Confidence in Prayer & Deceivers in the Church of God

Fred R. Coulter—June 24, 1995

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

or Download

I hope to finish all the rest of the epistles today because 2nd & 3rd John are not very long and the message there is kind of a weak capitulation of the other, but there's some interesting things we can add to it.

We want to know, we want to understand, we want to realize exactly what the message is that John is telling us and that we have seen the parallels between John's time and the events in the Church and our time and the events in the Church today.

1-John 5:13: "These things I have written to you who believe…"—present tense participle—you who are believing into, because it's more than just 'on'; it is into. A relationship that God wants us to have spiritually is from your innermost being into Christ and back to you.

This is what is so important, and unfortunately, the King James translates it unto rather than into. The Greek word for into is 'eis'when it's into; and when I come to the Greek word 'eis'I most generally translated it into because the relationship is not just, 'Oh, I recognize that Christ is the Son of God.' But your relationship is an involved relationship into Him and back to you.

Romans 1:17—and this is the whole purpose of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans: "For therein the righteousness of God is revealed from faith unto faith…" Faith is a gift of God that comes from God into you, which goes back from you into God, as it were. So, your relationship is a deep, spiritual, continuous, ongoing thing that God has given you. And that's what's important.

"…according as it is written: 'The just shall live by faith'" (v 17). That is the righteousness (#2), whereas the righteousness of the Law (#1) is the one who does them shall live in them.

1-John 5:13—you: "…who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know…" I want us to understand: how many times you find in the Epistles of John knowing, knowing, knowing.

"…know that you have eternal life…" (v 13). That's why it's a damnable thing for a minister to come along and try and threaten you out of eternal life. There's going to be a time when that may be a possibility that you need to be warned unto the loss of eternal life. But to continually hold people in fear that way is not right. We are to be 'knowing' on a constant, ongoing basis that we have eternal life because of the begettal, which is the earnest (Eph. 1:13), which is the Holy Spirit (2-Cor. 1:22); it is the earnest of the Holy Spirit. If we have that then we know that we have life.

"…and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God" (v 13).

Now, let's look at some things that we need to believe into, believe upon and understand concerning the things that God has given us so that we can really understand this as we're going along. Were going to show that not only believing into the name of the Son of God, we are believe into the Father and also into the Son.

John 5:24: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who hears My Word…"—listening to! As Jesus said, 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.'

"…and believes Him Who sent Me…" (v 24). It's a little different in the Greek here. It means that you are actually believing the Father, not just upon, but you are believing Him. "…believes Him Who sent Me…"

So, you have to believe in the Son, you have to believe on the Father, you have to believe in the name of Christ.

"…has everlasting life and does not come into judgment; for he has passed from death into life" (v 24).

This is why a lot of the philosophers think that John is writing at their level. He is not!because not all of the facts are given here. You have to have the rest of the Scripture to put it together. If you have the Spirit of Life, you have the Son—you have life! You have passed from condemnation into the righteousness of God.

John 6:29: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God…'" If anyone wants to get out and say, 'this is the work of God,' here's what Christ said it is:

"…that you believe in Him Whom He has sent" (v 29). In other words, on Christ. The Greek here is 'eis'—into—our relationship is into. Very important; that helps make it deeper. I know that just helped me a whole lot when I first understood that concept. Because you can ask a Catholic, 'Do you believe on Jesus?' Yes! 'But do you have a relationship from you into Him?' Oh no! We can't understand God. He's a trinity. It's a strict mystery.

1-John 5:14—concerning answered prayer: "And this is the confidence…" God wants us to have confidence always: boldness, courage, understanding! That doesn't mean we lack in humility. That doesn't mean we think we're the greatest thing in the world, because we're not. But confidence in Him!

Verse 14: "And this is the confidence that we have toward Him: that if we ask anything according to His will…"

Everything we do must be according to the will of God. Sometimes the things we experience, which are according to the will of God we don't think that that's good for us. But it is in the long run, meaning you have patience and faith, and in hindsight you understand it clearly. You don't understand at first. I know some of the things we've suffered and gone through, we did not understand that, yes, God was answering our prayer. But He was answering it according to His will, the way He wanted it answered.

"…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (v 14).

We also have this promise from Jesus Christ. I think that lots of times, because we have not had that real relationship into Christ, that many things that we have asked for have not been answered because we haven't had the confidence or go boldly before the throne of God or be willing to wait patiently for God.

John 14:13, here are the words of Christ: "And whatever you shall ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (vs 13-14).

Sometimes we have to ask in such a way according to His will, and it all has to be based upon that, and sometimes in our asking we end up telling—'O God, do this. O God, do that. O God, do the other thing.' Rather than: 'O God, would You please.' I know in relationship in dealing with people, lots of times what we have to do is just completely put it in God's hands and ask God to work it out the way that He wants it worked out. And that's what's going to have to happen. Now also notice what asking the prayer is based upon:

Verse 15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments." It all ties together. This is really, really some good stuff.

John 15:7: "If you dwell in Me…"—which means to dwell and live in Christ. That's a pretty profound statement. You might do that, if you want a Bible study sometime—what does it mean to dwell in Christ:

  • How do you live?
  • What do you do?
  • How is your life?

If you're dwelling in Christ: "…and My words dwell in you…" (v 7)—or live in you. Oh now this makes a whole different story in relationship to answered prayer. Because if the words of God are dwelling in you, that means the Scriptures, and that's the thing that's so important. We must come to the independent expertise of knowing God's will so we live by it.

The entire purpose of any ministry is to teach the brethren to become independently competent in the Word of God. That's what the ministry is to do. It is not to have people around to be his little followers that he can use and dictate and manipulate, because he is to teach them to have this: To dwell in Christ and have the words of Christ in them!

Now we've got the whole Bible and all the tools and things we've never ever had before, to where that can be. That's my whole goal as a minister. This is what I want to do. One of my long-term goals is to make sure that we go through and study the entire New Testament in depth so that we fully understand that. That's why I do the things like this translation, so that we can really get into it. It's not that I'm trying to say that I know more than anybody else. I'm just trying to do what I feel what it is that God wants me to do in helping to really teach the brethren.

Christ says, v 7: "If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you, you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you."

God will do that! You take your worst, most terrible problem that is hanging and lingering for which you have not had an answered prayer yet, and just lay it before God and say: 'God, it's all in Your hands.' Ask God to perform His will. And especially if it's involving another person, it may take a little time, but you're going to find that God will work it out. We know that He hears us.

1-John 5:15: "And if we know that He hears us..." That's pretty profound!

  • When you pray are you sure that God hears you?
  • Do you know that God hears you?
  • We should!

If we're having this relationship into Christ, and if we have this kind of deep, spiritual relationship of loving God and loving the Father, then we know that He hears us. Our prayers are so much more profound. And really, when you get down to it, our prayers reveal a greater amount of helplessness on our part, because we know that only God can do it. "…we know that He hears us…"

"…whatever we may ask, we know…" (v 15). We are knowing; that's profound! We're not to guess. We know!

"…that we have the requests that we have asked of Him" (v 15)—if it's according to His will! I tell you, if you want to be guaranteed of not having a prayer answered, you pray and then get up from that prayer and say to yourself: 'Well, I wonder if God heard me?' Forget it! It's over with!

  • Was that a prayer in faith? No!
  • Was that a prayer in belief? No!
  • Was that a prayer in confidence? No!

Rom. 8 tells us something about prayer. I tell you what, when you're praying and you really understand the love of God and let the Spirit of God stir you up, let God's love inspire and just uplift you, then you're prayers are going to be so much more effective. You're going to have this kind of confidence that John is talking about. God wants us to know. God wants us to have this confidence.

Romans 8:23—about us and the Spirit of God groaning in us: "And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves, awaiting the sonship—the redemption of our bodies. For by hope we were saved…" (vs 23-24). This hope is what gives us the overcoming, and hope comes from love. Love hopes all things!

"…but hope that is seen is not hope…" (v 24). That's why you cannot be 'born again' now, because then you have no hope of the redemption of the body. Did you know the pagans have a 'born again' status in the flesh? Did you know that? They do! I'm going to cover that here in a little bit. That's why when Christ told Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee; who studied philosophy; when he was talking about born again there, he was directly going against the born again doctrine of the philosophers. I mean we have not really understood John.

"…for why would anyone still be hoping for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we ourselves wait for it with patience. Now, in the same way also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses…" (vs 24-26). It doesn't mean sickness, but weaknesses:

  • the weakness of the flesh
  • the weakness of the spirit
  • the weakness that we succumb to in temptation

"…because we do not fully understand what we should pray for…" (v 26). Many times, you know, that's maybe the place to start with our prayer. 'God, I really don't know what I really ought to ask for.

  • help me to love You
  • thank You for loving me
  • please grant me Your Spirit
  • give me Your strength
  • help me to really pray in a way that I ought to

—we don't know how to pray—

"…but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groaning that cannot be expressed by us" (v 26). This is not speaking in tongues, because speaking in tongues is something that is uttered.

This is the spiritual communication between you and God. With this groaning that cannot be uttered is the spiritual communication that goes to God. What language do our prayers come to God in? We don't know because the Spirit converts it into what God receives and the Spirit then makes the intercession!

Verse 27: "And the One Who searches the hearts comprehends what the strivings of the Spirit are because it makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Yes, so it makes intercession for us.

Do you really think that the fleeting thoughts about your burning cake in the oven really gets to the throne of God? Do you really think that the fleeting thought—and sometimes when you're praying you actually may have a thought in overcoming sin that you have to put down right while you're praying (and don't tell me you've never had that happen), because if you don't then you haven't been praying—that does not go to God. How do our prayers go to God?

Revelation 5:8: "And when He took the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having harps and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

So, it goes to God in a spiritual form. That's why we can have that confidence. If you have the Spirit of God—which you do—you can have that confidence. May we grow in that, and may we grow in the Spirit of God even more than we've even had an idea that we need to grow into. This is tremendous, brethren. God shows that He will intervene; we know!

1-John 5:15: "…we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him."

  • because it's according to His will
  • the Spirit is making intercession in it
  • we have Christ living in us
  • we are living in Christ
  • we have His Word living in us

This shows again, over and over again this is exactly what He's talking about, because it flows right along:

1-John 3:18 "My little children, we should not love in word, nor with our tongues; rather, we should love in deed and in Truth." It says in the King James 'deed,' but the word there is 'ergon': work, deed, endeavor or labor, whatever. So, there is 'work' to love.

"…and in Truth…" We're going to find, especially in 2-John, he reiterates the Truth, the Truth, the Truth so much.

Verse 19: "And in this way we know that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him." God doesn't want us to go around with a 'kicked in the head' feeling; a 'kicked in the stomach' feeling; a discouraged feeling, thinking God is against us, Christ is against us, the world is against us, it's all hopeless. Nonsense! He wants us to have confidence!

Verse 20: "That if our hearts condemn us…" It does when you sin. Now when you sin, and know you sin, you feel bad, and your heart is condemning you. That's when to pray! I know I've done this too much, I figure, well, I'll pray about this and repent when I get straightened around. You're not going to get straightened around until you repent!

  • Does God know that you've sinned? Yes!
  • If you know, do you think God knows? Yes! Sure!

All this stuff we're just kidding ourselves. And you end up with a condemnation. So God even covers this. And he says:

"…God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things…. [even when you sin] …Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God" (vs 20-21).

I want you to understand something very profound. This is what needs to be preached more often and which has been lacking for years in our relationship in the Church and the teachings. I'll just draw your attention to the spiritual battle that Paul was relating to in Rom. 7, and the 'law of sin and death' within him. He was fighting to overcome. You do that. I do that.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation…" This does not give us license to sin. No way!

  • because we have the battle
  • because we are overcoming
  • because we are yielding to God
  • because we are trying to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

"…there is now no condemnation…" Why?

  • Christ is our Sacrifice
  • Christ is our Savior
  • Christ is our Justifier

That's why there's no condemnation! That's why when you do sin, repent! Don't figure, 'I'll get right.' How can you get right without Christ? How can you get rid of condemnation of heart when only Christ can remove it? He tells you there is no condemnation. That's something!

  • that's to uplift us
  • that's to encourage us
  • that's to inspire us
  • that's for us to understand that in spite of the 'law of sin and death' in us:
  • God is for us
  • God wants us converted
  • God wants us to love Him more
  • God wants us to grow in grace and knowledge

That's what this is all about.

Verse 1: Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death. For what was impossible for the Law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; in order that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (vs 1-4).

That's why we have this right here, 1-John 3:21: "Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God."

We need to understand: God does not want us to have that condemnation. That's why going to Church and having a 'guilt trip' put on you every week is against Christ! Absolutely and totally against Christ! Should not be!

Verse 22: "And whatever we may ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight."

  • Can we please God? Yes!
  • What did Christ tell the man who gained five talents with the five? Well done good and faithful servant!

Pleased with him—yes!

  • What pleases God more than anything else?
  • loving Him
  • believing Him
  • loving Christ

Then everything else will flow from that!

  • commandment-keeping
  • getting along with each other
  • overcoming

That doesn't mean you aren't going to have any problems, you will! You may have a passel full of them. I do!

1-John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death…" What is a sin that is sin "…not unto death…"? The wages of sin is death!

Verse 17: "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death." What is a sin "…not unto death…"?

  • there are sins which are eligible for repentance
  • there are sins which are not eligible for repentance

Did you know that? That's right! You go back and read the life of King Manasseh in 2-Chron. 35. My, all the stuff he did, he repented. He could repent of that; he did repent of that. I think we'll find the book of Hebrews very enlightening, and let's follow this through, because this becomes very important. We need to understand this.

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance."

Sin easily besets you. Those are sins that are 'sins not unto death.' You can repent of them. Maybe it will take you some time to even recognize it, but you can repent of it; it's eligible for repentance. We're going to see that there are sins that are not eligible for repentance.

Here's how we repent of it, v 2: "Having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds" (vs 2-3).

  • it is a battle
  • it is a process
  • it is a difficulty
  • it does take effort

Verse 4: "You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin." Not yet! I have yet to anoint someone who says, 'I got this wound fighting against sin.' No we haven't!

Verse 5: "And you have already forgotten the admonition that He addresses to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor grow weary of being reproved by Him.'"

So, it has to do also a sin that God is going to correct you for, and you yield to the correction! That is a sin, which is a 'sin not unto death.'

Verse 6: "'For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He severely disciplines every son whom He receives.' If you endure chastening… [for the repentance of sin] …God is dealing with you as a Father with His sons. For who is the son whom the Father does not chasten? But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons. Furthermore, we have had our fleshly fathers who chastened us, and we respected them; should we not all the more willingly be subject to the Father of spirits, and live forever? For in the first case, they chastened us for a few days… [our fathers in the flesh] …in whatever way seemed good to them; but in the second case, He chastens us for our own benefit that we may be partakers of His Holiness" (vs 6-10). That's the whole purpose of it.

Verse 11: "Now truly, no chastisement for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous…" I have yet to enjoy a trial. I don't! Sometimes I try to avoid it and hide from it. But you can't, because it will follow you 'wither thou goest'! God wants you to be partakers of His Holiness!

"…nevertheless, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to those who have been exercised by it" (v 11).

That means God leads you to repentance with His graciousness; it says that the 'goodness which is the graciousness of God leads you to repentance' (Rom. 2:4). And that's part of the correction process that takes place. I'll tell you what, the best and easiest correction is this: You yield to God and let His Word and let His Spirit correct you. That is the easiest correction! When He has to use trials and difficulties and other people and circumstances that are very upsetting, that is the hard way! The hardest way is to be so defiant that He must take you to the nth degree of your life. That is the hardest way, which He equates into the tribulation.

Verse 12: "Therefore, lift up the hands that are hanging down… [if your heart condemn you, He's greater than your heart] …and revive the weakened knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned aside; but let it rather be healed" (vs 12-13).

That's what a lot of people need to do spiritually, today, with all that's going on in the Church. When you first find out about some of these things, you get mad, you get angry, some people get bitter, some get upset, but let it be healed! There has to come a time of healing.

Verse 14: "Pursue peace with everyone, and Holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; looking diligently…" (vs 14-15).

Here's the reason I went through all of these verses is because we have covered all the sins which are eligible for repentance—that is all the sins that you repent of and yes, even unto the heavy hand of the correction of God you repent of—and that's what King Manasseh did, he was sent off in captivity.

"…lest anyone fall from the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and through this many be defiled… [now comes the unpardonable sin]: …lest there be any fornicator or godless person, as Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright; because you also know that afterwards, when he wished to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; and he found no room for repentance, although he sought it earnestly with tears" (vs 15-17). For the Lake of Fire that is called 'weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

That is the difference. 1-John 5:16. "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death…"—which we should pray for. If you see a brother sin not unto death, it doesn't say he shall run to the minister and report it. NO! He should go to the deacon and tell him and work up his brownie points for the next ordination. NO! Now, I'm speaking of things we're all familiar with.
What should you do? If you see him do it doesn't even say go to him. You quietly go pray. Ask God to work it out! I know that when I sin I don't want someone coming to me and saying, 'Fred, guess what?' Neither does anybody else. But I'm sure glad when someone prays. I'm sure happy when God leads me to repentance. Then you're willing to change and repent. If you run up to the person, if you do the spy trip and report them, it will never be solved. If you run up and tell them when it's none of your business, because sometimes the sin is just the person's own individual business and not yours. You ask God to intervene and help, then you see God intervene and do that, that's fine.

"…he shall ask, and He will give him life… [for the 'wages of sin is death'] … for those who do not sin unto death. There is a sin unto death…" (v 16)—which is the unpardonable sin, that does not qualify for repentance {see Hebrews series #29—The Unpardonable Sin}

"…concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God" (v 16).

There comes a time when God says don't pray. Now, that's pretty tough! That's tough! God told Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 7:16: "Therefore, do not pray for this people, nor lift up cry nor prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you."

Now, those are tough words! We're going to see who and what that applies to with the unpardonable sin. And believe me, there are some people who are deliberately edging close to it and causing God's people to sin, that are in danger of committing the unpardonable sin. When we understand that, I hope you will likewise help all the brethren you know who are being fed all of this Satanic garbage that is not true!

1-John 5:17: "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death." This is given as encouragement:

  • that we can repent
  • that we can have a pure heart
  • that we can have a tender heart
  • that we can have an honest heart before God

Verse18: "We know that anyone who is begotten by God does not practice sin…" Doesn't mean you're incapable of sinning. How do we know it means you're not practicing sin? Let's see exactly the whole formula that we have here with it:

1-John 1:6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth"—present tense participle 'practicing' or 'doing'

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light… [and Christ is the Light] …as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin"—present tense, cleansing from every sin! All unrighteousness!

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins… [which are the sins 'not unto death'] …He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

That's why he's saying in 1-John 5:18: "We know that anyone who is begotten by God does not practice sin; for the one who has been begotten by God…" The King James says, 'born of' but it should be 'begotten.'

"…keeps himself… [overcoming, guarding himself, letting the Spirit lead him] …by the power of God, and the wicked one does not touch him" (v 18).

Remember what Satan asked Christ of Peter? Christ told Peter, He said: 'Satan has asked for you that he may sift you [Peter] like wheat. But I pray that your faith fail not.' Now, Satan may come around and cause us problems, but he can't touch us! Look at Job: Did Satan touch him? Wooo, yes, sure did!

(go to the next track)

"…and the wicked one does not touch him" (v 18). In other words, we are put in this covenant, into a state that God will—all these factors combined—give us the overcoming.

We know Satan is after us. We know Satan will persecute us. But he can't touch us to take away eternal life! That's what it's talking about.

Revelation 12:10: "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. But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb… [through the forgiveness of sin] …and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death" (vs 10-11).

So, even though you die! If you die or as martyr or testifying or if you die resisting sin, Satan is going to be right there and say, 'Look what I did.' But Christ is going to say, Oh, no! You didn't even lay a hand on him! 'The wicked one touches us not!'
1-John 5:19 is very important and does tie in, which is a sin, which is 'a sin unto death,' which you should not pray for.

1-John 5:19: "We know that we are of God…" Part of the sin, which is the 'sin unto death' is to come to the people of God and say: 'You don't know God. He is a mystery, you can't find Him out.'

Verse 20: "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding…" This means the spiritual comprehension and insight that we can experience no other way but by His Spirit.

"…so that we may know Him Who is true… [the Father] …and we are in Him Who is true…" (v 20).

Notice all the way through here: knowing, true, truth. When we get to 2-John we will see that repeated in a very profound way because it's important. That's why with the Word of God and the Truth of God we need to know this as never before. "…and we are in Him Who is true…"

"…and in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and the eternal life" (v 20).

  • No other way!
  • No other person!
  • No other means!
  • No other method!
  • No other doctrine!

John 20:30: "Now then, Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book." I've often wondered what they are.

John 21:25 "But there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I do not suppose that even the world itself could contain the books that would be written. Amen."

What Jesus did was most profound, that was something! So, He says many other things.

John 20:31: "But these have been written so that you may believe…" That ties right in with 1-John 5:

  • we are to believe
  • we are to know
  • we are to act upon that
  • in faith
  • in confidence
  • in strength
  • in every way of God

"…that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, you may have life through His name" (v 31).

Now that's exactly what we are seeing right here in 1-John 5:

  • v 13: "…that you may knowbelieve in the name of the Son of God…"
  • v 14: "And this is the confidence
  • v 15: "…we know that He hears us…
  • v 19: "We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one." The whole world!

note these verses:

  • Eph. 2:1-3—the prince of the power of the air; the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one
  • Rev. 12:9: deceiving the whole world
  • Eph. 6:11-16: that there are wicked spirits in high places

They run this world. That's why any political reform is doomed to failure, because Christ alone can reform it. The return of Christ alone can do it and bring it.

1-John 5:20: "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."

Now, if anyone wants to know is Christ God, yes there it is right there, without a doubt! He is the true God!

Verse 21: "Little children, keep… [that is guard] …yourselves from idols. Amen."

Of course, he wrote this from Ephesus, which was the capital city for the goddess Diana. The goddess Diana was double sexed—male and female. And when you look at the Statue of Liberty you will look at her and you will see very masculine features. The one who did that and gave it to us knew exactly what he was doing; the double-sexed goddess, who is holding the light. We have been Babylonianized. Just like Solomon Babylonianized Israel of old.

Second Epistle of John

We can go through this a little quickly. Then we'll see if we can finish up with 3-John, which is even just about the same length. They say that the length of this epistle was about the length of a sheet of papyrus. Let's notice that in 1-John we are told that there were the antichrists who were leaving. Now we are talking about antichrists in the

The Church is further disintegrating—it's reach another stage of disintegration. When we come to 3-John we find that the Church is literally exploding and rejecting John and whatever the other apostles may have been living.

2-John 1: "The elder…" Now notice he doesn't make any great to-do over his apostleship. He doesn't make any great to-do over the fact that Jesus Christ was the One that loved him, other than an oblique passing statement two times in the Gospel of John, that's it. Other people I know would brag about it—right? Yes!

He doesn't say what a great age he was. He doesn't say how faithful he was to God all of his life. He just simply says, "The elder…" All elders are elders. All functions they do vary from being:

  • apostles sent
  • evangelizing evangelists
  • pastoring pastor
  • teaching teacher
  • just a help

But they are all elders. I think if we really understood that and applied it the way that it should be, then we would have much greater peace and understanding within the Church. Rather than leading to a disrespect of ministers, it would lead to a greater respect of ministers because the ministers are not putting themselves in high, exalted positions. Rather they are relying on the Spirit of God and the love of God and the knowledge of the Word of God to teach the brethren to grow. That way then there is the true love and true respect. I see it here in John and writing this.

"…to the chosen lady…" Some people say this may have been the aged Mary, the mother of Jesus—possible. But I think it's to the Church in general.

"…and her children, whom I love in Truth, and not I alone, but also all those who have known the Truth; for the sake of the Truth that is dwelling in us, and shall be with us forever" (vs 1-2).

Notice how he finishes the Epistle of 1-John 5:20:

  • so that we may know Him Who is true
  • we are in Him Who is true
  • He is the true God

Now notice what he starts out 2-John 1-2:

  • the Truth
  • in the Truth
  • have known the Truth
  • of the Truth which is dwelling in us

So, we get the Truth from the true God! If you don't have the true God or you don't have the true nature of God, you don't have the Truth! That's what he's emphasizing. This is what he's combating here.

2-John 3: "Grace, mercy, and peace shall be with us from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." He's emphasizing this truth all the way through. This is profound!

"…and love…" (v 3). God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son! And that is Truth! All of this ties together; this is really something here.

Verse 4: I rejoiced exceedingly that I have found among your children those who are walking in Truth…"—living in the Truth.

1-John 1:7: "…we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light…" Truth, Light, life and true God all together vs hatred, lies and deceivers.

From vs 3-7 John is talking to the Church to keep them together in a time when the Church is disintegrating and there are antichrists out there.

That's why he's saying 2-John 4: "I rejoiced exceedingly that I have found among your children those who are walking in Truth, exactly as we received commandment from the Father." That means everything that the Father has commanded. You can go back and tie in John 14-17—those are the words of the covenant, those are the words from God the Father, from Christ to us.

Verse 5: "And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I am writing a new commandment to you, but that which we have observed from the beginning, that we love one another." Again, loving, walking, commandments, truth and should be loving one another. Go back and see how many times John says we should be loving one another.

When we're loving one another—and it's not the kind of razzmatazz club of love (if you understand what I mean). If you belong to the Elks, they love you as long as you belong to the Elks and bow down to their horned idol in the middle of their services. This love is because you have the Spirit of God, because you love God and this is true love.

1-John 2:7: "Brethren, I am not writing a new commandment to you but an old commandment, which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message that you have heard from the beginning." Which is:

  • the love of God
  • the Truth of God
  • Christ died for our sins
  • the whole Gospel

That's the whole Gospel message.

Verse 8: "Again, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining." So that we may be walking in the Light; walking in the Truth!

Verse 9: "Anyone who claims that he is in the light, but hates his brother, is in the darkness until now…. [the opposite of love, which is hate] …The one who loves his brother is dwelling in the light, and there is no cause of offense in him. But the one who hates his brother is in darkness, and is walking in darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (vs 9-11).

You put that together back here with what he says in 2-John about walking in the Truth, walking in the commandment, in order that you may be walking in it.

2-John 7, comes the warning: "Because many deceivers have entered into the world…" Not just a few antichrists who have left us, now many deceivers have entered into the world. What do you mean, 'entered into the world'? Where did they come from? They came from the Church of God! Now you think on that for a minute. They are part of the tares (Matt. 13).

"…those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is the spirit of the deceiver and the antichrist" (v 7).

Have you not heard things that Jesus was not in the flesh as we're in the flesh? That is antichrist! To be believing the Truth and believing the Father and believing that Christ came in the flesh means you believe the Truth concerning that Jesus was God before He became flesh.

  • He was not the thought of God incarnated in the flesh
  • He was not the first created being of God in the flesh
  • He was God in the flesh—as much as the flesh can handle God in the flesh

That's what it means here: "…that Christ has come in the flesh…" if they're not confessing that. Now, when someone says, 'Oh I believe He came in the flesh as a human being'—you need to ask them, 'Now what kind of flesh are you talking about? Like you and me?' Oh, no! Well, then he's not confessing that Christ has come in the flesh.

Verse 8: "Watch out for yourselves in order that we may not lose the things we have accomplished… [we need to be diligently building up in love, faith and service] …but that we may receive a full reward."

How do you receive the full reward? Paul tells us very clearly that we are to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ!

1-Corinthians 3:12: "Now, if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones…"

We would have to equate love with gold; silver with hope; precious stone with faith. 'Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.' But if we build with gold, silver and precious stone.

Verse 13: "The work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one's is. If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward (vs 13-14).

John says 'the full reward.' The full reward, the complete thing! That's what's important. 2-John 8: "…but that we may receive a full reward. Anyone who transgresses… ['sin is the transgression of the law'] …and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God…." (vs 8-9).

They may know about His name, they may use His name, but do they have God in them? That's another whole story. Given enough time and given enough space and given enough experience it will become evident. We have a guarantee that it will. It's called: 'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.' Sooner or later the lie will come!

Verse 9: "Anyone who transgresses and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. But the one who continues in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son."

You've got to have both. We'll talk about denying the Father and denying the Son and how that is an unpardonable sin when it's taught.

Verse 10: "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine…"—doctrine/teaching is important. The true teachings of Truth and love and faith and hope and obedience and commandment-keeping and all of that is important!

"…do not receive him into your house…" (v 10). He had to now give some instructions that there were people who had gone so far out, don't even have them in your house and don't even say greetings because if you do, you're partaking of their evil deeds.
I'll give you a nice, interesting quote. Someone said to those who were on the doctrinal board of a rather large Church of God: What do you believe concerning the nature of God? 'Oh, that's not important now, we will tackle that in January.' He who has ear to hearyou better hear! Because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth is going to speak and the lie is going to come—guaranteed! All of those of you who follow that, you're going to hoodwinked again. So you better watch out!

Verse 11: "For anyone who says, 'Welcome!' to him is partaking in his evil works. I have many things to write, but I do not wish to convey these things to you… [that is right now] …with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face…" (vs 11-12). The Greek there is 'mouth-to-mouth'—I'm going to sit down and I'm going to eye-ball you; face-to-face, mouth-to-mouth. So we know what it's all about.

"…in order that our joy may be completely full" (v 12).

Let's show how that ties right in with what he was writing. God wants us to have the joy of the Holy Spirit. Look the world's bad enough; times are bad enough, and overcoming is tough enough. Why not have some joy in this—huh? Yes! And that comes from knowing the Truth, knowing the peace of God, knowing the mercy of God, the love of God and the Spirit of God in you. That brings you the joy, but here's what really brings the joy:

1-John 1:3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship… [this is the way it is in the Greek] …—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ. These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full" (vs 3-4)—all of us together have the joy of God. That's something!

2-John 13: "The children of your chosen sister salute you. Amen."

Third Epistle of John

3-John shows where the Church is disintegrating and they're even fighting in the pulpit. Fights in the pulpit? Yes, someone's going to get up and speak but they cut off the sound system so he can't speak. That's what's happening here. Here the Church is literally exploding! Now he's conveying his information from visits and so forth.

3-John 1: "The elder to Gaius…" John is writing to an individual minister in this particular case. Gaius means joy in the Lord.

"…the beloved, whom I love in Truth" (v 1). That's what's so good about the Truth. You don't have to have an agenda. You don't have to have a front to block off what people are doing. Save that for the world. But for the brethren:

  • God wants us to be open
  • God wants us to be loving
  • God wants us to be unassuming
  • thinking no evil
  • speaking no evil
  • hearing no evil

and if you're loving God and doing that, you will.

That's why it such a joy. Wait until you get to the Feast of Tabernacles. Last year was such a joy! I mean that last day you could just feel God's Spirit right there in the whole auditorium. If there was ever one time that we were filled with the Spirit of God, the mind of God, the happiness of God, the joy of God that was it! I have never experienced anything like that in all the years I've been a minister. But God wants us to experience that. In the Truth!

Verse 2. "Beloved, I [John] personally am praying for you [Gaius], that in all respects you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul is prospering." That is spiritually speaking, and he better with all the fighting and battles going on.

Verse 3: "For I rejoiced exceedingly at the coming of the brethren who testified of you in the Truth..." How you are walking in the Truth—and that means 'living' in the walk of life, the way of the Lord. It's called 'the way of the Lord,' so you're walking in the Truth. Notice again: Truth!

Let's look at 2-John:

  • v 1: Truth
  • v 2: Truth
  • v 3: Truth
  • v 4:walking in the Truth

and then we have:

  • love
  • walking in the commandments

Then again he reiterates it over here that you're

  • walking in the Truth
  • whom I love in the Truth

By time you circle all of those and connect those together, it's something—isn't it?

Verse 4: "…I am hearing—that my children are walking in the Truth."

Someone just mentioned that Truth is mentioned 80 times between Acts and Revelation—that's profound! That is profound! Get out your handy-dandy concordance and study it, if you haven't. It is profound!

That's why, brethren, when you take the Truth of God and exchange it and turn it into a lie—once you have known the Truth—that is damnable! Damnable! Damnable! Damnable! I said it three times; Paul only said anathema twice. So, you know.

  • Do we think that we're going to get into the Kingdom of God without Truth?
  • Do we think that we're going to support the Truth of God with lies?
  • Fables?
  • Mysteries?
  • Philosophies?

that aren't true!

Listen, every one of these philosophers admit they were demon inspired. No wonder they ended up worshipping Satan the devil.

3-John 5: "Beloved, you are faithfully practicing…"

Philippians 2:12, Paul says: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

God is not going to give you salvation just because you're good in the presence of a minister. Trust me, it won't work! You've got to be faithfully practicing it as a way of life, living and walking in it.

3 John 5: "…whatever you have been doing for the brethren and for strangers… [it's an all inclusive statement here] ...who have testified of your love before the Church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God" (vs 5-6). Those are the ones who are traveling and carrying the messages and bringing the epistles and so forth.

Verse 7: "Because for the sake of His name they went forth preaching, taking nothing from the Gentiles. For this cause, we are personally obligated to receive those who do such service, in order that we may be fellow workers in the Truth" (vs 7-8).

Now then, the second half of this epistle is another warning—which is quite astonishing.

Verse 9: "I wrote to the Church, but Diotrephes, the one who loves to be chief among them, does not accept us." Did they actually end up kicking out the Apostle John? Sounds like it!

Remember what Jesus said? The time is coming when they're going to kick you out of the synagogues. They're going to beat you. The time is coming when they kill you. They are going to think they are doing service to God!

Unfortunately, a lot of brethren have been killed via the disfellowshipment—by political means. What we're seeing here with Diotrephes is a political action, which is not of God.

Isaiah 66:5: "Hear the Word of the LORD, you who tremble at His Word…" That ties right in with:

  • walking in the Truth
  • keeping the Truth
  • loving the Truth
  • keeping the commandments

"…'Your brethren who hated you…'" (v 5)—which are as John said, 'the brethren that hate you are not the true brethren of God.'

"'…who cast you out for My name's sake, said, "Let the LORD be glorified.".… [they did it in the name of God] …But He will appear to your joy… [you who have been kicked out] …and they will be ashamed'" (v 5). Have you experience that? Yes, indeed!

3-John 10: "Because of this very thing, if I come, I will call him to account… [bring to remembrance] …for the actions… [he's going to come and confront him face-to-face] …that he is practicing with evil words…"—bringing unjustified charges against us! Why they're not accepting this 'new truth' of this great new philosophy—which is of the antichrist!

"…maliciously berating us; and he is not satisfied with these things, for he himself neither receives the brethren, nor does he permit those who wish to receive the brethren, but he forbids them and casts them out of the Church" (v 10).

Standing up there in the name of God saying: 'Brethren, you are not to talk to this person. I have disfellowshipped this person. Don't ask me why I disfellowshipped him, but I did.' A political disfellowshipment! Sure enough, as dutiful little brethren, what do they do, they avoid that person and turn their discouragement into overwhelming sorrow, that if you even pass by on the street you don't even say, 'Hello, how are you?' I know there may be many, many, many brethren that way. If you know any, you pick up the phone and you ask them, 'How are you?' See if you can help bring them back to Christ. You can do that because you know better. We'll do what we can here to help them and inspire them.

Verse 11: "Beloved, do not imitate that which is evil; rather, imitate that which is good. The one who practices good is of God; but the one who practices evil has not seen God."

Now, that's quite a statement there because I assume that many of them were saying, 'Well, I've seen the Lord, I've seen God, in bringing these doctrines.' But if they're practicing evil they haven't seen God.

Verse 12: "We have received testimony from everyone on behalf of Demetrius…" Here you have a minister who is following the Truth in Gaius, you had one that wasn't in Diotrephes, and then you had another one who was in Demetrius.

"…and from the Truth itself…" (v 12). That's how you're going to know—by the Truth!

  • Do they love the Truth?
  • Do they believe the Truth?
  • Do they preach the Truth?
  • Do they walk in the Truth?

That's how you're going to know!

"…and we also bear witness, and you know that our witness is true. I had many things to write, but now I will not write them with ink and pen" (vs 12-13).

He must have had a lot of his letters censored. He must have. To do these short, one pagers and say, 'I've got a lot of things to write, but I'm not going to.'

So they must have the 'King Jehoiakim knife,' when the message of Jeremiah came to Jehoiakim he was sitting in his winter house before the fireplace and took his knife and cut it out and burned it. And so God told Jeremiah, He says, 'You get Baruch and you tell Baruch those same words and you write a special message for Jehoiakim. He has had it. He's going to die because he didn't believe these words.'

Verse 13. "I had many things to write, but now I will not write them with ink and pen; for I hope to see you shortly, and I will speak with you face to face. Peace be to you. Our friends salute you. Salute the friends by name" (vs 13-15)—and no 'Amen'

We've never been able to figure out why no 'Amen.' There is in 1-John. There is in 2-John. And we find there are a total of three books in the New Testament, which do not have an 'Amen': Acts, James and this one. I think we have plausible explanation for James, which Carl Franklin reiterated, which I think is undoubtedly true. He feels that the Epistle of James was a cover letter for the book of Hebrews, because no one in Jerusalem would accept any writing of Paul. If any writing were known to have come from Paul it would have been burned on sight without even being opened.

That's why there is no indication as to who wrote Hebrews. That's why it is that the theology of Paul, but the writing of Luke, because Paul dictated it to Luke and I think Carl is right that that was sent then to James and James put the cover letter on it and sent it out to all of them. Now that's the only rational explanation I can find for no 'Amen' in James. I can't tell you with Acts except that it was deliberately left out. And this one I don't have a clue.
One possible explanation is that Acts wasn't finished with 'Amen' because the acts of the saints is not done, yet. However, those who thought they were going to write in it, I don't think they're going to have much writing in it myself. Wait until the whole history is done from then until the return of Christ.

Maybe there was no 'Amen' here because John wanted us to know that this would be a continuing problem all down through history. When you get to the book of Romans there are three 'Amens'—because he edited that so much that he had three 'Amens' on the end of it. I can tell where he added phrases into it, to make it clearer.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • 1-John 5:13
  • Romans 1:17
  • 1-John 5:13
  • John 5:24
  • John 6:29
  • 1-John 5:14
  • John 14:13-15
  • John 15:7
  • 1-John 5:15
  • Romans 8:23-27
  • Revelation 5:8
  • 1-John 5:15
  • 1-John 3:18-21
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • 1-John 3:21-22
  • 1-John 5:16-17
  • Hebrews 12:1-17
  • 1-John 5:16
  • Jeremiah 7:16
  • 1-John 5:17-18
  • 1-John 1:6-7, 9
  • 1-John 5:18
  • Revelation 12:10-11
  • 1-John 5:19-20
  • John 20:30
  • John 21:25
  • John 20:31
  • 1-John 5:13-15, 19-21
  • 2-John 1-2
  • 1 John 5:20
  • 2 John 1-4
  • 1-John 2:7-11
  • 2-John 4-5
  • 2-John 7
  • 1-John 2:7-11
  • 2-John 7-8
  • 1-Corinthians 3:12-14
  • 2-John 8-12
  • 1-John 1:3-4
  • 2-John 13
  • 3-John 1-3, 5
  • Philippians 2:12
  • 3-John 5
  • Isaiah 66:5
  • 3-John 9-15

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ephesians 1:13
  • 2 Corinthians 1:22
  • Romans 7
  • 2 Chronicles 35
  • Romans 2:4
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • Revelation 12:9
  • Ephesians 6:11-16
  • 1 John 1:3-10
  • John 14-17
  • Matthew 13

Also referenced: Sermon Series: Hebrews #29: The Unpardonable Sin

Transcribed: 5/8/07
Reformatted/Corrected: August/2016