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ID - 1 John - Introduction

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1 John is dealing with who is a true Christian. True Christians are the ones who know Christ through the true doctrine and know Christ in experience. “By their fruits you will know them”.
John states in First John that true believers will adhere to certain confessional statements and will then live by them also. To know by the head and know by experience or according to the heart.
, you will live according to the fruits of the Spirit.
Our Discipleship program is this: That those who want to be discipled, will sit through the Bible studies and teachings and then will live it out, serve in the church, go and evangelize. As you study the Bible, you will know the right doctrine and live out your faith.
- Kingdom of God is God’s revelation that gets into someone’s heart
False Christians, Brethren. Leads to False Doctrine
Darnel Wheat
will make you sick if heated up and eaten.
Good wheat can be rolled up and eaten and chewed
Satan is a counterfeiter of the truths of God and is looking to infiltrate the church
He will twist the scriptures
Keywords: Father is used 13 times, little children 11 times, light 6 times, love 33 times, life 15 times, fellowship 4 times, know 38 times. Belief is used in the book of John 95 times and is continued to be used in 1st John.

Background on John

Paul - The Apostle of Faith
Peter - The Apostle of Hope
John - The Apostle of Love
John as a Young Man
John was a teenager when He became a disciple of Jesus and was the youngest apostle. He was likely around 15 or 16 years of age.
He was likely the son of Salome which is Mary’s sister (John 19:25)
John looked after Mary after the Death of Jesus ()
John exiled to Patmos during the time of Domitian after they tried to boil him in Oil.
John in Midlife
John stayed in Jerusalem until somewhere between 66 and 70AD.
He stayed in Jerusalem to look after Mary, Jesus’ Mother
Jerusalem was Sieged in 66 AD and destroyed in 70 AD
Jerusalem was the Epicenter and home base of the Christian church until then.
The Jews began an uprising against the Greeks and against Roman control in both Eqypt, Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem.
Many fled the area at that time including Herod Agrippa II who was expelled by the Jews. (coming back to fight later with Titus against the rebellion)
The Romans sent reinforcements from Syria. Vespasian was the Commander of the army against the rebellion in the area.
Titus (Vespasian’s Son took to sieging Jerusalem)
At around 69 AD Vespasian became Emperor after several failed Emperor's had short stints in holding the throne. Vespasian was supported by Tiberius Julius Alexander who was a Jewish Alexandrian who had gained stature under Nero. Alexander had two legions at his command. With Alexander’s support, other legions supported Vespasian as the new Emperor who had gained the popularity through his leadership in the Jewish wars.
Titus began a siege on Jerusalem, they setup armies around the wall, built another wall and trench. Whoever tried to escape would be caught in the trench and crucified.
600 held out in the siege, men and women. Titus and the army broke through 2 of the 3 walls of Jerusalem. He then began to break through the third wall which did not take him as long because it was built quickly.
The remaining rebellion had been split up and one group used the Temple as their remaining place to hold out. The night before going after the the rebellion in the temple, Alexander, being a Jew and his family having been some who had donated gold for the temple, voted to not destroy the temple.
The fighting and siege of the temple continued the next day. One of the Roman soldiers threw a torch into one of the store rooms which ignited the temple on fire.
Many Christians and Jews were driven from Jerusalem because of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem
Many Christians and Jews were driven from Jerusalem because of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem
Being that only 600 rebels remained during the last siege of Jerusalem and anyone that was caught during the siege was killed, the Christian church there would have Fled and been scattered throughout the empire.
John would have fled Jerusalem during this time. It is said that he moved from Jerusalem to Ephesus during this period.
Ephesus - The natural new epicenter for Christianity
Ephesus was already the major trading and governing city of Asia (Asia consisted of Modern day Turkey for the Roman Empire, sometimes referred to as proconsular Asia) at the time.
The Kingdom of Pergamum (281 BC to 133 BC) Was bequeathed to Rome after the death of Attalus III who had no heirs and successors. This became the province of Asia shortly afterwards. The city of Pergamum continued as the Capital of Asia and where the proconsular seat was until it was moved to Ephesus.
Under Augustus, Ephesus because a great city, only second to Rome. It was a natural hub within the Roman Empire. It had 25,000 person amphitheater, the Temple of Artemis (Diana).
Historians deduce that that the Population was one of the largest of the empire and could have been over 100k or 200k people living in and around the metropolitan city.
The Ephesus church had been planted and grown by Paul the Apostle who spent 3 years at Ephesus discipling and teaching.
Paul Met John’s disciples there and began the church
Paul fought Wild Beasts
1 Corinthians 15:32 CSB
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus as a mere man, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
3. Paul Dealt with Professional Exorcists who, Sceva and his 7 sons.
4. Uprising at Ephesus happened
5. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus ()
6. Paul sent for the Ephesian Elders at Miletus which is at the harbour south of Ephesus. (Acts 20)
f. Timothy was sent there by Paul and was the Pastor in Ephesus ()
i. by the time that 2 Timothy was written, there was a turning away of the apostolic teaching already as implied by .
ii. TImothy was said to be martyred in Ephesus around 97 AD. He held up a procession for a feast called Catagogion in which the procession held up images of their gods. They beat him with clubs and he died two days later.
2 Timothy 1:15 CSB
You know that all those in the province of Asia have deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
g. John Had moved to Ephesus where it seems that Ephesus became a Christian center.
i. Phillip the evangelist and his daughters also moved there as well as other prominent Christians
Phillips tomb and his daughters tombs are there in Phyrgia in the region.
John’s influence on the early church from Ephesus
Bishops - Polycarp, Papias, and Ignatius were all disciples of John (Smyrna, Hieropolis, and Antioch)
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna who was a disciple of John and made Bishop of Smyrna by the apostle - told of “his intercourse with John and others who had seen the Lord”
Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis - that he couldnt get from books what he had gotten from “a living and abiding voice”
i. John wrote the 3 New Testament letters from Ephesus
h. The church has continued there through 1923 - the Greco-Turkish exchange of population.
John as an Old Man
Background on John

When & Who the Epistle Was Written

1. Authorship
points to the fact that author of this epistle was an eye and ear witness and was also a writer of these things.
His “testimony” martyreo and “proclamation” apangello denote sight and hearing. John’s authority is from him hearing, seeing, and touching “the Word of Life”
He had touched Jesus.
By age, experience, and being an actual eye witness. John has the authority to write this Epistle.
Early church fathers testified that John was the author
Polycarp, One of John’s disciples and Bishop of Smyrna, in the beginning of the 2nd century said that John was the author.
It is quoted by Papias and Irenaeus and referred to by Origen, Dionysius, Cyprian, anthanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, and Eusebius.
1 John and the Gospel of John similarities
John assumes that you have read his gospel as he expounds more upon these topics in 1st John. It will help to be familiar with the book of John while we study 1st John.
Ideas were presented more fully in the Gospel and expounded upon and noted in 1st John.
The Style is much like the style of the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John, he states many of his ideas there first and in first John he picks up the topics again as if he had already stated them (which he did in the gospel). His signature style is unique among the Apostles and writers of the new testament.
Timing of writing
Christianity was in existence 60+ years at the time of the writing. It was an important religion in the Roman Empire. By this time, it began to be mixed with philospohies, systems of thought, and other religions.
2. John was arrested during his time in Ephesus, during the Reign of Domitian
John exiled to Patmos during the time of Domitian after they tried to boil him in Oil.
Given the Vision and wrote Revelation while on the Isle of Patmos
Likely around 85 - 90 AD
Returned to Ephesus where he wrote the letters
According to Clement, it was after John was released from imprisonment and Returned from the Isle of Patmos that the Epistle of written. It would have most likely been written from Ephesus.
Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius indicated that John had lived at Ephesus of Asia Minor
He carried out evangelistic programs, Oversaw many of the churches in the area, and did much writing.
He was the sole remaining apostolic survivor and who had been with Jesus
1 John was written Around 90 to 95 AD
Since there was no mention of the persecution under Domitian, which began about 95 AD, it likely was written before then.
1 John might be the last book of the Bible Written
Westcott and other commentators believed that this was the last book written in the Bible
If 1 John is the last book written then the Bible would start and end like this:
- In the Beginning God,
- “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true one. We are in the true one—that is, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”
To have a relationship & Fellowship with the God of the Universe, Jesus Christ
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true one. We are in the true one—that is, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
If Revelation is truly the Last Book then:
21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
- In the Beginning God,
- He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone. Amen.
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
The Lord is returning soon, whom we will see face to face. This is the ultimate fellowship, to then be with Him always. He is our God and Savior!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone. Amen.
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
It would have been written 25 years after Paul had written his prison Epistles from Rome.
John wrote to his audience that he knew. He wrote as a loving pastor to his flock and he wishes to maintain that pastoral relationship with them
He refers to his readers as “my children” teknia or paidia seven times (, , ; , ; ; ) and “beloved” agapetoi (dear friends) six times (; , ; , , ) and “brothers” adelphoi in .
This shows his relationship with them and that he is talking to them like he is talking with a loved one or family. This states an expected loyalty.
Taken to the churches where he would say “Little Children, Love One Another”
He died between 98 and 100 AD
2. A Treatise or Circular Letter
- Inlcude when the book was written
There is No Greeting like a letter would have or a salutation.
John does not introduce himself. It seems that he is already known by the reader or hearer.
This would have been a circular letter to be read in each church in the area.
They would have known John, by who was delivering it and the tone.
He did not have to stake his apostolic authority. He instead writes to them as an older Father to his dear children.
The Style is much like the style of the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John, he states many of his ideas there first and in first John he picks up the topics again as if he had already stated them (which he did in the gospel). His signature style is unique among the Apostles and writers of the new testament.
There is no doubt that the treatise was written by the Apostle John. He heard Jesus, He touched Jesus (layed on Jesus chest and the one whom Jesus Loved: ) He states:
1 John 1:1 CSB
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
More like a long Essay or Dissertation.
It is a Mission statement for Christians
It is a basic operation manual for the Christian Life

Purpose of 1 John Epistle

1:4 - Joy May be Complete
2:1 - May not Sin
2:26 - Against False Teaching
1:3 & 5:13 - Fellowship with God through Believing in the Name of the Son of God
5:13 - Know that you have Eternal Life.
2:18 - This is the last hour (this is the why to the Purposes)
This is the final dispensation, making this the final seconds

Theme of 1 John Epistle - Fellowship with God

The theme is Fellowshipping with God (1:3) by believing in the name of the Son of God (5:13a) so that you may know that you have Eternal Life (5:13b).
This is the Theme of the Bible:
That Man was created to fellowship with God. (1:3, , )
That Man would have an intimate relationship with God. ( enoch, Leviticus, Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God)
By believe on the name of Jesus the Christ (5:13a)
That you may know that you have eternal life (5:13b)
The assurance of eternal life and eternal fellowship with God.
James Montgomery Boice states that “The apostle John also works on a practical level, showing that the Christian can be assured of his salvation in that God has brought about fundamental changes in his life. This involves truth. He has given him a desire to pursue and obey the commandments of Christ. This involves righteousness. He has given him a new relationship with other believers. This involves love.”
A true relationship with Jesus Christ produces these things in a believer. He transforms us into being like Christ. So John will point out that we can be assured that through this process, we will have eternal life.
This is the litmus test of a believer (a PH indicator, to test for acids) its true (positive) or false (negative) no change in the paper.
All 3 elements are needed for a changes life - Truth, righteousness, and love. These are vital to a Christians being like Christ.
Love without righteousness is immorality. This is the following that we have a license to do what we want under the guise of love.
Righteousness without doctrine is legalism. Pharisees
Doctrine without love is bitter orthodoxy. Truth but does not win anyone over
We can have assurance of our faith through the Scriptures, although, John was the only one to write for this very purpose:
Theme of the Epistle which unifies them all other 3 of the purposes of the Epistle
John Maps out the main components of Salvation.
Faith in Jesus Christ
Response in Obedience to Christ
Response in Love to God and Others

Heresies 1 John is Combating

Gnosis (Knowledge or insight)
Meaning Knowledge, where man’s knowledge was preeminent over God’s revelation.
Gnosticism was just beginning to form. These ideas were just forming and early stages in John’s time.
It wasn’t until the late 2nd and 3rd centuries that Gnosticism was fully formed and had many flavors or heads to it.
It was influenced by such philosophers as Plato who advocated dualism and stated that matter was inherently evil and the spirit was good.
Docetism: See FF Bruce
There were a couple of predominant types during John’s time
Docetism: dokeo - Means to appear or to seem
Docetism taught that Jesus Came in the Spirit only and that his physical presence was not real.
They believed that Jesus was a phantom or a ghost and hovered as he walked and did not leave footprints.
Thus they denied the incarnation of Jesus and the virgin birth, the 30 years of his life. They believed that he showed up on the banks of the Jordan as a hologram of sorts.
early church fathers contended that “He became what we are to make us what he is”
They also taught that Jesus eating, suffering, and dying was all appearance for mankind and did not really happen.
Ignatius states that Docetists were around during and after the times of John’s writings.
This led to the belief that anything done in the body, was not sin, because the body was already bad. The spirit was good and therefore, the person could sin in the body and it had no effect on one’s spirit.
One could deny sin even existed (1:8-10)
Disregard God’s law (3:4) but John stated the need for obedience to God’s law (5:3)
Asceticism: because the body was evil and the spirit was good, this led to the belief that one needed to treat the body harshly.
Cerinthianism: was taught by a man named Cerinthus who was in Ephesus, who said that the Christ spirit descended on the man Jesus at his baptism and it left him just before the crucifixion. He also denied the virgin birth and that Christians were to follow the Mosaic law.
This “possession” was the heretical teaching.
Even with the Holy Spirit indwelling a believer, it is not a possession where He takes control. Possessions do not happen to believers.
There is a story that is recorded in the second century book, Against Heresies by Irenaeus. Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of John.
There is a story that is recorded in the second century book, Against Heresies by Irenaeus. Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of John.
John went into a public bathhouse, one day. He spotted Cerinthus inside. John immediately ran out of the building, exclaiming to those with him, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within!”
Judaizing Christians
Paul addressed this also in Galatians
There is a movement today to do this and to go back into Jewish traditions and follow the law. This is an error to do so.
John’s Testimony
These heretics disputed with John that Jesus is the Christ and that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. (; )
They are therefore antichrist’s. They are liars and deceivers ()
These threats were internal and not external
John taught on the continued work of the Holy Spirit or the paraclete (; )
The spirit that guided the false teachers is the Spirit of falsehood from the world ()
The false teachers also taught since the resurrected Lord, through the Spirit, continues to speak and act in the church then there is little difference between the human Jesus and us.
The divine Word that appeared incarnate in Jesus and “possessed” Him continues to speak through believers then there is no difference between Jesus and us.
Anything said now then would be just as authoritative as what Jesus said.
They would then interpret to mean that Jesus and His human body was a temporary place for the Word of God and the Paraclete.
There would be no need to submit to an elder or anyone else.
Ephesus and their love for the Lord: ( - 6)
The Ephesians were second and third generation Christians. They were the children and the grandchildren
God does not have grandchildren in the kingdom, only children
Their love for the Lord was tarnished. It was at a low Ebb. Their works seemed good but their love for the Lord was waning.
The Ephesian Christians didn’t want to be different from the world. BUt as Christians, we are called to be different.
Christians are called saints or “hagios” which means “set aside for the sole use of God”
The utensils in the temple were “hagios”, the temple was “hagios”, and now Christians we are called to be “Hagios”
Persecution was not the enemy of Christianity as much as prosperity was. this is where compromise from within and acceptance of the World came into the church.
Today and knowledge
We are in the information age today. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than anyone ever in history.
When I study, I have Many books on my bookshelf, I have books on my kindle, I have books in my Sermon Program, I have audio file and sermons, and I have the internet.
We have more knowledge than ever, but what we have less of is discernment of the truth.
It is harder than ever to know who is telling the truth with so many opposing views on any topic, but what we need is discernment.
There are more churches, flavors of churches, types of dosctrines, and more religions than at any time in the history of mankind. What we need is discernment
Given that the letter addresses gnosis and their superb “knowledge”, it seems John addresses what it is to truly “know” God / Jesus Christ. this would have hit home directly as I believe it does still today.
Unlike the docetists, we are to guard ourselves against the thought that we have no sin. We are to understand that we are sinners and saved by God’s grace. (, )
Gnosticism is alive today, live to please yourself. There is no sin. There is good in all. There is no consequences to sin and you cannot tell me what is right and wrong.

False Teaching Today

Satan and his Demons have sought to pervert the gospel from the very beginning. They always pervert the diety of Jesus Christ.
Jehovah Witnesses - Christ is a god, not The God
Mormons - Jesus is a created being, Lucifer is also and brother to Jesus and all mankind
Muslims - is a prophet
Eastern Religions
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