|John 5:24 |
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, 'He who hears my word, and believes in [depends on, trusts, obeys] him who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed [past tense] over from death to life.'3 [The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart [so you may hear and obey it]; that is, the word of faith, which we preach. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Christ speaking to you from within your heart). Rom 10:8,17. To have passed from death to life is to have heard many words spoken from Christ within your heart, which words you hear are engrafted in your heart, James 1:21; and which words you hear him speak to you are life-giving, John 6:63; which life that is given is Jesus, who is the life; thereby forming Christ in you, Gal 4:19; until Christ is fully formed and actually raised in you to be your true Lord in thought, word, and deed. To pass from death to life is as Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." Gal 2:20
This is the life that Adam lost in his fall in the garden, when he was cut off from the tree of life; men then became dead to the life of God. And when you pass from death to life, you enter paradise to once again eat from the tree of life, being translated into the Kingdom of Heaven while on earth to live in union with Christ and the Father. All this is to be experienced, not presumed in high notions.]
3 He who hears my word, and believes in [depends on, trusts, obeys] him who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed [past tense] over from death to life. Note, how this verse could be grossly misinterpreted to mean if you have heard someone read the Bible and you believe in who sent Jesus, the Father, then you have eternal life; misinterpreted to mean that even belief in Jesus in unnecessary — just believe that God sent Jesus — just believe in God. But of course that is not what this verse means at all: my word is not the Bible; my word is the word of faith that is in your heart and mouth so you may hear and obey it; and Jesus himself is that word of God, or Word of Christ, in your heart to be obeyed, which words Jesus speaks within your heart all originate from the Spirit of God. He who is of God, hears God's words...John 8:47. My sheep hear my voice. Everyone of the truth hears my voice. John 10:27,18:37. All your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3
Early in George Fox's seeking of the Lord, he received a teaching from the Lord about true believers, referencing this exact scripture:
it was said that "all christians are believers, both Protestants and Papists;" The Lord opened to me that if all were believers, then they were all born of God, and had passed from death to life; and that none were true believers unless that had happened; and though others said they were believers, yet they were not.
To be born again is not to be presumed; it is to experience dying on the cross, being buried with Christ, and then being raised with Christ into the heavens. Again, quoting George Fox:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. 1 Pet 4:12-13
If you will reign with him, you must suffer with him. 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him. 2 Tim 2:11 (there must be a "dying daily.")
And if you die with him, you must be buried with him, Rom 6:4
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12
In 1 John 5, John carefully defines what are the qualifying experiences of a believer who is born of God, which are summarized here:
Those who say that they are born-again Christians still living in the fleshly lusts and pleasures of the world, and so still slaves to sin, are maligning the truth and create confusion.
From the Word of the Lord within: "By their evident display of sin, Christians cause my name to be blasphemed among the people. To know you are born again is to see your salvation appear in your heart."
To pass from death to life [the life of God] is not to be presumed, is is to be experienced while on earth. From the Word of the Lord within: "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars." To pass from death, (which Adam brought on all men, when he fell to Satan), to life, is to be restored to the life of God and enter the paradise from which Adam was expelled.