Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude             

Southern Christian University

Lesson on I John  #1

James A. Turner


Read the references, they will help you grow in the “grace and knowledge of the Lord


We are now ready to begin with the study of the Epistles of John, I, II, and III John. It will be in order for us to begin with a brief introduction of these books. The apostle John wrote five of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, The Gospel According To John, and I, II, and III John and The Revelation of John which was given to him by “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” while he was exiled on the isle of Patmos “for the word of God.” The fact that John wrote five of the New Testament books is enough to tell us that he was a great man of God, and a great leader during the personal ministry of Christ, and also in the church of the first century.


The first chapter of John shows that he was one of the first two disciples of Jesus. John the Baptist had recognized that his six months younger cousin was greater than he, but he did not know that he was the Christ until the Spirit descended on him when he was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17, John 1: 30-34). The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and John said to his disciples, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” The following day John was standing with two of his disciples and he said to them, “Behold the Lamb of God”  with the meaning it is time for you to follow him and they did. John 1: 40 reads, “One of the two that heard John speak, and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He findeth first his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messiah (which is, being interpreted, Christ.” The other disciple was John himself. He always speaks of himself in the second person in his gospel book. Other examples of this are John 18:15, “And Simon  Peter followed Jesus, and so did  another disciple. Now that disciple was known unto the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest.”


Another passage is John 21: 20-24 where he describes himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved ----- who also leaned back on his breast at the supper ---- This is the disciple that beareth witness of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his witness is true.” These references along with John 19: 26-27 indicate that the relationship of Jesus with John was a little closer than it was with any of the other apostles, and when Jesus was on the cross he saith to his mother, “Woman behold, thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own house.”


The two brothers Andrew and Peter and James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were partners in a commercial fishing business when Jesus called them to fulltime service (Matthew 3: 18-22; Mark 1: 16-20; Luke 5: 8-11). Peter, James, and John have been referred to as the “inter circle disciples” because they were favored by Jesus to be with him on three important occasions when the other apostles were not with him. They were with him when he raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:22-24, 5:35-43), and when he was transfigured (Matthew 17: 1-13), and when he went farther into the garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26: 36-49) before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot.



In this brief introduction we need also to ask the question, When were the five books of John written? Some of our brethren have reasoned that all of the books of the New Testament were written before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman Armies in 70 A.D. Some have quoted verse three of Jude where he says, “I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints,” and then they would come with the conclusion that Jude must have been the last epistle of the New Testament.  We called attention to this when we studied Jude, but as we discussed then such a conclusion is not logical. Any time an inspired writer gave instruction that instruction was “once for all delivered.” Jesus told Peter that, “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound  in heaven; and what soever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19),” and this was also true of all of the other writers of the New Testament.


H.C.Thiessen in his Introduction To The New Testament gives 85-90 A.D. for the Gospel of John and for I, II, and III John and the Revelation as 95 or 96. The writer of the commentary part on the Epistles of John in The Pulpit Commentary says, “We shall probably not be far wrong if we suppose that the Gospel and all three Epistles were written between A.D. 80 and A.D. 95.” Brother Guy N. Woods in his Commentary on Peter, John, and Jude says concerning I John, “We think it must have been written about A.D. 90.” Adam Clark says concerning the Gospel, “But the most probable opinion is that it was written at Ephesus about the year 86.” B.H.Carroll in volume six of his, An Interpretation Of The English Bible says concerning I John, “Its date is not earlier than A.D. 80, and may possibly be as late as A. D. 85. He writes from Ephesus ----- the scene of Gnostic philosophy ----.”


The internal evidence of the books of John are very much in favor of later dates for all of his books. Let us consider some of these internal evidences. First all three of the synoptic writers give parallel accounts of the instruction of Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in A.D. 70, Matthew chapter twenty-four and Mark thirteen and Luke twenty-one. If John had written his gospel before A.D. 70, or a short time after that date, Would he not have mentioned that tragic event for the Jewish nation? Do you think any writer will write a book about the city of New York within the next few years, and not make some mention of the tragic event at the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001? It was in deed a tragical event, but it would be small in comparison to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.


I remember the late brother B.C.Goodpasture, who was editor of the Gospel Advocate for many years, say that John wrote a longtime after the destruction of Jerusalem when Jewish time had been replaced by Roman time, or the time we have today. I guess he was referring to John 19: 14-16 where it is said that it was the sixth hour when Pilate “delivered him unto them to be crucified.” If this is not the case there is a contradiction by the other three writers. Mark 15:25 reads, “And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.” Matthew, Mark, and Luke tells us that there was darkness over all the land from the sixth until the ninth hour and that Jesus yielded up his spirit in the ninth hour (Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23: 44-46). Matthew, Mark, and Luke were using Jewish time, and the third hour of Mark 15:25 would be 9AM Roman time and the sixth and ninth hours of Matthew 27:45-50 and Mark 15:33-37 and Luke 23:44-46 would be twelve to three P.M. Roman time. So the sixth hour of John 19:14-16 would be 6A.M. and they crucified him at 9AM, and then darkness from 12AM to 3PM when Jesus died, and thus the harmony of the four accounts.


Another point of internal evidence is that John wrote I John when he was an old man because he refers to the recipients of the Epistle as “my little children” (John 2:1, 2:12, 2:18, 2:28, 3:7, 5:21).  In II John, he says, “The elder  unto the elect lady and her children” and III John, “The elder unto Gaius the beloved, whom I love in truth.” He would not be speaking of himself in the sense of being The elder of a church because all of the references speak of there being a plurality of elders (Acts 11:30, 14:23, 15:2, 15:23, 20:17, 20:28-32; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:5). According to early Ecclesiastical writers John lived to be very aged; and according to John 21:23, “This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple (John) should die not ----.” Evidently John was commonly referred to as “The elder in respect to his old age. Another point of internal evidence for a late date for I John is that he warns his brethren about the anti-christ (John 2:18, 2:22, 2:26, 3:7-8, 4: 3-5), and John is the only writer that uses the word anti-christ, and he gives warning in II John concerning the anti-christ verses 7-11.


The apostle gives two stated purposes for I John.   I John 1:4 reads, “and these things we write, that our joy may be made full,” and 5:13 reads, “These things have I written unto you, that  ye may know that ye have eternal, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.” In addition to these purposes there is much evidence that he wrote to warn them about the anti-christ (2:18, 2:22, 2:28,4:2-6).


We will let this suffice for an introduction to these Epistles, and begin with the reading and study of I John.


Consider the prologue or introduction to the gospel of John and the introduction to I John.  The gospel of John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men."  And then a statement about the world comprehended it not, and there was a man sent from God, to be a witness of Christ, of course, that person is John the Baptist.  And verse fourteen, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld him as the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."  Well, why do you think that good long introduction about the preexistence and the incarnation of Christ?  It looks like this teaching was present when John wrote the gospel book.  And the introduction here is essentially that of the gospel book, except it is in a brief form.  Here he gives three of the five senses by which the apostles knew that Jesus was in a human body.  "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard  that which we have seen.  With our eyes, and that which we beheld and our hands handled."  The sense of touch is one of the five senses, and so John is giving three of the five senses by which the apostles knew absolutely that Jesus was the Christ.  We've heard him, we we've seen him, and we have touched him.  "Concerning the word of life."  And, again, in the beginning was the Word.  And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  "And the life was manifested."  Well, there he is talking about Christ being born of the virgin, right? The life was manifested.  "And we have seen and bear witness and declare unto you that the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father was manifested unto us."  Manifested unto us through the person of Christ, and Hebrews 1:3, that Christ was “the effulgence of his glory and the very image of his substance.”  So Christ was manifested in the flesh, to manifest God unto us.  Verse three, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us   (the same understanding).  Yea and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ.  And these things we write that our joy may be full."  With that brief introduction he then deals with the matter of God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all, and those that say they have fellowship with him and walk in darkness are liars and do not live according to the truth. 


Some of the Gnostics questioned the deity of Jesus, and some the humanity of Jesus. They regarded all matter as evil, therefore were ready to reject the incarnation of Christ. By this time some of them were probably teaching that a person could do anything with the body, and it still would not sin before God, that the body is inheritably evil, and it is impossible to control it. We still have some even today that teach that doctrine, that just as long as a person is good in heart, pure in mind, that it does not make any difference what he does with the body. 


Verse five, "And this is the message which we have heard from him, and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."  John mentions light and darkness a number of times in his gospel book and here in I John. I do not see how anyone could read all the parallel passages from the gospel of John with those in I John and not recognize that if John is the author of the gospel book, he would have to be the author of I John.  What does it mean by “that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.?”  What does he mean that God is light?  He is the way of truth, purity, holiness, and there is no bad thing in him, no darkness at all in God.  "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness."  To walk in darkness is to walk how?  It is to walk according to the ways of the devil, instead of walking in truth, walking in error, being a liar, and doing all those things that are wrong, giving way to all the lusts that are mentioned in 2:15‑16.  "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth."  So John wants these brethren to understand, and we also need to understand, but these false brethren were trying to lead them astray and trying to encourage them to give way to all the lusts of the flesh; but John wanted them to understand that they were liars, that they did not have fellowship with God.  They could not have fellowship with God and walk in darkness. 


Verse seven, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin."  So just as long as a child of God, hears and follows Christ, (John 10:27‑29), the devil does not have the power to take him out of Christ's hand, out of God's hand.  Just as long as he walks in the light, the blood of Christ continues to cleanse him. The Bible teaches that a child of God is not separated from God for any light cause, that the blood of Christ as long as a child of God is humble, and when he learns that he sins and confesses his sin, that such a person is never separated from God, that the blood of Christ continues to cleanse.  This passage surely teaches that when a child of God learns that he has sinned and confesses his sin, then the blood of Christ cleanses him.  The word cleanseth is that continuous process of cleansing.  If we walk in the light as he is in the light, what two things then?  We have fellowship one with another, and just as surely as every person in the church is walking according to the light, we are going to have proper fellowship in the church.  "We have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 


Verse eight, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Now, of course, John is talking about the person who is humble, ready to turn from his sins.  The Bible teaches that if a man is not ready to turn from his sins, God will not forgive him.  Do you remember the passage in Proverbs that says, “he that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination unto the Lord  So the man who will not hear and follow the law of Christ, his prayer will not be answered,  his prayer is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 28:9).  And then Proverbs 28:13, I guess I better turn to that one, it says, "He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper:  But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.”" So the man who is just confessing to try to cover up and continue his wrong doing, the Lord will not forgive him.  But the man that “confesses and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.” Another passage is Psalms 66:18 where the Psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” So when John says “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  He is surely talking about the right kind of confession.


STUDENT:  What is that? BROTHER TURNER:  Psalms 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."  In other words, whether a child of God or an alien sinner, if a person is such a person that wants to hold on to his wrong doings, the Lord will not hear such a person as that.  But we have the assurance that when we learn we have sinned that if we confess our sins with that spirit of humility ready to turn from them that the Lord will hear.  And remember as Paul said in Romans 14:4 concerning the weak brother, “Yea he shall stand for the Lord hath the power to make him stand.” 


Verse ten, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."  Make God a liar, because God has said over and over again in the Old Testament scriptures. Some of them are quoted by Paul, in the third chapter of Romans about “there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one.” And then he concludes after quoting a number of passages from the Old Testament about the matter in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  So the man who says he has not sinned makes God a liar, because God has said that all men have sinned. 

Chapter Two

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye may not sin."  We can also say that one of the purposes is to encourage them to follow the commands of Christ and not go the way of sin.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins:  And not for ours only, but also for the whole world."  So here John is saying if we sin, we still have help, we have an advocate is the reading of the King James Version and the American Standard Version.  Some of the more recent versions have a different reading there.  The NIV reads, “we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” What does an advocate do?  STUDENT:  He argues the case for you. BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  So Christ is our advocate in the court of heaven to plead our case before God.  If you are familiar with the epistle to the Hebrews, you know how the writer introduces the priesthood of Christ in chapter two and continues to emphasize until he finally details in chapter seven of the book about the priesthood of Christ.  In Hebrews 2:17, he talks about how that Christ took upon himself the nature of man that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God.  In 4:15-16, he says “for we have not a high priest that is not touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but he was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Wherefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 


Paul tells us in Romans 8:34 that Christ is “at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” And so Christ is our advocate with the Father.  He knows if we are sincere, and he is ready to say to his heavenly Father that this person belongs to me.  "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And he is the propitiation for our sins:  And not for ours only, but also for the whole world."  John uses the word propitiation twice here in verse two and also in chapter four in verse ten.  Chapter 4:10, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins."  What does that word propitiation mean, that Christ is a propitiation not only for our sins but also for the sins of the whole world? In other words,  He is the sacrificial offering for our sins or the appeasing sacrifice.  In Romans 3:25, Paul says that apart from the law that, “Christ is a propitiation for our sins through faith in his blood.”  So He is the propitiation through our believing on Christ and through his atoning blood, we are forgiven of sin.  And that certainly agrees with Isaiah 53:10‑11.  Let me read it again.  If you do not have these two verses in mind, please get these two verses in mind.  "Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:  When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand."  Look at verse eleven, "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:  By the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities."  Sin is contrary to the very nature of God, and his wrath is revealed from heaven against ungodly sinners, and it took a perfect sacrifice to satisfy God's requirement as atonement for sin.  So you might say that this passage is saying that God's wrath was appeased by the perfect sacrifice that Christ made, a person without sin.  Remember no man could have been a proper atonement for all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God. 


In Hebrews 10:4 Paul said, ‑‑ if he is the writer, I believe that he is ‑‑ "It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins."  Well, back there that was about the only way that they had of making even temporary atonement was through the offering up of sacrifices that they were required to offer up for the remission of their sins back there.  So we have an advocate.  We have one who appeases God's wrath.  He is the propitiation for our sins.  Some do not like the idea of God being spoken of as his wrath being stirred because of sin, but I believe that is what the Bible teaches, and that it took a perfect sacrifice to satisfy God in respect to the forgiveness of sin.  II Corinthians 5:21 reads, “Him who knew no sin, him he made to be sin in our behalf, that we might become the righteous of God through him. Verse three, "And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."  Here John is saying that you can know that you are a child of God if you keep the commandments of God. Jesus said this as recorded in the gospel of John, “if you love me” you will keep what?  You will keep my commandments!  To know God as used in the scriptures means to be in a saved relationship with God.  And hereby we know that we know him, in the sense of being in a saved relationship with him, one that believes and obeys.  It also tells how that you know that you are in a lost condition. "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar."  Is a liar going to heaven?  Not according to Revelation 21:8, “But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murders, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and  all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.”  Of course, a man can repent of lying and not go to the wrong place because of his lying, but if he ends up at the end of the way in that category of being a liar, then he will end up in the lake of fire. "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments is a liar."  John is pretty straightforward, in substance he is saying, if man claims to be a Christian, but does not keep the commandments of Christ he is a liar, and he is not a Christian.  Well, that is what the Gnostics were doing.  They were claiming to be Christians when they were not keeping his commandments, and the truth was not in them. 


Verse five, "but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected."  In other words, he is grown up as a child of God, he is a mature Christian, he has mature love.  A person that keeps the commandments of Christ, the love of God is perfected.  Do you remember how Peter said, “above all things have fervent love among yourselves, for love covereth a multitude of sins, (I Peter 4:8), and how that Paul said in the Colossian letter, “above all things put on love which is the bond of perfectness,”, Colossians three and I think about verse fourteen.  "So hereby we know that we are in him."  In him, in Christ.  And remember how Paul gives so much emphasis to the matter of being in Christ.  Somebody has said, that about sixty times that Paul either talks about “in whom” or “in Christ” and other different expressions whereby he is talking about being in Christ, and here that is the very thing that John is talking about.  "Here by we know that we are in him."  Well, if a man is in Christ, he is in a saved relationship, and if he has become a Christian and walking humbly before the Lord, he is in Christ. 


Verse six, "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked."  Remember how Peter says he is our example, and we are to follow him.  And so John is saying, "He that saith he abideth in him," that he ought to back it up by his living, "ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.""Beloved, no new commandment write I unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.  The old commandment is that word which ye heard.  Again, a new commandment write I unto you, which thing is true in him and in you:  Because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining."  The Old Testament law taught that the Israelites were to love one another and they were to love thy neighbor as thyself.  And then Jesus added to ‑‑ made that law even stronger by saying what?  John 13:34, "A new commandment give I unto you, That ye love one another; even as I have loved you that ye love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."  So real sincere love is the badge of a Christian.  “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples.” Since John recorded those things in his gospel book, that may be what he is referring to here. For those that were following Christ, they were becoming more and more the light of the world, because the light of Christ was shining in them. Jesus also said, “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life


Verse nine, "He that saith that he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now."  So here John is saying that a person who claims to be a Christian yet hates his brother, he is in darkness.  And what does it mean to be in darkness? STUDENT:  They were lost. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, it means to be in a lost condition, going the wrong way.  He is in Satan's kingdom rather than the Lord's kingdom.  "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him."  So again, how important it is that we love our brethren.  Please give careful attention to all of the parallels that John gives. It is very simple language, but very effective instruction. "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes."  Notice the ascending tone of it.  "He that hateth his brother is in darkness."  That is the course of his everyday living, and walketh in darkness.  John uses the word walk a number of times.  Paul also uses the word walk referring to the manner of life, how a person is living.  So a person who hates his brother is in darkness and walketh in darkness, "And knoweth not whither he goeth."  He thinks he is in a saved condition when he is in a lost condition.  "Knoweth not whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes."  Passages like these surely need to be emphasized in the church today. 


Verse twelve, "I write unto you, my little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."  He is talking about all the brethren, and then he breaks down to the different age groups. "I write unto you, fathers, because ye know him who is from the beginning."  He is still emphasizing the deity of Christ that he was in the beginning with God.  "I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the evil one."  Sometimes when young men in the church are doing a lot of things that are wrong, some person may come forth with the comment, you know how it is, they are young, and they are going to do some of those things.  But John says concerning the young men he is writing to, you have overcome the evil one.  That does not sound like that they were doing a lot of things that were wrong, does it, they had overcome the evil one.  "I have written unto you, little children, because ye know the Father."  Now, remember back there, in that time period when they counted the age groups quite different from what we count today.  Paul told Timothy “let no man despise thy youth,” when Timothy must have been thirty or forty years old, so their grouping was a little different from ours.  I like their grouping.  I am getting to the point, that I like their grouping more every day. "I have written unto, fathers."  And, again, he just repeats.  "I have written unto you, fathers, because ye know him who is from the beginning.  I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong."  That is essentially what he has already said, you have overcome the evil one.  Any person that has overcome the evil one is a strong man.  "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you."  Now, this shows that these young men were very sincere.  They had studied and they had learned the word of God, and   they were living according to the word of God.  The word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 


Verses fifteen and sixteen, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  But he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."  When John here says love not the world, he does not mean that we are not supposed to love the beautiful things that God has created, the beautiful flowers and all the beauty of the trees in this season of the year, and other seasons too for that matter, but he is talking about a person going the way of Satan, the way of the world.  And Satan appeals through three avenues, through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the vain glory of life.  The devil back there through the serpent beguiled our mother Eve through these three avenues, right?  The serpent was probably eating some of the forbidden fruit, when he made his appeal to her that you will become wise as God.  She looked on the fruit that it was good to eat and pleasing to the eyes and was to be desired to make one wise, and so all three areas were involved in that temptation.  Matthew chapter four shows that  the devil tempted Jesus, through all three areas.  The devil tried but each time Jesus said it is written, it is written, it is written.  But those are the three areas where the devil is always trying to make his appeal today:  “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the vain glory of life.”  But John says those things are not of the Father, but they are of the world. Remember how Paul speaks of the prince of this world as blinding the eyes of the unbelieving.  The prince of this world, of course, is the devil, and he is always trying to blind the eyes of people so that they cannot see clearly.  But John says the world passes away.  This old world is not going to be here forever, and as Peter said, it is reserved for fire.  "And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  But he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."  This whole world will perish, but a child of God will not perish.  When that time comes when the heavens and the earth melt with fervent heat, he will be in heaven with God.  "Little children."  And, again, it is speaking to all of his brethren.  "It is the last hour, as ye have heard that anti‑christ cometh even now have there risen many anti‑christ." STUDENT:  Right here is the passage of small children again. BROTHER TURNER:  No, I think all the brethren here.  "It is the last hour."  In other words, the warning that the anti‑christ has come.  And surely he wants all of his brethren to understand that the false teachers are here. And our Brother Coffman, if you have a set of his commentaries ‑‑ And his commentaries are very good, and I surely recommend them, especially for those who preach.  They are very helpful in many ways in respect to ‑‑ especially young preachers, but older ones too for that matter.  But if you have read his commentary on the gospel of John, he went for a later date with that book, but by the time he wrote I John he had changed his position and reasoned that the books of John were before 70 A.D.  And here he counts this as being the last hour ‑‑ I think I am giving it right, you may need to check me, ‑‑ that it is about the destruction of Jerusalem. 


Well, I believe Jerusalem had been destroyed years before John wrote these books.   I believe Brother Woods says the Greek word here is hora (phonetic), meaning a fixed time, a fixed time in the mind of God, and that fixed time is probably the Christian dispensation.  Other writers have said it is like Paul had talked about the falling away, I Timothy four, and some of the things that they would teach.  They would give way to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which is to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth.  Paul also told the Ephesian elders that there would be a falling away from the faith. He told them to take heed to the flock over which the Holy Spirit made you overseers to feed the church of God which he has purchased with his own blood, for I know this, that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  In other words, false teachers are coming in at the church of Ephesus.  And among your own selves, among the eldership itself, shall men arise speaking perverse things and draw away disciples after them.  In II Thessalonians chapter two, Paul in substance said to the Thessalonians, you don't be troubled at all about the second advent of Christ, because he is not coming soon.  He will not come until there has been a great falling away and the man of sin is revealed, one that exalted himself against God (II Thessalonians 2:1-10).  Peter also said false teachers are coming.  So these that were anti‑christ, very definitely opposed to Christ and very much contrary to the way of Christ.  It is surprising to me the number of commentaries you can pick up where they will reason that the anti‑christ is coming just before the second advent!  Here John is saying already many anti‑christs are in the world.  "Little children, it is the last hour:  And as ye heard that anti‑christ cometh, even now have there risen many anti‑christs; whereby we know that it is the last hour." 


Verse nineteen, "They went out from us, but they were not of us:  For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.  But they went out, that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us."  Now, this is saying they were a part of the body of Christ that they had been in a saved condition.  People cannot leave a place where they have not been, can they?  In other words before they departed, they had already turned away from the Lord, already in a lost condition before they removed themselves from the faithful brethren.  John says they went out that it might be made manifest that they all are not of us.  All of those that had gone out were contrary to the way of Christ.  "We have anointing from the Holy One, and we know all things."  So John is saying to his brethren, we have an anointing from the Holy One, and “we know all things”, or we know what is right.  "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and because no lie is of the truth.  Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?"  So any person who denied that Jesus is the Christ, John says is a liar, and in an unsaved condition.  And so whether they were  denying the divinity of Christ or whether they were saying that, he has not come in the flesh, however they were denying the deity and the humanity of Christ, whichever case it would be, they would be liars. "Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?"  Meaning the one that God has anointed as the Messiah or savior of men.  "This is the anti‑christ, even he that denieth the Father and the Son."  And Jesus said he that honoreth the Son honoreth the Father, and he that dishonoreth the Son dishonoreth the Father.  I believe that's about the wording of John 5:23 in the gospel book.  And, again, you remember how Jesus said in that last discourse to his apostles, “I am the way, the truth, and the light.  No one cometh unto the Father except by me  There is no such thing as a man having a proper relationship with Christ without having a proper relationship with the Father or vice versa. 


Verse twenty-three, "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father:  He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also.  And as for you let that abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning."  So John is saying hold fast to what you have been taught.  Continue to believe like you have always believed, that "which you heard from the beginning."  When they became Christians. Remember how Jesus said to his apostles, he that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me, and just as surely as they reject the Son, they reject the Father, and just as surely as they receive the Son, they receive the Father.  "This is the promise which he promised us, even the life eternal."  Now, we have eternal life primarily in promise.  God has promised us that if we hear and follow Christ we will have life eternal (John 10:27-29).  Verse twenty-six, "These things have I written unto you concerning them that would lead you astray."  Now, if they were claiming a lot of superior knowledge and insight, you could imagine how they could make a strong appeal to some of those that were weak, that we have so much better understanding than you have.  So John says, you have an anointing, you know what the truth is.  And I have written unto you concerning them that would lead you astray that you may know they are liars, to know that they are false teachers.  "And as for you the anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any one teach you:  But as the anointing teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, ye abide in him."  So John affirms twice that you have an anointing, and this anointing has taught you, and this anointing is true, there is no lie in it.  And even as it taught you, you abide in that truth that it has taught you. Well, what is meant by the anointing? 


And, again, we have two very good brethren that have written commentaries.  And Brother Woods is just sure in his comments that the anointing that he is talking about is the miraculous anointing, that this is still during the dispensation when they had the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, and that a brother in the church had the gift of knowledge (I Corinthians 12:4-7) whereby he would know what was right and what was wrong.  And so he is very much of the judgment that it is talking about the miraculous anointing.  Brother Coffman on the other hand is very much of the judgment that it is just talking about that gift of the Spirit that every child of God receives.  Acts 2:38‑39, "When they said, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Peter said, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to them that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."  So that passage is saying that every one that obeys Christ is going to receive a gift, that Brother Nichols and others back there referred to as the ordinary measure of the Spirit, the measure that every person who obeys the gospel receives.  For the promise is to you and to them that are far off, that is the Gentile people.  Peter on that occasion did not understand it evidently, because later it took the vision from heaven to convince him that he was to go to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius and teach them.  But the Holy Spirit teaches through him, putting it correctly, them that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  God is still calling men to salvation through the preaching of the gospel (II Thessalonians 2:13-14).  So God is still calling and will call until the Second Advent.  And so every person receives the gift of the Spirit. 


Here I am more inclined towards Brother Coffman's thinking than I am towards Brother Wood’s thinking.  We have been taught by faithful teachers, and we know what the word of God teaches.  We have received an indwelling of the Spirit, and by that knowledge of indwelling, we know whether or not we are doing the right thing.  In Acts chapter five and verse thirty‑two, when Peter and the other apostles were before the Sanhedrin Peter said that God gives the Holy Spirit to those that obey him.  So every child of God in some way receives the Holy Spirit.  In Ephesians 1:13‑14, Paul said to the Ephesians that when they believed, they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance.  Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby he has that assurance that if he follows Christ, he is going to have life eternal. God has given us that assurance as an earnest of our inheritance.  You buy a piece of property and you put up earnest money, the earnest money that you put up testifies that you have good earnest intentions that you intend to come with the rest.  And so we have that assurance of what is coming if we remain faithful to the Lord. 


Whichever is the case, you can see from the context that John is saying, you have been taught right, you know what the truth is, just hold on to the Lord.  Is that not pretty well the reasoning of the whole passage here?  Do not let these false teachers lead you astray and cause you to loose your salvation in Christ.  You have understanding.  And notice that he emphasized, I am not writing to you because you don't know but because you do.  Verse twenty‑eight, "And now, my little children. (his brethren) Abide in him; that, if he shall be manifested, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."  Just as surely as we are faithful, we will not be ashamed when Christ comes, he will be glad to give us that abundant entrance, as Peter said, into the eternal kingdom.  "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one also that doeth righteousness is begotten of him."  So this is another way that a person can know whether he is in a saved relationship with the Lord.  Christ is righteous, there is  no sin in him, “him who knew no sin, him he made to be sin in our behalf, (II Corinthians 5:21).”  So he is righteous, he always did the right thing.  "And ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is begotten of him."  Psalms 119:72 says, “For all of thy commandments are righteousness.”  So when a person does according to the commands of Christ, he is following that course of righteousness.  "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God:  And such we are."  Do you see that again, the assurance to the faithful, we are the children of God.  Don't let these false teachers lead you astray by telling you that you are not going the right way, that you are not saved.  We are the children of God. 


Chapter Three

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God."  Do you remember Paul's words in Romans the eighth chapter, that we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,” so put those two passages together.  I always enjoyed hearing the late Ernie Ford sing, I Am A Child of The King.  A person cannot be richer than just being a faithful Christian.  He is a child of the King, an heir of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).  “For this cause the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."  And Jesus said when they persecute you, remember they persecuted me before they persecuted you, and so the world did not know Christ.  And Jesus told his apostles that the world loves it’s own, but we are not of the world.  Remember in that prayer that Jesus prayed before the cross, John seventeen, "I pray not that thou wouldest take them out of the world, but that thou would keep them from the evil one (John 17:15).”  The latter part of verse one, “For this cause the world knoweth us not because it knew him not.  Beloved now are we children of God, and is not yet made manifest what we shall be.  We know that if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him, for we shall see him even as he is."  He is talking about the bodies that the children of God will have, that they will be like the glorified body of Christ.  We know that when he shall be manifested, that would be the second advent, right? "We shall be like him,; for we shall see him as he is."  Write down beside verse two there Philippians 3:19‑20 where the writer says, "Our citizenship is from heaven, from whence we look for a savior, our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory."  So put those two passages together, and they are to saying that the bodies of the faithful will be like the glorified body of Christ. 


In I Corinthians fifteen, the last eight verses beginning with verse fifty, "This I say, brethren, that flesh and blood shall not enter the kingdom of God; behold I tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  For the trumpet shall sound, and we shall be raised incorruptible, for this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  And when this corruption has put on incorruption, and this mortal have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not vain with the Lord."  So put these three passages together, and they very clearly teach that when Christ comes he will bring the spirits of the righteous with him.  In I Thessalonians 4:13 beginning, when he comes he will bring the spirits of the righteous with him, and before the living righteous are changed, the righteous dead will be raised and transformed into glorified bodies.  And then the living righteous will be changed and caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. 


So considering the end of the way then, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we shall be his children, his heirs.  And when Christ comes that second time, we will be like him, for we shall see him even as he is.  What does a person do that has the hope for being at peace with Christ when he comes?  And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  The Gnostics, evidently most of them, were teaching that it does not make any difference what we do with the body, but you just have a pure heart.  If your thinking is all right, then you are pure before God.  But John says, “he that hath this hope set on him of having this eternal life purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Christ did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.  "Every one that doeth sin:  Doeth lawlessness:  Sin is lawlessness."  So a person that goes the way of giving way to all those lusts and passions of the flesh, he is living a life of sin, he is breaking the law of God.  And sin is lawlessness.  "And we know that he was manifested to take away sins; and in him is no sin."  The purpose of Christ coming was to take away sin.  He was the offering for sin, that in him was no sin.  And think how that agrees with II Corinthians 5:21. 


"Whoso abideth in him sinneth not, whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him."  Now, these two verses, or the context beginning here, have given many a lot of difficulty, and some have concluded that if a person is a Christian, that there is no way that he can be counted as a sinner.  I remember many years ago hearing Brother Gus Nichols in a debate with the Primitive Baptists at Tallassee, Alabama, and the Baptist preacher reasoned if I were to commit murder, God would not count it against me.  The flesh is weak, but I do not  want to be a murderer.  Now, it would be bad to commit murder, and especially a good old Primitive Baptist preacher, but if I were to commit murder, the Lord would not chalk that up against me.  It would be like convicting a person that does not want to do wrong.  I do not remember all the details, but he really built up a good case that the Lord just would not chalk up sin against a child of God.  And those people, I guess that would be the way they would use this passage.  "That whosoever abideth in him sinneth not."  Once a child of God, always a child of God, and regardless of his weaknesses, he is still pure and holy before the Lord. 


Well, if you take that as sinneth not, meaning that if a child of God does not sin at all, then John would be contradicting himself from the first chapter, right?  Verse 1:8, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."  Verse ten, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."  So he is not talking about a person not ever doing anything that is wrong and sinful! Some of the newer versions read according to the real meaning of the passage, and how do they read? STUDENT:  From the first chapter? .BROTHER TURNER:  From I John 3:6, begin reading. STUDENT:  "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.  No one who continues to sin has either seen him or knowns him." BROTHER TURNER:  Keeps on sinning.  In other words, he does not live a life of sin.  What were you reading from?  You were reading from the New International, were you not?  STUDENT:  Yes, sir. BROTHER TURNER:  Let me get the New American Standard.  I John 3:6 beginning, "No one who abides in him sins.  No one who sins has seen him or knows him.  Little children, let no one deceive you:  The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous.  The one who practices sin is of the devil, for the devil hath sinned from the beginning.  The Son of God appeared for this purpose that he might destroy the works of the devil.  No one who is born of God practices sin, because his seed abides in him.  And he cannot sin, because he is born of God."


 Practices sin is very different from a person who through weakness or ignorance committing sin and then asking the Lord to forgive him and getting up and trying again. STUDENT:  Like in eight that committeth sin, that is also practices in there. BROTHER TURNER:  Seven, eight, and nine, practices righteousness, that he is righteous, and the one who practices sin is of the devil.  Verse nine, no one who is born of God practices sin.  In other words, John is saying that the life of a Christian always balances on the side of righteousness, and an unsaved person, his life balances on the side of unrighteousness.  That is surely the meaning of the passage.  Does anybody in the class have the New King James Version?  The New King James Version beginning with verse nine, "Whoever abides in him does not sin; whoever sins has neither seen him nor knows him."  And, again, a life of sin. "Little children let no one deceive you.  He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous."  So essentially like the New American Standard.


Verse eight, "He who sins is of the devil; for the devil  sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  Whoever has been born of God doth not sin; for his seed remains in him:  And he cannot sin, because he has been born of God."  Well, it is a little different.  I believe the New American Standard is the better reading of the ones that we have read.  Anyway, a child of God that is the acid test, you might say, the one who does righteousness is righteous.  And he that practices sin is of the devil, and he that practices righteousness is of the Lord.  But coming back to verse nine, "No one who is born of God," reading from the New American Standard, "Practices sin because his seed abides in him:  And he cannot sin, because he is born of God."  What is the meaning there that his seed abides in him?  What is the seed that abides in the Christian? STUDENT:  The word. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, the word of God.  Luke 8:11, "The seed is the word of God."  And James 1:18, "Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."  Romans 1:16, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."  So the gospel seed abides in his heart, and it continues to tell him not to go the way of sin.  His seed abides in him, and he is not going to live a life of sin.  He is not going to practice a life of sin, because he is begotten or born of God.  And, again, the apostle Peter said in I Peter 3:21, "Having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed, of the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever."  So the word of God, the word is the seed of the kingdom, Luke 8:11, and so the word abides in him and continues to speak to him, and he does not practice a life of sin.  You might want to put down with that Psalms 119:11.  I believe that is the verse where the Psalmists said, "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against thee."  Just as surely as a child of God knows and has the word of God dwelling in his heart, it is a great source of protection.


Verse ten is the acid test.  "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious."  In other words, it is easy to see who is a child of God and who is not a child of God based on these standards.  "Any one who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother."  So the one who does not practice righteousness, his life is always balancing on the side of unrighteousness, that person is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.  "For this is the message which ye have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another."  And, again, write down John 13:34 by that verse, “a new commandment give I unto you that ye love one another even as I have loved you.”  So that real genuine love that we are to have one for another is the badge of discipleship. "Not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother.  And for what reason did he slay him?  Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous."  Now, when you consider Genesis chapter four, they both offered up a sacrifice, and Cain offered up of the fruits of the field, and Able offered up an animal sacrifice with the fat thereof.  God had spoken to those brothers back there and instructed them.  God has never said to man just worship without telling man how to worship.  How would man begin to know how to worship a holy and just and righteous God?  God has always given instruction, and we know that Able did as he was instructed.  Hebrews 11:4, I think, "By faith Able offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain."  And he received witness from God that he was righteous, and the writer said, “he being dead yet speaketh.”  It speaks to us saying that when we do what God has instructed us to do in the way of worship that we please God.  But Cain, as we have already talked about, went according to his own will and his own thinking.  He offered up the fruits of the field instead of an animal sacrifice.  And we know that God had to tell him, because the writer says that Able did it by faith. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." 


For what reason did Cain slay Able?  John says, “because his deeds were evil  Well, what deeds are under consideration? STUDENT:  The sacrifices. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, that would be the sacrifices. And so when a person does something in worship that is contrary to what God has instructed, his works are evil.  It may look good to him, and there are literally thousands of people in our society today that believe that they more or less have the right to choose what they do in the way of worship, but this passage says that Cain's works were evil and his brother's righteous.  Able did according as God had instructed, and his deeds were righteous.  "Do not marvel, brethren."  Do not be surprised, or disappointed.  "If the world hates you.  We know that we have passed out of death unto life, because we love the brethren.  He who does not love abides in death."  I wish you would think about this, and as you read again notice the different times that John emphasizes how we are to love our brethren, and how that the person who hates his brother is in a lost condition, and he that loves his brother is in a saved condition. 


Here in verse fourteen, "We know that we are passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren."  What does that statement mean, passed out of death into life?  He is writing to his brethren.  They are still living!  They are still breathing, aren't they?  But he says, "We know that we have passed out of death unto life, because we love the brethren."  They have passed out of what kind of death into life? STUDENT:  Out of sin. BROTHER TURNER:  All right, out of sin, out of spiritual death.  Remember the Bible teaches that sin separates one from God.   Ephesians 2:1, "And you did he make alive when you were dead in your trespasses in sin."  So any person going the way of sin, practicing a life of sin, his sin separates him from God.  Isaiah 59:1-2, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that he cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that  he cannot hear:  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear you."  So back there in the days of Isaiah, sin had separated those Israelites from God. Sin still separates men from God.  Those that have not obeyed the gospel are separated, those accountable beings that have not obeyed the gospel are in sin, but when they obey the gospel, and then by their obedience to the gospel, they pass out of spiritual death into spiritual life in Christ John 5:24-25; Ephesians 6:1-6). 


John, of course, is talking to those that had obeyed the gospel, but he is further stressing that you know that you are in a saved relationship now if you love the brethren.  If you have sincere love for your brethren, you know that you are in a saved relationship.  You have passed out of spiritual death into spiritual life, but he who does not love, as set forth in such passages as I Corinthians 13:1‑7, then you abide in death. “Every one who hates his brother is a murderer:  And ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."  So God under the New Testament law looks on a man's heart.  Remember how Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, “you have heard it said by them of old time thou shalt not commit adultery, but I say unto you that he that looketh on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already in his heart.” STUDENT:  Tell me about this.  Here it is talking about to love the brethren and then just a little bit earlier he was talking about these false teachers coming ‑‑ And Paul was talking about in other places over there where they even come from the elders, but here they are coming from within.  And then Peter talks about false teachers coming from within.  And they are here among you.  And then here he is talking about loving your brother instead of the evil that is going to be following you if you do not love your brother.  How can you love someone like that that is on the inside and purposely trying to be destructive to the kingdom of God? BROTHER TURNER:  Well, these had left.  They had made it manifest that they were not faithful to the Lord. STUDENT:  Yeah, but here it says love them. BROTHER TURNER:  Well, you should love to the point that if there is any room to try to turn them back to the way of the Lord, you would do so.  You are not to hate them because they are in a lost condition, you may hate their way, and we are to hate their wrong doing, but we are not to hate them.  But his emphasis has been primarily on loving your faithful brethren, in most of these passages.  When it says that he that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.  But notice then the other side, he who hates his brother is a murderer.  God looks on the heart, and “you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”  So the man who hates his brother, John has said about three times that he is in a lost condition. 


Then he tells how that we can really determine whether or not we have this brotherly love that he has been talking about.  Verse sixteen, "He says we know love by this that he laid down his life for us."  He, referring, of course, to Christ.  In John 10:11 Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd:  And the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep."  And, again, verses seventeen and eighteen, "My Father loves me, because I lay down my life for the sheep.  No one hath taketh it from me, I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again."  So Jesus, before the cross, said I am going to die for the sheep, and I am not forced to do it.  No one taketh it from me.  I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again.  And so from that statement, Jesus did not die until he was ready to be that sin offering.  Verse seventeen, "But whoever hath this world's good, and beholds his brother in need, and closeth his heart against him."  Or I believe the King James says, "Shutteth up his bowels of compassion; how dwelleth the love of God in him?"  This one reads, "How doth the love of God abide in him?"  That is a rhetorical question, meaning just as surely as a brother fits in this category of seeing his brother in Christ in need, and he closes up his bowels of compassion or his heart against him, and he does not supply the needs, John is saying the love of God does not dwell in him.  So he goes in some detail of how that we can determine whether or not we love our brethren.  And he is saying in substance, if you are not ready to help your brother when he's in need and you have the ability to do so, you don't love your brother.  That brings us down to verse eighteen as the beginning place.  I appreciate your good attention in the class.