Witness of the Water, the Blood and the Spirit/Witness of God

Fred R. Coulter—June 10, 1995

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When you get into some of these prolonged studies, it takes a while, but I think it's beneficial and helpful for everyone, and I know it certainly is for all of those people who have been in the Church but not having had the Word of God preached to them.

What we will do for 1-John 5, we will take the last sermon that we did on the Holy Spirit series since that one covers born again very thoroughly. There's no use going into it here and just repeating it, because sometimes when we go through these things we cross topics so much, we end up with a situation that we can just be 'peat and repeat'—and I don't like to have things just constantly 'peat and repeat' and get stuck in a rut. That's one of the reasons why I think it's good that we go through these in-depth series, so that we don't get stuck in a rut.

1-John 5:1: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten by God…" This is telling us the kind of belief that it has to be; and it's telling us that it is a profound, spiritually converted point-of-view.

We will find when we come to that extra inserted verse—v 8—the comment that I put in from one of the commentaries as to why it was inserted there. George Ricker Berry, in his Interlinear Greek-English New Testament translates all of these things 'begotten' even as we saw in 1-Peter 1, rather than 'born.'

I think we can probably understand that when they translated 'born' they were trying to get people into a situation where then they have been saved from the point of view that there's no longer anything for them to do.

1-John 3:9 (KJV): "Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin…" If you are born again now, then you cannot sin.

  • Why is that you sin?
  • Is it that everything that you do is not sin?

One person confronted a neighbor concerning that because she was a 'born again' Baptist and she said, 'Well, you know even if I'm in the act of committing adultery, when the cal comes for the rapture, I'm going.'

It's kind of an incongruous statement, because adultery is sin. But this woman, who thought she was 'born again,' was actually saying that whatever she does, does not amount to sin. So, that's why this should read:

1-John 3:9 (FV): "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed of begettal is dwelling within him, and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God."

But when you come to 1-John 5 in the King James you're going to see that they were kind of stuck in translating this:

1-John 5:1 (KJV): "Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loves Him that begat…" They had to translate that correctly because they were stuck with what you do with the rest of these Greek verbs that are 'gennao.' Can you say: 'which everyone that is born loves him that is also born of Him.' It wouldn't make any sense, so they had to use 'begot' and 'begotten.' That is really the correct translation of it:

"...loves him also that is begotten of Him" (v 1, KJV). If you have truly been begotten of God the Father with the Holy Spirit, you believe and are believingin a faith-saving way that Jesus is the Christ.

1-John 5:1 (FV): "…and everyone who loves Him Who begat… [the Father is the One Who begat] …also loves him who has been begotten by Him. By this standard… [or by this means]…we know…" (vs 1-2). You are to know that you know. And this 'know' or 'knowing' here is an experiential knowing. Because God wants us to have the love and faith and belief that we know that we know.

"…that we love the children of God… [I want you to notice the order of it here]: …when we love God and keep His commandments" (vs 1-2). That ties right in with the things we have also seen concerning the love of God.

Verse 3: "For this is the love of God… [What will the love of God cause you to do?] …that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome."

Many people take this verse and they turn it around the other way. They figure that commandment-keeping is the love of God, rather than the love of God inspires you to keep the commandments and keep them they way that they ought to be. We've covered that about loving God with all your heart, mind and soul and being.

Let's look at another aspect of this and see. We're going to look at the love that the Father has or Christ, and Christ for the Father.

John 3:25 "Then there arose a question between the disciples of John and some of the Jews about purification"—cleansings or washings or removal of sin. But basically 'purifying' by baptism.

Verse 26: "And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, He Who was with you beyond Jordan, to Whom you have borne witness, behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.'"

We know that in John 4:1 it says that Jesus baptized more than John did, but it was the disciples who did the baptizing. It's interesting that He was making more disciples than John. You stop and think about the ministry of John, though it was to witness and warn and pave the way for the coming of Christ and His ministry, he obviously did not have very many followers—did he?—if Jesus was baptizing more than John was. Now, the reason Jesus did not personally baptize anyone is because: Just think what would happen if someone could say, 'I have a greater baptism than you. I was baptized by the Man Himself, by Jesus Christ.' So that's why He had the disciples do it. If it was done in the name of Christ it's the same as.

Verse 27: "John answered and said, 'No one is able to receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear witness to me that I said, "I am not the Christ"…'" (vs 27-28).

One of the first things he said when he sent the committees from Jerusalem and the Sadducees and Pharisees and they came and asked him: 'Who are you?' He said, I'm not the Christ. They said, 'Are you Elijah?' No, I'm not Elijah! 'Are you that prophet?' No, I'm not that prophet! 'Well, who are you.' He said, Well, I'm the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord.

So, he said here, reaffirming that: "…'I am not the Christ,' but that I am sent before Him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom…" (vs 28-29) This is talking about Christ and the coming bride in relationship to John the Baptist, who's a friend to the Bridegroom.

"…who stands by and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the voice of the bridegroom; in this then, my joy has been fulfilled. It is ordained that He increase, and that I decrease" (vs 28–30). That's very interesting. John knew that he had a very short ministry. When you stop and think about the ministry of John, his ministry lasted perhaps no more than a year. One year! Jesus was baptizing more disciples than he was. Yet, he witnessed the Christ, and he also knew that he must decrease.

Verse 31: "He Who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth. He Who comes from heaven is above all." We need to really understand that relationship to Christ.

Verse 32: "And what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies…" So, he's also witnessing to the ministry of Jesus Christ, that Christ is testifying of what He saw in heaven above, the mission that He was to do, the life that He was to lead.

"…but no one receives His testimony…. [that's what John is saying of the testimony of Christ] …The one who has received His testimony…" (vs 32-33). If you're going to receive the testimony of Christ, and everything that that involves.

"…has set his seal that God is true; for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God" (vs 33-34).

He's saying that of Christ. Everything that Christ said was of the Words of God. This also applies to those whom Christ sends; that they speak the Words of God, which means that you put everything else together, all the words of God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, etc.

"…and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him…. [Christ—He has the fullness of the Spirit from the beginning] …The Father loves the Son… [even John knew this] …and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him" (vs 34-36). That's quite a testimony coming from John!

After the healing, John 5:16: "And for this cause, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on a Sabbath.  But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.' So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath, but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God" (vs 16-18).

Since we're going along here, there are several versions of this:

  • They say that Jesus transgressed the Law.

We know that transgressing the Law is sin. So if Jesus transgressed the Law, He sinned. Therefore, if He sinned, He could not be our Savior because it required a perfect sacrifice. We know He did not transgress the Law and sin!

  • People say that when He broke the Sabbath He was abolishing it.

But we know that Jesus Himself said, 'Think not that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets—or that is abolish—I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill.'

  • Jesus loosed the Sabbath

—which is a much more accurate translation here. In loosing the Sabbath He was loosing it from one of the requirements that the Pharisees and the Sadducees had imposed upon Sabbath observation.

Now, the reason they accused Him of breaking the Sabbath was that He told the man to carry his little rollup bed and to walk. But we know that Jesus did not break the Sabbath. He also confounded the Jews tremendously by saying, 'My Father works and I work.' And He said this on the Sabbath. It was in present tense if you have a King James Version, He says: 'My Father worketh'—which means is working. This incensed the Jews. But there are certain things that happen, even on the Sabbath Day, that God does which, as part of His creation, is continual and ongoing, which is part of the work of God in the physical realm. Now, we'll talk about the spiritual realm in just a minute.

Physical Realm: He does not stop the earth from turning nor the sun from burning nor the moon from turning. All of those things function automatically by the very power of God, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day—and how long before the creation of man those things went on we don't know. That's all part of the power of God, which then shows that the Jews who believe that you can't even strike a match on the Sabbath, or believe that you should not have heat going on, on the Sabbath, you freeze to death on the Sabbath. You honor God by freezing to death, but you get so cold you can't study and you can't pray. So, it's kind of a contradiction. How can you honor God that way? But you could have someone else do it.

The Spiritual aspect is this: God is doing His greatest spiritual work on the Sabbath, as exemplified by this healing, to loose a man from his sins. And loosing someone from their sins is a greater spiritual work. That's why Jesus said that. So they wanted to kill Him.

"…but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God" v 18) That's exactly what 1-John 3 shows that we are going to be: 'We will see Him as He is. We will be like Him.'

Verse 19: "Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do.…" What He's really telling them is this:

  • He did no sin
  • He broke no law
  • He did not loose the Sabbath by abolishing it so it no longer exists

What He did was get rid of one of the administrations of men that they super-imposed upon the Sabbath law which was not correct.

"…For whatever He does… [the Father is doing] …these things the Son also does in the same manner. For the Father loves the Son…" (vs 19-20). I want you to notice the relationship that Christ and the Father always had. It was based on love. As we have seen, you overcome sin, or you put away sin, or you can resist sin a whole lot greater and much more affectively if you're loving God. Now that's how Christ was able to endure with never sinning. The Father is loving the Son.

"…and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing. And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder" (v 20).

Again, we are going to see that the whole relationship between the Father and the Son is based upon love, and between us and Christ is based upon love.

John 10:15: "Just as the Father knows Me…" Part of the whole relationship, part of the whole process of being converted is that we know God.And that this knowing God is an experiential knowledge; same way with the love of God: it is an experiential love.

"…I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd. On account of this… [because He's doing these things, Jesus said]: …the Father loves Me: because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again" (vs 15-17).

You can imagine the tremendous love They had one for another. When Jesus said, 'I will do it, Father. I will become a human being. I will give up everything that there is in being God so that I can become a fleshly human being.' So that the whole plan of God could go forward and be continued because of that. Tremendous love between them!

Verse 22: "Now it was winter, and the Feast of Dedication was taking place at Jerusalem. And Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, 'How long are You going to hold us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.' Jesus answered them, 'I have told you, but you do not believe. The works that I am doing in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me'" (vs 22-25).

The reason that I'm mentioning witness in relationship to love as we're coming along, because when we come back to 1-John 5 we're going to see witness is a very important thing.

Verse 26: "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; and no one shall take them out of My hand" (vs 26-28).

If you're really following and doing what God wants, there is no way that you're going to lose salvation. Just like I covered, when we went through the one concerning baptism from the dead, that if you have a physical body, you have God's Spirit, this physical body is a permanent walking guarantee you're going to have a spiritual body. You can't have anything greater or closer to you as a guarantee.

Verse 29: "'My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one has the power to seize them from My Father's hand. I and the Father are one.' Then the Jews again picked up stones so that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, 'Many good works I have showed you from My Father. For which of them are you about to stone Me?' The Jews answered Him, saying, 'We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God'" (vs 29-33).

  • Who was leveling the accusation here? The religionists!
  • Is this not the same accusation that has always been leveled against the followers of God who say they're going to be the sons of God?
  • Is this not the same accusation that has always been leveled against the followers of God who say they're going to be equal to God?

Obviously, not in power, not in strength, but we're going to have the same kind of existence. We're going to be equal with God in existence. Otherwise we wouldn't be His children. So they said, "…'You, being a man, are making Yourself God.'"

Verse 34: "Jesus answered them… [Jesus always answers the questions with Scripture and with a question] …'Is it not written in your law, "I said, 'You are gods'?"'"

Later the Jews changed that because back there in Psa. 82:6, it is: 'are you not Elohim?' Now remember in our study of Elohim we found that it means 'God' in the plural sense. So, He's saying here: 'Did I not say you are Elohim?' The Jews, in order to get rid of this connection with Christ, went back and modified the verse there to say, 'you are judges.' But that's not what it says in the Hebrew. "…You are gods."

Verse 35: "If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures cannot be broken)." [that's pretty profound; that's pretty strong] …Why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"?'" (vs 35-36).

Did He not tell them straightly, "…I am the Son of God." How many other times He told them we don't know. But Jesus said, 'I told you and believe not.'

Verse 37: "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, even if you do not believe Me, believe the works; so that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him" (vs 37-38)—the whole relationship there.

We'll just read it into the record, we've covered this many, many times. But I want you to understand and for us to realize that Christ's love makes it possible for the Father to love us (John 14:21).

John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me'" (vs 23-24).

The reason He was doing all of these things was v 31: "Yet, he comes so that the world may know that I love the Father, and that I do exactly as the Father has commanded Me. Arise, let us go out." All the way through this relationship of love between the Father and Son and the Son and the Father, we have also with the Father Himself loves us in many different places. We've covered that.

Let's just review John 15:9: "As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love." This is profound! I think it's interesting that if you would remove from the New Testament the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John and Revelation—how much of the love of God would we really, really know? I would have to say very little! That's why John wrote this, because it hinges on the most important thing that he wants us to know: that is the love of God!

1-John 4:4: "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them…" We're going to talk about overcoming, and I want you to understand something that's very important in the relationship between how this is written in 1-John 5, in relationship to overcoming.

Here's how we overcome them—that is the antichrist, the world: "…because greater is He Who is in you than the one who is in the world."

  • Satan cannot overcome you!
  • People cannot overcome you!

If you have the Spirit of God you are going to overcome! Now, it may take a great deal of effort, which it does. And it may take some very difficult trials, which it will. But you can overcome it!

Verse 5: "They are of the world; because of this, they speak of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God; the one who knows God listens to us; the one who is not of God does not listen to us. By this means we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the deception" (vs 5-6).

1-John 5:4: "Now then…" After he went through and showed the one who's loving God is loving those who have been begotten of God—and we know we're loving God when we love the children of God and are keeping His commandments. 'His commandments are not burdensome.'

Verse 4: "Now then, everyone who is begotten by God… [who is loving God] …overcomes the world…" The more you understand about God and the more you love God and the more of the Holy Spirit that you have, the more you are overcoming the world!

"…and this is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith" (v 4). That faith is based on the belief and the love of God.

I always like the Scripture John 16:33 where Jesus said: "In the world you shall have tribulation. But be courageous! I have overcome the world." Don't worry about it. If Christ is in you, can you overcome the world? Yes, you can!

Rev. 12 is very profound and fits in exactly what we've been learning as we've been going along here. Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world… [it's going to be a mighty deception!] …he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God" (vs 9-10). He's there to point out every little fault and every little mistake. But we have the blood of Christ and the sacrifice of Christ to cover us.

Verse 11: "But they overcame him… [Satan the devil] (How?): …through the blood of the Lamb…" Where was this blood sprinkled? Symbolically in heaven above before the throne of God for the forgiveness of our sins!

"…and through the word of their testimony…" (v 11). So, we're going to have to have some witnessing, and that means witnesses—the very message that they gave.

"…and they loved not their lives unto death" (v 11). If you wanted to add something there, which is Biblical, you could put: —but loved God more than their own lives!

  • Because if you love God more than your own life, are you not going to be a good witness? Yes!
  • Are you not going to give a powerful witness? Yes!
  • Will you not fulfill what Jesus said?

He said: 'When they haul you up before the counsel don't give a thought of what you're going think or what you're going to speak or what you're going to say. For My Father will give it to you in that hour' (Matt. 10). The Holy Spirit will inspire you!

I don't know how many Stephens there are going to be in the last days, but I imagine there are going to be a lot of them. They're going to give the same kind of witness and the same kind of testimony that Stephen gave. The reason he was able to give that testimony was because he loved God more than his own life. That's how you overcome. What did Jesus say? 'He who hates his life in this world will gain it in the world to come.' Same thing.

Now let's talk a little bit about overcoming. You will notice this is an ongoing thing. Overcoming! Now, you love not your own life unto death, what else is it that you don't love? Here's the command:

1-John 2:15: "Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This means then if the love of the Father is in you then you're not going to be loving the world. Everything that is in the world: 'the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pretentious arrogance of physical life'… That really is the best translation of this. The King James has 'pride of life.' But the 'pretentious arrogance of physical life'—and I think you can see this demonstrated more in sports and people who think they are the greatest, the most beautiful, the tallest, the strongest and whatever, is not of the Father, but is of the world! Now let's notice how that is tied in with overcoming.

Loving God and overcoming are intricately tied hand-to-hand, inner-woven, as it were, together. So, lots of times when you are not overcoming something, that's telling you that you need to grow in love. That's not to say you're ever going to be perfect in the flesh. I'm convinced God will always leave everyone of us with some haunting sin all of our lives, lest we get puffed up. But don't worry. That's covered by the blood of Christ if you're loving God.

Verse 13: "I am writing to you, fathers, because you have known Him Who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one…. [remember that it doesn't touch you; Satan doesn't] …I am writing to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I wrote to you, fathers, because you have known Him Who is from the beginning…." (vs 13-14). Notice how much overcoming and loving and knowing God are all tied together.

"…I wrote to you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God is dwelling in you, and you have overcome the wicked one" (v 14). Here's another way to overcome: Let the Word of God dwell in you, as we saw, richly, and you're overcoming the wicked one, you're overcoming the world.

In studying this, I was absolutely amazed. I was truly, truly amazed that the Apostle John wrote more—was inspired to write more concerning overcoming than anyone else.

Romans 12:21: "Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Again, how do you overcome?

  • by doing the things which are right
  • by loving God
  • overcoming evil with good

Let's understand the evil that occurs that no one else knows about. Even that you can overcome. What on earth am I talking about? I'm not talking about something that you do overtly—whether known or unknown. I'm talking about the sin that is in the mind that no one knows but you, and how that Christians have that battle and they alone have it. The more you have God's Spirit the more God's Spirit convicts you of that sin in your mind. That's important. A lot of people get discouraged because they have thoughts that are not right. Some people tend to just give up and let those thoughts overwhelm them and not overcome because they are not understanding how they need to handle this.

2-Corinthians 10:3—this is very important: "For although we walk in the flesh…[ we're walking, we're living in the flesh] …we do not war according to the flesh."

We're not using carnal, physical things to war and to overcome. And overcoming is that warring against the sin. Remember what Paul wrote about, that there is a war in his mind because of what he wanted to do and couldn't do. This is what he's talking about here.

Verse 4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds." The strongest hold is that invisible idol in your mind. {note sermons Invisible Idol/Visible Man} That's the strongest hold! If you can, with God's help, get rid of the idols in your mind then you're going to go a long way toward a greater step and greater conversion.

Verse 5: "Casting down vain imaginations…"—that's reasonings; every reasoning. God knows that in your mind is good and evil. You want to replace the evil with the good. And of course, when you really study about how the mind functions and it becomes very important for you to realize that.

So if you cast it down, it says, v 5: "Casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…" That's the way the carnal mind is: exalting itself against God!

(go to the next track)

Here's the key, here's how to do it: "…and bringing into captivity… [overcoming and conquering] …every thought into the obedience of Christ" (v 5). That's how you do it! With the Spirit of God, with the Word of God, that because your whole focus is on God and overcoming.

Verse 6: "And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled." What does that mean? How do you avenge it?

  • you repent of it
  • you war against it with the Spirit of God
  • you war against it with good
  • you war and fight against it with love

When your obedience is fulfilled that's how you can overcome. It's not that you do it with any carnal, physical thing. It's from crying out to God and God's Spirit, and repentance, and loving God: ask God to replace that sin with love for Him. Ask God to replace that thought by seeing it for what it is that you want to get rid of it and place in there the Word of God.

  • this is done by prayer
  • this is done by study
  • this is done by the Spirit of God and loving God and knowing that all of these things, then, can overcome

Verse 7: "Are you looking at things according to their appearance?…." Don't judge anything just by the outward appearance. That's why God calls the things that are not to confound the one's who think they are something.

"…If anyone is persuaded in his own mind that he is Christ's, let him reconsider this concerning himself; for exactly as he is Christ's, so also are we Christ's" (v 7).

Now let's see something else that our overcoming will be doing so we can really understand.

  • In order to be overcoming the world you have to be "begotten" of God, which means you have the Spirit of God, Christ in you.
  • You overcome evil with good.
  • You bring every thought into captivity to the obedience to Christ.
  • Then you are loving God. If you are loving God and believing God and begotten of God you are overcoming.

Here's another thing that helps us overcome, too; 1-John 5:4: "…and this is the victory… [here's how you're going to have the victory]: …that overcomes the world—our faith." We have studied faith, hope and love; the greatest is love, but you have to have faith, too.

Verse 5: "Who is the one who overcomes the world? Even the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God"—ongoing believing. That becomes very important because, I think, in going through the Epistles of John, we are learning that the Church is going through the same thing today that it was doing back then—same thing! There are people who believe, who are going to be believing in all kinds of 'christs'; all kinds of sons of God or messengers from God.

The book of Revelation, believe it or not, has more about overcoming and telling us how to overcome and what we need to overcome than any other book. It has to do with the message to the Churches. Every Church has a message given to it with a special message to overcome. It also has to do with hearing. What did Paul say about hearing or listening? 'How comes faith but by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God'? So, God wants us to hear. This is a particular, special message to all the churches:

Revelation 2:7: "The one who has an ear, let him hear… [the one that is willing to listen] …what the Spirit says to the Churches…." There's going to be special power that God is giving through His Holy Spirit so that we can overcome.

"…To the one who overcomes… [that is with our faith, with our love, with our belief, with the hope.] …I will give the right to eat of the tree of life that is in the midst of the paradise of God" (v 7).

Verse 11: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death."

All this admonition to every one of the Churches. Every one of the Churches has something to overcome. I think one of the greatest mistakes that was made by a very famous person in the Church of God, he one day said, 'Well, you know I've been faithful to God so long I don't think that Satan has any more interest in me.' And that's when Satan got him! Unfortunately, that's when he got him. So we have to be constantly overcoming.

Notice it is to the Churches, v 17: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes…"—correcting all the faults and mistakes that are brought out in every one of these things: repenting, loving, growing, overcoming!

"…I will give the right to eat of the hidden manna; and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except the one who receives it" (v 17).

Verse 26: "And to the one who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end…" There's another way to overcome, keeping the very works of Christ.

Now, if you want an interesting Bible study sometime, write down this question on the top of a page: 'what are the works of Christ that I must be keeping in order to be overcoming.' And just study through yourself on that and see what you come up with. I think you will find that really interesting, very helpful and very inspiring, too.

"…I will give authority over the nations; and he shall shepherd them with an iron rod, as vessels of pottery are broken in pieces; as I have also received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 26-29).

Revelation 3:5: "The one who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

Verse 11: "Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown"—because we're living right in a time when there's 'crown-snatching' going on everywhere! It is almost unreal.

Verse 12: "The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God; and I will write upon him My new name."

Verse 21: "To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 21-22)—and of course, all the places where Christ says, "…he that has an ear…"

We'll add something here, because we also have to overcome this temptation:

Revelation 13:10: "If anyone gathers into captivity, he shall go into captivity. If anyone kills with the sword, he must be killed with the sword…" I think that's a warning to the church people.
Verse 9 "If any man have an ear, let him hear." In other words, Christ is telling us in the end-time, when this beast power comes, don't try and take the power in your hand to fight it, because if you do you're going to die and maybe your death will not be the kind that Christ wants you to have.

"…Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints" (v 10)—that is they do what God says.

Let's come to the final overcoming. And I think it's very significant that John is the one who wrote about overcoming more than anything else, anyone else.

Revelation 21:7: "The one who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son." So, this overcoming then is based on many factors, many facets, many means, many methods, but it all gets back to spiritual warfare and overcoming the mind and overcoming those things.

Witness of the water, blood and Spirit

1-John 5:6—here we come to a very controversial part of the Bible, because we have a direct insertion of Scripture, which should not have been inserted there. Now, you will notice the text of the Epistle of 1-John, I have quite a lengthy footnote. But before we get to that footnote

1 John 5:6: "This is He Who came by water and blood—Jesus the Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness because the Spirit is the Truth" (vs 6-7).

You'll notice I have a double asterisk there with a footnote. I'm going to read the footnote. Now you'll notice as you're reading and following along with it, that there are certain abbreviations which I'll tried to clarify as we go along.

Note: Between vv 7 and 8…six Greek MSS [MSS is an abbreviation for manuscripts]…introduce a gloss [an addition to the text not found in other manuscripts] which the AV [KJV of 1611AD] translates as, "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy {Spirit} Ghost: and these three are one."

Now this we will see is a deliberate attempt to insert the doctrine of the 'trinity' within the Scriptures.

The earliest of these Greek witnesses, all of which depend on an earlier Latin tradition, can be dated to the twelfth century {1200 years}. The OL [Old Latin] is the only ancient version to include the words, and then with variations between the MSS; but, although the evidence is not entirely clear, the passage seems to be unknown in these texts before the eighth century.

Now, that's an awful long time—isn't it? Especially when you consider that the King James Version of the Bible is not even 500-years old. So we're talking about 800 here.

It does not appear in Jerome's definitive edition of the Vg [the Latin Vulgate] (circa {current era} A.D. 404), even if some other MSS of the Vg contain the addition. The earliest extra-biblical writer to show knowledge of the section is the Spanish heretic Pricillian (who died circa A.D. 385), when quoting from this part of John in his Latin 'Book of Apology' (Liber Apologeticus). None of the Greek Father quote the words. Despite this slight MSS attestation the inclusion remained in the Vg. And also survived in the AV [KJV]. In most modern translations the words have disappeared from the text altogether.

The section, which in any case interrupts the thought of the passage, is clearly an interpolation [an addition to the original text]. Presumably it represents an attempt on the part of those who, in the third and fourth centuries, were preoccupied with understanding the doctrine of the Trinity… {that's what they were doing with all of these councils weren't they} …to explain this text in a trinitarian manner. What may have begun…as a marginal gloss [a notation in the margin of the text] in a Latin MSS then became incorporated in the text, and was eventually translated back into the Greek in some Greek MSS" (footnote from FV, pg 576). (Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 51, p 273, Word Book Publishers, Waco, Texas, 1984).

Well, the reason this was done is because I am sure the translators of the King James Version of the Bible believed in the trinity. This also helps us explain the problems, as we explained going through the series of the Holy Spirit in the Bible—why they translate the Holy Spirit 'he'/'him' throughout all the New King James Version and the King James Version itself.

1-John 5:7 the way it should be: "And it is the Spirit that bears witness because the Spirit is the Truth."

Here's what should follow—this is the true v 8—those words which have 'in heaven, the Father, the Word, the Holy Spirit, these three are one' is not in the text, should not be there and should be removed.
The proper v 8: "For there that three that bear witness on the earth…" I will then show you why I translated it the way I did. We have

v 7:bearing witness
v 8: which are bearing witness on the earth

"…the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three… [combined] …witness unto the one Truth" (vs 7-8).

I have added 'combined' and 'witness.' I'll show you why I did that.

Verse 9: "If we accept the witness of men, the witness of God is superior…."—the Spirit, the water and the blood.

"…For this is the witness of God, which He has witnessed concerning His Son" (v 9). We've got

v 7: "…the Spirit that bears witness…"
v 8: "…these three witness unto the one Truth"
v 9: "…witness of men, the witness of God is superior. For this is the witness of God, which He has witnessed…"

When I was pondering how to translate this, it came to me that we're talking about witness!

Verse 8 (Interlinear): "And three there are who bear witness on earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three to the one are." That's a literal translation—and you read that and you wonder: the three are to the one what? Doesn't tell us!

Now notice, let's come to that phrase: "and the three to"—see where we are with the English word 'to'?

1-John 5:8 (Int)—the last phrase: "…and the three to the one [point] are…." You will notice point is in parentheses, and 'eis' if you look at it over the English word 'to' means into the one point—and the point of the whole topic is what? witness are!So that's why I translated it, "…are combined into the one witness." I think that's the best translation that you can come up with, because that's exactly what it's talking about: witness, witness, witness, and it's all one witness.

Now let's look at the 'water and the blood' witness—1-John 19:34—because it talks about water and blood there.

John 19:34: "But one of the soldiers had pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water had come out."

A lot of people say, 'Well, that's what it's talking about.' No, the water here is bodily fluid. That's not the water it's talking about because here we have blood and water and back here the witness is the Spirit, the water and the blood. It's not talking about the bodily fluids of Jesus Christ. It's talking about the blood of Christ, that's for sure. But what is associated with water and Christ as a witness? Baptism!

John 1:29 is talking about the baptism of Jesus Christ. Now remember, John was sent to bear witness! The baptism of Jesus Christ was a witness!

John 1:29: "On the next day, John sees Jesus coming to him, and he says, 'Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. He is the One concerning Whom I said, "After me comes a Man Who has precedence over me, because He was before me."…. [that actually means existed before John] …And I did not know Him; but that He might be manifested to Israel…'" (vs 29-31).

Now it's interesting, some people like to say, 'Well, Jesus and John were cousins, grew up knowing each other and played with each other.' Nonsense! That is only historical fiction in the mind of the writer or speaker because he said, 'I knew Him not.'

"'…therefore, I came baptizing with water.' And John testified, saying, 'I myself beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon Him. And I did not know Him before; but He Who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "Upon Whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, He is the one Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit." And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God'" (vs 31-34).

Now let's complete the picture of the witness of the water being the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 3:13: "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I have need to be baptized by You, and You come to me?' Then Jesus answered and said to him, 'You must permit it at this time;for in this manner it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he permitted Him to be baptized. And after He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him. And lo, a voice from heaven said, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I have great delight'" (vs 13-17).

I think that we overlooked the fact that God delights in His people. God delights in us. God loves us! He's not there to run us down, to run us over, to accuse us of every sin under the sun. Who's there trying to accuse us? Satan is! We're to overcome.

  • Christ is there to fight for us
  • Christ is in us
  • That is the witness of the water

What is the witness of the blood? The blood of Jesus Christ poured out and then sprinkled, as it were, symbolically in heaven above! But His blood pouring out on the ground was the witness that this was the Son of God. We'll see how this was a witness when His blood poured out. What happened when He died? Here's part of the witness that He was the Son of God. All of these things are to witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. None other! There can be none other!

Matthew 27:54: "Then the centurion and those with him who had been keeping guard over Jesus, after seeing the earthquake and the things that took place… [and that included the soldier who ran the spear clear up into Jesus' innards] …were filled with fear, and said 'Truly this was the Son of God!'" Tremendous witness!

What is the 'witness of the Spirit'? Acts 1:8—Jesus told them: "But you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth."

Verse 21: "Therefore, it is obligatory that from those men who have accompanied us during all the time in which the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John… [notice how the witness comes right back to John and then right on with Christ] …until the day in which He was taken up from us, one of these shall become a witness with us of His resurrection" (vs 21-22).

That's how Matthias was chosen to be a witness—and a witness is one who bears testimony, and that's what they did. What happened on the day of Pentecost? The witness of the Holy Spirit! Coming to cause them to speak in the languages of those who were there to hear the wonderful works of God.

Acts 2:32: "This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." All the way through they were witnessing of the resurrection. And they were doing so with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 3:13: "The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, Whom you delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, after he had judged to release Him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and requested that a man who was a murderer be granted to you; and you killed the Author of life Whom God has raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses. And through faith in His name, this man whom you see and know…" (vs 13-16).

Acts 5:29—after they were questioned to what they were doing: "But Peter and the apostles answered and said, 'We are obligated to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree. Him has God exalted by His right hand to be a Prince and Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel. And we are His witnesses of these things, as is also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey Him'" (vs 29-32).

  • we have the witness of the water
  • We have the witness of the blood
  • We have the witness of the Spirit

These three combine into one witness that Jesus is the Christ! That needs to be witnessed on earth, not in heaven.

  • Does God need a witness that Christ is the Son of God? NO! God sent Him!
  • Does Jesus need a witness? NO!
  • Do the angels need a witness? No, they saw what was going on, on the earth!

So that's why I translated this. Now, let's go back to 1-John 5:8: "For there are three that bear witness on the earth: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three… [combined into one] witness unto the one Truth…. [notice how it flows right along from there] …If we accept the witness of men…" (vs 8-9)—which was from John. Didn't John witness and testify? If we receive the witness of the apostles, are they not men? Yes!

"…the witness of God is superior…." (v 9). The witness of God is the Spirit, the water and the blood!

"…For this is the witness of God, which He has witnessed concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself…" (vs 9-10)—that Christ is the Son of God.

How does he have the witness in himself. Because he himself has gone through the same thing! Baptism for the remission of sins through the blood of Christ and you shall receive the Holy Spirit! So, you have Christ in you and you have the witness in you.

"…the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar because he has not believed in the witness that God has witnessed concerning His Son" (v 10). That tells you an awful lot about the religionists of this world and the other religions of the world.

Verse 11: "And this is the witness: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have eternal life" (vs 10-12)—in the Greek it is the life referring to eternal life. That ties in with:

John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…"

  • there is no life without Christ
  • there is no salvation without Christ
  • there is no salvation without the witness of the Spirit, and the water, and the blood

—which then we all participate in! Have we not gone through, concerning the baptism, that you're conjoined into His death, you're conjoined into His life, you've had the blood of Christ applied to you, so you have the witness within yourself.

1-John 5:13: "These things I have written to you who believe in[to] the name of the Son of God…" Now, into is from the Greek word 'eis.' And in every place where it has to do with believing I've translated it that way because our belief comes from us out into Christ and from Christ back into us—on going, into. When you really grasp and understand that and ask God to help you understand it and believe that way, I'm telling you, your belief and conviction will be so much more profound.

"…in order that you may know that you have eternal life…" (v 13).

God wants us to know this, not be in doubt. How can we be a witness to God and the resurrection of Christ if we do not know this? If we are in doubt? And furthermore, I also want to make it very clear that too many ministers—so I'll put them all on notice; people accuse me of 'minister bashing'—that's okay, let them accuse me. I'm tired of brethren bashing. How dare you stand up there and threaten to take away the eternal life, which God alone has given, when you say that if they don't do what you say that they'll lose their salvation. God's judgment is going to be upon your head. God wants us to know.

"…and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (vs 13-14).

Now, we like to read: if we ask anything He hears us! But look at that: 'according to His will.' Everything has to be according to His will. And God's will is always better and greater than our will.

Verse 15: "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we may ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death, he shall ask, and He will give him life for those who do not sin unto death. There is a sin unto death; concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death. We know that anyone who is begotten by God does not practice sin; for the one who has been begotten by God keeps himself…" (vs 15-18).

As we said about overcoming. That's what it means: keeping. That means guarding, watching over, taking care of.

"…by the power of God, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, so that we may know Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and the eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (vs 17-21). Quite an ending!

I want you to think about: What is a sin which is a sin unto death, that you shall not pray for?

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References

  • 1-John 5:1
  • 1-John 3:9
  • 1-John 5:1-3
  • John 3:25-36
  • John 5:16-20
  • John 10:15-17, 22-38
  • John 14:23-24, 31
  • John 15:9
  • 1-John 4:4-6
  • 1-John 5:4
  • John 16:33
  • Revelation 12:9-11
  • 1-John 2:15, 13-14
  • Romans 12:21
  • 2-Corinthians 10:3-7
  • 1-John 5:4-5
  • Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26-29
  • Revelation 3:5, 11-12, 21-22
  • Revelation 13:10, 9, 10
  • Revelation 21:7
  • 1-John 5:6-9
  • John 19:34
  • 1-John 5:8
  • John 5:34
  • John 1:29-34
  • Matthew 3:13-17
  • Matthew 27:54
  • Acts 1:8, 21-22
  • Acts 2:32
  • Acts 3:13-16
  • Acts 5:29-32
  • 1-John 5:8-12
  • John 14:6
  • 1-John 5:13-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 4:1
  • Psalm 82:6
  • John 14:21
  • Matthew 10

Also Referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Holy Spirit
  • Invisible Idol, Visible God

Book: Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry

Transcribed: 5-3-07
Reformatted/Corrected: August/2016