HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Commentary On The Book of First John
The Book of First John, chapter 4
THEME: God is love . . . God's children must love
We have come to a very difficult section of Scripture here in the fourth chapter of First John. One of the reasons is that we are dealing with the spirit world which none of us knows too much about. The second reason is that we are in the Devil's territory. Whenever I teach about the devil, he tries everything in his power to stop me.
In the first six verses of this chapter, John warns against false teachers, false prophets. John warns us, having just established the fact that we as God's TRUE children, have been given the Spirit of God! The Holy Spirit dwells in TRUE believers: (John 14:16-17,23; Rom.5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor.2:12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:13; Eph. 2:22; 4:6; Phil.2:13; 2 Tim.1:14; John 2:27; 4:12 ). We have been given an anointing to understand the things of God.
Warning Against False Teachers; Test The Spirits . . . 1 John 4:1-6
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. [KJV]
Do NOT believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God, test it with the Word of God! For there are many false teachers around.
This is a very difficult passage in Scriptures, yet one of extreme importance! Difficult because we are dealing with the spirit world which no one knows much about, and too these ‘spirits’ are headed by none other than Satan. Important because there are many Christians (especially new ones) who are so susceptible to false teachers.
Who or what are the ‘spirits’ John is referring to? It is someone who is bringing ‘religious’ doctrine to you. John warns us to make sure that what they are bringing is the Truth! Some people are very naive or gullible, and they tend to believe anything they hear, or read. I beg you to check out everyone teaching God’s Word, including me!
“False prophets” are false teachers! What is a false teacher? Who is behind all false teachers? And why are they SO dangerous? A false teacher is someone who is bringing a message that is NOT the Truth of the Bible.
There are SO many of them, was back then; and they are still here today! From where do these false teachers come? Who is behind them? The answer is the devil! Let’s discuss Satan briefly. He is NOT present everywhere, NOT all powerful, or NOT all knowing like God! Neither has he ‘always been’ like God! He is a created being (as are we) and he is subject to the limitations of creaturehood. God is love! Satan is hate!
Just as God has His children who serve Him; Satan too, has his children who serve him, carrying out his ‘hate’ work, against God and God’s children. These include some of the demons (angels who fell with him), and it includes also ‘false Christians’ that he plants among the TRUE Christians (Mat.13:24-30; 2 Cor.11:13-15). And too, any time that a person hears the Truth, Satan is never content to let it go unhindered. He will try, by any means necessary, to either discredit that Truth, or offer his own counterfeit version (see 2 Cor.3-4; Gal.1:6-7; 2 Jn.1:7-9). John warns that we must be on guard, constantly! At times, we, like Peter (Mat.16:23) are so unaware of God’s ways, that even our best intentions can serve Satan’s purpose. Because of this, we must constantly depend on God’s Spirit to lead us. Remember, the awesome power of the Holy Spirit is sufficient to drive Satan’s influence away from believers who truly seek to do God’s will.
What are some false things that are being taught?
- #1. Denying Christ’s deity.
- #2. Denying Christ’s humanity.
- #3. You can ‘work’ your way to Heaven.
- #4. Everyone will go to Heaven.
- #5. Someone other than God can forgive your sins.
- #6. Only membership in their church can get you to Heaven.
- #7. Certain religious rites can give you access to Heaven.
- #8. You must be baptized (water).
- # 9. Praying to someone other than God Almighty will get results.
- #10. Being a good, moral person gains you access to Heaven.
- #11. It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.
There are many, many more. This is just a few common FALSE doctrines . . . damnable heresies (2 Per.2:1). Why are they so dangerous? Because they can lead you astray, onto that broad road that Jesus spoke of (Mat.7:13), that leads to the fires of Hell. Faith in Jesus, and Jesus alone can give you access to the gates of Heaven. You cannot work your way there; you cannot buy your way there. All roads do NOT lead to Heaven! BEWARE of false doctrine! . . . http://www.hisservants.org/false_doctrines_h_s.htm
John states we are to ‘try’ the spirits, to see if they are ‘of God’ or not. We must constantly check to determine if the person is bringing Truth or error.
How do we do this?
- Do their words agree with what God’s Word states?
- Do they teach that Jesus is fully God?
- Do they teach that Jesus is fully Man?
- Do they teach the resurrection of Jesus?
- Do they reverence God AND Jesus?
- Do they believe in the Trinity?
- Do they believe the Holy Spirit of God exists?
- Do they believe there is a Hell?
- Do they believe there is a devil?
- Do they believe that he has great power?
- Do they believe that Jesus is the only Way to Heaven? (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
- What about their attitude (proud or humble)?
- What about their lifestyle, how do they live?
- What about the fruits of their ministry?
The Bible confirms all these things. If a preacher or teacher says something questionable; check it out with God’s Word! Don’t be taken in by these ‘ministers of Satan’ (2 Cor.11:13-15). Be extremely careful, because they will make their doctrine sound wonderful! And the worst part, a portion of what they say will be true. Satan’s substitutes are never completely false! BEWARE!
Satan does not want anyone to worship God, nor does he want anyone to study God’s Word and learn the ‘Truth’ that is found therein. Satan is anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Christians, anti-love. He is behind ALL false teachers and all the false doctrines they bring!
As you have probably guessed by now, I absolutely abhor any and all false doctrines! Am I permitted to HATE like this? YES! God’s Word states that any person (or even an angel) that brings a false doctrine will be “accursed.” God hates it; so you and I can too! (Gal.1:8). If anyone does not love the Lord, a curse is upon him (1 Cor.16:22).
Please see our long list of false teachers and the damnable heresies they teach: http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_1_false_teachers.1.htm . . . BEWARE!!!
1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: [KJV]
The message the person is bringing is from one of two sources: the Holy Spirit of God, bringing you the TRUTH . . . OR the devil himself, bringing you lies and falsehood. Satan is the father of all lies (Jn.8:44). He began in the Garden of Eden telling Eve falsehoods, and he hasn’t let up since! Satan successfully tempted Adam and Eve to sin; and he still tempts each and every one of God’s children every day! He doesn’t worry about unbelievers, for they already belong to him. In this verse John tells us how to recognize a true teacher. If the person believes and teaches that Jesus Christ came in the flesh; as a baby, born in Bethlehem, that person is bringing you the Truth of the Bible. The Cross at Calvary and the Garden Tomb are absolutely meaningless unless Jesus is Who He claimed to be, the God-Man! Jesus is absolutely who He claimed to be; God! (John 10:30,38; 14:10-11; 17:11,22). If the person does not believe and teach this Truth, this fact, run away as fast as you can!
1 John 4:3 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. [KJV]
John very plainly states that these false teachers do NOT come from God! God did NOT send them! You cannot deny the Virgin Birth of our Lord Jesus, and be a Christian! It is absolutely impossible! If you do this, you are calling God the Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit a LIAR! Anyone who denies that Jesus came in the flesh, as God’s Word clearly portrays (both Old and New Testament), “is not of God” John says!
The coming ‘antichrist’ will be the embodiment of ALL evil and wickedness. He will be under the full control of Satan. So, the ‘spirit of antichrist’ simply has to be evil! John told his readers that they had heard it was to come; and in fact, was already there. Believe me, that ‘spirit’ has NOT gone away, nor will it go away. In fact, it will only increase with each passing day!
John is the only writer to use this term: antichrist. This is the third time he uses it (2:18, 22). As we saw, ‘anti’ means both against and instead of (imitation). Jesus Himself warned that many ‘spirits of antichrists’ would come. Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. [KJV]
The ones who come and testify that they are Christ, are many. One of the most recent was David Koresh, in Waco, Texas. Jesus said there will be many! And there will be many false teachers, and preachers, and prophets too. Some folks think that just because a man is behind the pulpit, he is a man of God. That is NOT always true. BEWARE! I have known personally, some preachers who were not God’s children; they had never come to know Jesus for the full pardon of their sins. They were NOT saved!
And I have seen some ‘preachers’ who are preaching falsehoods from that pulpit. “Send me money and I will pray, and your financial difficulties will disappear.” “Send me money and I will pray, and your health will be restored.” etc. Hogwash! God does NOT promise to give us worldly wealth. God does NOT promise to give us good health. If it is in His will, we will receive it, if not, His grace is always sufficient (2 Cor.12:9). His marvelous grace will see us through anything that comes along. These so-called ‘preachers’ are bilking millions of dollars from gullible people in the Name of our glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! (Tit.1:11). It makes me sick! See our article on some extremely rich preachers! . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_cults_rich_preachers.1.htm
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [KJV] . . . The world is FULL of false teachers. We must be on guard every possible moment in case one comes our way. BEWARE!!!
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. [KJV]
If you are God’s child, you are precious to Him, and there is no reason whatsoever for you to be taken in by these satanic heresies. When you look around at all the evil and wickedness encompassing us, please realize that it is much more powerful than we are. Remember, it is controlled by Satan. But this wonderful verse gives us great comfort. John tells us we have ‘overcome’ them (spirits of antichrist).We have already won the battle. John goes on to tell us that the Holy Spirit of God is much greater, much more powerful than he that is in the world. Who is ‘in the world’? It is Satan.
BUT . . . John tells us very plainly that “He that is in you” (the Holy Spirit), is greater than Satan . . . MUCH greater!!! We need to remember this truth. We need to remember just how powerful the Holy Spirit is. We need to remember to use His power! James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [KJV] . . . This is a great verse from James. When most people quote this verse, they quote just the last part. The ‘key’ is the first part! We must give ourselves humbly to God. A lot of folks don’t like the word "submit." What does ‘submit’ mean? It means to co-operate voluntarily. Some people don’t like the word "humble" either. BUT, if you don’t get rid of your pride and humble yourself before God, the devil has you just where he wants you. Why does God hate pride? Remember, that was the devil’s downfall (Isa.14:12-15). Pride is in effect saying: “I can do it myself. I don’t need you, God.” God wants us to depend on Him, to trust Him, for everything! ( For more see Pro.16:19; 22:4; 29:23; Isa.57:15; Mat.18:4; Mic.6:8; Lu.14:10; 22:26; Rom.12:3; Jam.4:10; 1 Pet.5:5).
1 John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. [KJV]
False teachers have a great following. Cults are growing much faster than true Christianity. And the occult is really growing. There are “churches” of Satan. And there is great progress in attaining the ‘one-world religion’. These things must come to pass. They are drawing nearer and nearer with each passing day. We are indeed living in the ‘last time’ or the ‘last days’. When the Rapture occurs (1 Thes.4:13-17), when Christ comes to call ALL God’s children Home; what will be left on Earth? Will there be any ‘churches’? Yes, there will be churches, but NOT Christians, not TRUE ones! They will be gone! The people left will be Satan’s children, children of disobedience, the children of the wicked one (Mat.13:38; Jn.8:44; Ac.13:10; 1 Jn.3:10). And the worst part is that they think they are right. Satan blinds their minds and hearts 100% (2 Cor.4:3-4). This is why we as God’s children have a great job ahead of us. The harvest fields (lost souls) are ripe, ready to harvest (John 4:35). We need to get busy. . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_one_world_order.htm
There are many preachers today that are preaching only what the people want to hear; NOT what the people need to hear! People do NOT want to hear the Truth (Jer.6:10; 8:9; 1 Tim.4:1-2; 2 Tim.4:2-4). The devil’s doctrines are much easier on the ears and hearts! Anyone who faithfully preaches and teaches God’s pure Word, will not be popular. People do NOT want to hear their sins denounced, they do NOT want to hear they must change their lives or end up in the eternal agony of Hell. They do NOT want to hear about Hell. So, the majority of preachers today are NOT preaching on any of these vital subjects! The devil knows what people want to hear and he has many ‘ministers’ who are more than willing to preach what they want to hear (2 Co.11:13-15). They make it all sound SO good! BEWARE! Is the TRUE Word of God being preached and taught in YOUR church? Better check it out!
1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. [KJV]
Verses 5 & 6 contrast God’s children (believers), with the children of the wicked one (unbelievers). Let us remember that in God’s eyes, there are only two ‘families’ in the world: those who accept His Son and become His children; and those who reject His Son and stay Satan’s children. You must realize that you cannot straddle the fence. You can’t sit up there and say “I’ll make a decision tomorrow”. You are in one family OR the other. Where salvation is concerned, there is absolutely NO gray area; it is either black OR white. God’s children readily ‘hear’ the Word of God; and if they hear error, they can discern that it is error! Unbelievers will not listen to one bearing the TRUE Gospel message; the Truth of the Bible, yet they so often gobble up the falsehoods that deceivers bring. Peter calls false doctrine “damnable heresies” (2 Pet.2:1-2), and this is exactly how I feel about it.
God’s Love and Our Love . . . 1 John 4:7-21
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. [KJV]
We must love each other, for love comes from God. Those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know Him better. The love to which John is referring is NOT a ‘feeling’, but instead a ‘choice’ and an ‘action’. The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians is a good example. Jesus is still yet a better example! God is the source of our love (Gal.5:22-23). The Holy Spirit gives us the power and wisdom to love. Yes, I think we must have wisdom in order to love with the love of God. This is supernatural love of which we are speaking. We are NOT capable of loving like this on our own! It must be put into our hearts by God’s Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, you have this love. But, the question is, do you use it as you should? “Love one another”. If you do, you ‘know’ God!
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. [KJV]
If a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he does NOT know God . . . for God is love. This is the negative side to verse 7. This is a test for all believers: do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? If you don’t, you do NOT know God! Pretty strong language! 1 Cor. 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (KJV) . . . Anathema Maranatha means divine judgment approaching, cursed. If we do not love our Christian family, we do not love Jesus!
Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (KJV) . . . Saul was persecuting Christians, not Jesus Himself. But, in Jesus' eyes, when someone persecutes a Christian, they persecute HIM! When they hate a Christian, they hate Him!
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. [KJV]
God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into this wicked world to bring us eternal life through His death. ‘Manifested’ means God made it very plain just how much He loves us! God sent His Son. This means that Christ existed before God sent Him! ‘His only begotten Son’ means Jesus is one of a kind! He is unique! (Jn.1:14, 18; 3:16, 18).
Jesus was not created. Jesus is the Creator! (John 1:3,10; 1 Cor.8:6; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16; Heb.1:1-2,10; 3:3; Rev.3:14). Jesus IS God! And He has a very unique relationship with the Father. ‘That we might live through Him’ means His atoning work on the Cross has lasting effect. The ‘life’ we receive through Him is eternal! And once we are in God's family, NO one can take us out! Once saved, always saved!
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [KJV]
TRUE love is this: not that we loved God, BUT that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ‘Propitiation’ means atonement. When Jesus died a sacrificial death on the Cross, (for us), it was accepted in full by God. Eph. 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (KJV) . . . Jesus' Work on the cross made peace with God (for us). The precious Blood Jesus shed on the Cross covers our sins when we accept Him and His work (1 Pet.1:18-19). So then when God looks down on us, He no longer sees our sins; but instead the precious Blood of His Son. God will NEVER turn His back on that Precious Blood. The love that God and His Son has for us is, and will be, expressed to us forever!
For more on the Blood of Jesus: (Mat. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:24-25; 5:9; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:25; Eph.1:7; 2:13,16; Col. 1:14,20; Heb. 9:12-14; 10:19-20,29; 12:24; 13:12,20; 1 Pet. 1:2,18-19; 1 John 1:7; 5:6,8; Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11).
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. [KJV]
We must love each other with the same kind of love which God loves us. This is NOT an option! We must have care, concern and compassion (the 3-C's) for other believers; we must be concerned about getting His Word out to the lost. We must be concerned about serving Him. We must be concerned about obeying Him.
1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. [KJV]
No one has ever seen God; but if we really love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. God the Father is a Spirit (John 4:24; Acts 17:24; 2 Cor.3:17), so no one has seen Him.
So how can verses like the following, and others, be explained?
Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. (KJV)
Exodus 33:22-23 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. (KJV)
Numbers 14:14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. (KJV)
Numbers 6:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (KJV)
When people in the Old Testament ‘saw’ God; they saw instead, a ‘theophany’ (shekinah), which is the visible majesty of His divine Presence. This shekinah came in the form of pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of fire at night (Ex.13:21-22), a thick cloud, fire (Ex.19:16,18), the angel of the Lord (Gen.19:1-8) many other times too, the Son of God (Dan.3:25).
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. [KJV]
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? [KJV]
John is trying to make a point in this verse: even though NO man has ever literally seen God; God manifests Himself through His children! The ‘world’ (unbelievers) does not see Jesus through the Bible, for they don’t even pick it up. But, they are supposed to see Jesus through Christians. When we love one another, God dwells in us, and His tremendous love is perfected (made complete) in us! Question?? Are people seeing Jesus and His love in YOU? I think we all fall short! I know I do!
1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. [KJV]
He has given us His own Spirit into our hearts as a proof to us that we are living with Him and He with us. When we trust Christ to save us, we are given the Holy Spirit. This is proof from God that we are His; and this is just a down payment of what is yet to come (an earnest, 2 Cor.1:21-22; 5:5; Eph.1:14). There is NO greater power available to us. We CANNOT produce God’s kind of love, but His Spirit can. Rely on Him to do so!
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (KJV)
In other words, John is a witness to the Gospel of Christ, as we should be. The greatest thing Christian love does is reach out to others with the ‘Good News’ about Jesus. He is Saviour of the world . . . to ALL who believe God (1 John 5:10-13), and accept Him (John 3:15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6)! Only Jesus can save you!
1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (KJV)
If we acknowledge that Jesus is Who He says He is, and believe in His ‘Work’ on the Cross; John states that God dwells (abides, remains, continues) in us, by His Spirit; and, we in God. Rom.8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV) See John 5:19, 24. Jesus has power! Believe it!
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. [KJV]
We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. We believe and know, the love God has for us through His Holy Spirit that abides within us; and we, as Christians do rely on Him and His love. It’s a wonderful feeling to know God is there, and will be forever (John 14:16; 2 John 2).
1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. [KJV]
As we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face Him with confidence (boldness) and joy, because He loves us and we love Him. There shall come a day when ALL mankind shall stand before Christ. When that day eventually comes, (and it will come), will you be able to stand before Him with ‘boldness’? Will you have confidence and joy when it’s your turn to stand (alone) before the Great Judge? John says that if our love has been made perfect (complete) that we will not be ashamed at His coming. Don’t stay a ‘babe in Christ’, grow, mature and be perfected in Him!
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. [KJV]
We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly. His perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what He might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what He might do to us, and shows that we are not fully convinced that He really loves us. Jesus’ love for us is ‘perfect’ (cannot be improved in any way). When we speak of our love being perfect, it means complete, mature. You are ‘perfect’ when you know in your heart that God loves you, beyond a shadow of a doubt. When you know this, you are no longer a baby, or young adult in Christ, but a ‘father’ or spiritually mature adult. You have ‘grown, in Christ’ and you look forward to Christ’s return. You have no fear! You cannot have have joy and peace when you have fear in your heart! And Jesus came to give us joy and peace, not fear (John 14:27; 15:11; 16:24). He really loves us!
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. [KJV]
Our love for Him comes as a result of His loving us first. From where does all love originate? GOD! Yet all our love that we show, whether to God or mankind, is a response to God loving us first! No one can demonstrate love better than God, and He has already proven this by sending His own Son to save us from eternal damnation (Mat.25:41,46; John 3:18,36; 8:24; 2 Thes.1:8-9; Rev.20:15). And Jesus proved His love by submitting to God’s plan of salvation; death on that Cross. God is the source of all human love; and if we choose to love, it will spread like wildfire through our entire being. For more on the wrath of God upon those who do not love (Rom.1:18; 2:5; Eph. 5:6; Col 3:6; Heb 3:11; Rev. 6:16-17; 14:10-11; 15:1,7; 16:19; 19:15). Rom.2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (KJV) . . . Unbelievers keep piling up their sins, treasuring up for themselves God's wrath, which shall be revealed on Judgment Day! If you do not know Jesus as your Saviour, it is not too late.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? [KJV]
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. We are created in the image of God (Gen.1:26-27). If we hate (show anything other than love) to our brothers and sisters in Christ, HOW can we love God? If we don’t love God’s visible images (the brethren), how can we possibly love the invisible God? God says that if we say we love Him, and hate our brother or sister in Christ, we are “LIARS”! His Words . . . not mine!
1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. [KJV]
Our command: Whoever loves God must love his brother also. We can find this in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Lev.19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (KJV)
Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
So, God has NOT changed His mind about it! We cannot truly love God if we neglect to love those around us. God’s command to us, as His children, is to love. Because He loves us (all of us), we must love the same way. It is NOT an option . . . this is a command! Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. [KJV] So, what sacrifice does God want from us? LOVE!
Heb.13:15-16 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (KJV)
I was curious to see just how many times the word ‘love’ appeared in this lesson. A total of 27 times! In all of First John, it appears 46 times. Why does John (God) keep repeating the word? Because love is of extreme importance! We simply cannot be God’s children without love!
Ch.1 . . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5