|1 John 3 |
1 This chapter is wonderful for defining the true hope that saves, of how sin is removed by the Lord, and how a son of God cannot sin. Unfortunately the Greek of several of this chapter's verbs is in the Aorist tense, which can be properly interpreted as past, present, or future tense in meaning. The translators of the Bibles, having been schooled in the doctrines that one is saved and a son of God just by believing in Jesus, chose the tenses of the verbs that supported their erroneous doctrine, which even qualifies the demons as sons of God since demons too believe in Jesus and tremble. Their choice of tenses only supports the hope of the hypocrites.
John himself defined what it takes to be born again as a son of God in 1 John 5: he keeps all the commands of God; he has overcome the world; he has seen in his heart the three witnesses of water, spirit, and blood; he does not sin; he has eternal life, Christ in full measure within; and he is in union with God. Paul tells us that we must continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling so that we can become sons of God. Phil 2:12-15. So the tenses in this wonderful chapter have to be translated to be in agreement with the rest of the scriptures because:
Clearly in this chapter John is addressing those who are not yet pure, who have not yet seen Jesus, and who yet are not like Him; but they can become pure if they have the hope of seeing Him and being like Him. John plainly states this in verses 2 and 3 without any tense changes necessary:
The tenses of a few verbs in this chapter's verses can be translated correctly as present, past or future. When tenses are chosen to conform with verses 2 and 3 above, (shown in italics for verses 1,2,5 and 8), and to conform to rest of the Bible's many verses, the power, the hope, and the beauty of this chapter increase dramatically, making it a wonderful inspiration to the hope of the true seeker of God.
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we could be called the sons of God; and we will be. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know him.1 [Though we are not yet born again sons of God, because we are disciples that deny ourselves to wait on God at every opportunity, and because we are strangers to the excesses of the world's conversation and conduct; to those in the world our inward cross is the aroma of death.]
2 Beloved, now we are to be sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we will be, but we know that when He is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. [A Son of God is like Jesus, who is holy, harmless, pure, separate from sinners, and with no sin in Him; and when we see Him, we will be like Him. Jesus appears in the hearts of purified believers. Jesus is seen. Jesus is revealed. He who has been hidden is revealed, Christ in you, the hope of glory. From the Word of the Lord within: "You are a son when Jesus appears in your heart to guide you." Then you are like Him: holy, harmless, pure, without any sin.]
3 And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He [Jesus] is pure.2 [What hope?—The hope of being like Him and of seeing Jesus appear in your heart is the hope that saves and purifies you; for we are saved by hope. Rom 24. You must have this hope for the power of God to be released to purify you. For of this you can be sure, that no sexually immoral, or impure, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph 5:5. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God, Mat 5:8. — Christ in you, the hope of glory.]
4 Whoever commits sin practices lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness.
5 And you know that He appears to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. [Since there is no sin in Jesus, then it is impossible for a person still sinning to be in Christ or a part of the body of Christ or in union with Christ. To whom does Jesus appear to remove sin?—To those who are waiting on God, who persistently and patiently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. From the Word of the Lord within: We go to him, and he rains help on us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do."]
6 Whoever abides in him does not sin; whoever sins has not seen Him or known Him. [To abide in Him, is to live in Him: to be in union with Him. You cannot be still sinning and know God or see God. Sin includes: anger, sexual immorality, lust, ambition, greed, envy, pride, partying, foolishness, profanity, lying, hating, dishonesty, cheating, etc. When you have been freed from all sin and are pure, you see Him, which is to see the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, the substance and image of the invisible God. Then you truly know Him. Until then: "You worship what you do not know." John 4:22.]
7 Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.3 [Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit, as sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with perfection, purity, and holiness.]
8 He who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil.4 [Let no man deceive you, saying that you can still be sinning and belong to God; those still sinning serve the devil. Christ is revealed in our flesh to destroy the works of the devil, by condemning the secret sins in our heart, and then destroying even our desire to sin. Paul confirms Jesus destroying the works of the devil in each purified believer: "the God of peace shall crush Satan under your feet shortly." Rom 16:20.]
10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed [distinguished]: whoever does not live righteously is not of God, neither is he who does not love his brother. [If you are still sinning, you are a child of the devil, regardless of what your blind guide priest or minister says differently. From the Word of the Lord within: "If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me."]
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not like Cain, who was of the wicked one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's were righteous.
13 Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you.6
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brothers. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
15 Whoever hates his brother has committed murder [in his heart], and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we perceive the love of God: that he laid down his life for us; and we also ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
17 How could the love of God dwell in anyone who has this world's goods, sees his brother in need, and shuts up his feelings of compassion for him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.7 [The reference to "little children" in Greek of this verse does not mean children of God or sons of God but rather is a term of kindly address of teachers to their disciples: tecknia <5040>.]
19 By this we know that we are of the truth, and our hearts will be assured before him.
20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, then have we confidence before God.
22 And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we observe [obey] his commands and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his command: that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he commanded us.
24 He who keeps his commands dwells in him, and he in him. And we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.
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1 Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we could be called the sons of God; and we will be. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know him. The verbs could and will in this verse have the variable Greek Aorist tense and have been typically translated as present tense instead of future tense as above. Yet, you cannot be a Son of God without Jesus first having appeared in you, which John states as a future event in the next verse: it does not yet appear what we will be, but we know that when He is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
One is not a son until he has conquered sin, until he has crucified his lust and affections on the inward cross of self-denial, until he has overcome the world, and until God rules his thoughts, words, and deeds. From the Word of the Lord within: "You are a son when Jesus appears in your heart to guide you."
2 And every man who has this hope in him (of seeing Jesus and being like Him) purifies himself, even as He [Jesus] is pure. This is the hope of the true gospel and is what releases the power of God to purify you. The soul is purified by obedience to the truth. The heart is purified by faith. When your heart is purified, you see God: Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Mat 5:8. Your purifying hope is to be freed from sin, to see Christ revealed within you, and you to be translated into the Kingdom of Christ, to be in union with God, to be in their presence continually, serving them in holiness. The Mystery of the Ages, Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27. For we are saved by hope, Rom 8:24.
That by two immutable things (the promise followed by the oath), in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, which enters into the Presence within the veil. Heb 6:18-19.
There are two stages of perfection; see Footnote 6 to Galatians 5:24 for details.
3 Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit, as sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with perfection, purity, and holiness.
Jesus confirms righteousness only exists in a man if: 1) he is sent to speak to specific person(s), and 2) he does not speak from himself, (his own words); he speaks only what God orders him to speak:
For I do not speak of myself, but the Father, who sent me, himself commands me what I should say and what I should speak. John 12:49
He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him, that man is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. John 7:18
John warns us in this verse! Don't be fooled into believing you are somehow righteous, because you are not righteous unless you practice righteousness just as Jesus is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil, 1 John 3:8; and neither is he righteous. Don't buy the ministers' of the deficit sects lies to their members that they are righteous because they believe, even while they are still sinning, sin being wickedness. He who says to the wicked, 'You are righteous;' him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him. Pro 24:24. All the pastors and ministers shall be cursed, who lied, saying that with belief in Jesus you are righteous while still locked in sin. The Apostle Paul instructed his true ministers thus: "Rebuke those who continue in sin before everyone, so that others may fear also." 1 Tim 5:20. John also wrote us in Chapter 2 about those who were out to seduce the believers, and told us that we needed no man to teach us, for the anointing of Christ's spirit would teach us all things and is truth, and is no lie. 1 John 2:26-27. He cautions us again, to let no man deceive you. From the Word of the Lord within: "Do not be misled over righteousness; all sin is unrighteousness." There is an imputed righteousness that comes with the measure of faith received with the fruit of the Spirit, which is rewarded to those who have crucified their selfish, evil spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, but not before. Believing in Jesus is not the faith that imputes righteousness; see Footnote2 of Romans 3 for the detail of imputed righteousness.
Then John clarifies those who are out to seduce and deceive: anyone who tries to tell you that you are righteous while you are still walking in your own imagination, by your own brain, (the carnal mind), therefore still sinning, still subject to anger, lust, profane language, lying, cheating, covetousness, greed, envy, etc., for he who commits sin is of the devil and definitely not righteous. They have seduced my people saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace. .. with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, .., and have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not return from his wicked way, by (falsely) promising him life. Eze 13:2,10,22. As Peter also warned: they lure through the lusts of the flesh and much wantonness, those who were barely escaping from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption; for by whatever a man is overcome, he is enslaved. 2 Peter 2:18-19. Sounds very contemporary, doesn't it?
Today's so-called Christians think they are righteous because they "believe in Jesus" or have been water baptized; in so doing, Christianity has made a mockery of the Lord's highest priority command in the New Testament: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...Mat 6:33. When contemplating those who think they have the righteousness of Christ because they believe that Jesus is the son of God, the Word of the Lord within said: "They throw the word 'righteousness' around without any understanding of what it means. They are filthy dreamers." They are filthy because their hearts are defiled with all manner of sins they still commit with disregard to the Lord's many warnings and requirements, and they are dreaming that they are righteous.
What is righteousness? (The definition of righteousness)
It is interesting that righteous is defined as just in both French and Spanish. To be just in this context means to make decisions that are reasonable and morally right. Certainly we know that God's decisions are morally right, even always perfect. Why?—because He remembers every thought, every word, and everything that ever happened to anyone who stands in front of Him for judgment. If we try to judge someone, we don't have that complete record to gauge whether there were circumstances that led, pressured, or even forced them into the violation we are trying to judge. For example, there was a study made of prostitutes, (male and female), on the streets of San Francisco, and the overwhelming majority of them had been raped by a member of their family at an early age. A child that is raped often feels that they were somehow partially guilty for what happened; then they begin thinking that they are no good and only fit to repeat the error with others. God would know all those circumstances in exact detail, including all the thoughts they ever had. He also has a record of every anonymous pleading He ever made with each of us to depart from evil. So He could make a correct decision regarding such a person, but it is impossible for us to do the same. There is an old Indian proverb: "never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins." God has been with us every step throughout everyone's lives, but we haven't taken one step with them. So to be righteous is to stop making decisions out of our carnal minds, (that are enmity to God and incapable of being subject to the law of God), and only do as God tells us to do, only say what God tells us to say, and only judge as God tells us to judge; then, and only then we are righteous because everything we do has been directed by the just, righteous God. When making decisions with our carnal mind, the best we can do is make a less bad or less evil decision; only God always knows the best thing to do and the best words to say. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit and sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with perfection, purity, and holiness. We must be restored to the image of God that Adam lost in the Garden; to put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. When we are righteous, everything we say and do is just, fair, morally correct, perfect, true, holy, virtuous, good, and pure. When we are righteous, everything we say and everything we do is right — righteousness.
To say and do everything that is right, to be righteous, is to be guided by Christ the light, within us, guiding us with words to speak and deeds to be performed, which deeds honor and glorify God and are our supreme joy to complete. To be righteous is to be free from sin, no longer walking in the darkness of our carnal mind and evil imagination, no longer fulfilling the lusts and desires of our flesh, but to be walking in the light, serving and pleasing the Spirit.
Yield..your members for instruments to be used for righteousness by God. Rom 6:13
From the Word of the Lord within: "We go to him, and he rains help on us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do. Come to me with the hope of speaking and acting righteously." God makes us a fit instrument for his hand to direct in works of love, to show the world the love of God, to shake the nations, and to hold out the word of life and faith. God's works are performed by his people with great joy because they know all their words and deeds are perfect and virtuous, which give pleasure to God and advance the creation; thus they are working true righteousness.
Now you know the true meaning of Jesus' words: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." John 7:21. The Father's will is for you to only think the thoughts He provides, only speak the words He tells you to speak, and do only what He commands; and William Penn wrote that "true worshipping of God is doing his will."
The reference to "little children" in Greek of this verse does not mean children of God or sons of God but rather is a term of kindly address of teachers to their disciples: tecknia <5040>.
4 For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works of the devil. He, who has been hidden within, is revealed. As Paul said: it has pleased the Father to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him. Always bearing about in the [our] flesh the same death [of the inward cross] of the Lord Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are constantly progressing to death [crucifying the old man] for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus might be revealed in our mortal flesh. 2 Cor 4:10-11.
Note! In the source Greek text of this verse and verse 5 above, the Greek word for reveal or manifest is efanerwyh <5319> which has an Aorist Tense <5681><5777>that can be past, present, or future tense. The context of this chapter's previous verses is John relating how: 1) with the true hope we get purified, 2) we must practice righteousness as Jesus did, 3) all sin is of the devil, and 4) if we are born again, we cannot sin. Then John tells us how we get purified: by Jesus appearing, (verse 5), being revealed in us to destroy the sin in our hearts that had been created by the devil, (verse 8). Paul confirms Jesus destroying the works of devil in each of us — an individual event to the purified believer: "the God of peace shall crush Satan under your feet shortly." Rom 16:20. Unfortunately almost all translations miss this beautiful promise because the translators were prejudiced in Babylon's doctrines and never experienced Jesus appear in their heart, nor ever witnessed Him destroy the sin in their hearts. So they translated "is revealed" as past tense "was revealed," thinking this verse is simply stating that Jesus came to the earth to destroy the works of the devil; but of course it was not a one-time event, or we would all be perfect in a perfect world. Some translators assume that since Christ abolished the Mosaic law, there is no sin any more; however there still exists the law that is in every man's heart, by which law all men will be judged, (which inward law reflects the moral core of the Mosaic law), and the Bible clearly states that: 1) those still sinning who die will have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and 2) every man will be judged on his works and words.
Paul called this appearance of Jesus in the heart to be "the mystery hidden for ages and generations: Christ in you, the hope of glory." He who has been hidden within is revealed to the purified saints, Christ in you, Col 1:26-27. From the Word of the Lord within: "Christ does not come into the world, but comes into his own and gathers his seed; there, is an eating of bread and a taking off the chains."
Jesus is eager to destroy sin and the works of evil in us — if we go to him. Therefore mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body which are of the earthly life; sexual immorality, impurity, inordinate affections, evil lusts of the flesh, and covetousness, which is idolatry; Col 3:5. For if you live after the flesh, you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13. Strip yourselves of your former nature that controlled your conduct, which corrupts itself through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:22-24. George Fox writes of Christ being manifest in our flesh:
For Christ is manifest [revealed] in the flesh, to condemn sin in the flesh, to all who witness Christ in them, male and female; I say, Christ is manifest in their flesh; he condemns the sin that is in their flesh; yes, and makes an end of sin, and finishes the transgression, and brings everlasting righteousness into them. But first he condemns the sin that is in their flesh, the unrighteousness in their flesh, and ungodliness in their flesh; the liar, the swearer, that is in their flesh; the adulterer, the fornicator, the idolater, and all sin, whatever it is, he condemns in the flesh. So Christ is manifest in the flesh, to condemn the sin that is in the flesh; everyone who witnesses Christ condemning sin in the flesh, that they through Christ, who condemns sin in the flesh, might become God's righteousness, and so God's new person [creature]. But the sin being uncondemned in the flesh, they are of the serpent, of the unrighteous one, of the ungodly one, who adulterated from truth, they are his. But the sin being condemned in the flesh, Christ is manifest in the flesh, so that they become Christ's; they are God's, and are in Christ, who destroys the devil and his works, which are out of truth. And these know the new life, which God is served in; and these know the new earth, in which dwells righteousness; and these know the old earth, in which dwell unrighteousness. And these can bring forth things old and new.
From the Word of the Lord within: "The Spirit of Grace both charges and removes, just like Jesus said 'repent,' and also healed. The Lord can work around anything in a man. I stand with those freed from sin. Those who belong to Christ are through with sin."
5 Anyone claiming to be born again, but still sinning, is repudiated by John. John also says, whoever does not live righteously is not of God. Jesus said, Truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34. He who commits sin is of the devil. 1 John 3:8.
6 Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you. Jesus said: the time is coming when whoever kills you will think that he is doing a service to God. John 16:2. Jesus is talking about religious people: those who believe they are doing God a service by killing his disciples, whom they consider to be heretics. The people of the world, particularly the religious people of the world, will hate and persecute anyone truly born of the Spirit of Christ. Why? Because those born of the Spirit will tell the religious people of the world that their religion is in vain. Just like Jesus told the Jews, and they killed him. Just like the early Quakers told the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Puritans, and Baptists, who killed over 800 of the early Quakers, hanging four in Boston. But as it was then, he who was born after the flesh persecuted him who was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Gal 4:29. All who are determined to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Tim 3:12. And so when those disciples of Jesus appear again, who have truly been purified, crucified, and perfected, they too will be massively persecuted by Christendom once more.
7 How could the love of God dwell in anyone who has this world's goods, sees his brother in need, and shuts up his feelings of compassion for him?
My little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.
By this we know that we are of the truth, and our hearts will be assured before him. 1 John 3:17-19.
John is in total agreement with James who said, "faith without works is dead." James 2:24.
He is saying that if the love of God dwells in a man, then he will have works of love to show. We could paraphrase John's words to be: "love without works is dead."
Not only must our works of love apply to our brothers who lack the necessities of life, but our love for God must be evident by more than words. We must strive to hear His words: His teachings, His counsel, His wisdom, and His convictions of us. We must expose ourselves to hearing His commands, just as the father of our faith, Abraham, exposed himself.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Without our promises the soul is grieved; with them the soul settles down to a vigilant tribute to the Lord."
A tribute is something that you do, say, or build to show that you respect and admire. A vigilant tribute is to watch and wait for His will to be revealed to us in his spoken commands and revelations: Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me, finds life; and he shall obtain favor of the LORD. Pro 8:34-35. You have prayed "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" a thousand times; for your prayer to have sincerity, you must seek His will.
Compare the below two scriptures:
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him. Isa 64:4.
Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, the things that God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
The key difference: Isaiah reads waits, 1 Cor 2:9 reads love. So the beginning of love for God is to wait on Him: we wait on Him to hear His words that teach us, convict us, encourage us, and guide us — that is loving God. When we hear Him speak commands to us, if we love Him, we will obey Him:
If you love me, you will obey my commands. John 14:15
And Jesus answered and said to him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my words [obey me, practice my teachings]; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. John 14:23
For this is the love of God, that we keep [obey] his commands; and his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3
To say you love God and not seek to hear his will for you, is as the Lord described:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Isa 29:13, Mark 7:6
And they come to you as the people come, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they will not do [obey] them; for they show much love with their mouth, but their heart goes after their covetousness. Eze 33:31
From the Word of the Lord within: "Little children, let us love not only in word but in deeds."
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