Some Christian Humor


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?

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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I John Introduction & Overview

To me personally the Epistle of 1 John is by far one of the greatest books or letters in the Bible. You may be asking yourself how I can come to that conclusion, after all, it is only five short chapters long. The truth is, in those five chapters you will find the answers to who we are in Christ, our relationship with the Father, our condition in regards to sin, our assurances concerning eternity and the contrasts of good and bad, light and dark, truth and falsehood.

Like nowhere else in the Bible, you will find your reason for being, pretty much given specifically. It is almost as if God, our Father and Creator, centered the rest of His Word around this one little book. Now, I know that everyone who reads their Bible on a daily basis has derived favorites, chapters or passages that are especially endearing to them. The truth of the matter is, we need the WHOLE Word of God to be able to gain an insight and understanding into the character and nature of our truly loving Father, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we do and can have favorites.

For verse by verse, line upon line teaching, this Epistle is a good jumping off point, and by the time you are through it, I hope that you will agree with me that this IS just one of the greatest letters ever written. My goal in presenting this teaching format will be to give you an understanding of the Word of God, not just in bits and pieces, but as a whole picture. You have heard the old adage that says “You can’t see the forest for the trees, and/or you can’t see the trees for the forest.” Sometimes this is the problem that we encounter as we try and study God’s Holy Word. Our eyesight tends to be focused on maybe just a few scriptures here and there thus we don’t see them in context with the rest of the written word, thereby losing a necessary balance in our lives, or, our focus is on the word as a whole and we forget the little things that lend precise direction in our everyday lives.

I stated in my previous article, Expository Introduction, that one of the reasons I took to this epistle so completely was the apparent “grandfatherly” way in which the beloved Apostle wrote this letter. When read it appears very casual and informal and yet at the heart, exposes the very in-depth reasons for our walking in a Christian lifestyle. It truly exemplifies the Apostle’s pastoral heart and the Apostle John doesn’t pull any punches when talking about Jesus Christ being our One and True example of Godly living.

Now notice, I specifically ended the last sentence with “Godly living.” It, is an action, for to truly live, is to be doing; it is NOT a passive lifestyle as so many in the modern religious world would have you to believe, wrapped up with “religious” feelings and emotions to denote your true place in Christendom. Rather, John shows us that to be a true Christian, it can only be demonstrated by how we act and what we do!

Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT stating or putting forth the prospective that it is by our works that we come to Christ or are redeemed. On the contrary, it is BECAUSE of our redemption and our place IN Christ that our true love of God and others can be demonstrated by our works!

The Apostle James stated it this way; “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2:15-18.

The world would say it this way; we are supposed to FEEL love first and when we do then we will be motivated to do something for others (for how can we do without feeling motivated first to do something?). BUT, Jesus’ form of love says to DO something for others FIRST and unconditionally to demonstrate our love and the feeling may or may not come upon the heels of the action. Our motivation is the love that is within us, because of Christ within, and not whether we “feel” love for the other or not. Jesus’ way is the way of faith, but the world would make it seem only logical and right to do it their way. So it is that the Apostle John lays it out to follow the example “as He” does, or “even as He” does, meaning to follow the example of Christ. This John laces throughout the five chapters of his Epistle. John definitely backs up the premise that the Apostle James was proposing in his Epistle.

One of the key themes to this Epistle is “fellowship, with God and with one another” and it is what ties all of the writing within this letter together. John, in detail outlines just what this fellowship with our Heavenly Father accomplishes in the believer and what awaits those who reject this fellowship.

It has been known in theological circles and thus taught when I was approaching my later teenage years that John proposed three tests to determine, or measure, our “fellowship healthiness” as it were, and this so impressed me as a young man that there could even BE a measurement, that I have never forgotten the “markers.”

We will go into these a little deeper as we get into the expository teaching, but as a summation, I will put them here:
Marker or test number one can be found in 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.” First marker, have we confessed all our known sins so that we might be cleansed, thus being ABLE to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16.

Marker or test number two can be found in 1 John 2:5, “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” Notice this does not state that OUR love for God is perfected (realized in practice); but rather, God’s love is realized as a truth/fact within us! Do we know His Word(s) so that we MAY even be able to keep them? Are we walking in obedience to God? Walking is another action, not a passive, indicator of our status of fellowship with God!

Marker or test number three can be found in 1 John 2:10, “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” Are we demonstrating, by actions, a love for our brethren in an ongoing, practical way? Are we in “fellowship” with them as we are with our Heavenly Father? As the writer of Hebrews states/commands, “Let brotherly love continue.” – Hebrews 13:1.

Fellowship with God and with our brethren should not be an abstract or vague thing. As we read/study 1 John, we will see some key themes that are applied to the main theme of “fellowship.”

The beloved Apostle is very specific in his message concerning, our fullness of joy, our power over sin and assurance of our salvation, all of which he writes to foster our ability to protect holiness and righteousness (2:1), to prevent heresy and false teaching (2:26), AND to provide assurance and hope (5:13).

Again, as we study this Epistle together, keep an open heart and mind, don’t let the casualness of the writing style make you think this letter is of any less important than any of the other writings inspired by the Holy Spirit and do not let some of the underlying deep concepts hinder your acceptance of simplicity of what the Apostle is trying to get across. When you study and read, do so with Holy Spirit as your ultimate Counsel, for even though we need one another for encouragement, strength and edification, it is His job to teach you what He would have you glean from this work.

From John’s own words, “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” – 1 John 2:26-27.

Next post we will begin with 1 John chapter 1.

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Abraham Lincoln

Thought this was interesting and intriguing. Words of Wisdom from a
Godly man who made a difference with the leading of the Lord!

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Expository Introduction

Isaiah 28:9-13, “Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little,” That they might go and fall backward, and be broken And snared and caught.”

Isaiah 28:10 — “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.”

Many of my Calvary Chapel peers and friends will recognize these verses for they are the foundation of the teaching style of many Pastors within the Calvary Chapel churches. AND, before you think I might be critical or criticizing, I am NOT criticizing this style of teaching/preaching! This actually encompasses some of my favorite teaching style and led me to truly recognize and understand the importance of keeping the Scriptures in context. My years in ministry within the Calvary Chapel *“organization” helped me to develop my own style of teaching.

If you think about it, the Scriptures were written in an orderly fashion (as inspired by the Holy Spirit) to portray a specific line of thought. It only stands to reason that to “expose” or analyze that line of thought, you read it, study it in the way and order that it was written.

I have many peers in the blogosphere who teach by exposition in their writing and posts and their teaching and writing is excellent AND inspiring. When I was actively preaching, I tended to use expository teaching more actively from the pulpit and even when I resorted to thematic teaching, it was the expository study of the Scriptures that allowed me to teach the theme I was covering within the context of the written Word.

The one thing about the above Scripture though and the context with which it is given, is that rather than “dictating” an inspired style of teaching “approved” by God, it is actually a treatise of the Lord mocking a grumbling and disobedient people at a particular time in Israel’s history. You can read most of Isaiah 28 and see that the Lord is criticizing His people who are criticizing the teaching and the way it is done. In today’s parlance, you might say the people are reacting the way of teaching by repeating, “blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah!” More or less snubbing the teachers of the time.

Still, because this WAS the way the Scriptures to that time had been taught, it was a very reasonable and practical way of teaching. This is not to say that thematic preaching/teaching (expounding on a theme, such as sin, or love, for instance) is not an effective way to preach or teach, it is just that thematic teaching or even studying a theme has its pitfalls if the student is not careful.

Today, we have many religious fads and false teachings that have crept into the church due to preachers and teachers taking OUT of context, Scriptures that fit a theory or idea, and once that germ of a thought has taken root, a preacher or teacher will do all within their power to make the Scriptures fit their theory! Whatever the motive, no matter how it makes the listener feel, it is still false teaching because it is TWISTING the Scriptures to fit a person’s theory, rather than making a person’s theory fit the contextual Scriptures!

This is one of the reasons why I hold so dearly (and yes, use it quite often) the Scripture that the Apostle Paul wrote, stating, “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.” – 2 Corinthians 3:5-6. It is the Spirit of the Word, the Bible, that gives it life, the inspired meaning behind the words and not the words themselves. I have said it many times before and written in my articles that the Scriptures can be made to say just about anything a person wants them to say. This is one of the reasons we have so many cults cropping up from time to time and the false teachings that have infiltrated the church. Does that make the Scriptures flawed? Undoubtedly, it is the user and his ideas that are flawed. The Scriptures will remarkably confirm themselves when dealt with in the right spirit and context!

Plus, we need to be reminded that it is not just the preacher or teachers faults wholly, for individually we are responsible on what we accept as “gospel” and truth. When we stand before our Redeemer at the final judgment, He is NOT going to accept the excuse, “well, that is what my preacher/teacher taught or told me!”

Another of my favorite Scriptures was written by the Author of Acts when describing the exploits of Paul and Silas, “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.” – Acts 17:10-12.

I want you to focus on verse 11 where it says, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica,” some translations use the word “noble” in place of fair-minded. WHY were they this way? Because, “they received the word with all readiness,” first and foremost, their hearts were open, then, and here is the main reason, “and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” They didn’t search the Scriptures to find fault with Paul and Silas, because their hearts where already open to the Word, BUT, and it is a big BUT, they wanted to make sure that what they received was the TRUTH!!! They held themselves, individually accountable for what they received in their hearts and minds!!!

If we, almost two thousand years later, would do the same thing when it comes to the Scriptures and the Living Word of God, our churches and most likely our societies wouldn’t be in the mess that it is today. But rather than be like the noble Bereans, we have become more like the grumbling and complaining Israelites in the days of Isaiah! This goes to prove a point I have stated time and time again; human nature just does not change despite our knowledge of history! There is only ONE way for which our natures can change from the grumbling, complaining and deceitful to the fair-minded and noble and that is by the very BLOOD of Christ Jesus and our willingness to be spiritually bathed or washed in it!

When we surrender our very nature, our very willfulness to the Holy Spirit who leads us directly to the Cross of Christ and we accept that sacrifice for the penalty of our sinfulness, then and only then does the Holy Spirit take up residence with our spirit to guide, to teach and to convict (convince) us of spiritual truth. Then and only then can our minds and spirit be reawakened as children and heirs of God Almighty, our Heavenly Father and it is then that the spiritual gift of discernment becomes active and allows us to see the spirit of the Word of God and not just the letter. We then step into the realm that the Apostle Paul wrote about to the Corinthians, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 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.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-14.

Anyway, I wanted to give you this introduction, so to speak, because I want to start some expository teaching on one of my favorite Books of the Bible, the Epistle of 1 John. It will be predominantly, verse by verse, line upon line teaching; thus the explanation given to this point.

Ever since I became born-again, just before my seventeenth birthday and started reading a Bible gifted to me, I quickly found that 1 John was to become an exceedingly favorite portion of the Bible. I think, for me, it was because of what I presumed to be the “grandfatherly” way in which John, the Apostle wrote it. It quickly touched my heart and spirit as a youth and was a big step to encouraging me to truly get in and read the Bible as a whole! I have been in love with the Bible ever since.

I hope and pray that 1 John will awaken/reawaken the love for God’s Word in you as it has me.

In closing, however you teach, or if you are a preacher, a minister (servant) of the Word, I hope and pray that you take to heart the importance of precept upon precept, line upon line in your study of the Word and especially as a guide for keeping the Scriptures in context. We WILL be accountable and answerable to Christ Jesus our Lord AND Master, for the words we speak towards the goal of instructing others; so, let not our words of instruction be in vain.

God bless and may the Spirit of the Living Word encompass your hearts, minds and spirits, always!

*Calvary Chapels for the most part do not want to associate their churches within the framework of a denomination and even though there are thousands throughout the world as an “organization” they consider themselves to be “undenominational.” This is given just as some informational background to my readers.
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The Cure – Speaking Truth

WOW! Just posted article, went to Facebook and saw this Illustrated Message! Amazing how the Holy Spirit confirms when we try to be obedient! WOW!
Picture was posted courtesy of “The Christian Conservative” Facebook page.

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The Cure

Romans 16:17, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.”

Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

1 Timothy 1:3-4, “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia–remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.”

1 Timothy 5-11, “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

2 Timothy 4:2-4, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

Jude 1:16-19, “These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”

Okay, starting off, I’m going to admit a weakness or a fault of mine that I have been experiencing for several months now. If hearing a teacher or preacher claiming faults or weaknesses is disconcerting to you, then you have my permission to “disengage” right now and go no further.

I have been heartsick! There I said it. A Christian teacher and preacher who admits to being heartsick for several months!!! Unheard of, right? Well, I’d rather be honest and truthful with you upfront, than lead you on into believing I am perfect without a care in the world!

It has nothing to do with my battle with physical pain, though that can be a hindrance, but rather it has to do with something beyond emotional pain, a spiritual pain as it were. Honestly! I am hurting in my spirit, greatly.

Now before you lecture (or scold) me, that I should be praying more, reading the Word more, “giving it all to God” more, etc., etc., let me tell you that those parts of my life, though they can always be improved, have not been the cause of any spiritual deficiency leading to my being “heartsick!”

No, in truth, the only thing that might clear my mind and spirit of this condition would be for me to become a total, dedicated hermit, or for the Lord to come and take me home! I know, I know, both these solutions seem to be incredibly drastic, but my mind has strayed that way for months now.

You see, I try to avoid the news outlets, the world goes on right outside my door. I try to avoid social media so I don’t see what is going on from the perspective of internet commentary and I have to go to the store, or the doctor’s office or any other countless, mundane routines of someone who is retired from public, let alone any other kind of service. I still see the world going by on its merry way as if they have an eternity of time to accomplish their own personal “bucket lists” before they have to depart, leaving behind “their” indelible marks on the remaining world!

I realize that I am speaking in the midst of some great heroic and unselfish deeds coming out of the natural disaster named hurricane “Harvey” hitting the state of Texas, predominantly, but effecting people in the other states adjacent to Texas as well. But, “Harvey” is recent (I am beginning to write this 9-3-2017), and I am looking back several months as my “spiritual” melancholy began to set in.

Riots in our streets, the breakdown of civil obedience, the assassination of our police officers, a backward spiral of race relations, a progressive, liberal media that doesn’t count on the truth to further its journalism endeavors, corruption beyond measure in an outgoing government being taken place by alleged (but not proven) corruption in an incoming new government, further wars and rumors of wars, etc., etc., so on and so forth!! This is just in the WORLD as a whole!

Then take into consideration, seeing corruption and crime firsthand in a small town that shouldn’t even be touched by such things, watching as the police time and again, trying to apprehend a neighbor/neighbors that time after time, demonstrate by their actions that the law doesn’t apply to them. Going to the neighborhood chain store, or grocery store and watch as people plow down the aisles without a look-see before entering the main aisle (I’m pretty much relegated to a wheel chair as my knees don’t support me more than a minute or two) as if they are in some sort of ultra-reality, crash-cart derby! I mean, most stores, grocery or department are laid out just like the lanes and throughways of a city traffic grid; you have your main lanes and then your cross lanes. If people drove out in their cities like they do in the stores, it would solve the population crisis real simply, and quite fast!

Okay, maybe, just maybe you are thinking I’m exaggerating just a little. Maybe I am, and my perspective has just become a little hypersensitive, but this much I will tell you, I have seen mankind in general, locally by people’s actions and on a world-scale by the news I have seen becoming more and more self-occupied and a lot more self-centered. Whether it be spending all their time on their cell phones (whether in traffic or not), or just doing whatever they can to get to their destinations, by whatever means necessary.

This has led me to another aspect of the human-nature condition that I have been a student of most of my life; human nature does not seem to change through the generations or, in fact, the centuries! It truly reminds me of that saying that everyone is familiar with, “those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it!”

The truth of this can be found throughout the Old Testament of the Bible, the Living Word of God. The children of Israel were created to be the heirs and children of God Almighty. All He asked of them was to follow Him in all their ways, His commands and directions. It just seems that at every turn, no matter the many heroic actions and incidents of their history, they also seemed to have an ongoing history of disobedience and willfulness. By the way, willfulness could be construed as self-centeredness as well!

So if you are reading this, tell me, in all of mankind’s history from the very beginning, other than the environment and the circumstances, WHAT HAS CHANGED?

Now I know, you are probably thinking, Pastor Roland, you are very pessimistic! It may appear that way, but in fact, I am very OPTIMISTIC! It’s just that my optimism isn’t in mankind’s ability to correct itself, but rather in the fact that God, our Heavenly Father, through the Redeeming quality of Christ Jesus is the only hope we have for mankind and that in Him AND only in Him will we ever find the “cure” to human-nature!

Then why the melancholy, the “heart-sickness,” you may be asking? The truth of the matter is that it is not just the world that I am witnessing this self-centeredness, but in many of my “peers” and friends in the “religious” arena. I have known for years what the Bible has prophesied and if the truth be told, for some reason, whatever the reason, I didn’t think I would be around to actually see some of what I am seeing take place! I am trying to be very transparent and yet at the same time, kind of put out there in the “blogosphere” a warning call, or an alarm call that all is not right in the organized “church-world!”

You see, we have been given an awesome gift, a roadmap as it were, a foundation for life that has been placed in our little hands for our benefit, individually, as well as corporately, for the betterment of those around us. The truth is, not everyone sees this as a benefit, and some go so far as to believe it is a recipe of “suggestions,” for the creation of a “happy” lifestyle. Some believe that it is a mythology for Utopia, a mystical magical formula that is only for some and not for all.

The Bible isn’t a “book of suggestions” but rather a key, a link, to what is missing in a life separated from its Creator, and the Way to get back that which has been missing. It’s not magic, it’s not mystical, but rather it is SPIRITUAL and it only works when the inner spirit has been reawakened and is sincerely curious as to what more there is to this mystery we call LIFE.

It is the answer to the question, “is this (this natural, physical, existence) all there is to life? In its inspired (inspired by the Holy Spirit) writings we see that this natural existence is only the finite stepping-stone to our REAL Life!

Sadly, we have people, who claim to be “from God” who do some of the very things the writers of the verses I gave at the beginning prophesied would happen. They have become more concerned with what the MAJORITY of people will think about them, than giving, out of a heart and spirit of love, the TRUTH which is only found in the whole Word of God! That, is the definition and demonstration of not love, but self-centeredness!

Jesus told some of the Jews that believed in Him, that “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32. But the Jews were confused or unsure and Jesus had to give the explanation to clarify His statement by saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:34-36.

Jesus demonstrated His love to those believing in Him and even those confused or unsure, not by skirting the issue of sin, but by explaining the hold living in sin has on mankind, AND by pointing out the fact that the Son is the way to overcome that hold! It would not have done the Jewish converts any good to avoid the issue of sin, for they would not have understood then the hold it had and the NEED they had to be released from it!

But today, it is neither fashionable nor expedient to point out sin, or the hold it has on people and thus the way to escape it, because if the subject DOES surface, it would not be “loving” towards those who are living in it!!

We have “religious” organizations that are literally changing, NOT TRANSLATING, but changing the words of the Bible so that they won’t appear to be so offensive to certain groups of people for fear that those groups might make a public spectacle and cause embarrassment to the “church!” OR, to garner more memberships, (so as to keep their coffers full) or to maintain their power structure within these organizations, they refuse to acknowledge outright sin, using the philosophy that to do so is NOT loving to the people living a lifestyle of sin!

Just to make it clear, I am NOT just speaking about a lifestyle of homosexuality either, though it is the one thing that is in the public eye right now. I am talking about any lifestyle that is actively engaged in sinful activity and is enabled by ignoring it, out of “love” for the person involved. To give you an example, many years ago, we attended a church for a very short time in Arizona, where the Pastor’s son was leading the Praise and Worship service while he (the son) was also having an adulterous relationship with a woman in the church. The Pastor was well aware that his son was living in active, ongoing sin, yet didn’t feel that it had any influence on the Praise and Worship, the very tool that is used to try and garner the manifest presence of the Lord, through His Holy Spirit, into the midst of the congregation!! The son still “loved” the Lord, but he also “loved” another man’s wife as well, so the “Love covered the sin!” —- (“By the way, the woman was separated, but still married to her husband.”)

Do I need you to guess whether the Spirit of the Lord rested upon that congregation or not? Some said it was always a great time of Praise and Worship. He was a very skilled musician, but I have seen the results first-hand of the Holy Spirit washing over an open and transparent congregation and this congregation didn’t exemplify that. The Holy Spirit, the Lord, will not manifest His presence upon a congregation that does not recognize, but rather enables continued, open sin within their congregation! You can have a wonderful time of music, you may experience great emotional exuberance, but the lasting, healing and redemptive quality of the Holy Spirit’s manifestation will not be present while sin reigns in the camp! The emotions die out soon after the service, the touch of the Holy Spirit lasts through many trials and tribulations!

I don’t need to reiterate the Scriptures I gave you in the beginning. If you read them, the Holy Spirit will illuminate the truth of them to you. You truly don’t need me to relay to you what is truth and what is falsehood. If you truly are a child of the Lord’s, you already have the Holy Spirit Whose mission it is to convict (meaning to convince) you of what His Word truly says.

I will end on this though; if you truly want to Love others as Christ Jesus loves, as our Heavenly Father commands, then don’t twist or run and hide from the truth when it needs to be revealed. To do so, is not love, but self-centeredness, because you are fearful of how someone feels or will react to you. If however, you want to truly love, give them the possibility of freedom, give them the Son, the Truth, the Light, the Life and the Way. If we determine to do this, as opportunities present themselves (not forcing it on others) then the love will take care of the sin.

My concern right now, more than anything else in the spiritual realm is that those teaching the Word of God, will teach/preach ALL of the Living Word of God and not just the parts that are pleasing to their role as “minister” etc. My concern is that we don’t become like the shepherds of the Prophet Jeremiah’s teaching and scatter the sheep, or bruise the sheep. The things that the Lord told the Prophet Jeremiah to prophesy about the religious leaders of his day, are repeating themselves in this age in which we are living and the Apostle Jude has told us this is a sign of the last days! All I can say to that is what the Apostle John ended with in the Book of Revelation, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” – Revelation 22:20.

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