Chapter 2, Verse 18-24
1 John 2: 17) [GNB] The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.
QUESTION: What are these 3 verses telling us?
ANSWER: The path the Christian is on, the narrow path, is to be different that the path the unregenerate is on, the wide path. The saved see things differently that the unsaved!
QUESTION: What aren’t these verses telling us?
ANSWER: They are not telling us that if we are attracted to attractive things, that if we would prefer a more financially successful life than the one we have, or that if we want more stuff than we currently have that we are not truly Christian. Even sinful things are tempting because they are appealing. The point is that regardless of what we want we must be willing to pursue the things that God has intended for us. The issue is who do we serve? Whose lead do we follow?
Matthew 6:24) [GNB] You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
QUESTION: Why does God love the world [John 3:16] and tell us not to?
ANSWER: One thing is for certain, it can’t be wrong for you and I to do what God does. Therefore, the “world” that God loves and the “world” that He tells us not to love are two very different things. It is obvious that the “world” God loves is the world of people; it’s all those who inhabit the planet. WE SHOULD LOVE THAT “WORLD” ALSO! The “world” we’re not to love is the world of things that this life presents us with; AND GOD DOESN’T LOVE THAT WORLD EITHER!
NOTE: In other words, 1) we shouldn’t love to do those things that bring gratification to our flesh, yet are forbidden by Scripture; 2) we shouldn’t love everything that appeals to our sight; and 3) we shouldn’t love those things that make us feel superior to others. GOD LOVES THE WORLD OF PEOPLE; WE SHOULD NOT LOVE THE WORLD OF THINGS!
ANOTHER NOTE: When God loves the world of people He genuinely loves them. When we love the world of things it’s actually a perversion of true love; IT IS LUST!
On To This Week’s Lesson:
1 John 2:18-19) [GNB] My children, the end is near! You were told that the Enemy of Christ would come; and now many enemies of Christ have already appeared, and so we know that the end is near.
(GW) Children, it’s the end of time. You’ve heard that an antichrist is coming. Certainly, many antichrists are already here. That’s how we know it’s the end of time.
19) [GNB] These people really did not belong to our fellowship, and that is why they left us; if they had belonged to our fellowship, they would have stayed with us. But they left so that it might be clear that none of them really belonged to us.
QUESTION: Who are these people who left the fellowship?
ANSWER: These are the Gnostics who, I believe, made it a point to be seen with John, and other known church leaders, so that others would think that they were “one of them,” and conclude that they, like John, had Apostolic authority to state church doctrine. [see my commentary on I John, pages 61-62 to see my full explanation on this subject]
QUESTION: Who does John compare these false teachers to?
ANSWER: He compares them to the coming Antichrist.
QUESTION: What does John mean when he says, “we know it’s the end of time?
ANSWER: Even the first century, A.D. church lived in expectation of the coming of Christ.
In regards to this thought,
“‘In this last hour we all even still live’ [BENGEL]. Each successive age has had in it some of the signs of ‘the last time’ which precedes Christ’s coming, in order to keep the Church in continual waiting for the Lord” [JFB].
1 John 2:20-21) [GNB] But you have had the Holy Spirit poured out on you by Christ, and so all of you know the truth.
(KJV) But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21) [GNB] I write you, then, not because you do not know the truth; instead, it is because you do know it, and you also know that no lie ever comes from the truth.
QUESTION: What does this passage teach us about the abiding Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: The Holy Spirit makes us realize that all Truth is based on rightly dividing the Word of God. We have the Scripture; we don’t need any additional “truth.”
QUESTION: Are there groups today in the Christian world who base their beliefs on the Word of God along with some new truths?
ANSWER: Absolutely! There are those who offer “another testament.” There are others who offer leaders who they claim have Apostolic authority to speak new, inerrant truths.
NOTE: True teachers in the body of Christ, are teaching old, established truths, not new revelations.
1 John 2:22-23) [GNB] Who, then, is the liar? It is those who say that Jesus is not the Messiah. Such people are the Enemy of Christ—they reject both the Father and the Son.
23) [GNB] For those who reject the Son reject also the Father; those who accept the Son have the Father also.
QUESTION: What were the Gnostics teaching that causes John to refer to them as liars?
ANSWER: They taught that Jesus was not the promised Messiah.
NOTE: It’s important to teach accurate truths about God.
False Teachings Today Concerning God:
1. God had a beginning. He’s an exalted man from another world.
2. Jesus isn’t God.
1 John 2:24) [GNB] Be sure, then, to keep in your hearts the message you heard from the beginning. If you keep that message, then you will always live in union with the Son and the Father.
1 John 2:7-10) [GNB] My dear friends, this command I am writing you is not new; it is the old command, the one you have had from the very beginning. The old command is the message you have already heard.
8) [GNB] However, the command I now write you is new, because its truth is seen in Christ and also in you. For the darkness is passing away, and the real light is already shining.
9) [GNB] If we say that we are in the light, yet hate others, we are in the darkness to this very hour.
10) [GNB] If we love others, we live in the light, and so there is nothing in us that will cause someone else to sin.
1 John 3:22-24) [GNB] We receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
23) [GNB] What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us.
24) [GNB] Those who obey God’s commands live in union with God and God lives in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us.
QUESTION: What was “the message you heard from the beginning”?
ANSWER: We need to love others the way Jesus loves us. We’re walking in the light if we do that; we’re walking in the darkness if we don’t.
John 3:34-35) [GNB] And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35) [GNB] If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.
QUESTION: What was “the beginning” John is referring to?
ANSWER: He was referring to “the beginning” of a new order; which required the giving of a new law.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church