Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 56
1 John 2:1-29 – Part 2
Alright, I John chapter 2 and just for the sake of bringing us back up to date where we left off, John is now dealing with the signs of the soon coming of the Messiah. Now, again, I’m going to keep repeating it and repeating it (in case somebody has missed it or if you’re just new in tuning in), that these little Jewish epistles now are just a continuation of the Old Testament prophecies. They have no concept that the Church Age is going to intervene. There is nothing of church language in these little epistles, even though we’re dealing with the same God.
There are certain things, as we’ve been showing now that will probably correlate with what Paul says. In fact, John’s Gospel does to a certain degree, but it is still the kingdom economy dealing with Israel and presenting the coming of their Messiah. Christ came the first time, but the Nation of Israel rejected Him, but in the near future, we feel, as did John, that He is going to return and yet give the kingdom to Israel. And so in verse 18, as we saw at the end of the last lesson, John reminds them, “it’s the last time, and since it is the last time many false Christs will be appearing.”
And that’s where we left off – that even in our own time now, as we have come full circle, the 2,000 years, the time that these people were living in didn’t bring in the Tribulation. God stopped the timeline and He went to the Apostle Paul to go to the Gentiles to call out the Body of Christ, and that’s where we are today. And when the Body of Christ is complete and removed from the earth, the seven years of Tribulation will then take place, and He will come back and finish the prophetic program with the Nation of Israel. That means that everything that was in place back here is now getting in place once again.
Now, just as surely as when John and Peter and James were writing these little Jewish epistles, Israel was in the land, the city of Jerusalem was their capital. The Temple was operating and the Roman Empire was the empire that was over them. And here, 2,000 years later, we have it again today. Israel, after the dispersion, is back in the land; they’re back in the city. Oh, they haven’t got the Temple yet, but hopefully they will get that once the Tribulation starts. The Roman Empire is now being revived with the ECU, as Daniel tells us it would, and so everything is now reset and ready for the fulfilling of those final years. So let’s start at verse 19.
I John 2:19
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” They turned their back much like in Hebrews chapter 6, “That they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Now verse 20, and here we’re picking up on new ground.
I John 2:20
“But (John writes) ye have an unction (or you have a directive) from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” As God reveals it. And again the Apostle Paul makes the same point that it’s our indwelling Holy Spirit who makes the difference. In fact, I guess I’d better go back and use the Scriptures. Come back with me to Romans chapter 7, and verses 4, 5, 6 – these key verses that we need to compare with.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also (Paul writes) are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; (by His crucifixion) that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead,.…” Now Paul is always emphasizing the resurrection. It’s not enough to believe that Christ died; it’s not enough to believe that He was the Messiah; we have to believe that the Messiah, the Son of God, the Christ that died for our sins, rose from the dead. Otherwise Paul’s Gospel of salvation is not complete. Now we see the reason we are saved is:
“…that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (that is because of our union with Christ, we should become soul-winners. Now here it comes) 5. For when we were in the flesh, the motions (or the acts) of sins, which were by the law,.…” In other words, the distinct things in the Ten Commandments that the unsaved people are guilty of doing day in and day out. And you know them as well as I do. “Thou shalt not covet. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery” etc. Those were the acts of sins according to the Law and we all practiced those things in one way or another before our salvation.
“For when we were in the flesh, (before we were saved, before we had the indwelling Spirit) the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” That is Spiritual death as we saw in the first program this afternoon, which of course, will culminate with the Great White Throne. Now verse 6.
“But now (in this Age of Grace) we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held;.…” In other words, the Law could do nothing but condemn us. And Romans 3 makes that so plain that all the Law could do was show us our sin. All right, so we were dead when the Law was constantly condemning us, but now:
But now (in this Age of Grace) we are delivered from the law, that being dead, wherein we were held; that we should serve (alive as believers) in newness of spirit,.…” What Spirit? The Holy Spirit – and so, you see, as soon as we come out from under that heavy hand of the condemning Law and we’re saved by Grace, then instead of the Law condemning and holding us, we now have the Holy Spirit lifting us up and leading us and guiding us and keeping us from breaking that old Law. And that’s the part we have to understand that now we:
“…serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (or the Law) It’s a whole new ballgame if we can put it in present day vernacular. All right, come back with me to I John, chapter 2. So we have as well, this power and this leading of the Holy Spirit that gives us the knowledge that we need, but now in verse 21, John says:
I John 2:21-22
“I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (the two cannot mix. You can’t have lying and truth) 22. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is anti-christ, that denieth the Father and the Son.”
Now let’s compare. When I say that this is Kingdom ground, and that these are Kingdom believers, remember now that John is talking about recognizing Who Jesus really is, for salvation. All right, come back with me to Matthew 16. Matthew 16, and this was the heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom. This is the heart of the kingdom economy. Now, they were under the Law, the Temple was still operating. Nobody had said, forget the Law. But the crux of the moment was, “Who is Jesus of Nazareth?” Who is He?
It’s at the end of the three years, and they’ve been performing miracle after miracle, and the multitudes have been addressed and have been fed, and now Jesus asks the question –
“…Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they (the Twelve) said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some Elias (Elijah); and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (And Simon Peter, the spokesman, comes to the front. And watch this) 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” So always be ready to share this with people, this was the heart of the kingdom economy. “And Peter said, Thou art the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah the Son of the Living God.” Now does Jesus upbraid him? Does Jesus scold him? No. He commends him and says:
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Now that’s the way it’s been down through the ages, no man can believe the things that God says, except the Spirit gives him understanding. And the same way today. You know the question comes up all the time, “What happens first? Does a person become a believer and then the Holy Spirit enlightens?” No. The Holy Spirit has to enlighten enough for that believer to see his sin, and to see the truth of the Gospel of salvation, and then the Holy Spirit comes in and gives us a full revelation and we have salvation. But here, even Peter would have never understood Who Jesus of Nazareth was had not God Himself revealed it. And we see this throughout all of Scripture.
All right, now go to Acts chapter 8 – we’ve got the Ethiopian eunuch reading from Isaiah 53 and, again, the Spirit comes into the picture, tells Philip to get up alongside this fellow and show him what the Scriptures are talking about. And so he does:
“Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias (Isaiah), and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31. And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” That told him all about Isaiah 53, and how that was Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God.
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” However Philip knows nothing about faith in the death, burial or resurrection for salvation. So he just preached Jesus. In other words, Who He was. And that is obvious in the following verses.
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Along with the preaching that Jesus was the Christ, what did John the Baptist begin with? “Repent and be baptized.” That was also the message Peter uses at Pentecost. And so Philip, no doubt (you’ve got to read between the lines), put that same premise before him that had been part and parcel of Christ’s earthly ministry. All right, so now then, they come to water and he says, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?”
“And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Now read on and it’s so clear. “And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Period. Not a word about the cross. Not a word about resurrection. This is kingdom ground and they were to believe that Jesus was Who He claimed to be. He was the Christ.
Lets back up to Acts chapter 3, and here Peter has just healed the lame man. And you don’t have to have ten years of seminary to understand this, this is plain English. And they’d healed the lame man and the Jews of the day were all upset about how in the world Peter and John did it. Now that’s enough to make you wonder isn’t it? This is only about seven weeks after the crucifixion. The crucifixion followed all His signs and wonders and miracles. So here these Jewish people are all uptight – how did Peter and John perform such a miracle, and they couldn’t remember eight weeks back? Unbelievable isn’t it. But then, in chapter 3 verse 16. Peter is explaining to these Jews by what power they healed this man.
“And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” And it was His name, not His work of the cross, not His death, burial and resurrection, but it’s His name through faith in His name. Now the name only implied what? Who He was. And Who was He? The Anointed One. The Christ. The Son of God. Not a word about His death, burial and resurrection, but it was through “faith in His name that makes this man strong. Yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness.”
Let’s come back now to I John chapter 2. And so it’s the same thing – if these Jews recognize that the One Whom they’d crucified was the Anointed One, God imparted salvation to them. All right, but now verse 23.
I John 2:23
“Whoever denieth the Son, (anyone who would deny that He was Who He said He was) the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”That Jew who could embrace Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ became in God’s eyes a righteous individual. He was a believer and he was in the Father. Now verse 25.
I John 2:25-26
“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, (that is the Nation of Israel) even eternal life. 26. These things I have written unto you concerning them that seduce you.” Now what does that mean? Lead you astray. So John is writing to these little groups of believers, these synagogues as James calls them, these synagogues of Jewish believers who had recognized that Jesus was the Christ – but, oh, there were just as many elements trying to lead them astray. Sound familiar? Of course. Same thing today. My, today you’re getting hit with everything but the kitchen sink – if I can believe what I hear.
Now Iris and I don’t have satellite TV and we don’t have cable – so we’re immune to all that stuff. But I hear it from our listening audience. And I’m just aghast at what’s out there and it’s 90% false. They’re seducing people. Well, they were up against the same thing here. “And the things I have written that concern them that seduce you.” These false teachers as Peter laid them out – and when we get to the little book of Jude in a few tapings, he’s going to do the same thing – warn people about these false teachers. Now the flipside:
I John 2:27
“But the anointing which ye have received of him (not the false teaching of the seducers but) abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” Now does that sound like Paul? Does Paul ever say you don’t need to be taught? Let’s go back and look in Hebrews chapter 5 for a starter. And I would remind you this isn’t a contradiction. This is a change of modus operandi. John is talking to believing Jews who knew the Old Testament Scriptures – they had been steeped in them. And as he could say, “they don’t have to be taught.” But look what Paul says:
“Oh whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing. 12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again, which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” Paul says, “You don’t know that much and so you have to be fed like a baby.” Now let’s back up further to I Corinthians chapter 3, and drop in at verse 1. Now Paul says to these Corinthian believers, up there in Corinth (Gentiles primarily):
I Corinthians 3:1-3a
“And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, (in other words, they had never come very far beyond their salvation experience. Paul says I have to write to you) even as unto babes in Christ,. 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3. For ye are yet carnal:.…” Does that sound like John when he said, “you know all things?” Why, anything but. These Corinthians had a long ways to go. They had a lot to learn and so Paul says:
I Corinthians 3:3
“For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, (doesn’t that show that you’re carnal?) are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” Well, anyway, I just like to show these comparisons from time to time and make the difference between these Jewish epistles and Paul writing to Gentiles. All right, come back with me again to I John. Now verse 28.
I John 2:28a
“And now, little children, abide in him;.…” Now remember we went back to the vine and the branches – how that the believers in Christ’s earthly ministry were already abiding in Him and God was in them but in a different way than when Christ indwells a believer in the Church Age.
I John 2:28b
“…that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” That’s the Second Coming and they’re expecting that in their lifetime. And John is telling his flock, “be ready because he’s coming back soon.” Well, I could take part of His Second Coming out of chapter 3, but we’ll get to that at a later date. So for now, come back with me again to Acts chapter 1. Now the disciples here know nothing of the rapture of the Church for the Gentile Body of Christ, as it was revealed to Paul. They know nothing of that sudden silent disappearance of believers that is yet to come for us.
They’re waiting for the Lord to come down to the planet to the Mount of Olives, there in Jerusalem, at His Second Coming, and they’re going to be seeing Him face to face. And John is preparing them for His coming. All right, Acts chapter 1, verse 10, and this is at the ascension off the Mount of Olives.
“And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up,.…” Now He went up bodily. They saw Him go. Not in some invisible spirit. He left bodily in that resurrected body with the nail-prints on his hands, that you remember Thomas touched and said, “oh my Lord and my God.” So, in that body He now ascends back to Glory.
“…two men stood by them in white apparel; 11. Which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” He’s going to return bodily to the same place from where He left. All right, now let’s go back to the Old Testament prophecies – Zechariah chapter 14, and verse 4. And this is exactly what John is preparing his fellow believers for.
“And his feet shall stand in that day (the Second Coming) upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, (the same Mount of Olives that we visit whenever we go to Israel – it’s the same place) and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west,.…” All right this is what John is preparing them for. His Second Coming! And they had no idea it was going to be pushed out into the future for 2,000 years.