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1JOHN CHAPTER 4

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1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

 

1Jn 4,1-6

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits

(160b) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit spirit – John is addressing two subjects simultaneously: false spirits and false prophets, for the two are inseparable. A false prophet that does not carry a spirit is not a false prophet at all. By the same token, anybody who preaches Jesus but does not teach Him as the Son of God who came in the flesh is in fact a false prophet. There are spirits that follow false prophets and their teachings by the spirit of error. There are no neutral spirits, any more than there are good spirits and bad spirits, such as what we see on TV shows like Ghost Hunters. They say that some spirits are benevolent, while others are evil and malevolent. They usually call the spirits that seem to be “good” human, but these are the deceitful ones, which are just as malevolent as those that would attack you; they are both demonic. There is obviously no such thing as good demons, and there is no such thing as human spirits trying to figure their way after death. People have made their choices throughout life and after death they either go to be with the Lord or they go somewhere else, but they can’t stay here. This is why we Christians don’t use Ghost Hunters and the like as a standard of measuring the spirit realm, because that show is in itself deceitful.

(164h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world does not know God -- These verses go with verse 8. The objective of the antichrist is to impersonate the Holy Spirit, suggesting that the person (or persons) who carry the spirit of antichrist strive to impersonate a prophet, suggesting further that the man of lawlessness who will lead the last global civilization of mankind to its demise will impersonate Jesus Christ, and will succeed in seducing the whole world, except for those who have a remnant of the Spirit and have received wisdom and insight from God. The spirit of antichrist are many, and they each have their own brand of false teaching, and each brand, if accepted by the world, becomes a new religion. Therefore, every religion of the world has its origins from demons, except Christianity. At the end of the age, when the entire human race falls prey to its scheduled downfall, the antichrist will introduce his ultimate deception, and the world will swallow it hook, line and sinker. This false teaching will inevitably revolve around himself taking on the role of Jesus Christ the Son of God in human flesh. This is the very fact he denied for the last two millennia about the true messiah. It is impossible for the antichrist to teach Jesus as the Son of God in human flesh, unless he claims to be Him. In this way he is still lying, which is an essential trait of his character, for in the same way that the Holy Spirit is conjoined to the word of God, so the demon spirit of antichrist is joined at the hip to the deception of lies.

(177c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine (Cults) >> Distorting Scripture for personal gain – Jesus lived in human flesh that yearned for sin just like our own, and the fact that He had the soul of His Father kept Him from sin. He was more than made in the image of God; he was God in human flesh, and every cult will deny this, defining them as a cult. A wise Christian theologically battling with these people would do well to bring this passage to their attention, throwing it in their faces and never let them change the subject, because there is nothing else relevant by comparison. All cults consider Jesus to have been just a prophet. Jehovah’s Witnesses will lie to your face and say whatever you want to hear just to get you into their club, and once they have you, they seem to know that the spirit of their religion will wrap its tentacles around you, and then they will begin to tell you what they really believe. By that time it is too late to leave because their doctrines become seared into their victims conscience as with a hot branding iron by demonic spirits and forces of wickedness (1Tim 4-2). Beware of them. 

(179f) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> False prophets >> False prophets preach works and deny Christ

(183k) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Truth is the enemy of the spirit of error >> Spirit of error rejects the truth – John calls the spirit of antichrist “it,” not a “he.” The Bible in every case calls Satan a “he,” but the spirit of antichrist is not any one particular entity, meaning it is not necessarily Satan. The antichrist always brings its false teaching in one of two ways: either it will confess that Jesus was the Son of God but deny that He had a body of mortal flesh, or else it will say that He was merely a prophet. The second is the most common. Virtually every religion in the world acknowledges Jesus Christ, but claims He was merely a prophet. In contrast, the born-again Christian knows that Jesus was the Son of God, who came in a body of flesh and blood just like our own and was without sin, flawless and perfect, and He died for the sins of the world. The spirit of antichrist can speak the name of Jesus and teach lies about Him, but he cannot confess Him as the Son of God clothed in human flesh. We see exorcist movies on TV, where a priest is casting out the devil from its victim, calling out the name of Jesus. The devil can speak the name of Jesus, but what scares the devil is to remind him that he was defeated by Jesus Christ, clothed in the frailty of our human flesh as the Son of God. Satan and his demons will not remain in the presence of such truth and will eventually leave. “The antichrist” to which we refer is coming at the end of the age to deceive the whole world will be Satan in human flesh, but we should think of the antichrist in all other contexts as a spirit that any demonic entity (or entities) can assume. 

1Jn 4-1

(62h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Do not commit yourself too hastily

(160d) Works of the devil >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine -- This verse goes with verse 3

(174j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Form of godliness but denying the truth -- This verse goes with verse 3


2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 

 

1Jn 4,2-4

(45k) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Satan VS the saints

(111c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of truth -- These verses go with verse 15

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

1Jn 4-2,3

(37c) Judgment >> Jesus’ humanity >> He had human flesh – This is the most poignant verse in the Bible speaking directly to cults. Every cult has its own belief system, yet they have one belief in common; they all reject Jesus Christ as God in human flesh. Many cults have fanciful explanations about the identity of Christ, often using passages such as Phi 2,6-8 where Paul used these phrases: "form of God... form of a bondservant... likeness of men... appearance as a man" to describe His physical form. They say He had the appearance of a man but was not actually a man, claiming that He didn’t have human flesh and blood as we do, otherwise He couldn’t have been without sin and performed His many miracles. It is their way of denouncing the deity of Christ, being a fabrication of their own cultic tendencies. The Bible teaches that Jesus came in human flesh and that His body consisted of the same substance as ours, who was born of the Virgin Mary. Perhaps they watched too many sci-fi movies about aliens from another planet impregnating a woman and she giving birth to some life form that wasn’t human. God the Father placed His seed in Mary and she gave birth to a son, and her Son was composed of human flesh just like hers and ours. The genetic influence the Father contributed to His Son had virtually no effect on His physical composition; rather the Father’s influence determined the identity of Christ (who He was, not what He was). This is how He was able to live without sin. He hated sin just as much as the Father, and not one of us can say the same. We may not like sin and we may even say we hate it, but we don’t hate it like Jesus did. On a spiritual level Jesus was incapable of sin, but on a physical level he was just as capable of sinning as anyone. Thus, being without sin was His greatest miracle. 

(60e) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> They do not acknowledge Jesus as God in human flesh / They do not acknowledge Him defeating sin in human flesh – It is of utmost importance that we understand Jesus Christ literally came in the flesh. Christians believe this without hindrance, but there are others of anti-Christian persuasions, unbelievers according to Scripture, who cannot accept this, because it infringes on their false religion. They say that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh. What do they mean by this? It suggests that Jesus had an advantage over us, as though He didn’t actually come in a human body, but was perhaps angelic in nature or had some other form. They attest that this is how he was able to perform His miracles and remain sinless. None of this can be true, since they must first deny the virgin birth of Christ. The fact that he was born through the virgin Mary, who was just as human as the rest of us, proves that Jesus had the flesh of us all. For them to manipulate the idea that Jesus had a body of a different nature than ours, they must do some heavy twists and turns without any support from the scriptures. These people have no regard for the word of God, otherwise they would believe the truth. Instead, they prefer to make up their own ideas in contrast to many passages of Scripture. The Bible is extremely specific about the virgin birth. Anyone who would differ about this has proven they simply don’t want to believe the Bible but prefer their own ideas. What is a greater miracle, that Christ came in a body unlike our own, or that he really was completely human in every respect, yet was able to do what He did as the Son of God purely through the strength of His Father? After all, how could Jesus atone for our sin through the sacrifice of His body, if it were unlike our own? The real motive of these false prophets who don’t want to believe Jesus came in the flesh is that the gospel is geared toward us living just like Him, and they have no intensions of doing that!

(64h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness is stronger than men – Believing that Jesus came as God in human flesh makes the distinction between those who obeying the Holy Spirit and those who obeying demons. First century Christians knew the challenge God had placed before them; they had to give the Church a good sendoff, knowing things would go awry from there. The First Century Church thought Jesus would return in their lifetime or shortly thereafter, yet they still gave their best effort to leave the Church intact, and if every generation felt the same way, we might not be in apostasy as we are today. Perhaps they thought Christianity would continue on course for the next thousand years. Unknown to them, though, Catholicism would emerge in the third century, bringing with it many teachings of apostasy in more ways than most people know, under which even the protestant church is still suffering. Most people don’t realize the destructive force these changes have brought on the Church, such as the fact that Catholicism permanently established the Church as an entity of the state. Prior to Catholicism the church was not recognized by the world as having any place with it, but now that the Church had developed an uneasy truce with the world, it doesn’t make sense anymore why people need to be saved, saved from what? Now that the Church has assimilated into the world, the only observable difference between Christians and non-Christians is that one believes in a certain set of doctrines and the other doesn’t, but the gospel is far more reaching than that. It should, however, be clarified that Catholicism is in fact a Christian religion and not technically a cult, because it holds to the teaching that Jesus came as God in human flesh; the council of Nicaea in 325 AD determined this.

(136e) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Jesus’ fleshly body >> The flesh of Jesus’ sacrifice

(150d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Confessing the salvation of Christ >> Confessing Jesus because you are saved -- These verses go with verse 15. It is very simple to make a distinction between the Spirit of God and the spirit of error, just determine whether a person confesses that Jesus Christ came as God in human flesh. If he doesn't confess this, he is not Christian. John doesn’t say we should try to evangelize these people. Basically, anyone who denies Jesus came as God in human flesh has joined himself to a cult, for that is the very definition of a cult. In the first century Christians battled with the Gnostics, who were blasphemers and deceivers who preached a gospel different from the one that was handed down to them by the original apostles who walked with Jesus in the flesh. Paul said in Gal 1-8,9, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

(253ea) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Father >> Jesus has all the internal qualities of the Father >> Jesus is the Son of God >> Contested the Son of God by sinners and demons -- these verses go with verses 14,15. Normally, a father and mother come together to conceive a child and that fetus is a composite of both parents, and that child will develop a personality of his own  distinct from them, though within their genetic framework. With the conception of Christ, the only difference lies in the question of His soul. In His case the Father placed a copy of His own soul into the fetus. This is significant in that when a person is born-again, the Spirit of God mixes with that person’s soul to become one spirit, but with Christ His soul was already the Holy Spirit. Jesus had all the physical qualities provided to Him by both parents (Heb 10-5); He developed a personality that was uniquely His own within the parameters of His parents and society in which He lived, but His Spirit was that of His Father. The soul of Christ was the Spirit of God; this was the only difference between Christ and any other man. He had the soul of God, but He had the flesh of man; this is what every cult will deny, and to deny this is to deny being made in the image of God, for they are denying that God can be made in the image of man. Jesus was made in the image of God in the most literal sense possible. When God created Adam and breathed a spirit into him, He didn’t breathe His own Spirit, but Adam’s spirit into him. When God created Adam in His own likeness, He didn’t necessarily give him similar physical attributes, but similar spiritual attributes, but Jesus was not merely in the likeness of God; He was the very person of God! 

1Jn 4-2

(156i) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Confessing Jesus is evidence of salvation -- This verse goes with verse 15

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3&4 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

 

1Jn 4-3

(157i) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Having a reprobate mind – John called them the spirit of antichrist. We know that in the last days he will come to set up his satanic kingdom and introduce his mark, and if anyone receives it, he will be automatically damned for eternity, and he will find his place in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, a terrible fate. John used the word “antichrist” in his epistles, and Paul used the term “man of lawlessness” to describe him in 2The 2-3. We know the antichrist is unimaginably evil who is coming to overthrow the human race and to plunge man into judgment with God by martyring His people, but do we attribute the same amount of evil to this conversation that John is having here, talking about cults and deceivers who will come to distort the truth with a lie by denying that Jesus Christ has come as God in human flesh. Do we attribute the same level of wickedness to these people as do to the spirits behind them? We could view all of mankind as victims, but at some point we are responsible for what we do. If we make proselytes of a cult, we will be judged for it. John never told us to reach these cult leaders with the gospel, considered by the first century to be Gnostics. On the contrary, he told us to have nothing to do with them, not even to let them in our house (2Jn-10). Paul was a stickler about maintaining his reputation, being a good reason we should not let them in our homes, because we could be seen as condoning their religion in the eyes of those who may be weak in faith, who may let them in their house and become enslaved to their doctrines and possibly lose their faith in Jesus to heresy.

(160d) Works of the devil >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine -- This verse goes with verse 5. When it comes to the devil directly lying to us, he often tells the truth but with an evil motive, like he did with Adam and Eve, but when it comes to the deception that is in the world, his lies and confusion have accumulated, having deceived the world for so many millennia that there is no real truth to it anymore. The more generalized Satan’s deceptions, the further from the appearance of Christianity. In contrast, the more specific the satanic deception, the more it resembles Christianity but with a fatal flaw somewhere in its logic. This is why we need to be careful; if we believe something that merely resembles Christianity, it is a sign we have been inadvertently communing with demons. Once Satan convinces a person of his lies, he sears it into his conscience as with a hot branding iron, so he cannot stop believing them. It is a major uphill battle trying to untie a person from spiritual deception. Those who belong to Satan and have believed in his teachings for many years, God can deliver them, but they will have to work with Him, because strong spiritual forces want to recapture him by the things he once believed were true.

(174j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Form of godliness but denying the truth -- This verse goes with verse 5

(180b) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Wolves lead people into a cult >> Wolves bypass the cross

(201a) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> He is against Christ who does not receive Him >> Whoever does not receive God’s word is against Christ

1Jn 4-4,5

(199i) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> The world rejects God >> World rejects God because it does not know Him – John uses an interesting word in this verse; who is them? John also said, “Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God” (1Jn 4-3). He is referring to various spirits, primarily the spirit of antichrist, saying that there are many of them. Then he goes from plural to singular saying, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world,” suggesting that all the demons have a single master, whose name is Satan. He is the leader of demons, yet John in the same way is talking about people, for we cannot talk about the antichrist without talking about a man who will embody the devil. The devil is powerless without man, for God has given him no authority on earth, though he received authority from Adam when he sinned. Therefore, man gives power to demons by obeying them and thus corrupting the world through sin, establishing a snowball effect, the more sin, the more power to corrupt the world. Hence, the difference between the earth and the world is that the earth is a planet, while the world represents the social influence of man on the earth. God absolutely refuses to violate man’s will, and for this reason demons cannot impose their will on us either, unless we invite them by rejecting the will of God.

1Jn 4-4

(39e) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Victory >> Jesus overcame the world – For us to overcome the world suggests that we have entered into Jesus’ victory through faith (Jn 16-33). Jesus was frank about the true nature of this world, that man was completely lost and is in desperate need of a savior, but He also knew that most people would not receive Him, though He was willing to pay for their sins whether they received Him or not. Jesus victory over the world entailed defeating Satan on a spiritual level. He overcame the world through death, which is counterintuitive to the thinking of most people. The world thinks exclusively in terms of power and success. When two men fight, the one who gets the worst of it is considered the loser, so what about the person who gets hung on a cross? How can people possibly see Jesus as overcoming the world when they are part of the world’s system of thought? Jesus overcame the world by dying without sin. We who live in mortal flesh have no choice but to sin, but Jesus was God in human flesh. His victory was maintaining His Father’s approval throughout His life, and we enter into His victory through the Spirit who indwells us. If we believe in Jesus and follow the voice of the Holy Spirit, we too will over come the world.

(39ib) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Jesus defeated Satan’s authority >> Church has inherited Jesus' authority

(112d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Jesus light in us overcomes darkness >> The light of His power -- This verse goes with verse 18. One highly significant outcome of the Spirit of God leading us into the truth is that nobody can lie to us. We have overcome the deceptions of the world through the Holy Spirit who indwells us. So long as we love and continue serving the truth with all our hearts, a thousand demons gathered around us all speaking their lies against the knowledge of God would have a negligible effect on us, because God Himself taught us the truth by His Spirit.

(119j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of sin is broken >> Bondage of Satan is broken – John is saying that we have overcome the world primarily in the spirit, but we have also overcome the world of mankind. That is not to condone the religious wars that have been fought throughout the age of grace. We have not overcome the world through violence, quite the opposite; we have overcome the world in the sense that man can martyr us and still we go to heaven, and in fact we receive a better resurrection because of it, and the end result of martyrdom is always the further spread of Christianity. We have overcome the world in the sense that we have overcome its deception. The world is immersed in lies and deceit; there is nothing real about it.

(132a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> Spirit of God in the spirit of man >> Spirit of the Father -- This verse goes with verse 9


5&6 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

 

1Jn 4,5-8

(129a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Evidence of your fruit >> The type of fruit indicates who you are serving

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1Jn 4-5,6 

(85h) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Verbalize your faith

(156l) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Living an ungodly lifestyle >> Associating with the world – “They,” the spirit of antichrist, are from the world. John is still talking about false prophets and the spirit of error that follows their teaching. They are from the world in that they are bound for hell, unless they repent, but so long as they preach a false gospel they cannot be saved.

(168g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world listens to itself >> The world speaks in it’s own words – The unfortunate truth about this world is: generally by default people can hear the teachings of the antichrist more clearly than they can hear the truth. There could be two people, one who speaks the truth of God and the other who speaks the lies of the devil, and a man of the world will generally be more likely persuaded by the antichrist than by the truth. Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Who then can be saved?” His response: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mat 19-26). Jesus was saying that it is truly a miracle when someone can hear the Holy Spirit speaking the word of God in their hearts and be saved from a world that is ruled by Satan (Jn 14-30).

(168k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> You cannot hear God while you listen to the devil – We know the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error, between those who are being drawn by the Holy Spirit and those persuaded by demons. The acid test of our discernment is extremely simple: the one who listens to us can hear the voice of God as we do, but the one who does not listen to us cannot hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them. Instead, they are persuaded by demons. Just like the Holy Spirit can teach us the truth, permanently embedding His word into our spirit, so those who pay attention to demons, if they allow their deceptions to solidify in their hearts, will permanently stamp them into their minds as with a hot branding iron, and they will not be able to repent of their unbelief. This is why it is important to be very careful to whom and what we lend our ears. 

(198a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Man withers when he is in control >> Unteachable >> Resisting the knowledge of God

(219g) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God chooses us as we choose ourselves >> God chooses us as we fulfill His calling – Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (Jn 15-16). We cannot fully understand God in this life, but must simply accept Him on many levels, including God’s sense of justice. Predestination goes far beyond our ability to righteously judge. Many people who judge God come to the conclusion that He is wrong, that predestination is unfair and even evil, but we cannot understand things pertaining to the spirit realm, and predestination is a spiritual matter. God speaks to everyone, and for this reason everyone has a chance to believe and know the truth, but there are some people who are drawn to God in ways that even they don’t understand. This is the miracle, when a person knows that God is true and that His judgment is impeccable, otherwise how could He have created such an expansive universe. They believe that whatever and whoever He is, must be right and good and true and better than anyone, better even than His critics. We get into trouble when we accuse God of evil by making rash judgments. They say, ‘We don’t understand God; therefore, He must be wrong.’ This kind of logic is unreasonable, man thinking he knows better than God; it is the height of arrogance; how could man possibly be right under these circumstances?

1Jn 4-5

(160d) Works of the devil >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine -- This verse goes with verse 1

(168e) World Listens to Itself (Key verse)

(174j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Form of godliness but denying the truth -- This verse goes with verse 8

1Jn 4,6-10

(208j) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being married to God >> Knowing God >> Sharing intimacy with Him

1Jn 4-6

(55da) Paradox >> Opposites >> Darkness exposes itself by its own reaction

(106i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Means of hearing from God >> Through prophets

(107j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> hearing from God >> The Church is of the truth >> God’s people can discern the truth

(151a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Speak the word >> Speak the logos

(156h) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Understanding wisdom is evidence of salvation

(183a) Spirit Of Error (Key verse)

(222d) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not give to dogs who will not receive you

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7&8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

 

1Jn 4,7-12

(43j) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfected in love -- These verses go with verses 16-21. God’s love was manifested in two ways: in Christ Himself, and through our obedience. Of these two, the love of God was framed through the example of Christ. Our example of Him is a mere reflection of God’s love and not the very substance itself. We are supposed to demonstrate the love of God, but our manifestation of Christ is not the essence of love. Instead, the essence of His love is in the fact that he loved us, not that we loved Him, suggesting that the origin of our love comes from God, and for this reason, He is the manifestation of love, and we only mirror His love and live through Him. Nevertheless, the importance of perfecting God's love in us cannot be overstated. What does John mean by God love being perfected in us? James also talked about being perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. What is the ultimate hope of God’s word? Is it to merely know the truth, or is it to even more so manifest it in our conduct and behavior through love? We know that God loves us, but His love is not perfected in us just because we know that. Jesus said in Jn 13-17, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” This is what John is saying: His love is perfected in us when we do what He says as a way of life. 

(124l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love is the action of God’s faith – John said three words that are at the heart of God's very nature, three words that are at the center of the gospel: God is love. The glory of God is that He is so simple, yet so profound. These are perhaps the most penetrating three words of the human vocabulary, for they summarize not only the vast majority of Scripture, but also heaven, the universe, and even depths of hell, which is defined as the absence of God's love. 

1Jn 4-7

(131h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependence >> Being selfless toward one another

(156d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving your fellow man is evidence of salvation >> Love the brethren -- This verse goes with verses 12&13. When John wrote this epistle, the Church was easier to discern its true members. The saints practiced righteousness and holy living, being filled with faith, and so Christians could tell saints apart from scoundrels, but in today’s world, people merely claim to be Christian, and we can scarcely tell them apart from scalawags, because the true saints don’t practice anymore righteousness than unbelievers in the world, making it difficult to know who are the true brethren. As a result, we should protect our ministry from those who only want to use us.

(208bb) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You can be saved without ever hearing about Jesus

(238b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the will of man

1Jn 4,8-10

(30c) Gift of God >> God knows our needs >> He is the source of our obedience -- These verses go with verse 16

1Jn 4-8

(157c) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Rejecting God >> Rejecting God’s people

(164h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world does not know God -- This verse goes with verses 1-6. Some people come to the most blasphemous conclusions about God. Those who believe in Him don’t know how they go from “God is love” to ‘God is the most horrible thing imaginable.’ This is how some people think, though, and of course they bypass the fact that they live in a cursed world because of sin, and it is through sin that they concoct their ideas about God, their whole lives painted by sin and its consequences. On the one hand God is love; He has given us our lives; we live a handful of decades, and then our bodies quit functioning, and we go live with the lover of our soul; that’s not so bad. On the other hand, those who consider God an ogre will find their place in hell where they will be allowed to continue feeling the way they do about God, and there will be no way to reach any other conclusion. For them, they will go from ignorance to ignorance, from a cursed world to a cursed hell. They will say, ‘I knew God was like this.’ 2Samuel 22-26,27 says, “With the kind You show Yourself kind, With the blameless You show Yourself blameless; With the pure You show Yourself pure, And with the perverted You show Yourself astute [astute meaning: shrewd, contrary, unsavory, tortuous, perverse].” (The words in brackets were taken from various translations.) Whatever people think about Him is the experience they will receive. Those who believe in Him will go from faith to faith, from a beautiful planet with faults to a perfect paradise with God, but those who think God is evil will receive evil. It is all in what we want. Do we want heaven or hell? It is our choice. Yes, God is love, but He hates sin as much as He loves righteousness; He loves those who have been made righteous in Christ, but everyone who dies apart from Christ will never see or know the love of God.

(174j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Form of godliness but denying the truth -- This verse goes with verse 1. Since God is love, and since we say He is our God and proclaim our love for Him, and since we say that it is our destiny to live with Him forever in heaven, John tells us through simple logic that we should therefore love one another. It is only natural that we should conform to His image, but are we? If we make these claims but then walk the other way, it elicits red flags, defeating any sense of reason. If we decide to walk the opposite direction of God's character, John says we don’t know Him. If we behave differently from God, that is an admission we don’t know Him, for we can’t love God and live like the devil. There are many doctrines in Christendom proclaiming we can get by with this, but John says that these are the teachings of antichrist.

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9-11 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

 

1Jn 4-9,10

(229d) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows according to the will of God

1Jn 4-9

(115b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Working God’s grace through Christ >> We receive an anointing through Christ – What does it mean to live through Christ? To those who don’t understand the gospel, the Bible is a mystery from Genesis to Revelation. If we told them that we live through Christ, they would get lost in all the phonemes and syllables, but to we who are born of God and understand the Scriptures, living through Him means we have His Spirit abiding in us and we follow His lead. All things begin with being born-again; we must first get saved, and then live for Him, but John is saying live through Him. The one who lives for Christ focuses on his love for God, but the one who lives through Christ focuses on God’s love for him. These are just prepositions, which are low-level meaning words, but they do mean something. We who are born of God seek intimacy with our creator and want to live with Him in heaven and inherit all the promises, including and especially eternal life. We live through the Spirit who dwells in us; and He gives us direction and understanding and wisdom into the will of God in a specific way, not just according to the Scriptures but guidance designed just for us. We launch on an adventure with God, and use the Holy Spirit to live through Him.

(132a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> Spirit of God in the spirit of man >> Spirit of the Father -- This verse goes with verses 12-16

(244l) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal manifestation of God’s word >> Love is the manifestation of truth

(248f) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Jesus is first >> Jesus is first born of the Father

1Jn 4-10

(249a) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> Spirit over the law – When John said, “Not that we loved God, but that He loved us,” He was talking about realizing this, not on a factual basis, but realizing God’s love on a much deeper spiritual level. It is good that we love God, but it is better that God loves us, point being that we come to an understanding of His love. It is not so important that we love God by practicing commandments and filling requirements and observing regulations; rather, what is far more important is that we seek the knowledge of God and come to a revelation of Him. We could make a bulleted list of the many facets of God’s love and have a cerebral understanding of Him in terms of passing a written test, but it would mean nothing until we get a revelation of those facts. The Bible commands us to love God, being the first commandment of the Law, and so John is showing the difference between the old and new covenants. Faith is no longer about fulfilling the commandments of God, but about getting a revelation of those commandments and living according to that revelation. We could build a bulleted list of God’s expectations of us, and then look for behaviors in our list that are required of us, and there would probably be very few of them. Instead, our bulleted list would contain attributes that refer to spiritual states. That is, when we put our faith into action, we are not demonstrating the essence of Christianity; rather, the essence of Christianity dwells in our hearts.

(250h) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> The first is a precondition for what comes after it (Cause and effect) -- This verse goes with verse 19

1Jn 4-11

(4l) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable to your brother – This verse goes with verse 21

(12d) Servant >> Father is our example through Christ

(42g) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformation >> Conform to the Love of Christ – John keeps hammering on the subject of loving one another through the love of God, reiterating himself numerous times in this chapter alone, but we can’t overstate the love of God and the importance of loving one another. We should love one another because God loves us. Doesn’t that make sense? This is logical and reasonable. In fact, if we patterned our lives in any other way, we would be wrong. Red flags begin to fly when we don’t see these simple concepts manifested in our lives. They’re so simple, yet so difficult to produce because of our contrasting flesh. John has spoken a mere dozen words or so, but if we can establish these truths in our lives, it would change us from the inside out and make us beautiful people that are attractive to one another, and we as a church would become attractive to the world. Love has the power to change the world, but it requires diligence on the part of each person to determine no other response but love to the circumstances and people around us. The attitude that certain individuals do not deserve our love must be rooted from our hearts. There is no poet who could come close to making statements so profound as this. When God speaks through His apostles who walked with Jesus throughout His ministry, who they have seen His resurrection and His ascension and he Holy Spirit inspired John to write these words, how could we compare them to any poet? No one else was in a position to write these words, but we are all in a position to obey them. This is our obligation, and if we fulfill our ministry, God will see to it that we speak the word of God with power to change people’s lives with the hope of changing the world.

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12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

 

1Jn 4,12-16

(132a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> spirit of God in the spirit of man >> Spirit of the Father -- These verses go with verse 4

(139k) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Hiding place >> Abiding in Jesus – Abiding in Christ is like taking our dog for a walk, and stopping at a restaurant and eating dinner. Of course dogs are not allowed in the restaurant, so we tie up the dog to any convenient post outside the restaurant. If the dog is unruly, it will bark and cry until it upsets everybody and we cannot enjoy on our meal; we must run to our dog every two minutes and try to calm it. This is an unruly and untrained animal that has learned to control us more than we have learn to control it. We need to train the dog to be patient and wait for us. This is what it means to abide in Christ. We tie up our flesh outside the temple of God and enter the Most Holy Place, and our flesh patiently waits for us. It is well trained and allows us to do the will of God without resisting us, knowing its place.

1Jn 4-12,13

(156d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving your fellow man is evidence of salvation >> Love the brethren -- These verses go with verse 7. If we have fellowship with one another, it proves we have fellowship with God. Spiritual fellowship is an aspect of love in that it is something that cannot be imitated. When those who do not know God attempt spiritual fellowship, the best they can do is socialize. Spiritual fellowship is different; it is an interaction with the brethren between the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Any sinner can quote the Bible, but no sinner can fuse the Holy Spirit with the word of God. The believer does this in his ministry toward God as students of the word and disciples of prayer.

(208bb) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You can be saved without ever hearing about Jesus

1Jn 4-12

(44c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> Fulfill the requirements -- This verse goes with verses 17,18

(55e) Paradox >> Opposites >> No one has beheld God at any time.. .except us -- This verse goes with verse 14. John said that no one has seen God at any time, meaning that neither Moses nor the apostle Paul ever saw Him while they lived in the flesh. Moses stood in the presence of God and received the oracle of God exhibiting a glow on his face, and he spent forty days and forty nights on top of Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments, and Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus, yet neither of them saw God in all His glory. They saw an aspect of Him, but they did not see Him. When the Bible uses the word God in general, we should assume that it is talking about God the Father. No one has ever seen the Father. Jesus also alluded to this in Jn 6-46, “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.” Although Jesus was the exact representation of the Father, He was not Him. Since the Son and the Holy Spirit are of two different forms, it stands to reason that the Father also has a composition that is unlike the other two. It will be interesting to see the Father, who most likely has a form unlike anything He has ever created, except those who are begotten of Him.

(103k) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God purifies His church >> Jesus purifies His people – If we love one another, God’s love is perfected in us, proving that God abides in us. In other passages John says that if God abides in us, then we love the brethren, and so both are proofs of each other. That is, God abiding in us proves that we love the brethren, and loving the brethren proves that God abides in us. This suggests that if one of them is missing, then neither is true. In other words, if God abides in us but we do not love the brethren, then God does not really abide in us. Apart from God, no one is able to love the brethren the way Jesus commanded us, especially not the world, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15-13). We have an aspect of God living in us, and the world hates God. The world can sense that God lives in us and that He is the central mantelpiece of our lives, and they hate us for it, and so the world cannot love the brethren without God. Therefore, the fact that we love the brethren is solid proof that God abides in us.

(137j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Stages of maturity are levels of accountability >> Maturity is working with God – No one has seen God face-to-face, but there is a way to come to know God and to see Him through love. If we love one another, it proves that God lives in us. If He is lives in us and we are manifesting Him by loving one another, we will come to know God, and in coming to know Him our eyes will be opened so that we can see Him, Paul said through a mirror dimly. Jesus said in Mat 5-8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

(169g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> God blinds their eyes

(206f) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Conditions to promises >> Conditions to the love of God >> Conditions to loving Jesus

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13-15 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

 

1Jn 4,13-16

(70j) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have been given authority over all creation >> We are the children of God >> We have the divine nature – Most people want to believe that God loves them, yet John is saying this as though it were some kind of an achievement. Actually, it is an achievement to be bold enough to believe the degree to which God has loved us. God is willing to bestow so much authority and grace upon us, that we should reign with Him. Whatever God creates after us, we will remain at the right-hand of Christ implementing and manifesting His reign. What is the Father’s role? The Father doesn’t want to do anything; He glorifies Himself by delegating authority. If the Father never delegated authority, what Jesus said to the Pharisees would also be true of Him, “Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Mat 6-2). There is only glory in delegating authority. For the Father to get up and do something by Himself, people would just clap, ‘bravo, bravo!’ and that is all the glory He would ever get, but if He delegated authority and we performed the works of God through the power that enable us, the glory He will receive for the things we achieve will be eternal. This way, everyone is involved; everyone is glorified, everyone has a part. We are not spectators but active participants working with Him to establish His creation in love. All things are done through love.

1Jn 4-13,14

(118h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Giving God your attention >> Resolutely focus on the glory of God >> Focus on Jesus

1Jn 4-13

(155g) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Holy Spirit bears witness of the believer – In other verses it says that the evidence of our salvation is divulged in our love of the brethren, so for John to say that our faith is evidenced in possessing the Holy Spirit suggests there are two proofs to our salvation. One is personal proof, and the other is proving to others that we truly believe in Jesus. We have the Spirit of God to testify to our own spirit that we belong to Him. This is personal evidence. I know that I am a Christian, but I can’t use this to prove to anyone else that I am a Christian. The only way I can prove my faith to others is by keeping His commandments, primarily through love.

1Jn 4-14,15

(253ea) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Father >> Jesus has all the internal qualities of the Father >> Jesus is the Son of God >> Contested the Son of God by sinners and demons -- these verses go with verses 2,3. John and the other disciples walked with Jesus for three years and saw His miracles and heard the voice of God and came to know this man, His personality and character, and most importantly His identity as the Son of God. No one else can make the claim that John made, except another of the eleven who became apostles after Jesus’ ascension. John is confirming the fact that Jesus is the Son of God and that the Father sent Him to become the savior of the world. He was martyred for his confession as the Son of God and for His relationship with the Father. They martyred Him on the basis of His character. They didn’t like Him because they couldn’t control Him. They didn’t like Him because of His popularity and that He was going in the opposite direction. They didn’t like Him because He taught a version of their ancient manuscripts that was so different from their own rendition of the Law and the prophets that they couldn’t recognize the word of God coming from is mouth.

1Jn 4-14

(55e) Paradox >> Opposites >> No one has beheld God at any time.. .except us -- This verse goes with verse 12

(153a) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Church bears witness of the Father through Christ

(210d) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our savior >> Jesus is the savior of the world

1Jn 4-15

(78l) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Abiding in Jesus – The fact that Jesus commanded us to abide in Him means there is something we must do to make sure this happens; we must subject our sinful nature to the will of God. Our flesh cannot abide in Him; it is mostly outside the promises of God, except that it stands to benefit in that God has called us with a holy calling, so we won’t contract any fatal diseases or get murdered by our friends along some alternate debauched course of our lives we may have chosen for ourselves apart from Christ. It is the goal of Christ to bless our spirit; our flesh benefits from God’s blessing in the afterglow of His influence. Our flesh will one day die and return to the earth, so it is outside the blessing of God. We will receive a resurrected body, but one that is unrelated to our current body, one that is incorruptible. The fact that God will give us a totally different body means that He has completely bypassed our flesh in His blessings and promises, and since the flesh does not stand to directly gain anything by our faithfulness and obedience to God’s will, it resists us on every level. It instead seeks its own benefit based on its own passions and desires. None of its ways correspond with the will and purpose of God, and so they are in opposition to each other, so we must choose to either let the flesh have its way and sacrifice the will of God or do the will of God and sacrifice our flesh, one or the other. Therefore, when we abide in Christ we must do it at the sacrifice of our flesh, because our flesh cannot abide in Christ.

(111c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of truth -- This verse goes with verses 2-4

(144e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The Church Bears Witness of Jesus >> That He was sent by God

(150d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Confessing the salvation of Christ >> Confessing Jesus because you are saved -- This verse goes with verses 2&3. John was talking about the spiritual influence on the soul, which determines whether we confess Jesus as the Christ, who came in the flesh, or whether we deny Him. We don’t often consider ourselves a soul, but what does the body represent but the soul? This perspective John gave indicates the spiritual war that Christians fight. We have one of two choice of spirits: the many antichrists that all come from one source, Satan, or the Spirit of God. 

(156i) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Confessing Jesus is evidence of salvation -- This verse goes with verse 2

 

16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

 

1Jn 4,16-21

(43j) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfected in love -- These verses go with verses 7-12. There are those who believe eternal life is less about going to heaven and more about avoiding hell. If heaven were actually important to them, they would be living as though they were going there. As it is, their faith does not revolve around their hope of heaven, but their fear of hell. So their hope is based on fear. The Bible says no such hope exists; rather, true hope is based on love. This suggests that we can't get to heaven by trying to avoid hell.

(131m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Having fellowship with God

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1Jn 4-16

(30c) Gift of God >> God knows our needs >> He is the source of our obedience -- This verse goes with verse 19

(33m) Gift of God >> Believers are special to God >> We are beloved of God – Everything works through love. Our seat at the right-hand of Christ, who also sits at the right-hand of His Father is a place where God will demonstrate His love throughout all eternity. Jesus Christ is the one who manifests the power of God as we manifest the power of Christ. God never does anything without using His Son, and the son will never do anything without using us to manifest His power and glory. God has not yet created the new heavens and the new earth (Rev 21-1,2). If God does everything through His Son, then Jesus will do everything through us when He makes all things new. We will never have the creative power of God, but He may ask us for design input and may create the new universe with our suggestions under consideration. All things are done though love; this is why God will trust us in the ages to come.

(73a) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Kingdom of God is opposite of the world – Money is to the kingdoms of this world as love is to the Kingdom of God. In heaven love is the medium of exchange, making Satan the opposite of God. He is not just different from God, but the exact opposite. This didn’t just happen by coincidence; everything that defects from God turns into a demonic entity. Lucifer wanted to be different from God and take over His throne and reign by His own authority, but he forgot that he was in God’s world, playing by His rules, which dictate that anybody who wants to be different must be opposite. This is the way it is for everybody who rejects the will of God. Everyone has their own slant, their own excuses, their own vision and ideas of what is right and wrong, but in the end, if they do not subject themselves to God, then they will oppose Him. God is love, and the opposite of love is hate and murder and all the other attributes that coincide with Satan.

(85m) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Treating the knowledge of God as fact >> Believing the Son by obeying the Father >> Obeying the old covenant through the new

(100c) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance >> Persevere in abiding in Christ – We are immersed in this world; we can’t help it; we live in the world, but we don’t want to be enmeshed in it. “The one who abides in love, abides in God, and God abides in Him,” so the two have become one. We know what it means for God to be in us; that’s the born-again experience, but what does it mean for us to be in Christ? Jesus said, “Abide in Me” (Jn 15-4). This means more than just to integrate our lives into His purpose. It is something eternal, something we must wait for heaven to fully comprehend. When our eyes are opened in heaven and we receive our resurrected bodies, and we stand before God who also dwells in us, then and only then will we realize to what degree we are also in Him.

(136j) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ is the temple of God

(156b) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving God is evidence of salvation >> Keeping His commandments

(208bb) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You can be saved without ever hearing about Jesus


17&18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

 

1Jn 4-17,18

(44c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> Fulfill the requirements – These verses go with verse 12. John required evidence of our faith; James was much the same way, and so was Jesus. John was not willing to believe anybody who made a claim to faith but were unable to demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit and the traits of Christianity, such as compassion and humility. He said that to perfect love we have confidence in the Day of Judgment. Talk to any unschooled person in the Scriptures who claims to be a Christian, and he will argue against a judgment for the believer. In their defense Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (Jn 5-24). He was saying that the children of God will not stand trial at the Great White Throne Judgment; nevertheless, there will be a believer’s judgment. Although we are saved and going to heaven, God will judge us, and many “will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1Cor 3-15). The believer’s judgment will be brutal on many Christians, but John is saying that those who have perfected love have confidence in the Day of Judgment, and he gives a reason for that, which is difficult to understand, “because as He is, so also are we in this world.” Both God and we are in the world, and we acknowledge His presence in our lives, and by He leads us into perfection through love. This brings up another interesting point: when Jesus was alive in the flesh, His disciples acted like a lot of dimwitted idiots, trying to understand what He was saying and doing, but after Pentecost they understood Jesus entirely, but then they didn’t have His physical presence. Hence, no man has ever known the physical presence of God and the Spirit of God at the same time.

(103j) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God purifies His church >> We go through Jesus’ purifying process

1Jn 4-17

(45c) Judgment >> God judges our walk in the Spirit >> He rewards us for bearing fruit

(122g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confident in good conscience

(213f) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> Jesus owns you >> We are his instruments >> We are tools in the hand of God >> We are extensions of His body – John wants us to manifest the love of God through the members of our bodies, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, that His love might open our hearts to the revelation of Jesus Christ, that we might have a deeper spiritual understanding of God as we demonstrate His truth. He wants our body, soul and spirit to be in agreement, that there be no contradiction or conflict with any aspect of our being. This is when the power of God can be displayed in us. It’s also the perfect environment in which to enter into judgment with Him, that He might not find fault in us. He finds fault with us when our flesh does not line up with what we know is true about God and His word, “Because as He is, so also are we in this world.” Note He didn’t say, ‘As we are, so also is He in the world.’ In other words we are following Him; He is not following us. As God is in the world to save sinners, so also are we. As God is in the world to demonstrate His love, so also are we. As God is in the world to warn of His judgment, so also are we.

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1Jn 4-18

(8n) Responsibility >> Prevent sin from coming between you and God

(23k) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of the unknown >> The fear of fear – John is saying that fear and love are opposites. Love is the end product of the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ. If love is the ultimate manifestation of God’s perfect will, then fear must be His opposite will, and the opposite of God is Satan. Therefore, if fear is a manifestation of Satan, then love is a manifestation of Christ. Love is directly tied to the anointing, which produces the works of God. Likewise, fear is also directly tied to demonic spirits that produce the sin of this world. We can see then that fear is the motivator behind all sin, aided by demonic spirits. For example, fear is the motivator behind greed in that people are afraid of poverty. Fear is the motivator behind lust in that people are insecure and afraid that nobody loves them. Fear is the motivator behind pride; we want to be first because we are afraid of being last. We have all been told that love is an action, but that is not exactly true. Love, joy, peace, patience… are all mental and spiritual states of being; they determine the condition of our hearts. Love is not a feeling, but if we can’t feel it, then it is a sign it doesn’t exist, just like fear.

(46ab) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Violent take it by force >> Fight the good fight of faith – The Bible teaches that when love and fear war with each other, love always wins; John says that love casts out fear. Remember that these are spiritual traits and can therefore be attributed to exorcism, that the person who casts out demons does so from an internal spiritual environment that is primarily devoid of fear. If the love of God truly abides in us and has become a stable force in our lives, it prevents fear from infiltrating our hearts, because fear and love cannot exist together. When love is present, fear must flee. Isn’t that what James also said, “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jm 4-7). According to John, we resist the devil by cultivating a heart that is capable of love. Peter says that if we consistently do this, eventually the devil will have no choice but to leave (1Pet 5,8-10). So we have Peter, James and John in agreement about this. John gives the principle that fear and love cannot cohabit; James gives the procedure to resist the devil, and Peter gives the promise that if we are consistent God will establish us in His love.

(57c) Paradox >> Opposites >> The more you love the less you fear – Fear and love are opposites, for if we fear, it shows our lack of love. This is not readily intuitive, unless we understand the mindset of John, which is the mindset of the Scriptures. There is a theme that runs throughout the New Testament: faith and love are one and the same. We could transpose these words, showing that if we have faith, then we do not fear, but John used the word love because love is the perfected version of faith. Many people have faith but have not perfected love, and for that reason faith is incomplete. A person who has perfected faith does not fear, because he knows that God is with him. There are many definitions of faith, but one of them is that faith is a deep-seeded knowing. Some people believe in extra-terrestrials, but their beliefs don’t change them for the good. Many people believe in God this way, but the Bible teaches that “belief” affirms certain doctrines to be true and lives by them. “Faith” goes one step further and transcends the ability to believe. Therefore, “belief” interacts with man, while “faith” interacts with God. Eph 3-19 says, “to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.” We know things that are beyond comprehension… that is faith. To know God this way is to have a faith that is on the verge of perfection, and for this reason we have no fear.

(112d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Jesus light in us overcomes darkness >> The light of His power -- This verse goes with verse 4

(119d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom from satanic influence >> Free from bondage – There are many forms of fear, such as anxiety, which is a fight or flight response to mere shadows. Those who have panic attacks and anxiety are afraid everything. They can’t identify their fears or point to them and say, ‘Here it is,’ because anxiety has no object. Yet, those who have anxiety expect to be punished for some reason. Those who are plagued with fear of this kind are often afraid to be in a crowd. For example, suppose the anxious person is tossed in a group of relatively successful people with a lot of money, while the anxious person barely scrapes a living. Suppose it is his 20th high school reunion and he finds himself the only Indian among chiefs. Having a better job or more money would do nothing to alleviate his anxiety, because he could never have a good enough job or enough money to satisfy his anxiety. So, how do we reprogram our thinking to eliminate this paralyzing enemy of the mind that relentlessly torments us? What is the one thing that can overturn our fears? John says it is love. Anxiety tempts us to measure ourselves against others to see our shortcomings, so John prescribes that we love them, and this allows us to exit the game stage right. We are no longer in a contest. Why does love have this therapeutic affect? Love is the greatest act in the repertoire of human behavior, so that nothing can measure against it. In fact, love rejects comparison of any kind. When we practice love, we can expect to be rewarded. In fact, God intends to reward us for walking in love, and the reward is that we will be like Christ, and being Christ-like has the reward of receiving a crown of righteousness and living with Him in eternity, and receiving a resurrection body that has no capacity to die, or for pain, sorrow or fear, including and especially anxiety. All these things will be done away through love, until anxiety becomes incomprehensible to us, just like eternity is to us now. Everything will be turned on its head when we enter eternity; we will suddenly understand it, and fear will become something we can no longer grasp.

(158a) Works of the devil >> Excerpts of the greatest verses of this chapter

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19-21 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

 

1Jn 4,19-21

(208f) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being the friend of God >> Relationship with God through obedience >> We are His friends if we keep His commandments There are too many people in the Church today who just want to be taken at their word. They say, ‘I love God,’ but they are unwilling to demonstrate their love and put it into practice and genuinely love the brethren. They don’t want God to make them go through the trouble of proving their love, but the more practical demonstration of love that God expects from us, the more practical demonstration that God intends to show us of His own love toward us. Therefore, we should be grateful that God expects these things from us, “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Mat 5-45). It just proves how great an eternal future we have with Him. He expects us to demonstrate our love as sons and daughters of our father in heaven, who has already loved us by sending His Son to deliver us from so great a peril of death (2Cor 1-10), and to make a way for the Father to accept us in His presence and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness through faith in Jesus' cross.

1Jn 4-19

(30c) Gift of God >> God knows our needs >> He is the source of our obedience -- This verse goes with verses 8-10

(250h) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> The first is a precondition for what comes after it (Cause and effect) -- This verse goes with verse 10. We practice love because He first loved us, meaning that if it weren’t for God first loving us, we could not love one another. We know this by the world that has no capacity for love, because it is in rebellion against God. Jn 3-16 says, 'God so loved the world, even wretched, miserable sinners, that He sent His Son to bleed and die for us, that whoever believes in Him for eternal life can live with Him in heaven.' but the world that does not know God does not know the love of God. They may have heard about Him, and they may even believe that He loves them, but they have never acted on their beliefs, and for this reason they don’t know the love of God on a personal level, and so they cannot love others as God loved them. There are many worldly people who are not born of God yet do nice things for people on a regular basis, so how can we say they are not capable of love? Love is a manifestation of faith, but because they have no faith, neither can they manifest the love of God, so the love they demonstrate is for themselves and not for the sake of Christ. That is, they are nice to other people to appease their conscience for the sake of believing in themselves as good people.

1Jn 4-20

(19g) Sin >> Having the mental disease of the world >> Man’s twisted understanding

(21j) Sin >> Premeditated sin >> Having no Intensions of loving your brother – The truth is easy to those who love it, but is impossible to those who don’t. A person could say, ‘How can I love the truth if I don’t know it?’ A person who seeks the truth loves it, knowing the value of it, though he may not know the meaning of it. He knows that one day he will find the truth, simply because he is pursuing it with his whole heart, and the Bible teaches that whoever seeks the truth will find it. Quoting Jesus He said, “He who seeks finds” (Mat 7-8). Whatever we seek, we will find it, so if we seek something other than the truth we will find that too. The Bible teaches that faith is more valuable than gold and faith is based on knowledge, which means that the truth is just as valuable as faith. John is saying that the way to the truth is through the love of the brethren; if we don’t love our brother with the whole heart, we won’t love him at all.

(24k) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anger >> Unforgiveness

(84j) Thy kingdom come >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> Lying – The apostle John was logically arriving at the truth. There have been many who have used logic to reason their way to the truth and came nowhere near it. That is because we must know the truth before we can apply logic to it; that is, we cannot actually find the truth by logically deducing it. The apostle John spent three and a half years with the epitome of truth, Jesus Christ, and for this reason he could logically explain to us various points about the truth. He knew the truth before applying his logic, but the person who attempts to logically deduce the truth and fails to arrive at it has formulated a lie. We could say that he wasn’t actually lying because he was deceived, but at some point we must admit that believing something about God that is not true is ultimately a lie, regardless of our naivety, because there is a devil in the world, and he is directly or indirectly involved in lying to everybody who believes something other than the truth of God. The reason everything is a lie except the truth is because people come to alternate conclusions seeking God with only half a heart. Their heart is lying from being only partially committed while passing as wholly committed, and his half-heartedness doubles as an opportunity for Satan to pass his lies and deception as truth.

(158i) Love sickening sweet (Key verse)

(158j) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Love sickening sweet >> Loving words that lack action – This is more of John’s logic; these concepts couldn’t be simpler yet more profound. We have our brother standing right in front of us with every opportunity to love him, and if we use that opportunity, we will convey the fact that we love God too, but if we don’t, it will convey that we don’t love God. The truth is really not any more complicated than that, but people like to wiggle around the truth saying, “Yes, I don’t often love my brother, but I still love God. Trust me, I can feel it in my heart.” Your brother doesn’t care how you feel in your heart; he’s cold and hungry and needs your help, but what really matters is that God doesn’t care how you feel in your heart. What God cares about is whether you love your brother, whom you can see. God doesn’t need proof about your heart; He knows whether or not you are capable of love on a practical basis. He’s not asking you to prove it to Him; He’s asking you to prove it to your brother, for he is the one who needs to know. Your brother doesn’t care if you love God; he only needs to know if you love him, but if you don’t love God, you can’t love your brother. This is not rocket science; it’s just good old-fashion religion.

(167c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (Mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Wanting authority without responsibility

(169f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Willful blindness

(174e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Justifying yourself – John is asking how we could love God if we have never seen Him, yet Peter confirms, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him” (1Pet 1-8). This is not an incongruence of Scripture but a difference in perspective. John is saying to the unbeliever that he cannot love God if he refuses to love his brother who is standing right in front of him. The worldly man who does not believe in God and the heathen and the secular mind is in bondage to his five senses to what he can see, hear, feel, smell and taste. The secular man rejects all forms of faith. This is the kind of person that John is addressing, and he is also addressing certain people in the Church, those who call themselves Christians who are no godlier than the secular atheist, nor are they capable of believing in Jesus, whereas Peter was talking to Christians who know and love God, giving his testimony that though he walked with Jesus in the flesh for 3½ years, he never saw Him in His glorified state or His Father, yet he loves Him. He was also talking to people who had never seen Jesus in the flesh, saying that though we haven’t seen Him, we love Him, suggesting that seeing Him in the flesh doesn’t have much of an advantage, because faith doesn’t need to see in the flesh, being that faith can see just fine without our fleshly eyes lighting the way.

(174k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Lip service

(180i) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Rebellion >> Rebelling against God’s narrow way >> Rebelling against the will of God

(182c) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Self deception >> Lying to yourself

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1Jn 4-21

(4l) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable to your brother – This verse goes with verse 11. We who love God must love our brother also. Remember what Jesus said in the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6-10). It is in the Lord’s Prayer that we live the same way that we will live in heaven, but the question is why? His commandment goes against the will of our sinful nature, suggesting that God wants us to sacrifice our flesh in order to serve Him. This is God using evil for good; He has capitalized on Adam and Eve’s tragic mistake, which has afforded Him the opportunity to see if we will love Him by doing His will against resistance that diametrically opposes His righteousness. He now has a way to test us to see if we really believe in Him or not.

(140e) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Hiding place >> The entrance exam God doesn’t care so much about His predestination and foreknowledge; He could look into the future to see if we actually loved God or not, but it wouldn’t mean anything to Him; instead, He wants us to show Him on a practical level that we love Him, and the only way to do that is to love our fellow man. Since God wants us to demonstrate our love on a practical level, it proves that the kingdom He intends for us in the future is a practical one, not a mystical experience where we all stand on clouds holding harps, and there are no physical objects anywhere, as depicted by Hollywood so often. Instead, God will give us a physical kingdom that is just as real as this world, and for that reason, He is testing us on a physical and practical basis to see if we are fit for a physical and practical kingdom that we will inherit one day through faith.

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