Waging War

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This is AWESOME and took the power of the Holy Spirit. Which in and of itself is surprising because we should be able to STAND on God’s Word just out of obedience! We are NOT getting enough teaching on spiritual warfare because it is NOT politically correct and so many say it is hateful, yet, we ARE exhorted to fight EACH AND EVERY day because as you pointed out, we ARE soldiers.

One of my wife’s and my guilty pleasures is the original TV show, NCIS. The main character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is always saying, once a Marine always a Marine. There are no EX-Marines.

So it is with a TRUE Christian. You sign up to be a FOLLOWER of Christ, a Disciple of Christ, you take orders from Christ through the Holy Spirit. There is no EX, you adopt a lifestyle and you live it until the natural body gives way!!!

My grandson is a Military Policeman in the Army. He works 12 -18 hours, sometimes more a day, because his command tells him that he is needed. He doesn’t question even though he gets weary and tired at times, but he obeys. He has been getting commendations and awards every time he turns around almost, why, because he entered into that lifestyle (just as he did Christianity) knowing full well he would be following the orders of someone else.

He is fond of telling his grandma and I that he didn’t do it to be a weekend warrior (not denigrating those who chose to serve part-time) but for the analogy, he chose to go into it full time just as he did when he accepted Jesus Christ!

We have too many weekend “Christian” warriors in the Church and they will never have a person’s back because they are too interested in getting their obligation out of the way so they can get back to “real” life!

Christ Jesus wants and CALLS those who are willing to GIVE up their “real” lives to follow Him for the rest of their lives!

This is a GREAT and much needed message. Thank you for it. Thanks brother Bruce R. Mills for posting this. Great, great post!! God bless you Pastor Matthews!!

Matthew Winters (Comeback Pastor)


This post will be a big strong, so you might want to put your big boy/girl pants on if you’re easily offended. Maybe you are part of a Christian denomination that downplays spiritual warfare, and this will be uncomfortable to you. If you are a true follower of Christ, some things ought to bother you. I’m not about to get political or rant on a particular sin. That is a waste of time. I do want to provoke us all to do what we are supposed to do and fight the good fight of faith.

If you are a Christian, you are a soldier. The Bible says so in 2 Timothy. So why do we “chillax” when all hell is breaking loose around us? We legislate morality to pastors and small group leaders. We let the schools raise our children while we think about ourselves and what we want when…

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I John 1:9-10


1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Confession is an ACTION of acknowledgement, not just in our thoughts but also with our lips. There it is again, it IS an action. To confess is an act that requires something to be accomplished. Many people today recognize in their hearts that they have sinned or at times continue to sin, but they do not always acknowledge it with their lips. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we must all kneel before a confessor and tell them everything that we have done wrong; even though there are denominations that adhere to that principle, it is not Scriptural to go to a “confessor” so that they may absolve us before God, our Heavenly Father.

1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,….”

Before I was saved, or born-again, I was conflicted with this situation for I knew that I had done wrong in the sight of God, but I never did feel comfortable telling another MAN the specifics of what I had done, no matter his station or office within the church. It was then that I was led to the Scriptures and shown WHO was truly ordained to hear my “confession” and thus my step of true faith in the redeeming power of Jesus Christ began. I know the arguments that some denominations make for this “necessity” of seeking a confessor, but I am here today to tell you that the Scriptures DO NOT lie and only ONE is able to redeem us or absolve us of our guilt of sin! It is not my truth, not my word, but rather it is God’s Word of TRUTH that has stood for millennia.

But concerning our confession; we confess to the Lord ALWAYS when we have done wrong by His Word, AND we confess towards one another WHEN we have wronged them directly. It is important that when we sin against a brother or sister, we confess that fact to them thus allowing them the opportunity to forgive us. The Lord knows our heart, but it is the action of confessing to Him and admitting, thus in effect, siding with Him, that we have sinned against Him and in turn that opens our hearts to the act of forgiveness that comes from Him.

I want to take a moment though to make a distinction here concerning “our sins,” as the Apostle is writing to us. Remember, John is already speaking to us as those who already WALK in fellowship with the Lord. Even though he doesn’t use the term, we can make the leap or assumption that his is talking to us as “Christians.”

Our sins, those sins that are inherent as well as our past deeds of unrighteousness, have been JUDICIALLY forgiven us by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross as we accepted that sacrifice in faith for the penalty that He offered up for us. By judicially is meant that our forgiveness, our penalty paid for, is excepted and granted by God, Almighty, acting as Judge. God looks upon us, as we acknowledge our faith in the redemption of Christ Jesus, as bought and paid for with the price of His (Jesus Christ’s) Blood.

Now compare that once forever sacrifice for ALL of our sins, past, present and future, with the ongoing struggles and temptations that do at times produce sin AFTER our conversion. Remember, we are no longer SLAVES to sin, (Romans 6:16-23), but that doesn’t mean we still don’t sin, whether it is by commission, omission, in our thoughts, in secret or even in public. We must still confess those things to the Lord, for even if done in secret or in thought where no man may see, God sees as no man does, for He sees the heart!

But here is the thing; God Almighty, has become God, our Heavenly Father once we have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and Redeemer. Thus, the confession we make AFTER conversion is as a wayward child to a loving and caring Father, or parent. I have read it somewhere long ago, that PARENTAL forgiveness, unlike the judicial, once given, always done, is ongoing and a means to KEEP our relationship fresh and clean, between our Heavenly Father and us as His children.

Remember what the writer in Proverbs says in Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” We NEED to continue to confess our wrong-doings, our mistakes (not all sin is willful), to receive mercy and cleansing! This is where the second part of verse 9 comes to bear, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is not just the forgiveness, which we have received at the price of Christ’s Blood, but He is faithful and just to also CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness! What a promise; what an assurance within our relationship with the Father through Christ Jesus, to not just RECEIVE the forgiveness, but to be clean as if the sin had never, ever, even occurred!!

It is the unrighteousness, the lack of holiness that keeps us from the presence, from a perfect relationship with God Almighty, our Creator, as our Heavenly Father. Admitting our sins, our sinfulness through the act of confession is putting our faith in Christ Jesus to action by siding with His assessment of what is and isn’t sin! Thus re-establishing what was lost in the Garden, a RELATIONSHIP with our Heavenly Father. This IS the fellowship John talks about in his Epistle. This is the fellowship that begins IN the Father and extends to every brother and sister who shares in that fellowship with the Father!! We truly become, what we were created to be, a family, sons and daughters, heirs to the Kingdom of God!

1 John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Here John is reiterating verse 8 as he is apt to do in his writings, but also going one step further. Verse 8 is attesting to the fact that man is a sinful creature, thanks to Adam whose legacy we walk in. Verse 10 is also stating that we have actively participated in sin as well. Notice verse 8 says, “if we say we have no sin,” which is a noun stating possession of something, but verse 10 states, “if we say that we have not sinned,” which is definitely a verb or an action. We have actively participated in sin, so Adam is not only to blame, but we ourselves then become accountable for our own actions. So it is not just the legacy left to us, but our own actions that attest to our guilt. This is another reason why we look at the forgiveness of sin judicially as well as parentally. As stated previously, God as our Judge has forgiven us the inherent sin which is in our nature through our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. BUT – He also forgives our sins, as we confess them to Him, as our Creator/Parent, our Heavenly Father!

As John states, if we deny the truth of that statement concerning sin, we not only deceive ourselves as verse 8 says, but we in essence make God, our Father, out to be a liar. We CALL Him a liar! We don’t need to say it out loud, but we call Him a liar by the very act of denying the truth of our sinfulness. That old saying that “actions speak louder than words,” has never been more true in the eyes of the world then. In essence, as the world watches and sees our lives in action, they DO infer that first, we are hypocrites and second, by assumption we don’t believe God, thus making Him out to be a liar; if we live in accordance with denying the truth about our sinfulness.

There’s that old saying that Christians often use, that “we’re not perfect, just forgiven.” Though true at its core, we must not rely on something that to the world appears superficial, but since we have been freed from the SLAVERY to the bonds of sin, we must make every effort to walk in the freedom of what we didn’t have in those chains, and that is the freedom of righteousness. Righteousness, right-standing AND right-doing in the sight of God and man is no longer outside of our grasp, for we are no longer bound to unrighteousness! Yes we still fall to temptation from time to time, whether it be in our thoughts or deeds, secret or in public, for we ARE still a work in progress, BUT – we do so in the eyes of the world around us and this makes our confession of sin lining up with the Lord’s so much more important. We show the world, or we should be that the STIGMA of sin is no longer a burden to us, for remember what the Apostle Paul told us, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,” – Romans 5:20b.

If we through our actions and lack of confession, deny our sinfulness we not only make God Almighty out to be a liar, but we also declare to all that His word does not abide in us despite what we say aloud. His Word is Truth, absolutely, and His Word is Life, absolutely, but if we do not believe that we have sin and do sin, that Life is truly NOT in us.

When you look at the simplicity of these scriptures, and the Apostle John truly did write them simply, they are very much black and white; there is NO grey area in these verses and thus it is very easy to see the difference between a true Christian who is WALKING in the Light of God’s Truth and one who only says they are a Christian but yet still walking in darkness. True fellowship, of which John is writing, whether with God, our Father, or one another as brothers and sisters is not a complicated thing. True fellowship is relationship, pure and simple and in any relationship, you KNOW who your family is; you KNOW your Father, you KNOW your brothers and sisters. Freedom from sin, agreeing with the Father through confession, frees us from the obstacles and blinders of not knowing who our family is!

We can see clearly and especially more so today due to the speed of all types of media at our fingertips what is happening today has happened even in John’s day, and his writings are a warning to us that human nature does not change outside of God’s help. Many false teachers and believers wanted to be associated with or acknowledged as Christians, most likely because of the growing prestige within the burgeoning Christian community, but they did not want to live by the truth of God’s word. Sadly, as I stated and as John warned we have the same thing today. Many people, for whatever their motives and reason, want to be acknowledged as Christians, but they do not want to live by even the simple precepts listed in Scripture; and believe me, they have all sorts of excuses to justify their beliefs. When you have been involved in any type of ministry long enough, you hear every justification of why they choose to live the way they do! The scriptures are outdated, they no longer apply to the century in which we live, the translations are all wrong and so we cannot rely on the truth or accuracy of them, and on and on and on!

However, the fact remains, we have sin, and we have sinned, and this is not meant to destroy us as the enemy would have us believe, because as the Apostle Paul reminded us, God’s grace abounds more and our Lord ALWAYS prepares positive way out of our situations. When the Holy Spirit, Whose job it is to convict us, NOT guilt us, but to CONVINCE us of the Truth, gives us a condition for why we should be punished or penalized, He ALWAYS gives us a way to avoid that penalty or punishment through Christ Jesus! God has ALWAYS worked with His creation this way; IF my people who are called by my name, should do this or that, THEN I will hear them, come to them, save them, heal them, and they WILL continue to be my people!

In Christ Jesus we now have an advocate, an intercessor, between us and the Father who is faithful to forgive us, AND cleanse us from ALL sin, and it is through Him and Him alone that we can have a relationship with the very Creator of all that is, which was the Heavenly Father’s plan from the very beginning. This part of being called His, is no secret, it is not complicated and it is available to everyone and anybody who so desires to have this awesome fellowship!


Next post we will begin with 1 John chapter 2 verse 1.

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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“Why is Loving Others Often So Difficult?”

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This was reposted by my Brother in Christ, Bruce R. Mills from an original post by Got Questions? I am thrilled whenever I see other resources explaining the difference between REAL Godly love and what the world ASSUMES is love. This article explains it brilliantly!!

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Original post @  https://www.gotquestions.org/loving-others.html

Question: “Why is loving others often so difficult?”

Answer:

Loving others can be extremely difficult at times. A common phrase to refer to those people that we consistently find ourselves challenged to love is “extra grace required” people. But even people we generally like can sometimes be difficult to love. The main reason we run into difficulties in loving others is sin, both ours and that of those we try to love. Humans are fallen creatures. Apart from God and His power, we are selfish, and loving ourselves comes much more naturally than loving others. But love is not selfish; it seeks the best for others (1 Corinthians 13:5Philippians 2:3). Battling both our own selfishness and sin tendencies and dealing with the selfishness and sin tendencies…

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I John 1:7-8


1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Praise God for His wonderful promises! Here we see the flip side to verse six. In the scriptures you will always see it worded either, “but” or “therefore.” God, our loving Father, never, ever leaves us with a word of correction or admonition, without giving us a word of encouragement and/or promise to follow through. Every time He instructs us in the ways of righteousness, He is so faithful to show us the benefits or rewards.

Now look at this action statement! But if we walk, if we move forward in that light or at the very least toward that light (and not just say we are) as He Himself does —. There’s our example. He doesn’t just say do this or else. He always gives us a blueprint to follow. Always. Jesus Christ came to earth to bridge the gap between the flesh and the spirit. What could not be done in and of ourselves in our flesh, can be accomplished through Him and in Him. If we walk in the light, and remember the light is God our Father, just as Jesus did all and said all in and through the Father, than we truly have fellowship one with another, and not just because we say we do. Those that follow the same path, in life in general, can be said to be in fellowship with one another; and so it is when we are following the path of Christ Jesus. Those that truly are following that same path are in fellowship with not just who they are following (Christ Jesus) but with one another as well!

Look at one of the most precious, one of the greatest promises that follows those actions: the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin! This is something that I have taught for so long. Just as James writes in his letter that we must put forth works to demonstrate our faith, John is saying the same thing. If you walk in the light, as Jesus Himself is in and of the Light (of God), His blood will and does cleanse us, continually. Think about it; as we walk, we are cleansed. If we depart from the path, there can be no more cleansing. As long as we are in fellowship, there is the promise of cleansing.

We can confess our belief in Jesus Christ in accordance with Romans 10:9, but sadly that is where so many people who call themselves Christians stop. With just the confessing. Just saying that Jesus Christ died for our sins is not enough, for in truth, that is an historical fact. Those witnesses to the time, though they weren’t actual disciples recorded the happenings and even the commentary of the time of Jesus and His crucifixion. There are very few people in the day we live in that do not believe Jesus was a man and an historical figure as well.

Also, we must be careful that even though we ARE disciples of Jesus and we KNOW that Jesus and God are One, just because those around us believe in a “God” does not make that knowledge a redemptive belief! It is Jesus, the Anointed One AND the action of His blood washing us clean that redeems us. It is that confession along with not just the belief, but a belief that eventually evolves into actually KNOWING, that sanctifies and cleanses us from our sin! We must also accept what verse 10 in Romans 10 also says. With the heart man believes, it has to start there, but it comes from the heart (mind) first, then there has to be actions and those actions result in what Paul calls righteousness, or right standing with God. If you look in Romans 10:9-10, you will see that belief takes place first in the heart of man. Then comes the acts of righteousness, and only after that comes the confession. I know many of you think I’m a broken record when it comes to certain verses, but these verses I repeat time and time again have bearing on the soundness of so many other Scriptures. “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45b.

That is exactly what John is saying. You believe in Christ, which then motivates you to walk, or act, according to the light of God, which in its very actions become righteousness, at the same time as you are “walking in righteousness” the blood of Jesus cleanses and washes away all your sin. Now mind you, don’t be confused; it is NOT the actions, the works, that washes away your sin, but the FAITH behind those actions! That puts us then in fellowship with one another as well as with Christ Jesus, thus with Jesus’ Heavenly Father, God Almighty.

I hope you can see as you study these verses, that our walk with the Lord is a serious matter and not one to be taken lightly. It is a very dramatic lifestyle change. We gain our strength and drive from not only Christ Jesus’ example, but also His Spirit. When we actually follow His example, when we walk as He walked, that is when we can claim fellowship one with another and with Him. John is showing us that it is obvious, it can be seen, when someone is in fellowship and when someone is not. It is not a matter of judging in the sense of passing a sentence on someone, but it is a matter of being able to judge by discerning the truth in what we see. If someone calls me his brother but is living a life of sin, a life based on deeds done in the dark, he is not a brother no matter how much I love him. Future verses will clarify and demonstrate why this is important in the Body of Christ.

1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Here again, John is countering the false teachings that were cropping up in his day. Many false teachers were teaching that man is not inherently sinful, his spirit and soul is free from sin at birth, we are all born good, it is only due to upbringing and circumstances that man falls into sin and that because the material being, the flesh is sinful. The Apostle is very forceful, “if we say we have NO sin;” no sin whatsoever, then we are deceived. The interesting part of this verse is the word sin; it is a noun, denoting something that we most definitely possess. John is NOT talking in this verse about the act of sinning, the “sins” we commit (that comes in verse 9) but rather is speaking in defiance to the false teachings that we do HAVE in our possession a sinful nature; a nature that exists already and does not have to be taught to sin!

But as we see in the previous verse, “if we walk in the light—, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” The sin nature AND the ability to continue to sin, wantonly. First, we have to recognize that we are sinful creatures to be able to even say that we walk in the light, it demands acknowledgement. Just as belief and confession lead to redemption, the acknowledgement that we NEED redemption because we ARE sinful in nature is crucial. Second, and it stands to reason, there would be no need for Jesus’ blood to cleanse us from sin if in fact we had no sin. We would not even have to identify ourselves with the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ in that case then. Remember, at that moment in time, the sacrifice and the shedding of Blood that Christ voluntarily made, took care of the sinful nature AND sins of those in the past that had faith in the coming Messiah, those at the presence of Jesus’ time and those of us who believe(d) in our modern time and into the future until the last one to be redeemed, is redeemed right before the second-coming of Christ Jesus!!! One sacrifice, to cover all times! What a blessed and magnificent plan the Father in His loving mercy and grace had in store for those who chose/choose Jesus in faith!!!

I want to make a statement that I read a long time ago and have written down in my notes, but sadly I do not remember the source (it is not mine originally); *“conversion does not mean the eradication of the sin nature. Rather it means the implanting of the new, divine nature, with power to live victoriously over indwelling sin.” The Apostle Paul wrote it this way; “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17.

Remember when reading this letter, that John is writing this letter to those he considers as brothers and sisters in the faith, followers of Christ Jesus. John is very clear to establish an order. If you say that you are a Christian, it is automatically understood in his writing, that you are a Christian because you have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which was necessary to our fellowship AND redemption. He is reiterating a known fact to Christians because of the false teaching that was already spreading and taking root in his time. We need to be freed from ALL sin, and Christ Jesus IS the only way. God’s plan, acted upon by Jesus took into account EVERY stain that separates us from the Heavenly Father!

If we believe the lie that sin is non-existent, as the world system and the devil would have us believe, than we are only deceiving ourselves, because we are surely not deceiving God Almighty. Again as in verse 6, we are not PRACTICING (remember, practice makes perfect; but you have to practice) the truth if we believe the lie, and in reality we are walking in darkness. The truth then is most assuredly not in us.


Next post we will begin with 1 John chapter 1 verse 9.

*Copyright to original author, unknown.
**Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Hey WordPress, We are Humans

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I just found out that a Sister in the Lord passed away. Didn’t realize it would affect me so, because at times, and especially concerning or responses to politics we had our differences. We did NOT have differences however when it came to actively loving others with unconditional love. She was a great writer, but an AWESOME poet with sensitivity, insight and inspiration. Her spirit will definitely remain in her writing. For her family, my heartfelt prayers and thanks for sharing her with us; she WILL be missed!

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Some Christian Humor

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It’s been a while since I posted some good clean Christian (or religious) humor and thought it was about time to put a smile on some faces! I have been asked in the past about my sources and just as I have in the past, the jokes I post come from years worth of emails that others have sent to me. I just happened to have collected them call them up from time to time. I in no way want to infringe upon any one’s copyrights, so if you are aware of a copyright for any of the humor I post, just email me and let me know; otherwise, ENJOY AND BE BLESSED!


A collector of rare books ran into an acquaintance who told him he had just thrown away an old Bible that he found in a dusty, old box. He happened to mention that Guten-somebody-or-other had printed it.

“Not Gutenberg?” gasped the collector.

“Yes, that was it!”

“You dolt! You’ve thrown away one of the first books ever printed. A copy recently sold at auction for half a million dollars!”

“Oh, I don’t think this book would have been worth anything close to that much,” replied the man. “It was scribbled all over in the margins by some guy named Martin Luther.”


A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.

“Momma, look what I found,” the boy called out.

“What have you got there, dear?” his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered: “I think it’s Adam’s suit!”


A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”

After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair….”

To which his father replied….”Yes, and they WALKED everywhere they went!”


There was a barber that thought that he should share his faith with his customers more than he had been doing lately. So the next morning when the sun came up and the barber got up out of bed he said, “Today I am going to witness to the first man that walks through my door.”

Soon after he opened his shop the first man came in and said, “I want a shave!” The barber said, “Sure, just sit in the seat and I’ll be with you in a moment.” The barber went in the back and prayed a quick desperate prayer saying, “God, the first customer came in and I’m going to witness to him. So give me the wisdom to know just the right thing to say to him. Amen.”

Then quickly the barber came out with his razor knife in one hand and a Bible in the other while saying “Good morning sir. I have a question for you… Are you ready to die?”


A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a space with a meter. So he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 100 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES.”

When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note. “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.”


Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. They discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother. The first said: “I built a big house for our mother.”

The second said: “I sent her a Mercedes with a driver.”

The third said: “You remember how our mother enjoys reading the Bible. Now she can’t see very well. So I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took elders in the church 12 years to teach him. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot recites it.”

Soon thereafter, their mother sent out her letters of thanks.

“Milton,” she said, “the house you built is so huge. I live only in one room, but I have to clean the whole house.

“Gerald,” she said, “I am too old to travel. I stay most of the time at home so I rarely use the Mercedes. And that driver is so rude! He’s a pain!”

“But Donald,” she said, “the little chicken you sent was delicious!”

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The Bible – Reread it!

The Word of God doesn’t need to be rewritten in our image; we only need to reread it to be transformed into the image of Christ!

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I John 1:5-6


1 John 1:5, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

THIS IS THE MESSAGE! See with what great importance I am declaring it to you! With that the Apostle is laying the foundation for an announcement of the greatest importance. It is not a message that came out of the blue, or was derived by the intellect of man, rather, John states clearly that the message is from Him; it is not something to be flippantly given or carelessly taken. The Him has already been established in the previous verses, being Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Living Word of God, Himself! That by itself lends credence and authority to the very message itself.

God IS Light! Those simple three words that packs so much theology AND science into them! Maybe back when John was writing them, the science didn’t have much impact, but today, we live in a time and place where science says a lot! Many people and especially Christians believe that science and theology are at odds with one another, but not so when you understand the Character and Nature of God Almighty and thus His Son, Christ Jesus!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” — James 1:17. There is no darkness, no shadow, no variance in Him at all. Brilliance doesn’t even come close to describing the perfect, absolute light that is Him. He doesn’t cast a shadow, because He IS the source of light, a light more brilliant than we can fathom or understand!

Genesis 1:1-4 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”

From the perspective of the message that John is proclaiming, look again at the words again in Genesis. The Spirit of God was moving over the void AND God IS light; He didn’t have to speak the Word, His presence alone scattered the darkness, chased it away. But to show the authority in His Word, He spoke it and created the light apart from Himself and just like that it was done and it was good!

Now the Holy Spirit, for His own reasons didn’t see fit to inspire the writer of Genesis to put down the Words or the Wisdom behind the Words that God Almighty spoke. It wasn’t necessary. God spoke and power and creativity flowed from His person! Science today tells us it didn’t happen instantaneous but happened over a course of billions of years. Is that in conflict with your theology, your beliefs in creation? If it is, let me ask you, “how BIG is your God?” What limitations as to time and space are you placing upon your knowledge of His Character and Nature? Why would what Science has to say, true science as opposed to superfluous or junk science, be able to lessen your faith or cause doubt in your faith? For me, the more science discovers and proves, the greater my faith in a God who FILLS ALL of creation, both natural AND spiritual! I am even MORE amazed, in awe of whom I acknowledge to be my Heavenly Father, God Almighty, Creator of ALL!!

You see, we have far more knowledge today than when the Books of the Bible were first penned by the hands of men inspired by the Holy Spirit! It doesn’t mean they were not educated for their times, for Moses himself, was a very highly educated man, according to history. But he still wrote within the knowledge he had at the time, as did the other writers of the inspired Word!

Today, as the Prophet Daniel predicted, our knowledge has and is still increasing. Does that mean the basics of the Word are false or lacking? Most definitely NOT, but rather every new scientific discovery only goes to prove the validity of the Word of God and most definitely the Character and Nature of God Himself!

What does this mean to you and I then in our everyday lives? Let me share a small bit of trivia with you. By now you must realize I have always been a bit of a science buff, and new discoveries and new theories have always intrigued and fascinated me. Science theorizes that in the presence of absolute light, (their wording for completely pure light) there is absolutely no shade or variance of darkness at all. In theory. Why is it a theory? Because science cannot duplicate absolute or pure light. There is always a touch of darkness or shade that changes the brilliance, if even just a bit; it is the taint and stain of sin in the world left by man. But, the Light of God is pure, it is absolute and there is no shade or variance in His light, as James wrote in his Epistle.

What that means to you and I is that when the Light of God illumines our hearts, our minds, our souls, that darkness is literally chased away. Light and darkness, pure Godly light, cannot be in the same place at the same time and it is the light that chases the darkness, NOT the other way around!

I read this on social media somewhere and I tested it and know it to be true. If you enter into the darkest room possible, with no light seeping in under or around the door jamb and you carry with you only a simple wooden kitchen match, when you strike it, the glow from that seemingly insignificant match can light up every corner of the room. It might not be the brightest light, but it WILL chase away and dispel the darkness AND, the darker the room, the brighter the light may seem to be. Now the light isn’t brighter, but our perception of it is. So is it when we come into the presence of Almighty God, our Heavenly Father! If there is any hidden darkness in our hearts, it is most assuredly revealed before Him.

Light stands for everything that is pure, holy, and unblemished. Darkness stands for exactly the opposite, everything that is purely sinful, evil and tainted. That is why the taint and stain of sin is so abhorrent to the Father. It is not just a matter of Him not wanting to look upon sin, His vary nature of absolute pureness will not allow sin to be in the same confines as He exists. Since His presence is everywhere, His light chases sinfulness away from Himself. That is why it is so important when we go before Him, we do not TRY and hide sin, for sin WILL reveal itself. All we have to do is to acknowledge and confess it before Him, thanks to Jesus Christ’s payment for those sins!

The writer of Hebrews told us this in Hebrews 4:13, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

That is why the importance of Jesus shed blood covering us as believers is so important. Without that Blood, we would be utterly unable to stand in the presence of the Father. Remember when Moses wanted to look upon God on Mount Sinai? Moses had to be hid behind a cleft in the rock as the Father passed by and even then, just the passing by of the Lord had changed Moses so that others couldn’t even look on the brilliance of his countenance for approximately forty days and those around him were fearful and in awe!

This is the message that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, wanted His disciples to pass along. This was not just a casual message. I hope that if you take time to meditate upon this passage, you can come to realize the utmost importance of this concept. Here’s a challenge. The next time you have devotions or you have your time of meditating on the Character and Nature of God Almighty, try and contemplate the importance and significance of the absolute purity of His light; like the concept of eternity, your mind will only be to grasp a small part of the real truth, BUT, even the smallest grasp and contemplation can and does change the heart of man!

1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

This great message did not end with verse five, with that profound announcement. Remember in the first four verses that John was telling us why he was putting these things to pen. That our joy, that inner spiritual characteristic that is a “Fruit of the Spirit,” (Galatians 5:22), might be complete in us. It is necessary for us to hear and read these things that we might grow and mature in the fullness of the Lord.

Again, we see the importance of practicing or doing what we say we believe. Our walk with the Lord is not a matter of how much knowledge we can attain. It is not a matter of how many verses I can memorize from the Bible, or how well I can debate the scriptures with someone else. It is not based on the religious rituals that I perform or partake in. Our walk with Him, our very FELLOWSHIP with Him is based on the premise that as we ARE in fellowship with Him, and as He IS the Light, we are thus “in the light” with Him; so it stands to reason we cannot also be walking or living in darkness.

Look at how strong John phrases this. This is coming from a man who is known for his great love. The “man whom Jesus loved.” If we confess, if we announce it to the world that I am a Christian, and I believe in God Who is The Father of Christ Jesus, (whom we have established IS light), and yet I walk or practice or take part in anything that is dark or in darkness, then I am a liar and as John states emphatically later on, “the truth is not in us!” My actions truly do demonstrate or speak louder than my words! I didn’t write it, the Apostle John under the inspiration and anointing of the Holy Spirit, put those words down for us to live by.

John is adamantly stating that we cannot love God, cannot fellowship with God, and court sin at the same time. It is impossible. The false teachers of his day, were saying that because the body will be destroyed anyway, I can do what I want in this material body (Gnosticism) and it won’t affect my soul or spirit. But the Word of God says just the opposite. You cannot live, practice, or do anything that is associated with evil or darkness and claim to be a child of the light. You embrace God’s Light and allow Him through Christ Jesus to change you, or you remain a child of darkness.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Think about what this wise Teacher was honestly saying to us even in the age we live in now. Don’t we see that same philosophy and theology that John preached and warned against, rearing its ugly head again, even today. I want to tell everyone that I am a Christian and yet, the carnal things of this world are still okay to dabble in because, my soul is saved! Let’s face it people, we have to get to a place of repentance and ask the Lord to forgive us of our short sightedness. We either accept and live by the WHOLE Word of God, or we might as well just throw the Word away and live like we want too anyway for there is “nothing new under the sun.”

We CANNOT say that we are one thing and choose to live the way we want and hope that the God of Light will overlook our actions and ignore the darkness in us; the Apostle John tells us it just isn’t possible.

Everywhere we look in the Scriptures we see the importance of faith, belief and understanding, but ALWAYS along with those attributes comes action! As James so succinctly writes, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” – James 2:26.

It is NOT that my works, my “good” deeds will save me, rather, it is that my works, my deeds will demonstrate what motivates me TO those works. It is in my heart and my spirit to do, because my heart and my spirit have been brought into the light and have been reborn!


Next post we will begin with 1 John chapter 1 verse 7.

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Which Bible Version Is Inspired?

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Other than some training and teaching here and there, I am NOT a formal Bible scholar by any means, and, I have never put myself forward as one, at least purposely. Like the average “church-goer” I know how to use a Strong’s Concordance pretty effectively, I know how to research resources provided by former “church” fathers, like Concordances, Lexicons, Topical Bibles and the like. But I have been “blessed” (blessing from my point-of-view) by not having a University or Seminary education in how to interpret or understand the Bible.

I am NOT however, knocking those that have that form of education, IF it works for them and it doesn’t interfere with the Holy Spirit’s teaching within their own lives and line of study. I’ve witnessed too many scholars whose education is strictly head-knowledge, with no clear understanding of the spiritual depth of the Word of God. They are awesome with history and word usage, but completely fail in their understanding of the POINT being made by the verses they are studying!

Before you castigate me for my stance AND my “narrow” thinking, I want to submit this Scripture from the Apostle Paul as the first piece of evidence in my defense:

1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

The second Scripture verse is one that those who know me may be getting tired of reading and yet it is the one verse that guides not just my study but also every attempt I make to read the Scriptures. It also is from the Apostle Paul:

2 Corinthians 3:5-6, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Notice that Paul reminds us right from the start, “our sufficiency is from God and not from ourselves” no matter how highly we make think our knowledge, education, etc., is! God, Himself, our Heavenly Father through the power of His Holy Spirit has made us ministers, or as the word implies, servants, of this new covenant under Christ. It is NOT a covenant of the letter or the words within themselves, but rather a covenant of the Spirit, the very Spirit that has made us servants! The Words can bring and give life, but not the words or the individual letters (no matter the language) themselves for they are merely words, rather, it is the Spirit, the inspiration that penned those Words in the first place, by the hands of many men, it is the Spirit that those words point too, that leads too and gives life! How marvelous that when we read the Word of God, we are reading as the Apostle John points out, the Word of Life! (1 John 1:1).

*What has led me to write this particular article was a post a dear friend made on Facebook. Now, before anyone tears into me, let me say that the post inspired me to write an article so as to reason with my brothers and sisters out there in the blogosphere. I am NOT critiquing the post my dear brother made, though I did comment on it, for I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this brother loves the Lord with all his heart and was putting forth a concern that many God-fearing, truly sincere Christians have when it comes to the validity and veracity of the Bible version they are using for reading and study. I know he will see this post and I want him to know that the intent is to help others open their eyes of faith more fully than rely totally on peer pressure or other outward forces. I am NOT looking to further the debate OR the divide that exists over the translations available, just trying to ask the readers to think of the Holy Spirit in all of these concerns.

2 Corinthians 4:18, “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Paul is clearly speaking of faith in this instance and especially when it comes to those things that beset us in our everyday lives, but I want you to delve deeper into what this is saying and give it some thought concerning your everyday lives and the Bible (which hopefully is an integral part of that life).

When we read the words within the Great Book, it is the words mission to form a thought that leads to a conclusion within the mind of the reader. If those words were inspired by the Mighty Hand of God, the Holy Spirit, then it is His mission that we understand the conclusion He is trying to make for the purpose of making our lives and relationship with the Father more productive and greater in purpose and scope. In truth, the mission of the Holy Bible, as the Living Word of God, is to draw us into a relationship with our Heavenly Father that was lost to sin!

That’s it; pure and simple. The Bible is a roadmap to get us back on the track to a relationship with God Almighty that we fell off from due to the inherent nature of sin! Everything that is written in the Great Book, is meant to point us to the Cross of Christ, the only True Way back into the graces of our Heavenly Father. That is the TRUE Spirit behind ALL the words found within that Book. That is and always has been the Holy Spirit’s role AND mission, from the initial inspiration through the hands of the many writers, to the counsel and direction He gives to individual hearts who read the words; it is to draw us all to Christ Jesus and thereby restoring our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Now, the Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote the various books and letters of the Bible to do so in the language they were familiar with and the language that their readers were familiar with. Did the Holy Spirit, Who IS God, the power and counsel of God’s character, choose to stop His inspiration at that moment when the books or letters were completed? Does faith allow us to believe that these writings were for only a specific moment in the history of mankind and no longer hold relevance to the ages of men that followed after?

If that were the case, then every instance of prophecy, of the prophetic words would be to no avail for they would have no relevance to any readers that followed in the ages when those prophecies were to take place. The words of spiritual wisdom would carry no bearing on the affairs of men past the age of those inspired to put them down on “paper.”

So let’s take this a step further; we have had the Bible translated from the original languages of the Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek into the different dialects of those base languages. We have had it translated into Latin, French and Czech and so many more all with the various dialects and so on, all with the purpose of making it accessible to the common man to whom it was basically addressed. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that chapters and verse numbers were added for ease of study.

Yet it hasn’t been until our modern age that controversy over which version is “true” and which version has been mishandled in its translation has arisen. As the Bible has become more common, more accessible to all peoples around the world, those who value the Bible have become coalesced into one faction or another. Yet until the last handful of decades when translations were being put forth one after the other, no one questioned the inspiration behind the translations themselves.

Since the English translation found in the 1611 King James Version of the Bible is one of the oldest used and relied upon, having survived over three centuries of use, I can understand just from a natural standpoint how so many church-goers are adamant and reliant upon that version of the Bible as the go-to Book for spiritual guidance. BUT – you would think that as our time in the Word has increased and our ability to have the Bible in so many formats (speaking of our new digital age) we would have a deeper SPIRITUAL understanding of the Word and our concerns over the text would have diminished. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

My first experience ever with a Bible, was the Catholic coffee table Bible we had in our living room when I was growing up. It was big and thick and full of ornate and beautiful pictures that I could spend hours at a time looking at. I couldn’t however understand much of what I tried to read through my young years. At that time my Parish Priest told me that the Bible was too deep for the common person and that is why God called Priests into the ministry, so they could teach from the Bible (it isn’t for the most part that way now as everyone is encouraged to study individually).

I didn’t start to “get it” until after I was born-again (spiritually reborn) just before my seventeenth birthday when I was gifted with my first King James Version Bible. I was encouraged to first start off with the Book of Romans, read through the Epistle of Jude, then read the Gospels and the Book of Acts and only then attempt to read Revelation and the Old Testament. The Psalms and Proverbs were encouraged, but nothing more than that until I had a grasp upon my faith!

Believe it or not, that advice, though I think it is up to the individual, helped cement my love for the Scriptures and the Word of God! But I was always a person, even at a young age who loved to ask the question WHY and only second to that one, HOW or how come! It was learning to trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit and learning to love the Word of God that my heart and mind started asking the why when it came to the ever increasing translations available from the 1970’s on.

Over the years that I have had experience with the Bible I have seen many things take place that truly shouldn’t. As my faith increased and my ability to let God Almighty out of the “box” I had created for Him, I started to recognize what was happening in the “church” world as a whole. I have always been gifted with seeing the “big picture” as well as the individual “images” that make up the “big picture.” I stated in a previous article that basically there are two types of people; those that “can see the forest for the trees,” or those that “can see the trees for the forest.” But there is a third group that isn’t constrained by one or the other for they “can see the forest AND the individual trees that make up the forest.” One is not lost upon the other. I believe this is a gift from the Lord and nothing remarkable in the makeup of the individual themselves. It all goes back to that Scripture Paul talked about 2 Corinthians 3:5-6.

I have been witness through the years of too many Christians break fellowship with one another over a version of the Bible and especially when it comes to the 1611 KJV. Because of that I have this question I really want my readers to ask themselves seriously:

Isn’t it possible for the same Holy Spirit who inspired the original writers of the Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek to ALSO inspire the English versions from the first even unto the latest?

If the Holy Spirit truly inspired the men of old to write what they wrote (this is rhetorical) and He did so that all men could have this guide to relationship with the Father we once lost, doesn’t it stand to reason that He would also inspire modern men (whether they are aware of it or not) to protect His Word through the various translations being put forth?

I may not always personally trust the men (or group of men) who initiate the translations, but I DO trust the Holy Spirit to protect His Word. When you further realize that the natural man, no matter how well-meaning they are in their motives for the translations, and even if they themselves lack the ability to understand the depth and breadth of the Word of God, you can begin to understand the importance of that other verse I gave you from the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:14.

**I have had opportunity in the past to even read through other Bibles (and I use that title loosely) that were bad translations and in fact NOT translations at all, but the “religious” organization had changed the text to suit its own theological bias in many places. YET — and I want you to understand this, when it came to the two greatest commandments that Jesus was asked to identify in Matthew 22:37-40, love of God above all and love of one another, that commandment, that direction was in that false translation. Also, when it came to the plan of salvation through the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ as found in Paul’s Letter to the Romans, that plan was there without any mistake. If someone is relying upon that false translation for spiritual guidelines and they stand before Christ Jesus on Judgment Day, they will have no excuse if Jesus turns to them and says, “depart from me for I knew you not.” For they had opportunity to know Him personally and rejected Him willfully.

So, what is the Bible for, if not to point to God Almighty’s plan to restore our relationship with Him eternally by pointing the Way to Him through the Cross of Christ Jesus? If the version of the Bible you read and study is doing that, if the Spirit of the Word is coming through to you as a spiritually discerning person you have nothing to fear or even be slightly concerned about.

One final question: Is the Bible you read and study going to get you into Heaven? Is it what you are reading with your eyes that is temporary and natural, or is it the Spirit (which is eternal) behind the Word that points to the One True Way to God, our Heavenly Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead, that is going to get you into Heaven?

The Bible(s) I read and study point the Way to Christ Jesus and the relationship through Him with my Heavenly Father. My faith, my belief and yes even my knowledge is secure in that fact! How about you?

God bless!


*I am NOT endorsing or promoting one translation over another, but here is a link that I am giving in conjunction with the picture above that has some various versions and their translations, but even more has some well-respected commentaries that show the different word usage and why. It might help in understanding side-by-side the point I was trying to give. Bible Hub – Revelation 8:13
**I would like to add an explanation that I did not mean to make it seem I was including any of the “cult” bibles and/or for that matter, any of the “alternate lifestyle” bibles that have come on the market. They are NOT translations, but rather they are worded to fit the ideology of fallen man rather than inspired theology from the Holy Spirit! I only meant to use the example of the “cult” bible I have read to point out the fact that come Judgment Day, those that have used that bible will have no excuse in denying the knowledge of the plan of Salvation which has been left intact in the bible I read! — Pastor Roland
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I John 1:1-4

Some Brief Historical Background

Historically and for our purposes this letter was written by the Apostle John. An interesting note is that this letter is not evangelistic in nature, meaning it was not written to the unsaved, rather it was written to fellow Christians, and most notably Christians who were well grounded in the faith, as noted in this statement, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:13*.

John has always been considered the Apostle of Love, and it is evident in this letter that was written to fellow believers. He truly considered those who believed with him, as his children. John truly had a pastor’s heart. This letter was written before his exile to Patmos, most probably while he was still ministering in Ephesus. It was believed to have been written between A.D. 85 and A.D. 90. What makes this so significant is the fact that John was probably one, if not the very last of the Apostles who had been an eyewitness to the events in Jesus life and had actually walked with the Savior. He was allowing this new generation a glimpse into the life of Christ and the assurance of their standing in Christ by faith.

Just as time and man have a tendency to pervert the truths that were told, John was living in a time when several false doctrines were creeping into the church. Gnostic heresy taught that matter is inherently evil, and therefore, a divine being such as Jesus claimed to be could not take on human flesh. Gnostics also believed that hidden knowledge made them superior than the common man. The other doctrine which was similar, Docetism, claimed that Christ only seemed to have a human body. Both of these doctrines denied the fact of the Incarnation. So we see that even in the very new and early church, false teachings and lies were being spread to water down the true Gospel of Christ. In the light of that, should we be surprised that there is so much doctrinal controversy today?

This is why I so firmly believe in the importance of reading and “studying to show yourself approved,” (2 Timothy 2:15) in this day and age in which we are living. As I stated in the I John Introduction & Overview, keep your heart and mind open to the Holy Spirit and you will glean a treasure of inspiration and assurance.

*As with all of my articles, Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 John Chapter 1:1-4

1 John 1:1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—”

John is stating with authority and as a matter of established fact, that he is talking from experience and not just what he has heard, but also that he was witness to the events that followed Jesus Christ, the Living Word. Also, Jesus Christ was real to the touch, He could be handled. John may have been remembering the Last Supper when he laid his head upon the Savior’s bosom. Remember also the instance when Thomas, later known as the “Doubter,” was instructed by the risen Jesus to, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” – John 20:27.

John does not falter in claiming that Jesus truly IS, the Word of Life, as he wrote in his Gospel; John 1:1-4, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

He was in the beginning. That word “was” denotes in the Greek, always being, never having been created. God is eternal. He has no beginning nor ending. Man, on the other hand is also eternal; but the difference is that man was created, and did have a beginning, although he will never experience an ending. Jesus being God, always was and forever will be; Jesus being man, in the flesh knew a beginning. This has caused a lot of confusion through the years as some who study the writings of John especially, stumble over semantics concerning the Godhead.

Today, we have denominations that call themselves, Trinitarians (not to be confused with the Catholic order under that name), trying to explain the Godhead as three Gods-in-One. On the other hand and in direct conflict with them, we have denominations who espouse themselves as Oneness, who delight in debate with other denominations just to prove their point that they are right above all others. I won’t at this time add to the debate, for I have first-hand experience with both sides, but I do firmly believe it is more a case of semantics as I have stated than actual doctrine. John is stating in clear terms that “the Word was with God and the Word WAS God!” (Added emphasis mine).

Notice also that John doesn’t just write the term, Word of God, but rather in this instance, the Word of Life. In his Gospel, he is talking to mankind as a whole, as an evangelist, sharing with them the Good News, the Way of Redemption and Salvation. Here in this letter, he is sharing with established believers already walking in that lifestyle. Jesus Christ IS the Word of Life, the Good News taken to the next highest step; the Word that brings Life into the believers heart and being. When we mature, beyond the baby steps of Christianity, that Word in our lives should demonstrate to all around us the Life that resides within us.

1 John 1:2, “the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—”

John says “the life was manifested,” that life being the Word, who was Jesus, was shown so as to be seen by all men. He was not a figment of some man’s imagination, He was not an apparition, but He was real with real material substance. His life among us was real, something to be witnessed and observed, it was not a façade so that He could just “pass” as a man. John reasserts that he himself was a witness in actuality to that Life. John’s mission, or his calling was to bear witness and proclaim that very fact.

So much is the character of John, his humility, his modesty, that he reaffirms his calling or appointment as an apostle without really saying it. The Apostle’s calling, then and today is to bear witness and proclaim or declare, to show the truth of that Life that is Christ Jesus’. We know, even by historical records that Jesus was a man who lived among us. It is the Apostle’s calling to reaffirm that fact, but not just as an historical figure but as the “eternal life, which was with the Father.”

I found this statement from an unknown author in my background research of this letter:
**”I am glad that my knowledge of eternal life is not built on the speculations of philosophers or even theologians but on the unimpeachable testimony of those who heard, saw, gazed at, and handled Him in whom it was incarnate. It is not merely a lovely dream, but solid fact, carefully observed and an accurately recorded fact.”

When I first read this, so many years ago, it stuck with me AND struck with me of the simplicity of the wisdom behind it!! Our belief, nay, as the writer says, our KNOWLEDGE of eternal life does not have to be a fantasy or some form of wish fulfilment, but rather based on honest-to-goodness, historical fact!

So to sum up so far, in this second verse, John is answering the first, and reiterating the fact that Jesus and the Father ARE One and have always BEEN One, (see John 10:30). Jesus was manifested or shown to us through the unwavering testimony of His disciples and Apostles, and so because of their witness, so through them also we can, without hesitation, bear witness to Jesus, and thus, we can bear witness to the Father’s presence among ourselves as well!

1 John 1:3, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

Again John is reiterating with authority and a strong pronouncement that what they have witnessed personally he is not just holding to himself as some guarded secret or treasure, but rather is proclaiming and declaring it to all who would hear and listen. Notice that John says we, so as to lend authority to the statement that it was not just himself who witnessed the events of the Word of Life among them, but that it was the company of them, ALL of the disciples who were in the presence of Jesus. John was not standing alone and he was not expecting his hearers to believe it was only him who was witness to those events.

One of the underlying reasons for the writing of this letter is stated right here also. John is saying that by him proclaiming or sharing these things, the knowledge it gives a person allows those hearing and listening the ability to have fellowship also with him as a disciple. Thus, since his fellowship is with the Father, and Jesus Christ the Son, we can also have fellowship with them. In other words, it is the same as if my being friends or associated with you, allows me to be associated with all of your friends, and vice-versa.

Do not be misled by the now common usage of the word fellowship. That word “fellowship” is not just a connotation of friendship, but rather it goes much deeper than that. The Greek word used is the word, “koinonia” which means a partnership, or an intimate communion. When we enter into the fellowship of believers, we are not just entering into a social communion, an unbreakable band of brothers/sisters, so to speak, but we are entering into something much deeper and more abiding. After all, it is based in the intimate relationship of the Creator of all that is, ever was or ever will be, both in the natural AND the spiritual, and the Word of Life Who brings it and us all together in spiritual unity.

We have a bond that is unlike anything that has ever been on this earth, except with possibly Adam and Eve (or Enoch) who actually “walked” and communed with the Living God. It is an intimacy that the world cannot, nor ever will really understand. We need to be very careful that we do not attempt to understand our relationship with the Heavenly Father in the light of the world’s standards.

The beloved Apostle ends this sentence with, “His Son Jesus Christ.” There is a whole lot of doctrine packed into just those four words! Many of you who have been following my writings, not just on this blog of a few years, but who have known me well before I started this blog, have known me to be very “generous” in using the term, “Christ Jesus” in my writings. It would be hard to explain how important this acknowledgement of Christ’s deity is to me and why I feel compelled to express it so much.

First, I can tell you it comes from my personal relationship with Christ Jesus. Jesus and Christ are One and the same. They are not two distinct personalities AND they are NOT the first and last name of Jesus either! Believe me when I tell you there have been some through the years that have sincerely asked that question!

Jesus, is the name given to Him at His birth and denotes His real humanity. He was born into a natural body just like any other baby and He grew into a man, just like any other man, at least in the natural. Christ is the name that denotes that He IS God’s Anointed One, the Messiah. The word Christ means, the Anointed One. Thus, Jesus, the Anointed One. Proclaiming His humanity AND His deity in One Person!

When I write or when I am preaching/teaching, I often times say, Christ Jesus, because at this period in our history, “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God,. . .” – Acts 2:32-33a. Jesus has fulfilled His mission as a man and Christ continues in His mission at the right hand of the Father. The Anointed One is continuing His work amongst us through the power of His Holy Spirit, whom the Father had promised. “and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” – Acts 2:33b. Thus, to me, and this is my opinion and lifestyle, the Anointed One, Who IS Jesus is being exalted above all men! So, whether you proclaim, Jesus Christ, or Christ Jesus, we are proclaiming, exalting AND magnifying the Son of God, whose Name is above every name!!

1 John 1:4, “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”

John sums up not only the previous three verses, but also all that is to follow in his letter, for the main reason or purpose of writing the letter. That our joy may be complete. Now I want to take a moment to clear something up. The KJV and the NKJV and some other versions of the Bible say that “your” joy may be complete or “full.” Others say, “our” joy may be complete. Some people look at that as contradiction in translations or text, but rather it is updating the original language to modern language or idioms. Remember as I have stated countless times before, it is the spirit of the Word that we attain too and not just the letter.

John is including himself for the reason that he is writing the letter. It gives joy, not only to the reader, but to whom-ever will take to heart the message. Such was his humility that he is counting himself with us. Remember, in the previous verses he was talking about the fellowship we have with one another. We in essence, become one with each other, just as we become one with the Father and Son. So, your joy is his (John’s), his joy is ours. It is made complete or full when we take his testimony and witness to heart.

That brings up the issue of joy itself. In the world today, even in the church world, there is a lot of mistaking joy for happiness. Joy is the second quality that is listed as a “fruit of the Spirit.” See Galatians 5:22. Joy is God’s will for the believer, ALL believers in Him. It is a spiritual quality or characteristic and not a carnal or natural one, therefore, it is not dependent upon our outward natural circumstances. Rather, joy is a characteristic that is independent of outward circumstances and totally dependent upon our relationship with the Father, through Christ Jesus and empowered by His Holy Spirit. Do not confuse joy with happiness which IS totally dependent upon outward circumstances.

Lack or loss of joy came about due to the result of sin and our estrangement from our Heavenly Father. Where sin is forgiven through the Redemption of Christ Jesus, our Savior, joy abounds. This fullness or completeness of joy is mentioned approximately six times by the Apostle, in his Gospel as well as his Epistles:

Joy associated with consecration—–John 3:29
Joy associated with obedience——–John 15:10-11
Joy associated with prayer————-John 16:24
Joy associated with protection——–John 17:13
Joy associated with fellowship——–I John 1:4
Joy associated with brotherly love—II John 12


Next post we will begin with 1 John chapter 1 verse 5.

**Believer’s Bible Commentary Copyright © 1995, 1992, 1990, 1989 by William MacDonald. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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