Survey of 1-John 3 beginning with the goal and ending up with how we get there

(T.R.O.L - Truth, Obedience, Repentance & Love #6)

Fred R. Coulter—November 19, 2016

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

{note that the intro is about the current election in the U.S. and is left out of transcription for the sermon series}

We have some unfinished business to do, so let's get to that. TROL: truth, repentance, obedience and love. So far we've come up to 1-John 3, so let's look at some things and analyze some things and see how the unity of Scripture throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament always is in motion.

Did God give warning about false prophets and the religions of the people around the children of Israel not to do it? Yes, He did! What was one of the first things that Jesus said? 'Take heed that no one deceive you.' What follows through all the New Testament is:

  • truth: description of error
  • truth: don't be deceived
  • truth: this is what you are to do
  • truth: this is what you're not to do

All fits in a whole overall pattern.

Just a little review as we lead into chapter three. 1-John 2:26: "These things I have written to you concerning those who are leading you astray." That's why it is always, as Isaiah says: 'To the Law and the Prophets, if they speak not according to this Word, it's because there is no Truth in them.' In the New Testament we have the same thing.

Verse 27: "But you yourselves have dwelling in you… [the Holy Spirit] …the anointing that you received from Him; and you do not have need of anyone to indoctrinate you…" They didn't have all the safeguards we have today. When we have services today, everybody has a Bible. We all read it together. There they didn't, so it was easier to deceive.

Like Paul said to the Corinthians (2-Cor. 11) that 'if someone comes preaching another Jesus or brings another spirit, you tolerate it as something good.' They can't do it today like they did back then, because especially in the congregations of God, we all have a Bible and say, 'Hey, wait a minute.'

"…for the same anointing instructs you in all spiritual things, and is true, and is not a lie; and if you do exactly as it has taught you, you will be dwelling in Him. And now, little children, dwell in Him, so that when He is manifested we may have boldness, and not be put to shame before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been begotten by Him" (vs 27-29).

That's an important phrase right there, especially practices. That carries down into 1-John 3. That comes from the Greek 'poieo.' Notice what he does, and this is what the New Testament always does; it talks about

  • current things
  • growing and overcoming
  • avoiding false teachings
  • keeping your mind on the ultimate goal

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is…. [that's quite a thing] …And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure" (vs 1-3).

Let's look at some other Scriptures that back this up to show us what we need to do. This will also show us that the teachings of the Apostle Paul are the same as the teachings of the other apostles.

2-Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness?"

Stop and think about this. When the Church began to go to the Protestants to find out how they ran their churches, what happened? They became unequally yoked with their teachings! Everything started to come apart.

That's why we are to guard the Truth. In guarding the Truth, that goes clear back to the very beginning. What did God tell Adam? You are to dress it and keep it! That also means to guard it. What happened? He did not guard it, so the author of false teachings came in and VOILA!

Verse 15: "And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them…'" (vs 15-16). That's by the power of the Holy Spirit, which is a living power sent from God.

Remember what Jesus said about the words that He spoke to the disciples. He said, 'The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life.'

That's why there is no book in the world like the Bible, because you get an education from the spiritual power that comes through these words to you if you're willing to obey. That's the real key.

Verse 17: "'Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord…" That's why the Church is scattered today. Two reasons:

  • because of apostasy
  • to protect the Truth

So, it's incumbent upon all the Churches of God—every minister, every member—ask yourself:

  • Do you guard the Truth?
  • Do you keep the Truth?

That's because whatever God gives us is perfect and we can't improve upon it.

Notice the promise here: "'…and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you'" (v 17). Isn't that the most important thing in our life, to be received by God? Yes, indeed!

Verse 18: "'And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty."

2-Corinthians 7:1: "Now then, beloved, since we have these promises, we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God."

Not only does this show the unity of the Scripture, but it shows the same inspiration from the same God, because it teaches the same thing.

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect… [Does that not agree with 2-Cor. 7:1? Yes!] …even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." That's the ultimate goal!

What I want us to do as we're studying through here is to see that it connects in the same way everywhere—Old Testament/New Testament.

Psa. 146 is quite a Psalm. It really is pretty much a prophecy of the New Testament. So let's read it and see what it says.

Psalm 146:1: "O praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul…. [everything goes to God] … While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.… [endure to the end] …Do not put your trust in princes, nor in the son of man in whom there is no salvation" (vs 1-3). Don't follow the teachings and traditions of men.

Verse 4: "His breath goes forth; he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help…" (vs 4-5).

Hebrews 11:5: "…for He has said, 'In no way will I ever leave you; no—I will never forsake you in any way.'"

Psalm 146:5: "…whose hope… [of eternal life] …is in the LORD his God, Who made the heavens and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps Truth forever" (vs 5-6).

The whole first chapter of John: 'In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God; the Word was God. Nothing came into being without Him.'

Verse 7: "Who carries out justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD lets the prisoners loose… [you can talk about that with spiritual] …the LORD opens the eyes of the blind… [spiritually and physically] … the LORD raises up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous; the LORD preserves the strangers; He sustains the fatherless and widow, but the way of the wicked He turns upside down" (vs 7-9).

May He do that to all of the enemies that have been trying to take down the United States and the children of Israel.

Sidebar: I think it's significant, as I mentioned in my letter, that Britain and America have separated themselves from the New World Order. However that's going to come about, it's going to have to take another path, which tells us there's much more time. Talk about turning the wicked upside down, tie that in with the book of Revelation, the wars and all the earthquakes. You see how great a book the Bible is. There's no other book written by men anywhere that compares.

Verse 10: "The LORD shall reign forever, even your God, O Zion, to all generations. O praise the LORD!"

Let's come back to dwelling in Him. We are to dwell in Him! We also have it in:

John 14:20: "In that day… [the day that He ascended to the Father] …you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me…" (vs 20-21). This ties in with what Jesus said to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being. That ties in with Deut. 6. The unity is absolutely amazing!

"…and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father…'" (v 21).

I want you to think on that. Every one of us are going to have times that come along that we get down, we get depressed, we have things not going right, we have problems to overcome. Never forget God the Father loves you. Then add to that everything that Jesus did to become a human being, be born of the virgin Mary, so that He could become the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. He created mankind and He gave 'the law of sin and death' to Adam and Eve to be passed on to all of us.

So, no other sacrifice, no other person, no other ritual, can replace that, because that's from God.

"'…and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.'…. [He has spiritually] … Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (vs 21-22).

How did He first do that? When they were all gathered together the day He ascended into heaven, they were gathered together for fear of the Jews. What did Jesus do? Walked through the wall or the door! 'Hello, I'm here.' Is that really You? 'Yes, give Me some honeycomb and fish.'

Honey with fish is good; I've tried it. If Jesus can eat it, you can eat it. It's very good, especially on a little herring. You open a can, drain off the juice, or you drink it, whichever you prefer. Then you put a little honey on it. It tastes great. That's what He did when He manifested Himself to them. Eight days later He manifested Himself again. What was the first thing He said? 'Thomas, come here, My friend. See My hands? Stick your hand in My side.' Thomas repented real quick like.

How does He do it to us today? Jesus doesn't come down and say, 'Jonathan, stop what You're doing; I'm going to call you.' Or any other person, you put your name there.

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If… [qualifier. Remember IFMA: independent free moral agency] …anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word…'"

This becomes very interesting. When it says word, singular, that means His whole message. He will keep—we're going to talk about practice in a little bit, but when you keep the laws of God you are practicing them, because you repeat them and live by them.

"…and My Father will love him… [Here's one of the greatest verses in the entire Bible:] …and We… [God the Father and Jesus Christ] …will come to him and Make Our abode with him" (v 23). That ties in with what we read in 2-Cor. that we are a temple of God, because we have the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God has two parts to it:

  • from the Father for begettal
  • from the Son so we can develop the mind of Christ

Both! That's fantastic. That's awesome! That's more than we can grasp. You might want to go over these Scriptures every once in a while and just let it sink in and just ask God to help you understand more of it. Notice the opposite; we're going to see this when we get back to 1-John 3.

  • Truth and righteousness/sin and rebellion
  • Truth and righteousness/sin and rebellion

That's the way 1-John 3 is laid out. We have the same thing here.

Verse 24: "The one who does not love Me does not keep My words…" There you go! His words, whatever you may hear and His Word, which is all of His message.

"…and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's Who sent Me."

John 15:1: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit…" (vs 1-2). We need active, living faith day-by-day. Couple that with the hope. Faith is what we believe and faith is how it operates in our minds to motivate us to do what is right!

"…but He cleanses each one that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit" (v 2). How does that work? Every trial we have, you may not get the answer immediately as to why you're going through it!

Have you ever had a trial, you've overcome it, you thought about it and then you forgot about it. Then somewhere down the road, here you're going along one day, whatever you're doing, all of a sudden it dawns on you that God answered that prayer. Amazing thing!

Verse 3: "You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you. Dwell in Me… [with the Spirit of God] …and I in you… [that ties in with 1-John 3 and with the other Scriptures, as well] …As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you are dwelling in Me" (vs 3-4).

There ought to be a whole lot more ministers who read that. Does the branch tell the vine what to do? No! The vine tells the branch what to do!

Verse 5: "I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing."

Let's analyze that. Can people do things and they're thinking God is doing it for them? But He's really not, because it's contrary to the will of God! What happens? It doesn't last! It collapses! Same thing here.

"…you can do nothing." That's why we always have to understand in God every human being 'lives and moves and has their being,' whether physically or whether physically and spiritually. We have both, physical and spiritual.

Verse 6: "If anyone does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch, and is dried up; and men gather them and cast them into a fire, and they are burned. If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you…" (vs 6-7).

This is why you've heard how many times, what are the two most important things that you do every day? Prayer and study! Because you're going to continue to learn more things. I learn even now. The Word of God is so great, no man is going to fully understand all the Word of God in a lifetime. The understanding has to come from God.

Verse 7: "If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you, you shall ask whatever you desire…"—if it is the will of God, because we pray, 'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' We can't ask for things that are illegal and ask God to answer that prayer. He might send the police. Who knows?

Verse 8: "In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me…" (vs 8-9). Stop and think for a minute: Can there be any greater love in the universe than that? No!

"…I also have loved you…" (v 9). We're going to see that in 1-John 3 it talks about the love of God and loving each other. That's very important to understand.

"…live in My love" (v 9). How do you do that?

1-John 5:3: "For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments..."

  • you keep His commandments
  • His Spirit is dwelling you
  • you're living in His love

Verse 10: "'If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love… [He explains it right there] …just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love. These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you." (vs 10-14).

Those are pretty powerful words. Very encouraging, too, especially when we're facing all the difficulties we are today.

We'll do a real quick survey of 1-John 3 here. This is also a pattern you see in other places in the Bible.

  • vs 1-3—pertains to God and Christ
  • v 4—a warning

That will lead to Satan the devil

  • vs 5-6—about God
  • v 7—don't allow anyone to deceive you
  • v 8—the one who practices sin is of the devil
  • vs 9-11—back to God
  • v 12—talks about Cain
  • v 13—back to God
  • vs 14-15—that's on the side of Satan and sin
  • vs 16-24—all about God

the pattern all the way through:

  • things of God
  • things of the world
  • things of Satan

Let's come back to 1-John 3:4, which becomes a very key important verse. The reason is when they were writing the original, paper was very expensive and it was made out of papyrus. Lambskins cost a fortune. I forget the exact number of lambskins that it took for Jerome to translate and write the Bible and Eusebius was with him. It was hundreds of lambskins. So what does it cost for one of these? Our paperback Bibles are available for a very small donation. Those who can't afford it we give it to them, the whole Bible. If it were on lambskins it would come in a big crate, many volumes. Think what a blessing the printing press is.

So they wrote in what they call 'ellipsis,' a main verb that applies to the rest of the context is not added in as you go down until you reach a certain point.

1-John 3:4: "Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness…" There after that comes the 'ellipsis.'

Verse 6: "Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin…" That's in italics because the 'ellipsis' carries down and you have to add it in. The King James Version says, 'Anyone who dwells in him cannot sin.' If you read all of 1-John, what do we find in the first chapter? 'If we sin and we repent and confess our sins, He'll forgive them.' If you've already been begotten and if you cannot sin, then the first chapter would not have to be written. That's why it's put in there with the italics. The 'ellipsis' carries down.

"…anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him. Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you; the one who practices… [now he puts in the verb, 'poieo'] …the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil…" (vs 6-8). See the contrast here again, practicing.

The word practice is used there to carry through. Whenever there's an 'ellipsis' you fill it in:

Verse 9: "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin…" What does this tell us? That you can sin, but you don't practice sin! That is, you don't live in 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" (v 9). That is the proper translation of it.

I actually had a man send me an email and say, 'I've been born again. I can't sin.' I tried to explain it. It took about three e-mails and he said, 'I've been born again and I can't sin.' I just said, 'You're just going to have to learn.'

Let's go back and analyze this; v 4: "Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness." The King James Version says that sin is the transgression of the law. What does it mean lawless? Does that mean you're hateful and angry? Possibly!

Five things that lawless refers to:

  • transgresses the law
  • rejects the law

Isn't that what Protestants do when they say the Law has been done away?

  • modifies the law

Like the Catholics do with the Ten Commandments. In their Bible they leave the 4th commandment where it is. But in their catechism they remove about the Sabbath and taking God's name in vain is the 3rd commandment. The 4th commandment is 'Honor your father and mother.'

The way they get ten, they come down, 'You shall not covet,' and they split that in two in the catechism. If you don't believe me, go get your Douay Version of the Bible, open it up to Exo. 20 and go get your Catholic catechism—and I've got one here that I use; like Patton I read the enemy's books—and you will see: modify the law.

  • false interpretation

Like we just covered here. You don't fill in the 'ellipsis,' so you say, 'I'm righteous; I can't sin. I've been born again. Aren't I nice and lovely.'

  • replace with tradition

Isn't that what Jesus spoke against the Pharisees of that in Mark 7, 'Full well you reject the Law of God by keeping your traditions.'

For years when I saw the Catholics do one of their ceremonies, they carry out this big book. I always thought that it was the Bible. It has metal on the outside. It's big and thick and they have one of the deacons all dressed up in white. He brings it out and the pope kisses it. Then he carries it on out and puts it somewhere for the ceremony. That book does not contain the Bible. I found from a Catholic that it contains the traditions of the Catholic Church. Blew me away!

  • transgression of the law
  • rejection of the law
  • modification of the law
  • false interpretation
  • replacement with tradition

They use a lot of words of God. They even quote some Scripture. But if you speak Truth and are not truthful with it and apply it to a sinful way, you're lying. Let's put it this way: if you tell part of the Truth, are you telling all of the Truth? No! Can you mislead with part of the Truth? Yes! So that's a misuse of the Truth.

2-Thessalonians 2:7: "For the mystery of lawlessness…" These 5 things describe the mystery of lawlessness. It is a secret.

I've started a series on churchathome.org, Do You Really Believe? Why can't people see the difference between Truth and righteousness?

  • the carnal mind is not subject to the Law of God

So, if you read it with a carnal attitude, you're not going to understand it.

  • if you read it and see something that you should obey and don't obey it, you have blinders put on it!

The blinders Paul calls 'the veil that is over their eyes at the reading of the Law of Moses' (2-Cor. 3). How do people get rid of that? Right here, what we're talking about:

  • Truth
  • repentance
  • obedience
  • love

Paul explains it a little different way. He calls it the circumcision of the heart and that's what takes away the blindness! The mystery of lawlessness, you can't understand it. You think, 'Oh, they have the Bible. Oh yes, he read the Bible. I followed along and it was really good. He gave a sermon on how to trust God; how to overcome grudges.'

You could go to improvement classes and get that as well. Then comes along the false doctrine and it said—this is Charles Stanley; he's one of the better preachers—'But if you believed you're automatically put into the sinless category.' He preaches nothing concerning the Sabbath and Holy Days. What he's doing is the mystery of lawlessness. Isn't that an amazing thing that people can read it and not understand it? People think that you're following the Bible, but you're not following the Bible. A part of the mystery of lawlessness and any one of these five things could happen.

Now it talks about the lawless one, v 8: "And then… [when Christ returns] …the lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of His coming" (Rev. 19).

Verse 9: "Even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan…" What did we read back here in 1-John 4:8? Is of the devil!

"…with all power and signs and lying wonders" (v 9). This ties right in with Deut. 13, which says that 'if a false prophet lies in your midst and does a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass of which he said he would do and tells you to go after other gods—that is to leave the true God—that's a false prophet.' Signs and wonders don't prove anything.

Verse 10: "And with all deceivableness of unrighteous in those who are perishing because… [notice what happens]: …they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved." They weren't willing to believe God or repent or accept the Truth. They kept their own ways in spite of it all.

If you want to see really an astounding version of this, watch one of these prison shows where they show the serial killers who are absolutely evil. They have no regret, no remorse. They even tell the prison officials that if let out they will kill again. That's amazing!

Notice what happens when you get to the point of hardening your heart with sin and deceitfulness from Satan the devil. What does God do?

Verse 11: "And for this cause God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie, so that all may be judged who did not believe the Truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness" (vs 11-12).

That's the division we're going to see in the world more and more and more.

(go to the next track)

1-John 3:6 "Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin…" How does that work? If you do sin, then God's Spirit within you will activate your conscience. It will 'prick your heart,' as the Bible says.

"…anyone who practices sin has not seen Him…" (v 6). Why would he say that? It's the same way with Paul (2-Cor.11) about the false apostles, and so forth.

  • Are they Hebrews? Yes!
  • Are they Israelites? Yes!

How many people saw Jesus, followed along with His ministry, saw the healings, thought it was a wonderful thing to do, and claim to be one of His disciples because they were there, and then go out become their own ministers? Wonder how many? Had to be a lot, but they were practicing sin!

  • they were lying
  • they were bringing false doctrines

We can see in v 8 that they're inspired of Satan the devil. Satan—when you read Rev. 2 and 3—is always trying to come against the Churches of God, one way or another, especially Pergamos and Thyatira.

Verse 7: "Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you…" How do you keep people from deceiving you?

The Jews in the synagogues had some scrolls. They could go out and go to the synagogue and they could check what was being preached with the Scriptures. The apostles, before they started writing their own epistles, preached Christ from the Old Testament, all the prophecies.

Just like Paul told Timothy that 'you've known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ.' They would go out and they would preach Christ with the prophecies. Then they would verify that those things took place.

Here's Paul, he was having trouble; Acts 17:8: "And they caused great agitation among the people and the city magistrates, who heard these things. But after taking security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. Then the brethren immediately sent away by night to Berea both Paul and Silas, who, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now, these were more noble than those in Thessalonica… [Thessalonica was causing the trouble] …for they received the Word with all readiness of mind…" (vs 8-11).

Remember what Jesus said about receiving the Word. It applies here. Another main lesson in going through this is the whole Bible comes together and you need to look for these things when you're reading and studying.

"…and examined the Scriptures daily…" (v 11). Someone went down to the synagogue every day, rabbi let them use a copy of the scroll that's there, to examine if it was true. 'Is this what the prophecy said?'

"…to see if these things were so" (v 11). That's what we do today, because 'if they don't speak according to this word, it's because there's no light in them.

Verse 12: "As a result, a great number of them believed, including not a few of the honorable Greek women and men." Where you have it believed, that means they also had to have been baptized as well. It goes along with it because you have to believe, you have to repent and believe, and then be baptized.

That's how we check it. Today we can do it more than ever before. Down through history God has guided His Word, copies of the originals, and with the New Testament there are over 5,000 different manuscripts, documents, and parts of the New Testament, so we can verify what the original was.

The writings of Homer, guess how many books there are of Odyssey, Iliad, and all of that? Two! Yet, people put more faith in those two than they do the 5,000.

When I was translating the New Testament and Gary Stazak was working with me on the commentary, we were in contact with a Dr. Robinson and a Dr. Pierpont. They were experts in Greek. They have compiled—and have now published—and we were in contact with them every time we needed to be, especially Gary who was in contact with them at least once a week, verifying the translation we were doing.

They finally have published it—the Byzantine Text form of the original Greek New Testament—The New Testament in the Original Greek—one of the most accurate Greek texts available.

A little caveat: How many have an Interlinear? You see the notes at the bottom giving a little bit different writing or a little bit different spelling? I have an actual 1550 Stephens Text in Greek. Ninety percent of the variant readings that we have today in Interlinears were known in 1550. But the scholars have to keep themselves employed, so they go over and check and recheck and recheck.

However, down through all of history, God has watched over His Word. He has preserved His Word, Hebrew through the Jewish community, with the Levites and descendants of Aaron among them. The Greek text—and that was 'libraried' in Constantinople. When the Turks were on their way conquering Constantinople, all of the Greek scholars took their New Testaments, fled west. That was in 1453. Then they set up schools in Italy. Later these schools spread and so forth, and that's how we have the Greek New Testament today.

We are able to check the Scriptures much more accurately than at any time in the history of the world, and we have the most number of inaccurate translations, as well. This is why we have what we have here. That was a very interesting thing in going with Robinson and Pierpont.

1-John 3:8: "The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning…" Jesus said that 'he's a liar and the father of lies and has lied from the beginning' (John 8:44).

"…For this purpose the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil" (v 8). When does He do that? It starts out the parable. Remember the parable of the rich man and his house. Thief came in and broke in, and he didn't understand what was going on. The thief was Christ into the world of Satan. He began destroying the works of the devil by preaching the Truth.

There are actual works of the devil, which are not going to be destroyed until His second coming. That's going to be a great destruction: all the idols, all the temples, all the cathedrals. He's going to bind Satan the devil, which will be another step in it. Then he's released after the Millennium for a short time and deceives the nations that rebelled against God. Then they are cast into the Lake of Fire, and that Lake of Fire is going to destroy the whole surface of the earth.

Like Peter says in 2-Peter 3, the heaven around the earth and everything is going to melt. Every work of Satan will be destroyed at that point. So, it's a long process. Then they're going to be consigned to someplace in the universe that is the blackest darkness forever.

What about the wars in heaven? There was a war in heaven when Satan and the angels rebelled. They were cast to the earth and the earth was covered with a flood; that's a first flood. That destroyed all the works of the devil at that time. But when Adam and Eve let Satan in, he was able to rebuilt what he had to a certain degree. When Christ came, Satan was even more limited, but he was not totally restricted.

When Christ returns, He's going to have an angel take Satan and put him in prison. So the question is: When the Lake of Fire consumes the whole earth after the Millennium, after the 100-year period, preparation for the new earth, what about the new heaven? Does it burn up or change the whole universe?

I would have to say the only way we're going to find out is be there and see it happen. We don't know. God created the earth, recreated it after the first flood (Gen. 1), created everything that there is. Then created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden. He put Adam in there first. He was told to dress and keep it, but keep it also means to guard it.

We don't know the period of time after Adam and Eve, that God was with them, instructed them; we don't know how long it was. Certainly it wasn't a day after. Certainly it wasn't the week after. Certainly God had to instruct them and tell them and so forth. When Eve said, 'We're not to eat it or touch it,' she said God said that. Some people say, 'Eve added shall not touch it.' No! God probably did tell them not to touch it. That shows there's a space of time. We don't know what that space of time is.

  • Was it a year?
  • Was it two years?
  • we don't know

But when God appeared to Adam and Eve, He didn't appear in His glory, because no flesh can be in the glory of God and live. He appeared as a man, much like He did to the disciples after His resurrection. When God let the serpent in:

  • Adam was not guarding it
  • Eve was very familiar with everything, but curious

That's why Satan approached Eve. But Adam could have told her, 'Eve, put down that fruit,' but he didn't. Was Adam sitting there saying, 'Look at that; nothing happened to her. I'm going to see what happens.' She had the fruit, took a bite, and said, 'Adam, this is good. Here have some.' He was right there with her.

When they did that, they rejected God as determining good from evil and right from wrong. They were going to do it themselves. So Satan had an entrance. Then he began rebuilding his empire again through Cain. Look what happened. God had to destroy, after 1500 and some odd years the whole civilization. They had lived so long and were so smart, but given over to evil it was the worst thing that could happen. So that's why God then began limiting human life. Every generation it would go down in the number of years they could live, down to 120. By the time you get to David, it was 70 years and he was old and well-stricken with age. I guess all the running and physical exertion of the battles and everything made him old very fast.

You have on earth the creation of God; He made everything.

  • you have the works of the devil
  • you have the works of God
  • you have the works of men

You carry all that forward to the second return of Christ and that's why the earth is going to be left in such an upheaval because everything has to be made right.

Sidebar on the Millennium: If you grow up where you always keep the commandments of God, what is going to be the question when people find out they have to repent? Human nature is not going to be quite as evil because God says He's going to give them a heart of flesh.

Won't be quite like Adam and Eve because they'll still have 'the law of sin and death.' If children grow up and do things that are right, what's the first question they're going to ask? Why do I have to repent? I've done all these things! I'll just let that sidebar be here and you think on it.

If you think that everything is going to be really easy in the Millennium, it will be easier, but what is harder, bringing a person who has sinned and is upset about it and who has really done wrong and is greatly repentant vs those who have grown up in a system where everything is right, everything is of God, and they haven't overtly sinned? How do we handle that? That's going to be a challenge! The world full of Jobs? I don't know!

1-John 3:9: "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed of begettal… [in the Greek the word for seed is 'sperma'] …is dwelling within him… [we read that in John 14] …and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God."

Even people who leave God for an extended period of time, God hasn't given up on them, but there are many people that we deal with—and I get letters quite often, and I meet brethren who said, 'When things blew up in the Church, I just gave up but I haven't given up on God, but I really didn't do anything and now I have to get right.' They still had enough of the Spirit of God to come back.

So, even over that extended period of time, they had their conscience guilty because they knew when they weren't keeping the Sabbath that it wasn't right. They knew various things that they were doing wasn't right.

Verse 10: "By this standard are manifest the children of God and the children of the devil…." The children of God with the Spirit of God, because that's goes right back to vs 1-2, we are the children of God, and we're going to become like God, so therefore, there is the difference in the world.

Everyone who does not have the Spirit of God is not of God. Everyone that is not of God in degree is of the devil. Some are totally devoted to him. Some try and live some of the commandments of God, but are in the world and don't keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, and keep the holidays. These may be looked upon as well respected and good, sincere people in the world and even may profess a certain virtue of Christ. But that doesn't mean they're converted. Conversion is a calling! A calling is a distinct event in your life and distinct repentance. That's why it is:

  • Truth, which convicts you of your sins
  • Repentance, because you know you need to change
  • Obedience, because you're now obeying God
  • Love you grow in, you develop in

That takes time to really grow and develop the love of God. That's the difference between the two.

Verse 11: "For this is the message that you heard from the beginning: that we should love one another."

We're going to see that loving one another within the Church, after all the upsets and turmoil that have taken place in so many Churches, becomes a real challenge. Especially if you have been hurt because of lies, because of sin, because of other things that were done by the leaders of the Churches. It's hard!

Even today there are some, when people get together, there's a lot of love. Other places when people get together there's still tension because they haven't been healed of the problems they experienced when the Church blew up. God scattered it for His purpose and reason.

  • correction because of sin and corruption
  • separate the sheep from the goats
  • separate the tares from the wheat

There are those who believe God and would even stand on their own by themselves and love and obey God. Those who were the pretenders, they just went back into the world.

Every year they have a reunion of graduates at Ambassador College and I've never gone because the same political click that was in the Church still is the same political click in the reunion. They now have it set up for those, when they have the buffet, if you want ham you can have ham. If you want shrimp, you can have shrimp. And all of that sort of thing. Here it is, they're all getting back together and I wonder what's going to happen one day. God is going to do something individually in their lives and collectively.

Verse 12: "Not as Cain… [this goes clear back to Genesis] …who was of the wicked one… [Satan the devil] …and murdered his own brother…" How did that start? Resentment, jealousy, anger, because Abel was getting the blessings and Cain was not. God told Cain, 'You'd be accepted if you do well; if not, sin lies at the door. You have to rule over it.'

Even in the letter of the Law, people can be obedient to the letter of the Law. How did this happen? We have a Feast every year in the spring. What is the one saying that you hear quite often during the Feast of Unleavened Bread? 'A little leaven leavens the whole lump!' That's what happened to Cain, so he murdered his brother.

"…And what was the reason that he murdered him? Because his own works were wicked, but his brother's works were righteous. My brethren, do not be amazed if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death into life because we love the brethren…." (vs 12-14).

That's quite a statement. The question is: Why did God allow Cain to kill Abel? He doesn't tell us! He could have stopped him, but He didn't do it. I don't know; I'll have to think on that.

Will those in the 100-year period, given a second physical life, be required to repent of the sins that they did in their first life? They will remember that because when they're resurrected, they're going to be brought back with what they had at that point that they died. The question is: Will they repent?

You read Ezek. 37 and it says, 'We are undone; we have no hope.' That shows something having to do with repentance. Then we read like those who come back out of captivity, they will loathe themselves in their own sight. So, very likely.

Then the question is, what about those like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and all of those. Maybe they will be like those narcissists, one of which we see running around the world today, who will never, ever admit that they were wrong. It's a choice! Repentance is a choice! God says repent or die.

Since they did not have a chance for salvation in their first life, they can't tell God, 'You never gave me a choice.' God is saying, 'You have a choice now. What will you do?'

  • God is totally fair
  • God is totally just
  • God is no respecter of persons

Are they capable of repenting? I don't know! Will they repent? I don't know!

We'll just have to wait and see. That's going to be quite a time indeed. The question is: The wages of sin is death and you die. When they're resurrected do they have a clean slate? When you die, the body goes to the grave and rots or goes to the incinerator and is burned, just a fast way to get to ashes. But when they're resurrected, what is it that God is going to use to resurrect them? The spirit of man that He gave at conception! On that spirit of man is everything they did in their whole life.

Now, even though they died for their sins the first death, they will be remembering everything that they did. That will be the only memory that they have written and inscribed upon the spirit of man. Then they will have an opportunity to repent. It would have to be something like that. Heb. 9 says 'it's given to men once to die and after that the judgment.'

The judgment is going to be that you are brought back to life, and you remember your life, because everything that you are is recorded on that spirit of man. Their death does not equal forgiveness. Their death equals payment for their sins that they hadn't repented of, because the wages of sin is death. Now that they're brought back to a second physical life for the first chance for salvation, they have to start from where they left off. They would have to repent. How else can you do it? I don't know how else it could be done.

We can't solve all the plan of God in one Sabbath service, but it's interesting how is God going to do that? The best way to know and find out is to be there. We can only know so much. Like Paul said, 'We look through a glass darkly.' If we're looking through a dark glass, we may not see things exactly as they are going to be.

God counts it if you repent and are baptized. What is baptism? Baptism is your symbolic death joined to the death of Christ! Also, that if you do not fulfill the terms of the New Covenant, you have pledged your future second death. When you receive the Holy Spirit of God, you now have the living Spirit of God in you so you have passed from death to life. You are on the road to eternal life. That does not eliminate your first death, because in Adam we all die.

Because we love the brethren, "…The one who does not love his brother is dwelling death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life dwelling within him" (vs 14-15).

So there it is. If you have the Spirit of God, you have eternal life dwelling within you. A begettal, as we saw at the first part. This is why it's important and especially with the ministers who promote hatred of other Churches of God, because they don't want to lose members to a different Church of God. There's a lot of that!

Verse 16: "By this very act we have known the love of God… [act of Christ dying] …because He laid down His life for us…" He says, 'No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down and I have authority from the Father to receive it back.'

"…and we ourselves are to lay down our lives for the brethren…. [then he gives the example} …But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his feelings of compassion from him, how can the love of God be dwelling in him? My little children, we should not love in word, nor with our tongues; rather, we should love in deed and in Truth" (vs 16-18).

  • toward the brethren
  • toward God

Another word for deed is works; it comes from the Greek 'ergon.' If you read Rev. 2 and 3, we find that we are judged by our works. Our works have to be motivated by faith and love. It's all one big package.

Verse 19: "And in this way we know that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him, that if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God" (vs 19-21).

The condemnation that you feel inside through your conscience when you sin is God working in you so you can't practice sin, giving you an opportunity to repent. That's a great thing!

When you know that you have repented, and you know that you've been doing the things that are right, are depressed? No! Emotionally you feel good! God wants it to be that way. Our hearts are not condemning us. But if we sin or have sinful thoughts, then our hearts condemn us so we will repent. This is the whole operation he is talking about here.

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."

This is amazing! We start out the beginning of the chapter with the goal, children of God as spirit beings. We end up with how we get there.

Verse 23: "And this is His commandment: that we believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and thatwe love one another, exactly as He gave commandment to us…. [we read that in John 15] …And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him… [John 15] … and He in him; and by this we know that He is dwelling in us: by the Spirit which He has given to us."

There's the whole third chapter of John. We covered a lot of territory beside that.

We have an addendum on why did God let Cain kill Abel. IFMA: independent free moral agency. He did not stop Eve from sinning or Adam from sinning. Since Abel was righteous, he'll be in the first resurrection so he hasn't lost anything. He'll be in the first resurrection. Don't know what's going to happen to Cain.

Let's just look at it this way. I wonder when Cain is resurrected to a second life of flesh if he will repent. He surely didn't the first time. We ended up with more questions with this sermon than we did answers.

Scriptural References:

  • 1-John 2:26-29
  • 1-John 3:1-3
  • 2-Corinthians 6:14-18
  • 2-Corinthians 7:1
  • Matthew 5:48
  • Psalm 146:1-5
  • Hebrews 11:5
  • Psalm 146:5-10
  • John 14:20-24
  • John 15:1-9
  • 1-John 5:3
  • John 15:10-14
  • 1-John 3:4, 6-9, 4
  • 2-Thessalonians 2:7-12
  • 1-John 3:6-7
  • Acts 17:8-12
  • 1-John 3:8-24

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2-Corinthians 11
  • Deuteronomy 6
  • Exodus 20
  • Mark 7
  • 2-Corinthians 3
  • Revelation 19
  • Deuteronomy 13
  • 2-Corinthians 11
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • John 8:44
  • 2-Peter 3
  • Genesis 1
  • Ezekiel 37
  • Hebrews 9

Also referenced:

  • Book: The New Testament in the Original Greek by Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont
  • Sermon Series: Do You Really Believe? (churchathome.org)

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 12-5-16
Formatted: bo—12-6-16

Copyright 2016—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

BOOKS