealt with three concepts that John addresses in this epistle.  Justice, love and faithfulness.

John starts out with the believers claim of abiding in the light and yet hating his brother.  It is, John warns us, a false claim.  Hating a brother in antithetical to Christian life.  Golly, the Master has told us to love our enemies.  Love, in its proper understanding is the very heart of God, and is to be the heart of the believer.

But lets consider this issue of stumbling.  If we love our Brother, there is no cause for stumbling.  I assume John is saying that hating my brother is the cause of stumbling, at least in this context.

Quite a while ago, I came over another verse that made a similar claim.

Psalm 119:165

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

Let’s consider what it means “to stumble”.  John uses the greek term σκάνδαλον skandalon when he speaks of stumbing in this verse.

The term refers to a trap or a snare, an impediment to cause tripping.  Occasionally the term refers to the Master Himself, in relation to those who were blind and unwilling to repent.

Life is full of these traps, and by the deception of the enemy, these traps may appear to be justifiable in the believers thinking.

Let me give you an example.

A neighbor once became antagonistic to our family, and his hatred centered on my sweet little wifey.  He drug us into court over crazy claims and personally sought to intimidate us.  This went on for a number of years and we had friends that counselled us to retaliate in one way or the other.

Thinking without the guidance of the Word, we could have retaliated justly in our thinking.  He started it.  He was the one who spread lies about us, and the neighbors we were close to.  He deserved to be opposed!

david-spares-sauls-lifeIt just so happened (providentially don’t you know) that we were reading through the story of David and Saul, and how David would not retaliate on Saul.  Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, was a phrase that kept coming up.  Love your enemy.

Can I say we never fell into a hatred of our neighbor.  Not!  Absolutely I was weak.   But as the Lord supplied strength, we came out of this period seeing the Lord deliver us from this neighbor, and heard many stories of His justice being enacted on this poor man.

But I want to confess something.

Our effort to love this neighbor during this time was a bit weak.  We didn’t retaliate in any way, other than sometimes slipping into vile gossip, but we were not very proactive either.  Being friendly when seeing him on the sidewalk, offering a meal or giving a gift (like a big ol apple pie?) may have been a good start.

Let us not think that the demands of the Master are of no impact on our lives.  I often considered the offer of grace to be a relief from the burden of the ten commandments.  In some ways, the burden is greater, since the requirement is to obey the spirit of the law and not simply the letter of the law.  With the same breath, I also want to remind us to learn of Him.

Matthew 11:29 – 30

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

He is the One to look to for all things.  Help me O Lord in making Your will my focus.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 3

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Test #3 Keeping His Commandments

1 John 2:3 – 5
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:

This is the test that caught my attention when I was studying for the “Commandments for Christians” posts.

The issue in this verse is the identification of the commandments being referred to .  Is this referring to the Ten Commandments?

Yes and no.  My understanding of the new covenant that Jesus initiated for believers in the upper room, and sealed with His death and resurrection, is that He has authority over all.  He has authority over the prophets, the law giver (Moses), the interpretation of the Old Testament, the moral standards for the believer, the interpretation of the Old Testament, the …..

Get my point?  He is Lord.  And by sitting in this position, He has elevated the commandments to a much higher level, and the proper understanding and application of them in the believers life is the challenge for us.

So Carl, what is John defining when he refers to commandments in this book?

Three overarching topics rise to the surface in this study.

Truth (Righteousness)

A believer is responsible for seeking the truth and acting on it.  I have published a series “Judge Judge Judge” in the past, looking at the teaching of righteousness / justice. The reader may want to take a few moments to review.

The Master wants His people to live in the truth and make life decisions based on the truth.  This is critical and we will find this thread of thought throughout this letter from John.

Love (Mercy & Grace)

When I read this epistle, the command to  love is everywhere.  Love the brethren, love the Father, love the Son, love the lost.

Oooops – Does John bring this last topic up?

This epistle is all about family.  Although the command to evangelize runs through the New Testament, John’s purpose in this epistle is to define the status of the believer based on a number of tests.  Some may find evangelism when John refers to loving the brethren, and that may be true.  I am not convinced.  It is a minor point, since love is to permeate every aspect of our lives.  We cannot love God and not love the lost.  This is a natural outgrowth of living in the light.

As we venture through this letter, we will find that loving God is to be an all consuming motivation for the believer.

Faithfulness 

The third point that I find in this letter is faithfulness to the Father and the Son.  Denial of the Son is the lynch pin of Christianity.  I am looking forward to studying this topic most.

As I surveyed over the epistle, and the test’s John supplies, it became evident that this list looked familiar.  I think the Master supplied a similar list when confronting the Scribes in Matthew 23:23

Matthew 23:23

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

The Word is consistent, and John is delivering this truth to his brothers and sisters in a manner that suits their needs.

As I have been in this fascinating book, it has definitely challenged me, clearing out some wrong thinking, and realigning priorities to live by.  I hope, as my readers follow along, you will also find a challenge to follow Him closer, and to enjoy His loving nature in your life.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 2 Part C

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Test # 2 – Relationship with Sin – Continued

In our last post we considered verse 9 under the topic of our relationship with sin.  Let’s continue with verse 10.

1 John 1:8 – 10
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Living in Denial

Take note that this denial is different than the first condition.  The first dealt with a denial of the nature of the believer.  No sin existed in the believer.  The result was the loss of truth experienced in the life of the believer – no small issue!!!

This denial is regarding individual acts of sin in the believers life.  This is the condition I fear I fall into far too often.

I feel a story would be best to illustrate this point.

My wife and I were seeking to witness to Don and his girlfriend and were developing a great relationship with them.  We would get together on Friday nights and play cards, or some board game, and have a hoot of a time.

One night, as the competition rose around the table, I made a critical mistake in laying down a wrong card, losing the game.

foul wordOut came a foul word.  Don had never heard me swear before and he instantly picked up on it!

I denied it.  We argued about it. This is where things fell apart.

I needed to confess this sin in front of them, admitting I did wrong.  But I didn’t – My self righteous attitude clung to a lie, and because of that, I lost an opportunity to share the Master with Don. If I had confessed immediately, I could have shared of the mercy of God in providing this solution, but I preferred to defend my hypocrisy instead of exalt my Master.  What is wrong with me?

We remained friends, and I believe I eventually admitted to my sin to Don.  But I learned that my old man was very much alive and kicking, even in the effort to serve our Risen Savior.

Keep short accounts with the Lord.  Do not deny the sin, but seek a humble spirit to always be ready to admit to a sinful act.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 2 Part B

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Test # 2 – Relationship with Sin – Continued

In our last post we considered verse 8 under the topic of our relationship with sin.  Let’s continue with one of the first Bible verses a believer memorizes, and see what John can teach us.

1 John 1:8 – 10
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Living in Confession

Condition

ConfessionIf we confess our sin.  This statement provides a condition of reality.  John mentions a plurality of sins the believer may become entangled in.  It is an act of sin that John transitions to in this verse, as opposed to the state of sinless perfection described above. Given the gracious nature of our God, this willingness to walk in the truth of our fallen condition supplies a remedy to our soul.

But does our confession stir the grace and love of the Father to forgive us?   Lets look to the result of our confession of sin.

Result

The result of our confession of sin is that

“He is faithful and compassionate to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Did I write that verse correctly?  Read it again, since I have corrupted the text with my own thoughts!

Did replacing the word “just” with compassionate make a difference?  Did I write it the way I understood it, or should I read it again?  I hope this caught your attention.  Since I noticed it, it made a difference in my understanding of a walk with the Master.

Our confession of some act of sin to the Father initiates the Father’s justice!

The Greek word “just” in this verse is dikaios, and is defined as righteous, without prejudice or partiality.

So where is the love?

This forgiveness is a result of the New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus, being shed for us, and providing propitiation (satisfaction) to the righteous requirements of the Law.  His blood shed on the cross created a covenant (like a last will of a dying person) that is binding on all participants.

As a participant (or should I say a recipient) of the terms of the New Covenant, God the Father is just (righteous) in providing forgiveness to this ol’ sinner, if I come to Him on His terms.  Humbly, and without pretense, in confessing my sins, He is just in forgiving me.

Does He love me – Of course.  He suffered and died for me when I was an enemy.

But in this context, justice is the reason forgiveness is provided!

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 2 Part A

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Test # 2 – Relationship with Sin

1 John 1:8 – 10
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

John is establishing our relationship the Father and the Son in relation to sin in these verses.  Each of these verses begins with a condition we at times will find ourselves in.  If we live in this condition, John supplies the result of the agreement with the condition supplied

Living in Denial

Let’s start off with verse 8.

Condition

If we say we have no sin.  Notice this is denying the existence of sin in the believers life.  His audience must have understood the sin problem prior to their salvation, since to become a believer, sin must be confessed and repented of.  (Somewhat ironic that they were in a better position as lost souls than they are now!)

John is addressing a group of believers, who after coming to know the righteous Savior, considered themselves to be “practically” righteous.  I say practically, since the Word does describe believers as positionally righteous.  This is not John’s point.  John is speaking to believers who, according to verse 9, are capable of sinning, and will need a relief of this burden.

Result

Self DeceptionOne result comes out of being in this condition.  Self deception.  How dangerous this condition is.   How very dangerous.

This condition’s fulfilled results in the believer existing in a state of falsehood.  A self imposed delusion of being incapable of committing sin.  A sinful state in reality!

No-one other than self is to blame for this darkness of existence.   This is not the result of satanic attacks – it is simply the result of loving your life.

When I have considered my own standing before God, and found it “worthy” of acceptance, I always tend toward pride.  But didn’t the Scriptures state that we are to boast in the Lord Jesus only?

Declaring “no sin” in my life produces a proud heart, dangerously close to declaring an independence from God’s provisions, and creating a state of separation from all others.  Who wants to be around Mr Perfection?

Jesus Himself, the only One who could state this claim of “no sin” and defend the truth of it, described Himself as lowly and humble.  A believer, living in this darkness will justify this bogus claim.

Follow Him who is humble.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 1 Part B

that-you-may-know.jpgTest # 1 – Walking in Light – Continued

In our last post, we considered walking in the light and the natural growth of believers to walk as we look to Him.  In this post, let us consider the blessing accrued as we walk in the light, as He is in the light.

Let’s read our passage again.

1 John 1:6-7
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Blessings of Walking in the Light

If we conduct ourselves according to the Light of God that we understand, we experience two blessings according to John.

Blessing One

“The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin”.

I want to discuss this blessing first, since it is so bedrock to our faith!  John is speaking to believers and reminds us of the action of the blood of Christ with our sin problem.

Prone to wanderAs believers, we have been delivered from the life of sin and self, from our looking away from God.  But we all know that we are prone to wander, prone to want those leeks we left behind in Egypt.  Prone to return to our prior lives.  As we recognize these attitudes and actions in our life,  we are to repent, agree with God about our condition to God (confess) and request forgiveness from Him. (See 1 John 1:9)

In this verse, the verb “cleanses” is in the present tense in the Greek, representing a simple statement of fact viewed as occurring in actual time.  His sacrifice was a once for all act of supreme love for us.  The effects of this sacrifice are far reaching.

As we bang around and fall, learning to walk this life in His light, we must understand that His sacrifice for us is an active love that is always reaching out to us, seeking our good.

We do ourselves much damage when we ignore His loving provision.

Blessing Two

“We have fellowship with one another”  John states that as we practice the truth of God, and of His character, we have fellowship with one another.

Is he saying we have fellowship with God or with other believers walking in the light?  It seems obvious that if we are walking in light (truth), we would be in fellowship with the Source and Being of light.  Otherwise, John may be stating that we experience fellowship with others who are walking in the light.

This was an incredible blessing when I first considered it.  We had recently moved to a new town and hadn’t found a church yet.  It seemed we were all alone, and yet this verse instructed me that as I walk in the light, I did have fellowship with others of like mind.

We have fellowship with others.  A state of being, that as I walk properly, will experience that fellowship (or sharing together) with others.  Of course, being associated with a body of believers makes this much more “efficient” but it doesn’t take away from the fact that fellowship with others is based on “Light Living”.

We all know that some churches have folks that are walking in the dark, and some walking in the light.  This verse (and book) defines the difference between the two.  Notice that it is not based on personal likes or denominational distinctions.

Or that God agrees with us.  What do you mean with that remark Carl?

Let me give you an Old Testament example.

josh_5_14_captain_of_the_hostsPrior to entering Canaan, Joshua met “the captain of the Lord’s army”, and as the military man that he was, Joshua demanded whose side He was on.  The Angel simply stated “I am the Captain….”

He wasn’t on the side of the Israelite’s.  We often get this so mixed up.  He is the Lord.  They were to be on His side!  There is a difference!  Check out The Lord’s Enemy  post for a bit of teaching on this surprisingly forgotten concept for some!

He is the Lord and His people have fellowship with one another as they walk in His light.

John will describe that light throughout the remaining chapters of the book.  I hope you can walk with me through these truths and come out of them with renewed vigor to follow Him in His light.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 1 Part A

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John provides our first test immediately after he gives his message, after he gives witness of who he has fellowship with, and reminds us that God is light.

Test # 1 – Walking in Light

1 John 1:6-7
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Light and darkness are two environments, two states, two authorities that we may live within.

As John gives us these tests, it is good to remember that his audience was first century, and it was common to speak of daily life as “walking”.

As believers, our lives are to be lived for God, and John (along with all the NT authors) spoke of walking when they refer to our living our lives. To walk is to live.

Walking entails a number of elements that may be instructive for us to consider.

A Focus for Walking

In the first century, walking was the primary way of getting from point A to point B. No one left point A without knowing where point B was. My point, in all these points, is that walking had a destination, or a goal in mind. Our lives also are to have a goal.

I recently began a new series titled “Let Me Tell You a Story”, and published a post speaking of walking with purpose. It may be of interest to you – Let Me Tell You a Story – Plowing.

A Manner of Walking

Prior to becoming a believer at 21, my life was a filled with confusion, and fear. Out of that fear, came an existence of drunkenness and drug abuse. I will forever be thankful for the mercy of the Lord in delivering me from that hell. During those days, I staggered through my existence. Often I would find myself in shameful conditions, or dangerous environments.

A believer is to live upright and circumspectly, understanding truth (light) and conducting themselves accordingly.

Consider yourself a Christian? Where are you at with practicing truth in your life. A little darkness known is darkness still!

Growth in Walking

I’m not sure if I have mentioned before, but I have 6.8 grandchildren, as of this writing. My oldest is 12 and my seventh will be born December 12, 2020.

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Each of these little miracles will walk through life, and have to learn how to balance their body as they exercise their legs and feet to propel their body forward. It is a gargantuan effort for a little eight month old to stand, and even greater for that ten month child, risking the dangers of falling in order to do what daddy does. So far each grandchild has proven to want to walk like daddy. It seems to be “second nature.”

We have a second nature too, and as we love Him and watch His actions in our lives and the lives of others, we also will want to walk like our Father. The issue we need to address is whether we are watching Him or watching something unimportant.

I trust you will seek to watch the One who is worthy of our gaze.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post. Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Introduction

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Heard a preacher once say that God tests in order for us to know, whereas we humans teach (supply knowledge) in order to be tested.

Which one of us is backwards???

Tests are supplied for the believer in order to know his status before God. I have come out of a denomination that taught 1 John as describing tests for the purpose of assurance of fellowship. John, I was taught, gave these tests in order for believers to know they were pleasing to God, in fellowship with Him.

It makes a lot of sense.

There are some who would refer to the tests John provides as tests of true or false Christianity. The tests define true Christianity, not whether you are a good or “bad” Christian.

A totally different ballgame here folks.

But what of it?

Is this it a manipulation of the texts in order to enslave believers into a legalism?

Wow Carl – settle down!
Keep a open mind and allow the Word to tell you without jumping to conclusions!

Join me as we go through testings in order to know, in the book of 1 John.

I trust that these tests will challenge you as they have I!


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