Christ has Come(and remains) In The Flesh…I John pt 7

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, of the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us…(I John 1:1-2)

The Final of the three simple, theological propositions set forth by the apostle John, in his restorative ministry to those whose faith had been distorted due to the gnostics is this;

…Jesus Christ has come (and remains) in the flesh…(I John 4:2)

Who is the only true God and eternal Life ? God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all…God is Love…and Jesus Christ , the only unique Son of the Father, is himself God incarnate.Jesus Christ has come and remains in the flesh.

First a word about why I insert (and remains) into the confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. The word Come,in I John 4:2 is in the perfect tense, elelythota. As John Stott in his commentary, THE LETTERS OF JOHN states,

“…elelythota seems to emphasize that the flesh assumed by the Son of God in His incarnation has become his permanent possession…Christ actually came in the flesh and has never laid it aside.”(Tyndale New Testament Commentary Series, The Letters of John, John Stott, pg 158)

The gospel accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection have a markedly physical emphasis. We are told that the cross is wooden, the dying Jesus is thirsty, when pronounced dead by the guards, his side is pierced with a spear, and blood and water flow out. The disciples have to pry Jesus’ dead body off the cross , spices are used to embalm Jesus’ body, and a stone is rolled over the mouth of the tomb.

On that first Easter morning, the disciples race to the tomb, and have to stoop to enter it. We are told that when they saw the embalming clothes, they believed. Jesus appeared to them and told them to handle him. When he ate fish with them, you couldn’t see the fish go down his esophagus because Jesus isn’t merely a spiritual entity, he is in the flesh!

When Jesus is seen after many days by the disciples, while they were fishing, He is cooking a breakfast for them on a charcoal fire. The fish they caught were counted and there was a specific number, 153.

Why all of this physical detail?

Gnosticism, a religious trend that predated christianity, but sought to incorporate it, was heavily influenced by a hybrid of greek philosophy and eastern religion , believed in a dualism between the material world and the spiritual. In their worldview, the material world is evil, it is bondage, something to escape (through gnosis,ie revelation knowledge). But to them everything Spiritual was the good.

These went so far as to say that the God who created the physical world was evil. Supposedly Jesus came to liberate us, through secret knowledge, back into the spiritual state.

Therefore the Christian teaching that God became a man, lived and died as a man, and rose from the dead on the third day, was considered by these intellectuals to be insulting and offensive. I John is an attempt to refute this false teaching and it’s implications. Jesus Christ has come and remains in the flesh!

All belief has consequences. When Christ is reduced to a spiritualized, ethereal entity, so also righteousness and love are reduced to that which is merely ethereal, intellectual and abstract. Truth also becomes subjective, and fluent. Faith itself becomes a constantly evolving allegory, an ever-changing, subjective narrative with no fixed structure to cling to.

The Christianized gnostics want to spiritualize Jesus, because they want to spiritualize everything else, Righteousness, Love, Prayer, Truth, doctrine, fellowship, judgment, etc. We are warned that the AntiChrist spirit would spiritualize Jesus, that it might confuse the whole world on this most important identification.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:2-3)

Jesus is real. The Christ of God has come unto us, (from heaven, for He is the eternal God). “The child is born”(Humanly speaking), but “the Son is given“, from everlasting. “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world”.

He came into the real world, for there were dates on the calendar, there was a governor (He was crucified under Pontius Pilate), He suffered, hungered, thirsted, wept, rejoiced, in short, he fully entered into the full gamut of human experience. At the prime of his life, He offered himself to be a sacrifice to God for our sins. He was pronounced to be dead by witnesses.

Three calendar days later, He (bodily) rose from the dead. Forty days later, he ascended to heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Majesty on High.He pleads there for us as a high priest, bearing the physical scars of his suffering. And He (God) has appointed a calendar day for the judgment by Him of the living and the dead.

We will look next at the two distortions of the “Doctrine of Christ ” that the gnostics taught, and their implications.

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The Love of God and His Law…I John pt 6

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.( I John 5:2-3)

The Apostle John wrote an epistle to restore the faith of those who had been ravaged by the distorted spirituality of the gnostics. As part of the cure, he declared three statements about the nature of the only true God; God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all, God is Love, and finally, Jesus Christ has come (and remains) in the flesh.

We have been discussing the second statement, God is love.

The nature of God’s love is vastly misunderstood in this day of humanism. An example of this misunderstanding is the popular perception that God’s love is antithetical to God’s law. In fact in the teaching of the myth of God’s “unconditional love”*, God’s love is often perceived as liberating people into a form of lawlessness. Law and Love are considered to be mutually exclusive terms in modern evangelicalism.

But the Bible makes no such distinction. In scripture, love and law are not opposites, rather they are compliments. Consider these words of Jesus himself,

If ye love me, keep my commandments.(John 14:15)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.(John 14:21)

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.( I John 5:2-3)

God is love… Holy Love. The revelation of his love in the gospel, humbles us and brings us back into right relationship with God, and with each other. Consequently we are “born again” into a different relationship with God’s law. We once hated the Law because We hated God, the lawgiver. The commandments, in fact, the authority of anyone to command anything of me, was an intolerable burden for we who were rebels.

Now that we have been saved, we love God, his authority and his Law word. “His commandments are no longer grievous” to us, for those who have received eternal life, consent to the Law of God, that it is good. In fact the true “New Covenant” is the inscription of the Law of God upon the heart of the believer.

This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”(Jeremiah 31:33)
Lawlessness is not the love of God. Lawlessness is iniquity… God hates lawlessness. There is no gap between God’s Love and God’s Law because only by love is it even possible to keep the law, our problem has always been that we don’t love God, nor our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.

The Law to us is the instruction of Love. How should I “love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul mind, and strength”?

The first table of the ten commandments is the primal teaching on how God wants to be loved by man. He would have all of our devotion, (First commandment) , He wants us to Love Him as He has revealed himself , not as we would like to imagine him to be,(Second commandment). He wants us to fear Him(Third commandment). He wants us to take time weekly to worship and remember him, (Fourth commandment).

The second table of the ten commandments is instruction of “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. Love is the fulfilling of the law, for Loving one’s neighbor means honoring legitimate authority, loving his life, Marriage, property, good name and reputation, and being happy for what God has blessed him with.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.(Romans 13: 8-10)

Much of the confusion over this issue is born out of teaching against legalism, and bondage to the Law of Moses. It is true that Christ has delivered us from the Law of Moses, but 9 out of the ten commandments are re-iterated in the New Testament, which is called “the Law of Christ”. Loving Christ means accepting his rule.

Furthermore, we no longer serve under a slavish Spirit of bondage, we now serve God under a principle of Sonship. We have already been redeemed, in joyful gratitude to the One who loved us first, we come under the “Law of Love”.

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God is (Holy) Love…I John pt 5

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.( I John 4:7-8)

The Apostle John wrote his first epistle to those in the church who had been confused and demoralized by mystical, experience based christianity.

The true knowledge of God is what John set out to re-establish, for the false teachers had been able to supplant the christian understanding of what it means to ‘know the Lord’ with their own sensual, pseudo spiritual version of “knowing God”.This is why John is always reminding us of what we know.

These ‘gnostics”, ie ‘knowing ones’ claimed a special revelation of God, above and beyond the simple christ centered, scripture based faith of ‘everyday’ christians, which they demeaned as ‘elementary’, dull, and unspiritual.

John’s antidote is to remind us in simple propositions, such as ;  the “only true God, and eternal life”. “God is Light…God is Love… and Jesus Christ has come (and remains) in the flesh”. Out of this threefold theology, John will present us with tests , moral, doctrinal, and relational, that we may know whether we have eternal life.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.(I John 5;12)

We look now to the second of these propositions. God is Love. The true God’s nature is Love.

Perhaps this is the most familiar yet misunderstood statements in all of the Bible. God is Love. What do we mean by this statement? What is the nature of the Love that is proclaimed here?

The Revelation that God is Love is not to be understood in isolation to the rest of the Epistle. Obviously this is not all that the Bible says of God.

God is Light, also, for God is never “part ” anything. God is utterly self consistent, he is One. Therefore He is Light, and Love, simultaneously. Absolutely Holy, and absolutely merciful, gracious and loving.

God’s nature is to Love. He ever desires to give, He is pleased to communicate, to share, to know and be known by man. He is always the initiator, reaching out, giving, removing the obstacles that fallen and unworthy man has erected. We Love Him , because He first loved us.

The ‘Love’ wherewith God loves us, is not to be confused with love as this humanistic age has understood the term. God’s Love can only be understood in the context of God’s other perfections.

God’s love is Holy Love. He has loved us, but could only save us in a fashion consistent with His own nature. In order to justify sinners His love compelled Him to offer a propitiation,(a satisfaction offering).

Since God is indivisible by nature, everything He does, is done in Love, creation, judgment and salvation are all acts of Love. God is Love.

But that Love is not a mystical “spiritualised Love”. Rather it is concrete, real, “in the flesh”. There is a three-fold description of what Love is, in First John-

* Love is defined by the Incarnation-

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.(I John 4:9)

Love , as defined by God , is Jesus humbling himself, leaving heaven and coming to us in our need(for Life) to save us. Love is also the Father, releasing Jesus to come to us as an offering to himself.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4;10)

Note that Divine Love isn’t humanistic, it’s not something that originates with man, God loved us first. all else is response or rejection.

* Love is sacrifice of self for the object of Love-

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.(I John 3:16)

Notice that Love isn’t a feeling, it is an action, a self denial on behalf of others. Jesus laid down his life for us. He put aside his own interests, cares, safety and comfort, because we needed Him to, even before we realized and appreciated it!

* Love is being adopted by God-

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…(I John 3:1)

Christians have received a new kind of love, for the Father above has taken action, sending His Son laying down his life, and bringing us into the communion of Father,Son and Holy Spirit!

The world couldn’t know, except by revelation of Jesus the beauty and blessing of this Love. Agape is truly transformative. The contemplation of God’s love is the reason for the ‘changed life’.

The true reception of Holy Life changes everything, from darkness to light, from bitterness to love and forgiveness, from taking to giving, from vileness to wholesome and pleasant thinking, Holy love is the fount of holiness.

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The True Light Overcomes Darkness…I John pt 4

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5)

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. ( 1 John 1:5)

We have been looking at the theological proposition, God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all. The apostle John, in his ministry to those whose faith had been ravaged by false teachers, and gnostic spirituality, would restore to them the original faith, by presenting to them again the doctrine of the “only true God”in a simple but profound way.

The true God is Light. Therefore an encounter with Him, also leads to a devastating vision of ourselves, in all of our sinfulness. We see ourselves in another light, and it is truly awful, in a Holy sense. All things are seen in their true nature in the light of God, the closer we walk with God, the less we like what we see in ourselves.

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.(Psalm 36:9)

But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.(Ephesians 5:13)

Coming to Christ is nothing less than ‘coming to the Light’ of exposure of all that is false, evil, and unholy in us. This is exactly what keeps people from coming to God, they don’t want to ‘be known’, they shirk from the penetrating eyes of the Infinitely Holy God.

Those who are known to live closest to God are the ones most conscious of indwelling sin, consider this prayer from the journal of the evangelist and author (Pilgrims Progress), John Bunyan;

After my previous repentance, there is again one thing which makes me sad; that is, if I most severely examine the best thing I am now doing, in it I discover sins, new sins mingled in the best thing I do. Therefore now, I cannot help but conclude that no matter how proud of myself and how idealistic I was concerning myself and my work, and even if my former living were without blemish, yet the sins that I commit in a day are enough to send me to hell. In such a deep feeling of sins, he cried out: “Unless He is such a great Savior, He surely cannot save such a great sinner as I.”( from Spiritual Knowledge, by Watchman Nee,Christian Fellowship publishers)

The light of God makes us aware of our depravity, and sinfulness, and constantly causes us to turn to Christ, who alone is able to “forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. This is the mark of someone who has truly known “the only true God”; a profound awareness of personal sin and unworthiness.

For another example of this kind of spirituality, consider the dying prayer of John Knox,

O Lord, have mercy on me, do not judge my innumerable sins; amongst them, may you forgive especially those sins which the world cannot reprove. In my youth, my middle age, and until now, how much conflict have I passed through. I have discovered that within me there is nothing besides falsehood and corruption. O Lord, only You are the Lord who knows the secrets of man’s heart. Please remember that of all the sins which I mentioned, not one of them is pleasing to me. I often grieve over them: they are deeply hated by my inner man. Now I weep sorrowfully for my corruption. I can only rest simply in Your mercy.(Ibid)

There are many thousands of confessed christians sitting in evangelical and charismatic churches who know nothing of this, and would not be able to relate to this kind of spirituality. This is because they have not really met God, who is light.

They have instead been initiated into a kind of pallid, all-American, civic religion, which may have galvanised the moral positions they have already held, but has never brought them into a saving encounter with “the only true God”. To a good many of them ,spirituality is about feeling good about themselves, their families, and politics.

We need to pray that the true vision of God be presented again. O That God would raise up fiery prophets to cry out on his behalf again! Pray also that this kind of conviction of sin drive men desperately once again to Jesus, the only Saviour and Lord. God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Isaiah and Peter both serve as witnesses to us, that God is light, and that His light is the light of exposure. Their conversion stories also show us another valuable aspect of the Light of God; that is that the very Light that exposes all sin and corruption, will purge it out of us as well, as long as we remain in the Light.

The prophet Isaiah remained in the awful, penetrating light of God’s exposure long enough to behold an amazing sight,

…Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.(Isaiah 6:5-7)

The Light of God, which exposed Isaiah’s depravity also revealed to Him the God appointed answer to it. For isn’t the true burning Altar of God, the cross of Jesus? And the coal upon the lips, doesn’t it correspond to the gospel, that “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”?

So we see that the light both exposes, and overcomes all darkness. Beloved, let us remain in the light .

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In Him There Is No Darkness At all…I John pt 3

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.(I John 1:5)

The Apostle John’s ministry is one of restoration. The faith of the saints had been confused, distorted, tangled and blurred by the pseudo spirituality of those who claim a mystical, direct knowledge of God, which is above and beyond the experience of “normal” christians.

These “gnostics”, ie “knowing Ones“, undermined the simple faith of christians, causing them to doubt the integrity and depth of their own experience. Therefore John sets out to call us back to what we heard “at the beginning”, starting with our very concept of who the “only true God” actually is. God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all… .

The Gnostics who had distorted the faith,(and who always distort the faith), claimed a secret knowledge, available only to the initiates, which elevated them above normal Christians. “Revelation Knowledge”, as opposed to the mere “head Knowledge”of the christian disciple. Thus do they denigrate normal christian teaching, as being elementary, “sophomoric”, childish.

This kind of influence always ends up creating in the minds of its adherents, artificial hierarchies of Christians. I have heard modern christian teachers talk about “outer court” christians, “inner court ” christians, and the select “Holy of Holies” christians. Or something like 30, 60 and 100 fold christians. Or an Elijah company of believers for the last days.

The existence of a hierarchy among christians is always a sign of decline or even satanic influence.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.(Matthew 23:8-11)

Those in on the ‘Gnosis‘, the secret teaching, or the hidden knowledge, are the ones in the highest and most select company. The rest are dismissed as “carnal” believers .

It is in this anti-christ Spirit that I have heard modern gnostics denigrate the Word of God openly, despising it, yet patronizing it in a condescending fashion. Tommy Tenney who wrote the book “The God Chasers” and who for a brief time was the charismatic flavor of the day, actually called scriptures God’s old Love Letters, (Nice but not ‘current’)

“God chasers … are not interested in camping out on some dusty truth known to everyone. They are after the fresh presence of the Almighty…A true God chaser is not happy with just past truth; he must have present truth. God chasers don’t want to just study from the moldy pages of what God has done; they’re anxious to see what God is doing…There is a vast difference between present truth and past truth. I’m afraid that most of what the church has studied is past truth, and very little of what we know is present truth.” [The God Chasers xvi]

Rick Joyner is another example of this. His books of visions, dreams and supernatural experiences would have people believe that he has personally spoken to Jesus, the Apostle Paul, the (heretic) William Branham, and the Angel Wisdom. He has climbed the mountain of God, spoken to the departed saints, and supposedly the Angel told Him there is more. These books number in the hundreds of pages and sell by the millions.

Think about it, the whole goal of the Christian life is to see the face of Jesus(the beatific Vision), yet Joyner has seen Him and spoken to him many times over, supposedly.

Tenney , Joyner, Copeland, and the host of modern gnostics all in one fashion or another ridicule and demean christian doctrine, as being “head Knowledge”, “Musty Old Love Letters from the past”, “the Letter of the Law” etc. The question is where now do we go to get the “secret teaching” that is supposedly so much more relevant to our time ?

The answer is predictable, You need to rely on Tenney, Joyner’s visions, or to buy Pat Robertson’s “Secrets of the Kingdom”, or go receive a word from “prophet Bernard Jordan” (if you can afford it), or make the trek to Toronto or Pensacola, or whichever pilgrim site is the latest “locus of blessing”. Such concepts are pagan, for Gnostics always position themselves as revelatory mediators, specially “anointed” gurus.

To those lambs undergoing this kind of pressure, John speaks directly;

Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.( I John 2:24-27)

God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all…Any talk of secret teachings for the initiates, or ‘lost books” of the Bible, or forgotten truths now revealed, goes against the very nature of God himself. The Revelation of God in Christ, is the shining of “the true Light”, it is the fullest Revelation of God possible, and is open and available for the least Christian to behold.

God is Light… we serve an open and transparent God. True these things are hidden from the world, for they have been blinded to them by the god of this age, and by their own willful rejection of God. But there is no “secret teaching” in Christianity, no “hidden knowledge”, or “secret Keys” to anything in Christ.

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. ( I John 2:8)

The only True God is Light and in him there is no darkness at all.

 

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God is Light(everything revealed)…I John pt 2

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.(I John 1:5)

As we noted earlier, John’s ministry is a ministry of restoration. The faith has been frayed, tangled and torn to the point where the believers whom John addressed were confused as to who knew God genuinely and who didn’t. What does it mean to “know him who is from the beginning”? To “be strong and have the Word of God abiding in you”?

Most importantly, who is the God and Father of Jesus Christ? What is His nature? Who is Jesus? How should we understand His person? What is eternal life and who truly possesses it?

The effect of the heresies , pretensions, boasting, false words, spiritual elitism and mysticism of the gnostics always demoralizes and confuses the saints on the basic level of the questions above.

The restoration to the wholesome, sincere christian faith once delivered to us by the Apostles, must of necessity begin with the presentation of the “only true God”. The revelation of God comes to us in three theological propositions. God is Light…God is Love…and Jesus Christ has come and remains in the flesh.

What is the meaning of the statement, God is Light, and in him is no darkness at all? Light is an oft used metaphor to describe certain attributes and perfections of God.

For example, we are told God dwells in light which is unapproachable. Light here being the very emblem of purity and splendor.

…the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.(I Timothy 6;15-16)

The property of Light is that it reveals… all things are naked and open before Him with whom we have to do… . God is light, in Him all things are revealed in their true nature. Hypocrisy is shortsighted because “there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed…“.

Coming to the “only true God” is coming into the Light, where all is seen for what it truly is. Isaiah had an encounter with the true God, which caused him to pronounce prophetic woes upon himself! In God’s light we see ourselves as we are, not as we imagine ourselves to be, and it can be terrible.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple…Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.(Isaiah 6:1-5)

Peter had a similar experience. As a professional Fisherman, he thought Jesus was just another preacher until Jesus performed a miracle, filling his nets to overflowing with fish.

So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:7-8)

Because God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, anyone who has truly met God, has had this kind of experience. Like Peter and Isaiah, they have seen God, and abhorred themselves as sinners to the core ! They are transformed from self lovers, to self abhorrence, in the light of the Holy God!

On the contrary, the gnostics are not concerned at all with sin, or sinfulness. Their light doesn’t expose sin, in fact they deny that sin is a hindrance to a relationship with God. To them, light refers to revelation knowledge, without moral content.

That is why deceivers such as Todd Bentley can continue in ‘prophetic ministry’ after leaving his wife and marrying another. Other seducers, such as Rick Joyner endorse and encourage Bentley and his ilk, because to them Bentley’s “revelations” and “miracles” are all that matters, not his morality.A Hillsong pastor found it refreshing when a popular female Christian blogger came out as a lesbian!

This is also why John had to speak what seems like the obvious,

…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:(I John 1:5-6)

and sadly this needs to be repeated,

…Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.(I John 3:7-8)

Shouldn’t this be obvious? Not anymore, after so many years of Joyner, Hinn, C0peland, Hagin, and Steve Hill , there are many for whom this is not so obvious. Their Nets have been tangled, snarled and torn, and their faith is shattered.

They have been presented with a God who is not Light, not in the sense of moral splendor, Righteousness, exposure and repudiation of evil. The God of the Bentley’s and Rodney Howard Brownes of this world is a false god of false light.

To them the Apostle speaks anew, The only true God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all…. .

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Why John Wrote the Epistle…I John pt 1

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.(I John 5:18-21)

The Author Watchman Nee made an observation in a book called “What Shall This Man Do?”, that what Peter Paul and John were doing professionally when they met Jesus, became a metaphor for their work in the Kingdom of God.

Peter was “casting his nets into the sea”, and went on to be the great evangelist. Peter was always first; the first to ask the questions of Jesus all were thinking, the first to step out of the boat, the first to preach on the day of Pentecost, and the first to preach to the Gentiles.

Paul was a tent maker, and what is the church but the tabernacle of God? Who teaches more than anyone else the structure and function of the new temple of God, the body of Christ, then Paul?

Finally John comes, last; the last gospel, the near last epistle, the last Revelation was entrusted to John. But John ,though a fisherman, wasn’t casting his nets when Jesus found him, he was mending the nets!

The church will always end Peter to show the way, and Paul to teach and minister the Life. But at the end we need John’s message, which is to repair us to the Truth which has by now been distorted and gnarled and in may people’s cases, their faith has been destroyed , due to the influence of false teachers, prophets and apostles, i.e. “anti-Christs”.

So John tells us that he writes no new thing to us,but rather, ‘what we have heard from the beginning’. His is a ministry of restoration, a teaching designed to repair the damage done by gnostic re-interpretations of the knowledge of God, which in the end leave so many confused, lost, shipwrecked and ruined.

The Apostle John wrote his epistles to address a specific problem in the churches, one which is very relevant to our current situation in todays church. The problem? False teachers were distorting the meaning of the knowledge of God.

This was not merely an academic question, for salvation itself is the believing reception of the knowledge of God, according to Jesus.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.(John 17:3)
Notice in the opening scripture from I John 5 , how many times John talks about knowledge, truth, and understanding ? Who truly knows “him that is true”? ‘We do’, says John. Why does the Lord’s apostle emphasize this?

This emphasis is because pseudo spiritual teachers had come and were redefining Christianity, just as they are seeking to do today. They demeaned the Apostolic version of knowing God as unspiritual , offering a more mystical, sensual ‘knowledge of God” in its place.

What is the christian teaching on knowing God that the heretics undermined ?

First of all that it is only possible by the revelation of Jesus Christ and what he did to save us. All is of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who know God, do so by believing in the gospel of Jesus.

But the knowledge of God is by faith, we have not seen Jesus but we love him, we walk by faith (in the Word) and not by sight.The faith has been delivered “once and for all” by the apostles. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.

Also that we are to love one another, and that Love is not lawlessness, rather it is the fulfillment of all of the Law of God. This love is to be concrete, in word and deed, for Jesus became a real man to love us.

Furthermore we hate sin, and have repented of it and been delivered of its dominion, although it is still possible to sin. We who know God constantly confess our sin to God, repenting and seeking the forgiveness and cleansing from His Son.

Finally, we are waiting for Jesus to come from heaven, to judge the world in righteousness.

In the meantime we pray, evangelize, worship God, intercede for others, in a fallen world ruled temporarily by the devil. Only by submission to God do we hope to overcome the devil and the world.

Along came the “knowing Ones”, who would come to be known as gnostics.

Through the mystical, experience based spirituality of the new apostles and prophets, the knowledge of God now became a matter of higher revelation, visions, dreams, spiritual elitism,(ie Outer court, inner court and holy of holies christians), encounters with Angels, Demons, trances, ecstasies, prophetic directions from exalted men.

As a result, the old-fashioned “garden variety” christian was tempted to question his own spirituality. His experience of repenting of sin, waiting for Jesus, believing the Bible, yet not feeling anything most of the time, didn’t match up to the “new and improved version”.

We find ourselves at the same place today,don’t we? The boldness and mysticism of false apostles and prophets such as Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, etc, has undermined the faith of many.

The Apostle John is taking us back to the beginning, for he writes to restore our torn faith, to clear up our blurred and distorted vision. We don’t need a “new Word”, in fact that has been our problem, lusting for novelty,

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.( I John 2:7)

How does John take us back to the beginning to restore our faith again ? In stating three simple theological propositions, we find our way back…

God is Light

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
(I John 1:5)

God is Love…

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

(I John 4:8)

Jesus Christ has come(and remains) in the flesh…

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
(I John 4:2)

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