Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 56
The True Light – Part 2
I John 2:1-29
We invite you to just search the Scriptures with us. Compare Scripture with Scripture and remember that someday you’re not going to stand before the Lord and plead that you were loyal to your denomination. That’s not going to hold water. But, you’re going to be judged as Romans says, according to Paul’s Gospel. A lot of people don’t know that verse is in the Bible, either. That’s what Paul says in Romans 2:16 that “every man will be judged by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” And what is Paul’s Gospel of salvation? To believe in your heart that Jesus died for you, was buried and rose again. As Paul declares in I Corinthians 15:1-4. If you believe that, and that only, for salvation, then God saves you to the uttermost, and forever!
And of course, that’s why we hold forth the Pauline Scriptures as paramount (not them only, but they are paramount because of course, they are written to the Gentiles in particular, the Jews of course as well, during this Age of Grace). So, this is our ministry – to just simply teach the Book and help people to understand it, and see how it is divided, so that you will know what Scriptures you can claim for doctrine in this Church Age.
All right, we’re in I John chapter 2 and we’re ready to go into verse 3. Now again, I’m going to constantly be showing you how Jewish, and in accord with the Four Gospels, all these little letters are. Now this next verse just rings a bell. This isn’t Paul. This is John.
I John 2:3
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
Now goodness, where does that ring a bell from? Well, go back with me to Matthew chapter 19 – and every time I use this verse I have to remember a phone call several years ago where a lady called and said, “Les I’m totally confused.” I said, “What’s the matter?” She continued, “Well, yesterday morning my priest’s subject was Matthew 19,” (Matthew 19 verses 16 and 17, and that was his sermon.) And she said, “This morning on your program, you’re telling us we’re not under the Law and the Commandments; we’re under Grace. Now I’m confused.”
Well now I didn’t bring you back here to confuse you – I brought you back here to see how this is exactly the same language that John uses in his little epistle as is used in the Four Gospels. All right, Jesus is speaking in Matthew 19.
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17. And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: But, if thou wilt enter into life, (that is eternal life) keep the (what?) commandments.”
Keep the Commandments. That was His answer. All right, now come back to I John and the Spirit now inspires John to write (since we’re dealing with believing Jews, not Gentiles), and he says, “If you really know the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, then you’ll ‘keep his commandments.’” Now I’ll be the first to admit that he’s not talking about just the Ten – he’s talking about all the ramifications of the Law. But it’s still the Law that he’s dealing with. Now verse 4.
I John 2:4-5a
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (well, that’s basically what Jesus told the Jews of His own day) 5. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the (what?) the love of God perfected:.…”
Now remember what I told you in the last program? John is the Apostle who is the epitome of love, and you’re going to see it throughout his writings. The love of God as it’s brought out through this disciple of love. Now finishing the verse.
I John 2:5b-6
“…hereby know we that we are in him. 6. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
Well, now I know somebody’s going to jump at me and say, “Wait a minute. John is using the same language of Paul, of being ‘in Christ.’” Well, it’s not in the same connotation.
Come back with me to John’s Gospel again, chapter 15, the chapter on the vine, and you’ll see it’s the same kind of language. Now that’s what I’m going to be doing from these little epistles. I did it with Peter, you remember, several months back. I took the very same words that Peter used and showed you that it was what God told Moses in Exodus, that “you are a kingdom of priests. You are a peculiar people.” All those same words Peter used in his little epistle. Well, it’s the same way with John now in his epistle and in his Gospel. Remember there’s nothing of the Gospel of Grace here yet. This is all Kingdom economy. John writes:
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide (where?) in me. (do you see the language?) 5. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” And so on and so forth. And so the whole concept of these Jewish believers being in Christ, or in Jesus, and Jesus in them, that was nothing new. But it’s on a whole different plane than what Paul teaches as being members of the Body of Christ. So let’s read that verse in I John again, just to ring the bell coming out of John’s Gospel.
I John 2:6-7a
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning….” Well now goodness sakes, as John’s writes, what’s the beginning? His earthly ministry. As He begins his earthly ministry, this is what they’d been hearing. Love. And love is the fulfilling of everything.
I John 2:8-9
“Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9. He that saith he’s in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness, even until now.” All right, let’s go back to John’s Gospel again and let’s go back to chapter 1. My goodness, the whole Gospel of John is full of these things, ‘the Light and the Love.’ All right, John’s Gospel chapter 1, and here, John in agreement with Paul, is giving creation, or giving the credit for creation, to Jesus the Christ.
“All things were made by him; (By the Word, Christ, up in verse 1, He’s the Creator.) and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4. In him was life; and the life was(now here it comes. Was the what?) the light of men. 5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John (and, of course, that’s the Baptist.) 7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the (what?) Light, (L-i-g-h-t capitalized. The Light of the world.) that all men through him might (what?) believe.” There you have the potential again, see? It’s all there to be appropriated if they would just believe it.
“He (John the Baptist) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” And of course that came out of the Old Testament prophecies didn’t it? Malachi wrote that there would come an announcer, a proclaimer, that the King was coming. All right, that was John the Baptist. But now verse 9.
“That, (that is Jesus) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Now there’s a verse I’ve said before – I can’t comprehend it. I don’t expect any human being to comprehend it. I don’t know how He did it, but He did because the Book says so. And there again, this fits right with what I said in the last program. When Christ finished the work of the Cross, He was able to offer forgiveness to the whole human race. A done deal. He was able to offer reconciliation to the whole human race. It was done. But it didn’t do them any good until they appropriated it by faith. Well, the ‘Light’ is the same way. This Light lighted every human being that has ever lived. And don’t ask me how, but that’s what the Book says. Read it again. Speaking of Jesus Who was the True Light “Which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Now that doesn’t take away our need for missionaries. But on the other hand, it explains why Paul says what he says in Romans chapter 1. Now I guess I’d better go there. Keep your hand in John, I’m not through there. Come back with me to Romans chapter 1 where, before I saw John 1:9, I again was up against it with this verse. Romans 1 verse 20. And I still can’t explain it except for what John says.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;….” Every human being has some sort of an understanding of that. I couldn’t understand for the longest time, consequently:
“…so that they are without excuse.” Awesome, isn’t it? That’s why the masses of humanity out there in darkness are lost. They’re going to eternal doom. I don’t care what the Universalists say – I don’t care what anybody else may say. The Scripture teaches that they’re going to an everlasting doom. But they don’t have to! Because they’ve had the Light. And since they’ve had the Light, God, in total justice, as Paul says, can send them to that doom and they don’t have a word of excuse.
Now let’s go back and see how it happens in Revelation chapter 20. Revelation chapter 20 verse 11. These things aren’t proclaimed much from the pulpits anymore. Most people are afraid to. But look what it says:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, (Jesus the Christ) from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (now at this Great White Throne) 12. And I saw the dead, small and great (all the way from Cain, who I think is the first lost man in the human race, to the very end) stand before God; (now God in this case will be Jesus Christ.) and the books (plural) were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead (the lost, all the way back to Cain) were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
The first death was physical when they went from this life into the tomb. The second death is when they will be removed from God’s presence for all eternity. And then verse 15 settles it. This drives the final nail into it.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” Now that’s plain English. There’s no gobbledy-gook to it. All right, so now then, when you come back to John’s Gospel, the reason God can cast them into that eternal doom is because they had received enough Light to have escaped it, but they rejected it. And we’re seeing it all around us. My goodness, you try to talk to people about the truth of Scripture and they either turn away or they get mad. But let God be God. All right, back to John’s Gospel, chapter 1 again.
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (now then, speaking again of Christ the Light) 10. He was in the world, (in His earthly ministry) and the world was made by him, (He’s the Creator) and the world knew him not.”
And I’ve said it on the program– do you ever stop to think that the Roman soldiers that drove the spike into His hands were created by the One Whom they were killing? The cross came out of a tree that was made by the One Whom they were killing. The hill on which it stood was made by the One Whom they were killing. Can you feature that? And yet He never lifted a hand against them.
“He came unto his own, (the Nation of Israel. Proclaimed that He was the One they were looking for, but in their unbelief they what?) and his own received him not. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” In other words, recognized Who He was, which was the heart of the Kingdom Gospel, to believe that Jesus was Who He claimed to be. And so, throughout John’s Gospel then, you have those two concepts.
In fact let’s go to chapter 3 verses 19, 20 and 21. This is still that ‘Light’ concept. That’s why I came back here. Verse 19.
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
All right let’s go all the way back to the Old Testament to Isaiah chapter 42. This is just to show you that this is a total continuation of my timeline that we had on the board here several programs back – that everything (from Abraham all the way through the Old Testament, into Christ’s first coming, His earthly ministry, His death, burial, resurrection, His ascension and then the seven years of Tribulation and the 1,000-year Kingdom) was all part and parcel of the prophetic Scriptures – prophecy. So this is prophecy.
“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, (now I think here it’s speaking of the Nation of Israel) and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, (for what purpose?) for a light of the Gentiles.” And so this whole concept of God’s light being shed abroad is nothing new. It came up through all the prophecies of the Old Testament. It was part and parcel of His earthly ministry. And now with that past, now these little epistles (especially John back here), is again going to epitomize the ‘Light’ factor. All right, I John again. Verse 9, repeating it, as that’s where we just left off:
I John 2:9
“He that saith he is in the light, (in other words, he is a believer. He has recognized that Jesus is indeed the Light of the World. Now if he says he’s in the light) and hateth his brother,(well then he’s a liar, and) is in darkness even until now.” He’s not in the light, he’s still in darkness if he hates his brother. Now verse 10.
I John 2:10-11
“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11. But (now here’s the other side of the coin again) he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” All right, now John speaks of a blindness. Come back with me again to II Corinthians chapter 4, where Paul also speaks of a blindness, and a light, both.
II Corinthians 4:3-4
“But (Paul writes) if our gospel (the one of I Corinthians 15:1-4) be hid, it is hid to them that are (what?) lost: (the lost person is stumbling in a spiritual darkness. He can’t see to put one foot ahead of the other, spiritually speaking) 4. In whom (these people walking in spiritual darkness) the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the (here it comes now) light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
So who keeps the Light from shining into the heart and mind of the unbeliever? Satan does. And he’ll use anything and everything at his disposal. Now today I think people are being blinded with activity. Everybody is busy, busy, busy. Materialism is all they can think about. And then on top of that we have all the smut and the rot of an immoral society. And all of this is part and parcel of Satan’s veil of darkness to keep people from seeing the Light of Truth. All right look at I John verse 11 one more time. Let’s repeat it in light of what Paul just wrote the Corinthians. I think this is so apropos.
I John 2:11a
“But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness,.…”
Now have you ever walked in pitch dark? Boy, it’s just about enough to drive you inside out, isn’t it? And you just don’t know what to do next. Pitch darkness – well, that’s where the lost person is. He is just constantly fumbling and stumbling, not knowing which way to go next. Well, so is the brother in darkness. They have no concept of eternity. They have no concept anymore of right and wrong. My, I think with every passing week it’s getting truer that these people are calling white things black and black things white. Right things wrong and wrong things right. It’s just compounding. Why? Because they’re stumbling in the dark. Now we’ll close with a couple of more verses.
I John 2:12
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Now remember he’s writing to Jewish believers still in the Kingdom economy, but they had experienced forgiveness because they recognized Who Jesus really was.
I John 2:13a
“I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning,.…”
Now that, I think, you can take it back, either from the beginning of His earthly ministry to the Nation of Israel, or you can take it all the way back to Creation. However you want to do it. But He’s from everlasting to everlasting.
I John 2:13b-14
“…I write unto you, young men, (now he’s speaking in terms of family ages, the fathers to the sons) because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you little children, (now we’re coming down to the younger element of the family) because ye have known the Father. 14. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” How did they overcome him? By their faith.