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1st & 2nd & 3rd John

1 John Chapter 1: Walking in Light or Walking in Darkness

Feb 8th, 2010 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

It is essential to give a little preface before we begin a verse-by-verse study of the three epistles of John. To our understanding and experience, they are probably the least understood epistles in the New Testament. One reason is that when we read the first epistle, it is sort of sonorous and mellifluous; that is, its flow is sweet like honey. If we finished this epistle and were asked four hours later what we had read, very few would know because it has a seeming lack of perspicuity; that is, it lacks a definiteness on the surface. However, if we were living at the time this epistle was written, it would be dynamite—just the opposite.

For many years, we found that something was lacking in reviews and considerations of this first epistle, but fortunately, within the past year, we found someone who agreed with us. What we would like to say is the following. While this first epistle correctly conveys the peculiar and affectionate disposition of the Apostle John when it is superficially read and understood, we will endeavor to show that none of the apostles spoke more sharply than John.

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1 John Chapter 2: Jesus our Advocate and Propitiation, Different Types of Sin, Antichrist

Feb 8th, 2010 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

John kept repeating and returning to the theme of keeping God’s commandments and trying to do His will. If that attitude characterizes our desire and walk, then (1) we know that we love God and (2) God will know that we love Him. Nevertheless, we have Jesus as our Advocate with the Father when we sin unintentionally. Otherwise, we would become very discouraged in trying to walk in the Son’s footsteps. God does judge our heart in these matters, but we have to recognize that Jesus’ blood covers our sins—that he was actually made in the flesh, died on the Cross, and is the propitiation for our sins. The Gnostics rejected John’s Gospel as a part of the Word. Certain heretics back there took only what they pleased and rejected the rest of the apostles’ writings. This selectivity was promoted by higher critics.

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1 John Chapter 3: Characteristics of the Sons of God, and Children of the Devil

Feb 8th, 2010 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Now we can understand why John worded portions of his epistle two different ways. (1) He told about evil ones, grievous wolves, who had never been of the Church. They had a wolfish nature when they entered, and they were still wolves. In other words, while they professed Christianity, there was no change in their conduct. (2) John also told of a class that arose within the Church speaking perverse doctrines. They were of the truly consecrated, but they began to err and go out of the truth. Thus there were two different classes.

In this first epistle, then, John went back and forth in speaking of the two classes. He said that those of the grievous wolf class were of the devil—they were of the devil previously, they were of him now, and they would be of him in the future. Those of the other class left of their own volition. They tried to draw disciples by dividing the class and getting some to leave.

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1 John Chapter 4: Test the Doctrines, False Prophets, Jesus’ Mission, Love

Feb 8th, 2010 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Basically the word “spirits” pertains to doctrine, but it is like the word “conversation” in the King James, which we change to “conduct.” Therefore, it is helpful to think of “spirits” as being both the doctrine and the disposition, or character, of the one who is pronouncing the message. The false element professed to be prophets, taking the position that they were speaking the truth. However, the listener had to be cautious. Since John spoke so much about “love” in this epistle, we can add the thought of “conduct” as well. Thus the listener was to test the doctrine of the speaker and observe his character, conversation, and conduct to see if they squared with Scripture and the qualifications of a bona fide Christian. Both the doctrine and the spirit that accompanied the doctrine were to be tested. In fact, testing and careful consideration were essential “because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” We are not to be too trustful of what we hear and of what one professes to be.

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1st John Chapter 5: Believing in Jesus, Prayer, Sin Unto Death

Dec 12th, 2009 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Verse 6 requires a little more examination. “This is he that came by water [baptism] and blood [crucifixion, death], even Jesus Christ.” Jesus began his ministry with water baptism. At that time, John the Baptist made a startling announcement, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Earlier John had said he was not worthy to stoop down and unloose the latchet of Messiah’s shoes (Mark 1:7). The start of Jesus’ earthly ministry was quickly noised abroad in Jewry. “Water” was the start of his ministry, and “blood” was the conclusion of his ministry, when he died on the Cross. Both events were startling, and both were accompanied by signs.

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The Second Epistle Of John: Antichrists and Deceivers

Dec 12th, 2009 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Many deceivers were active, and some may even have been entertained in her home. John was concerned about doctrinal error. One error was that Christ had merely appeared at his First Advent, that he was not really flesh and blood (a human being) but a spirit being and thus an apparition. Hence the false teachers said that Jesus did not really die on the Cross. Angels appeared (materialized) in Old Testament times, ate a meal, and then disappeared. The false teachers thought the same of Jesus by mixing things he did before and after his resurrection. This error paved the way for Satan to later introduce the Antichrist teaching that Jesus was half God and half man and only seemed to die on the Cross—that it was God on the Cross. This false teaching destroyed the need for a vicarious sacrifice to pay the price for sin, whereas flesh and blood had to pay for the sin of Adam. If we do not remember this fact, we will forget that we need to be forgiven for sin, and the false teachers back there said they did not sin—and hence did not need forgiveness. Christian Scientists think somewhat along this erroneous line. Truth was distorted; Scriptures were perverted. This false teaching was the means by which Satan deceived.

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The Third Epistle Of John: How to deal with Controlling Individuals

Dec 12th, 2009 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Gaius did well to ignore Diotrephes and to continue to entertain the pilgrim brothers, yet Diotrephes spoke against them when they visited the ecclesia. He also spoke maliciously against the apostles. John indicated that if he visited that ecclesia, he would remember what Diotrephes had done and would not just cover everything over with “love.” John would take action and sharply rebuke him.

Possibly one reason John wrote this epistle is that he had heard what was going on, and he knew of Gaius’s hospitality. Also, he knew that Diotrephes would castigate Gaius and excommunicate him from the class. In fact, Gaius may already have been excommunicated, and if so, John would be encouraging him.

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Review of John’s Three Epistles

Dec 10th, 2009 | By | Category: 1st & 2nd & 3rd John, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

John did not go into the fine details that Paul did but just enunciated right and wrong principles. Before quoting from John’s epistles, we should read all three to make sure we get the right thought.

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