Memphis Belle

To log onto UNITYINCHRIST.COM’S BLOG, Click Here
Unity in Christ
Introduction
About the Author
Does God Exist?

The Book of Acts
Gospels
Epistles
Prayer
Faith
the Prophets & Prophecy
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

OT History
Early Church History
Church History
Sabbatarian Heritage
The Worldwide Church Of God
Messianic Believers
Evangelism

America-Modern Romans


Latin-American Poverty

Ministry Principles

Topical Studies
Guest Book
Utility Pages
Share on Facebook
Tell a friend:
 

1st John 3:4-24; 4:1-3

 Part 2

 

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.  He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." (verse 14)  Now isn't this interesting, we pass from death to life, we love the brethren.  One of the things I really love to do, is, before the communion services, sometimes to stand backstage as the musicians are playing and just listen to the chatter that's out here, thousands of voices. And the sense of it is, there's such great anticipation, there's such great excitement, and to see people together laughing and crying, no drugs, no alcohol, nothing that the world needs to inebriate itself.  As Paul says, be ye not drunk with the wine, but be ye being filled with the Holy Spirit.  It's a remarkable thing to see the body of Christ together.  I think sometimes we take it for granted, too.  You shouldn't.  You know, it's sad, we had someone from the church this week, 39 years old, drop dead.  And I'm sure there will be some person around that life, there will be those that will say 'I wish I had said this', or 'I wish that I had asked forgiveness' or 'I wish that I  hadn't said.'  More often we wish that we hadn't said than we had said.  But while you have one another, don't take each other for granted.  If you pray for one another, God will do remarkable things in your heart toward one another.  Now I consider it a privilege to be here with you, and I consider this to be my family.   Because when my heart is broken, and things are tough for me and I'm down and out, it is my co-laborers and the people that God has given me relationships with in the body of Christ that rally around me and hold up my arms and help me along.  I had never experienced that when I was in the world.  [And all of us should have that kind of relationship within their congregations and denomination they are a part of.  I felt that within the Sabbatarian Churches of God (Torah observant), and I have felt that kinship in the many other congregations I have fellowshipped with and attended.  That's how I know these are all God's people.  People often look from the outside in and like to call such closeness as being a part of a cult.  But it's not.]  I have a very, very close friend who is a leader in a seal team, United States Seals, and the thing that he says to me is, "What I love about it is the camaraderie.  I know when the guy next to me is gonna breathe, I know when he's gonna move."  And I know what he's looking for is what we enjoy.  He is looking for the communion, the koinonia that he can only have in the body of Christ with other believers.  And he's experiencing the closest thing to that kind of belonging that he's known in the world.  And I do try to remember to pray for him.  So "we know we've passed from death to life because we love the brethren.  He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." (verse 14)  "Whoso hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (verse 15)  And I'm telling you, the world is crazy.  Look at people shooting each other at the corner, shooting each other at red lights, shooting each other at, remember a few years ago at L.A. on the freeway, people just driving around shooting each other out the window.  Somebody told me they saw a sign that said "LAST AMMO BEFORE FREEWAY".  It was a joke, of course.  But you know the way it is sometimes now.  And the pressure in the world is so tremendous, again, if you pull in front of somebody and you look in your rearview mirror sometimes and you just see it, you know, they're giving you obscene gestures, blowing their horn, cutting you out, wheeling along-side of you, follow you home-you know, the world is so crazy you never know by simply offending somebody whether you're going to get shot anymore.  And the Bible says that.  "Whoso hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (verse 15)  "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (Verse 16)  Instead of being a life-taker, he is as life-giver.  The way that you and I perceive the love of God is in this, that he has sent his Son to die for us, to take away our sins.  John says it here, "because he laid down his life for us".  The idea is, throughout the New Testament, when God wants to prove to us his love, he points us to the cross.  And again, I know in my own experience, and all of us understand, that so many times we find ourselves praying "God if you love me, you'll give me this job."  "God, if you love me you'll give me this car."  Like he's up in heaven going 'Oh no, I've got to prove it again, they don't believe, they don't believe', you know.  "God if you love me you'll give me this husband."  "God if you love me you'll take this husband away from me." [laughter]  Because we think, we do this thing, 'Well, if I was God.'  Like he's up there saying 'Why didn't I ever think of that?  Now what a great suggestion.'  'He would have made a good god and I didn't even think of it.'  He sees the end from the beginning, he is the One who is, and who was, and who is to come (Revelation 1:8).  He's the One who is, that's why he sees us and says to us "We are justified, sanctified and glorified" because right now he is, that is sanctified, he was, that is justified, and he is to come, that's glorified.  And he sees us that way, he's the God that calls things that are not as though they were, and here we're trying to bargain with him, saying 'Well, if you love me you'll give me this date', you know, 'if you love me you'll give me this car.'  And God's going 'Oh no.'  The amazing thing it says, is 'Herein is the love of God demonstrated to us, and this is how we perceive the love of God, that he laid down his life for us, that he's given his Son for us.'  There can be no greater demonstration of God's love than that.  You know, if you have ever watched one of your own children on the verge of life-and-death, you know the panic that ensues.  Again, I have my own Joshua, not of course the Son of God, but the son of Joe, and watched him bleeding to death in front of me, and I would have done anything and did everything that was in my power to try to stop and turn that situation around.  I can't imagine God almighty giving up a sinless Son who he never broke communion with, who every day of his life said 'I don't say anything unless my Father says it, I don't do anything unless my Father does it.'  God Almighty as Jesus comes to be baptized at the river Jordan says "This is my beloved Son in whom I am already well pleased."  He'd [up until after that moment] never preached a sermon, he'd never done a miracle, he had been in the carpenter shop with him for thirty years at that point in time.  And [God the Father] willingly gave him for us, and stood back.  Jesus said, 'Don't you think, Peter, you know, put your sword in its sheath, if I gave command 12 legions of angels would come now.  [And back in Kings, I believe in the time of Hezekiah, one angel slew 185,000 battled-hardened Assyrian soldiers in one night.]  All of heaven was restrained.  Michael and the angels were saying, 'God, just give us the command, we'll go down and stop this crucifixion.', and it tells us that the angels desire to look into the things concerning the heirs of salvation, because there is no savior for angels, they don't understand why God, their own creator would have taken on human flesh and allowed himself to be brutalized by his own creation, they don't understand that.  And it is the greatest demonstration of God's love.  He will give us no greater proof.  And whenever we are wrestling life's circumstances, and granted sometimes we do, when there's cancer in our family, or there's a very difficult situation, and we find ourselves broken, and looking up to heaven, and saying 'God, how can I reconcile this with your love?'  'How can I  reconcile this pain, or this suffering, or this difficult situation with an all-powerful God who has the ability to change it, who tells me that he loves me unconditionally-'Lord, how can I believe that you love me in the midst of this heartbreak?'  And the answer is always the same.  "Hereby perceive we the love of God, that he laid down his life for us." (verse 16)  It is always back to the cross.  When we are faced with things that we do not understand, we always fall back on what we do understand, and that is, that God was in Christ on the cross reconciling the world to himself.   "Hereby perceive we the love of God, that he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"  (verses 16-17)  Very, very practical Christianity.  If you have the means, and you have the resources, and you see someone who's close to you that you love, a brother or sister in Christ suffering and in need, and instead of going to their aid or anonymously helping that person financially or in another way, instead of doing that you shut up your bowels of compassion, it says 'well how does the love of God find its way to live through you fully?'  Because God laid down his life we ought to lay down our lives for those around us.  So, when those needs come to us, we have to say 'Lord, OK, are you putting this across my path?'  And I'm gonna tell you something.  There are times, granted, when helping someone is not helping them.  There are times when you are around a user or an abuser who may call themselves a Christian, and by bailing them out one more time you're only helping them to maintain their irresponsibility.  And granted, there are times, and you will sense the Lord, check you spirit and [he] will say 'Stand back and let me deal with this guy, stop bailing him out.'  But that is the exception and not the rule, and I think if we are going to err, if we're not sure of God's leading, we should always err on the side of mercy, and not on the side of judgment.  I think we have to be careful that our agape love doesn't develop into discernment.  Because I think as that happens we lose something.  [I just want to add something here.  Pastor Joe referred specifically to our helping out those close to us.  But these two verses can and should also be applied to where we know of others that are in need, and the only way we can help is through one of the major international evangelistic help organizations, say like Samaritan's Purse, or the JESUS Film Project.  See and scroll to the 2nd half of this site's Mission Statement to learn more (http://www.unityinchrist.com/missionstatement.htm).  See also http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/sisterchurches/BlessiOrphanHome.htm.  The first link outlines a simple and very inexpensive

$5-a-week giving plan that would move virtual mountains if followed by a sufficient number of Christians.  The second one is a tiny Christian Orphanage in South India which I contribute about a $1.00 a day to, or what amounts to $15 every two weeks.]  If we see our brother in tremendous need and we don't go to his aid when we have the means, how can we say the love of God is within us.  "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (verse 18)  "Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels and have not love, I am a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal."   That's Paul's way of saying it, the Greek says, talk is cheap.  [James said the same identical thing in James 2:14-17]  "And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him."-or persuade our hearts before him.  If we're not loving in word or tongue only, if we are loving other people in truth and in deeds by action-again, I mentioned this morning, even your dog knows when you love him, not by a three-point sermon.  I had a dog awhile ago.  He was not interested in my study in 1st John chapter 3.  But he knew when I loved him, because I didn't love him in just word and in tongue, but in deed and in action.  Again, my wife and my kids are trying to talk me into getting another dog.  Never gonna happen, they tricked me once, not gonna trick me again, they're saying is 'Ah, we want a dog, we want a puppy', and what they're really saying is 'We want a pet a dog that you walk, and clean up after and feed and pay for his medical bills-and keep him clean so our hands don't smell like a dog after we pet him-will ya?'  You know the story.  But that dog, great dog, he loved me, because I was the guy, and most importantly, that fed him.  It was an action.  He wasn't interested in a sermon in love, it was my demonstration.  And it's the same thing with human beings.  It's easy for us to say 'I love you, be warmed and filled' and not do anything [James 2:14-18].  That's what it's saying here.  It is by our actions when we begin to lay down our life, hereby we know, it begins to convince us that we are of the truth, and we begin to persuade our own hearts before God.  But if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  "And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things."  (verses 19-20)  Isn't that a great verse.  I think you should underline that in your Bible.   Because most of us are so prone to condemnation.  "If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart."  Thank God.  "And he knoweth all things."  "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God."  (verse 21)  We're able to enjoy life, to look forward to his coming, to walk in his presence, to ask him for things.  "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." (verse 22)  Now let's look at this verse 22.  "Keeping his commandments and doing those things that are pleasing in his sight.", it almost sounds like the law again-OK, what does this mean, 'God's gonna like us because we keep his commandments, you know here we are back under the Ten or Nine or how many of them [the OT version of God's law is 10 major commandments, which includes the Holy Days of Leviticus 23, the NT 'law of Christ' includes nine of the ten commandments, brought to the higher spiritual intent].  Well, the next verse clearly tells us what it means to keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.  "This is his commandment.  That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."  'This is the greatest of the commandments, that we love the Lord God with all of our hearts, soul, minds and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves, and Jesus said 'in these two are all the law and the prophets fulfilled.'  [i.e. the Big Ten, the whole torah, are based on those two, and so is the entire NT law of Christ, which is 9 of the 10 commandments re-stated, and sometimes amplified, such as in Matthew 5]  So, look, Augustine said 'Love God with all your heart and do what you will.  If you love God with all your heart, what other law needs to be in place?  [Here's the age-old dynamic of 'law and grace' being played out here.  We are to obey God's law, whether under the freedom of the new covenant we chose to adhere to the "OT big Ten" or the "NT 9 of the Big Ten" given as the 'law of Christ'.  John defines "sin as the transgression of the law".  But by the very definition of the new covenant, the simple Bible definition given in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:6-13, God says he will write his laws in our hearts and upon our minds.  Throughout the New Testament we read of how we are told not to sin, and if sin is the transgression of God's law, as John defines it in this 3rd chapter (verse 4), then we are clearly told not to transgress God's law.  So we see a dynamic here between our efforts to obey, and God applying his power and effort to write his law within our innermost being, so it's really him obeying within us.  The whole history of ancient Israel from Joshua through Ezra and Nehemiah show Israel totally incapable of obeying God's law on their own, without God's Holy Spirit indwelling them.  Only the prophets were able to obey, and a few kings that had the Holy Spirit, as the prophets did.  We have our part in making ourselves willing to obey, but God I would say has the greater part, making obedience possible in the first place, by actually writing the higher, loftier spiritual intent of God's law within our minds and upon our hearts-as well as giving us the inner desire to obey.  No legitimate Christian denomination, whether it be Church of God Sabbatarian, Baptist, Methodist, evangelical, Calvary Chapel, you name it, has been able to properly define "law and grace".  Everyone differs in their spoken and written doctrinal definition of what "law and grace" really is.  Some, and perhaps rightly, will say that verse 22 defines the whole of God's law, based on 1 John 3:4, and they may be right.  But what is amazing, and I have noticed this in my travels throughout the differing denominations, from Torah observant Church of God Sabbatarian, Messianic Jewish, Baptist, Calvary Chapel-from what some term legalistic, to the super-grace oriented churches-all of their definitions for "law & grace" differ, but all of the Holy Spirit indwelt individuals that I have fellowshipped with within these differing parts of the body of Christ all, to a man or woman of them, are living by the same godly standards of obedience to God's law, whether that be the OT 10-C version, or the NT 9-C law of Christ version.  So something vital is missing from all our human attempts to properly define "law & grace".  Pastor Joe falls down on this, as do the Torah observant Church of God Sabbatarians do.  Everyone's off on this one.  The key is the simple Bible definition of the new covenant.  Paul says that we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.  That is our part.  But God says he will write his laws-and I believe "law" is in the plural, both in Jeremiah and Hebrews 8-within our minds and upon our hearts.  It's a dual responsibility, God's and man's, and it is talking about the whole law of God, in it's spiritual intent, whether it's lusting, stealing, lying, killing-hating, dishonoring God, idolatry, coveting-all wrapped up in the two great commandments Jesus quoted from Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  Obedience to God's whole law, whether the OT version or NT version, is not legalistic if it's being done in and through the power and inspiration of God's indwelling Holy Spirit.  It is merely God doing what he promised to do in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:6-13.  Hope this helps make a little clearer a subject that defies a proper explanation from the human point of view.  Many of the differing denominations will read this study, and in no way am I implying you should stop or alter your habits of obedience to God's law, for whichever system of definition for law & grace you are using, God himself is using that system of definitions you have chosen to adhere to as an aid to write his laws within your minds and upon your hearts.  And it is God who is doing the major work of accomplishing this directly by the indwelling of his Holy Spirit within you.  What person among you can walk away from an alcohol addiction, or a lusting habit, or whatever, all on his own?  Not one of you.  The intensely powerful chains of sin can only be broken by God through the divine miraculous power and inspiration of his indwelling Holy Spirit.  True obedience is a work of God within you.  And if that is so, true obedience is never legalistic or legalism, and must never be defined as such-unless you like blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  That is why it is so important not "to judge another man's servant" as Paul says in Romans 14, and by that Paul means that we are not to be judging the way other Christians define the way their walk should be, whether OT Torah observant (which group Paul was talking about in Romans 14) or NT grace oriented churches (which Paul was also talking about in Romans 14).  So I hope this helps a little.  Had to insert this explanation in here, due to the varied readership this site ministers to, from Torah observant to grace oriented.]  You remember what it was like to be in love with someone when you first met them.  You're attention was always on that person.  You brushed your teeth, you combed your hair, you put on deodorant, you cleaned the car, you opened the door, you shaved, you changed, you put on real clothes [laughter].  Love is a powerful force.  "And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandment." (verse 23)  "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.  And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." (verse 24)  The idea is, there is that new nature, there is that ability to love one another, there is that ability to deny the things of the world, there is that Spirit in our hearts that cries Abba, Father.

 

1st John 4:1-3

 

          Now, because we have the Holy Spirit, now he comes to this kind of short exhortation here, ah, where he says to us [going on into chapter 4] "Beloved, believe not every spirit,"-we have the Holy Spirit, but don't believe every spirit-"but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."  (verses 1-3)  In chapter 2 he said there are already many antichrists.  So, as he says, 'we have the Spirit of God, we have the Spirit moving on our hearts, but he says "Beloved, believe not EVERY spirit, but try the spirits."  Now, by the way, this is not written to the pastor, this is written to you.  It is your responsibility to test the spirits, and this is not the gift of discerning of spirits that is spoken of 1st Corinthians 12 to 14, because there, as Paul talks about the gifts he said "Do all speak in tongues, do all prophesy?"  The idea is, not all of us then in that context would have the gift of discerning of spirits.  That's not what it's talking about [here in verse 1 of John 4].  It is saying to us that all of us are responsible to test the spirits, plural, and when it says that, it is speaking-it is your responsibility to test me-you should never come here just every week to find out what to believe, go home, put your Bible on the shelf and open it up again next Sunday!  Paul said the Bereans were more noble because they went home and searched the Word of God to see what he was saying was true.  Again, it is your responsibility to search the Word of God.  Do not believe what I say, test the Scripture, read it yourself, see if I'm telling you the truth, that's your responsibility.  Because I'll tell you this, things are going to get stranger and stranger before Christ comes.  The world we live in is scheduled to be deceived, and it is scheduled to be deceived by false prophets and false teachers.  Your safety is not listening to me, your safety is you have the blood of Jesus, you have the Holy Ghost, and you have the Word of God.  And you do not need to be intimidated by any man.  So you, it says, the responsibility falls on you, for your wife, for your children, for your husband, you yourself test the spirits to see whether they are of God-because many false prophets-and that seems to be the context, the movement of what's motivating a ministry or a minister or a preacher-it says "many false prophets" in context with spirits, "are gone out into the world.  And this is how we know [or Hereby we know] whether the spirit is of God, whether it's the Spirit of God."  And here's your test.  "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God."  And here's the test, and take note to it, you might miss it.  Every spirit that confesses, now to confess, homologeo, to say the same thing as God, to agree with God about this-that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  Again, the background is, the Gnostic heresy and a heretic named Cerinthis that John had to confront, who basically said in his day, again, that the Spirit of Messiah or the Spirit of Christ came upon Jesus when he was baptized in Jordan, came upon him like a dove, and stayed upon him until the crucifixion, but that he was born a man, he died a man, that the Christ Spirit was only on him during that [short 3 ½ year] time.  And you see again, that smacks of Eastern philosophy, it smacks of the New Age movement, and it smacks of those who are waiting for avatars and new prophets and so forth.  No, what it says here is "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come into flesh"-and the Greek insinuates pre-existence.  [Remember Jesus said "before Abraham was, I AM".  One of the names for God was I AM, given to Moses at the burning bush.  The Jews understood this, and wanted to kill Yeshua, Jesus, because he was claiming pre-existence as very God, the Great I AM.]  The idea is, he is come from somewhere else, he already existed, of his own will [he came] into flesh.  "In the beginning", John says in his gospel, "was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God, and the Word" not was made, but "became flesh and dwelt among us.  And we beheld his glory." John 1:14.  So what he's insinuating here is the Deity of Christ and the incarnation, that the Jesus we believe in.In other words, if you tell me you believe in Jesus, and you say 'Yah, but I don't necessarily believe in the virgin birth, you know, that's, we don't know what Mary was up to, but I think he was a great teacher, and he's the Jesus of the Bible, I don't necessarily think he took away the sins of the whole world, but I believe he had some great things to say.  I don't necessarily believe that he rose from the dead, this 2nd coming of Jesus stuff is a little.'  Well let me tell you something, [if you believe in that stuff he just mentioned] you don't believe in the same Jesus I believe in, because I believe in the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world, that of his own will came into the womb of a virgin miraculously, was born, sinless, died on the cross to take away the sin of the world, rose on the 3rd day, and is ready at any moment to come back again.   That's the Jesus that we're talking about here.  And every spirit that confesses that is of God.  There's your test.  "Every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God."  So, watch a ministry, what is the emphasis in a ministry?  Is it healing, or is it Jesus?  And I believe that God heals, we pray for the sick, I see people healed.  Is it prosperity, or is it Jesus?  And I believe there may be seasons in our life when God prospers us.  Paul learned to be abased and abound.  Is it holy laughter or is it Jesus?  What is the emphasis?  Are they building on sand or are they building on the Rock?  Jesus said, "when the Holy Spirit comes he will not testify of himself, but he will take the things that belong to me and show them, and he will speak of me."  So if you go to a Holy Ghost meeting, that is not a Holy Ghost meeting.  Because the Holy Ghost won't talk about himself.  If you go to a Jesus Christ meeting, you are at a Holy Ghost meeting.  You know, again, I appreciate so much some of the great men we see in the media, there are those that, it was beautiful to see the Graham team [Billy Graham and Franklin Graham] and the integrity, and to see thousands of people come forward, without all the nonsense, without people rolling around on the floor with, without all the insanity-beautiful, peaceful demonstration of power and integrity.  I appreciate that greatly.  And Jesus said when the Holy Spirit comes, he will not speak of himself but will take the things that belong to me and show them unto you.  So, it's up to you.  Test the spirits.  If the spirit behind a ministry or a movement confesses and places before you the incarnation, Jesus Christ, coming in the flesh, being God from birth-not from baptism-on through his resurrection, still on the throne of God, if the spirit [of that ministry] confesses, if that is what the emphasis is, it is of God.  "If the spirit [of that ministry] does not confess that Christ is come in the flesh, it is not of God.  This is the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."  (verse 3)  Now, again, some of the major movements in the world today are antichrist.  Islam.  And I am not putting down any individuals that are Muslim.  But Islam is a movement that is antagonistic to Judaism and Christianity.  And it is a major force-and if the Lord tarries much longer, that we will all recon with in the world today.  And Mohammed did not like Jews and Christians because they are "the people of the Book" and he could not convert them.  Marxism, Communism is antichrist, what motivates those movements.  The politically correct politics that surround us today are antichrist.  They mock Judeo-Christian ethics, family values, righteousness, morality, the identification of sin, the need of a Savior.  And all of those movements will ultimately culminate in a single individual that the Bible calls the Antichrist, who will rule the world with tyranny.  Just interesting, I saw a show on TV today talking about Nostrodamus and how he was so excellent with his prophecies, and everything he said, he said would happen, and he also prophecied that a great leader is about to come and bring peace to the whole world-Oh boy, what a set-up, Nostrodamus, he ate too much Pizza before he went to sleep, Edgar Case the sleeping prophet, you know.  This is the Word of God, and if they're not testifying that Jesus is come in the flesh, the spirit is not of God.  Ah, we can't go any further.  We're kind of breaking in the middle of a, ah we're breaking where we shouldn't break, but obviously in God's sovereignty that's where we're supposed to break [off].  We will pick up in verse 4, if you will read ahead "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them"-plural, false prophets-"because greater is he"-Jesus, the Holy Spirit-"that is in you, than he that is in the world."  (verse 4)  You're security in the midst of deception that will come on the world is not your own strength or wisdom, it is that he will work within your heart and he will keep you and he is committed to you, and will give you that ability to test the spirits.  Let's stand, and let's pray."  [sermon transcript of 1 John 3:4-24; 4:1-3 given by Pastor Joe Focht, © Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 1996, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 
Click Here to Print

content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
Questions or problems with the web site contact the WebServant - Hosted and Maintained by CMWH, Located in the Holy Land