PTB2-11: Christ for Individuals in the Little Epistles of John.

First, an introduction to the CFI book on Revelation, the Gospel of John, and the Little Epistles of John and Paul.

An Amazon Kindle book in color: bible quotes in green and comments in blue. 376 pages of 6 by 9, easy reading like Kindle Did you know that a PDF download like this will instantly come up in your Microsoft Explorer or Adobe Reader where you can have it read aloud, save it for a Bible library to your favorite location, and print it if desired. Introduction to Christ for Individuals The contemporary gap between Christ and church membership should be obvious to all. It hardly matters which church or denomination as you look at church members around you, and then look at the Christ of the Bible and the teachings of Christ, there is little similarity. The discouraging aspect of the gap is that it is getting larger each year. That means that it is diverging; and if it is diverging, it is conceivable that shortly the churches and Christ will be going in opposite directions. Horrible, yes; but what is the answer.

                                 The CFI volume of LCC in Kindle format

And here is what you can read on the above page about CHRIST FOR INDIVIDUALS.

“Learn Christ from the Apostles and Prophets,
Volume 2: Christ for Individuals, the 5 NT books
from the Apostle John.
To LEARN Christ is to learn Truth from Jesus, who said “I am the way, the truth, and the life”; from God the Heavenly Father, the Creator of all; and from the Bible, God’s Great Design in a Book. Not even family is more important than the Truth of Jesus, God, and the Bible; as a matter of fact that also defines love for God more than family, country, and all. Jesus said, “He that does not
love me more than father and mother is not worthy of me.”
Also Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and the second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”


Volumes can be written on “who is my neighbor”, but Jesus defined it as someone you see, that is in need, and you are able to help. However, the emphasis here is that this love is second, the prime love and loyalty is for God and His Truth, the truth “once for all given to the saints” in the literal Bible of II Peter 1:20.21, the ASPI version of the Bible. A conservative commentary
based on the ASPI is constrained by the rules the Bible Itself imposes onexegesis, generally called hermeneutics, with the paramount interest of “comparing Scripture with Scripture”, and hence you will find a large number of Bible quotes in the Learn Christ commentaries.

Dr. B. H. Carroll’s “An Interpretation of the English Bible” has been admired for years as an example of good hermeneutics; however in the place of many actual comments as such
an authority of the founder and first President of SWBTS could do, comparison scriptures have been multiplied in green, many of the strictly comments in blue. This may be one reason that while Carroll’s commentaries are in 17 volumes, the Learn Christ commentaries are 7 volumes (earler but now have expanded to 12 volumes) with both sets of commentaries having the same goal, to go al the way through the Bible from stem to stern. Here, the startling recognition that the internal structure of the
Bible Itself with Old Testament quotes in the New Testament make this possible, with an equal realization that Jesus and the Apostles explain when they quote, and sometimes it is the Prophets that explain more than the Apostles.”

What is the cure for this obvious and serious problem of Falling Away that has gripped the world of Christians? The answer is for church members to Learn Christ. Which Christ? The Christ from the apostles and prophets of the Bible. If one passage of the Bible were chosen as a gist or theme for this set of Bible commentaries, LEARN CHRIST FROM THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, it would be Ephesians 2:19-22.

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:1922 NJKV)

I know the classic reply for church leaders. “No human can be perfect”, and “at least they are trying.” No, that is the point: church members are not trying. They are doing what they want to do. They are not making positive efforts to be like Christ and to be like God, which is demanded in the Bible from the apostles and prophets. The description of what is presently happening to church members is like the description from the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 4:3,4:

 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears from the truth…” (II Timothy 4:3,4 NJKV)

You see it is no longer a negative thing of “we are trying…our heart is in the right place…but we just cannot reach perfection.” No, that is not it! It is a positive matter of first, a lack of tolerance for sound doctrine–church members will not listen to sound doctrine, church members will not go to hear sound doctrine, and church members will not tolerate preachers and teachers who preach sound doctrine. Church members, according to the Apostle Paul’s description, are motivated not by any effort to be like Christ and any effort at perfection, but are motivated by their own human desires; that is, “according to their own desires,” and “because they have itching ears.” In short, church members are doing what they want to do and they are believing what they want to believe. What they want to believe is things that will tickle their ears. Things that will give them pleasure like, “nobody is perfect” and “you are the people of God”, and “at least you are trying”. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago that was true; but not now. And the apex of the gap in Paul’s description is that they pile up or heap to themselves teachers. It is much like building a dirt fortress or battement around themselves in order to protect themselves from sound doctrine.

They buy books from teachers that feed their desires; they run off teachers and preachers that offend their itching ears with the truth; and they call as pastors, teachers, and administrators those “teachers” that will teach according to their own desires. The whole motivation is to turn away from the truth. Now, brother, that is a positive thing. It takes a lot of effort for so-called “Christians” to turn away from the truth of the Bible. It takes a lot of effort for church members to cease to Learn Christ; and in the place of learning Christ to learn some kind of church membership that is based on “desires” and “itching ears”. Some today, like among Presbyterians, are worried about an intolerance caused by the preaching of Christ as the only way of salvation. Brothers, you had better be concerned about the intolerance of sound doctrine that is growing.

Being the third volume of the LEARN Christ commentaries, it is centered around the five books of the Apostle John with the emphasis on the book of Revelation. This approach helps to support the title theme of “Christ for Individuals”. As churches and denominations are “falling away” from God, Christ, and the Bible (not falling away from churches as church attendance may actually go up during the falling away), it is important that the few sound doctrine church members remaining of the seven Christian thousand adopt to themselves the Christ of the individual that is presented in Revelation 2-3.

The approach to the eschatology of Revelation is simple. The outline is taken from the teachings of Jesus as given in Matthew 24 with the major divisions of the History of Christianity all the way to the end given by the natural divisions of “and then”: (1) Beginning of Sorrows; (2) Period of Persecution Tribulation (the tribulation of the fourth period is primarily physical tribulation and from God as the heavens and earth fall apart, the shaking of heaven and earth); (3) The Period of Offences, often the most neglected, when God’s people are offended by sound doctrine, betray and hate one another; and (4) The period of the Falling away which includes lawlessness and all the end time events. Remember, however, that whatever is in one period continues into the other periods.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Christ for Individuals 4

Chapter 1: Eschatology in the Book of Revelation 7

Chapter 2: Pride or Worship God, Revelation 1-3. 33

Chapter 3: Number the People of God or Worship Christ, Revelation 4-7? 62

Chapter 4: The Seventh Seal, The Completion of History, Revelation 8-12. 82

Chapter 5: War with the Remnant, Revelation 12-20. 95

Chapter 6: “How Long?” 125

Chapter 7: New Heavens and New Earth, Rev 20,21. 145

Chapter 8: Overcomers are the Seven Thousand. 167

Chapter 9: “Come and See”, The Gospel of John. 191

Chapter 10: Revelation, the Gospel of John, and the Epistles. 206

Chapter 11: Signs for Believing in Jesus from the Gospel of John. 223

Today for the morning and weekly message, we concentrate on the last 5 chapters which are on the Little Epistles of John, and in particular Chapter 12 on the Security of the Believer from the Apostles John and Paul.

Chapter 12: Security of the Believer from the Apostles John and Paul. 258

Chapter 13: Complete Outline of I John. 280

Chapter 14: Faith and Faith Contending in the Bible. 300

Chapter 15: The Sound of a Sound Faith. 317

Chapter 16: What Do You Do? 363

Security of the Believer from the Apostles John and Paul.

NOTE:  If you care to, you can order a copy of the little epistles section of CFI distributed by SendOwl for Sungrist as follows.

https://transactions.sendowl.com/products/78180000/18BF9C56/view

Years ago, I wrote a commentary entitled, IF TWO AGREE, A HARMONY OF JOHN AND EPHESIANS, because I thought the ultimate in an illustration of agreement or the harmony of the Bible would be books like John and Ephesians where the two Apostles never met.  After all these years I am still impressed with the harmony of all the 14 books from Paul, the three Paul edited, and the 5 books from the Apostle John.  Indeed, I am impressed with the harmony of the Bible as a collection of 66 books from one author, the Spirit of Christ.

35-1:   A PARAPHRASE OF SIX SMALL EPISTLES FROM PAUL and JOHN.

The security of the believer is taught throughout the Bible.  Six books, three from Paul and three from John, are chosen to illustrate the security of the believer.

Philemon:

Paul and Timothy to Philemon, to Apphia, Archippus, and to the church in your house, grace and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  I thank my God that the knowledge of your faith becomes even more effectual as the good from your faith is acknowledged as what is in you is in Christ Jesus.  Brother, all the saints are encouraged by your faith.

I, Paul the aged and a prisoner, beseech you more than enjoin you for the sake of Onesimus that you might receive him even as me.  He departed for a season that you might receive him forever:  receive him as myself, your partner, and receive him as above a servant, as a brother.  Any wronging of you or debt, put that on my account.  Let me have joy of you in the Lord, refresh my bowels in the Lord.  I have confidence that you will do more than I say and prepare me to lodge as I trust to be delivered to you.  At your house salute:  Epaphras, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.  Amen.

III John:

The elder to Gaius:  Beloved, I wish that you may prosper and be in good health directly proportional to the prospering of your soul.  It was rejoicing to listen to the brethren tell of the truth in you and of the walk-in truth.  That my children walk in the truth, there is no greater joy.  What you have done for brethren and strangers has been witnessed before the church.  These brethren go forward taking nothing of the Gentiles, by receiving such we become fellow helpers to the truth.  Diotrephes does not receive us because he wants all the preeminence.  I will remember what he does:  (1) the malicious words; (2) failing to receive the brethren; (3) forbidding others to receive the brethren; and (4) casting the brethren and those that receive them out of the church.  Beloved, follow not evil but good; for the good doer is of God and the evil doer has not seen God.  Demetrius has a good report and we give him a good reference.  Other things I will say when I see you face to face.  Our friends salute you.  Greet the friends by name.

II John:

From the elder to the elect lady and her children, grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father.  Truth:  (1) I love in the truth; (2) as do all those that have known the truth; and (3) for the sake of the truth which:  (a) dwells in us; and (b) shall be with us forever; and (4) of your children walking in the truth I rejoiced greatly.  We must love one another.  Love is to live in the commandments of Jesus as we heard from the beginning; and I say this because many deceivers have entered into the world.  These deceivers or Antichrist confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  Be careful that you are not deceived by these into losing our full reward.   There is no relationship with God of those who have not the doctrine of Christ.  Who abides in the doctrine of Christ:  he has the Father and the Son?  Don’t receive anyone into your house, or even wish them God speed that does not bring this doctrine of Christ, otherwise you become a partaker in his evil deeds.  I trust to say more when I see you face to face.

Philippians:

Paul and Timothy to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi with the bishops and deacons, grace and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  You are gratefully in my prayers, being confident that the God who started a good work in you will continue it until the day of Christ.  Specifically, I pray that:  (1) that your love abounds in knowledge and judgment; (2) that you approve excellent things; (3) that you remain sincere and without offence until the day of Christ; and (4) that you be filled with the fruits of righteousness.

The things that have happened to me in Rome and in prison have helped in the spread of the gospel:  (1) My bonds in Christ are shown in the palace and other places; (2) Christ is preached in pretense and in truth; (3) All this will turn to my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the “Spirit of Jesus Christ”; (4) That Christ will be magnified in my body whether in life or death.  Life in Christ or gain in death:  (1) When I live it is really Christ living in my circumstances; (2) I don’t know which to chose since I have the desire to depart to be with Christ, but since it is better for you that I remain.  Let your conversation be as an adornment to the Gospel of Christ:  (1) Stand fast in one spirit and one mind; (2) Strive together for the faith of the gospel; (3) Never terrified by your enemies; (4) Suffer for Christ as well as believe in Him; and (5) You will have the same conflict over the gospel which you now hear that I have. {**NOTE:  We see in this “strive for the gospel” an equivalent of the “contend for the faith” of the book of Jude; but unlike the faith contending of Jude, we also see here an element of persecution for the cause of the Gospel; that is, a contending with the faith and with persecution.**}

Be like-minded only if these are true; and they are:  (1) consolation in Christ; (2) comfort of love; (3) fellowship of the Spirit; and (4) bowels and mercies.  Then there is a preface to having the same mind as Christ:  (1) like-minded; (2) same love; (3) of one accord; and (4) of one mind.  The mind of Christ is essentially giving up temporarily equality with God to come to earth, and then dying on the cross.  God the Father has highly exalted Jesus for what He did by:  (1) Giving him the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, above every name; (2) By commanding that every knee on earth and in heaven bow to the Lord Jesus Christ; and (3) By commanding that every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, and that this gives the glory to God the Father. Salvation is to be worked with and worked out with “fear and trembling”.  (Here something should be parenthetically mentioned that will become more important as we go along, and that is the balance between Security of the Believer and Cautions.  Here is a caution to work with what you have in salvation already for fear or trembling that it may not be completed in you!) How to be cautious about your salvation?

  • Acknowledge that it must be God working in you to do His good pleasure and will, the equivalent of Christ in you.
  • Don’t murmur and dispute as that is not the sort of thing God or Christ would be doing in you.
  • Seek to be blameless and harmless.
  • The sons of God.
  • Be without rebuke in the midst of crookedness and perverseness.
  • Shine as lights in the world.*  Hold forth the Word of life…

“…that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.”  (Philippians 2:16  KJV)

Rejoice in the Lord and beware of:  (1) dogs; (2) evil workers; and (3) the concision—we are of the circumcision that worship God in spirit and rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ, having no confidence in the flesh.  {**NOTE:  Since later in I John it will become very important to test the spirits, we see here preparatory to John’s epistles the three characteristics of a good spirit:  (1) worship God with that spirit; (2) rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ; and (3) have no confidence in the flesh.**}  Some confidences in the flesh:  (1) circumcision of the flesh; (2) of Israel; (3) of the tribe of Benjamin; (4) a Hebrew of the Hebrews; (5) a Pharisee about the law; (6) religious enthusiasm that persecutes the church; and (7) blameless under the legal requirements of the law.  THE EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST (still another way to talk about the mystery of Christ in you, the hope of glory):  (1) personal gains are losses here; (2) causes the loss of all other things; (3) all other things become as dung compared to the winning of Christ; (4) to be found “in him”; (5) having not personal righteousness under the law; (6) having the righteousness of faith, the righteousness which is of God and by faith; (7) to know Christ; (8) to know the power of Christ’s resurrection; (9) to know the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings; (10) the end goal in the resurrection from the dead; (11) a recognition of incomplete salvation or perfection; (12) to follow after perfection and completed salvation; (13) to apprehend what Jesus apprehended us to have; (14) forget the past and look forward to the future; and (15) press toward the target of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The problem children in the church are (same as the evil spirits of I John):  (1) those who claim perfection but who will not listen to God letting them know differently; (2) those who live habitually the opposite of the examples of Paul and Timothy; (3) the enemies of the cross of Christ; (4) those whose end is destruction; (5) those whose God is their belly; (6) those who glory in their shame (here is an opposite of the hope of glory, Christ in you with a hope of glory built on shame); and (7) who mind earthly things.

Our conversation is in heaven.

CHANGE:  (Here is a short summary of some of the hope!)

“the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”  (Philippians 3:20,21  KJV)

Stand fast in the Lord, be of the same mind, and rejoice in the Lord.  Be moderate since the Lord is at hand; pray about everything to God with the peace that will ensue; think on good and true things; and do what you have heard and seen. Colossians:

From Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossi.  We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ since we heard of your faith and love, praying for the hope laid up for you in heaven:  (1) the hope you heard of at first in the gospel; (2) the hope to you and all the world; (3) the hope that brings forth fruit in you; and (4) the hope after you knew the grace of God in truth.  Our prayer is that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in wisdom and spiritual understanding:  (1) to walk worthy of the Lord fruitfully (2) increasing in the knowledge of God; (3) glorious power for patience, longsuffering, and joy; and (4) giving thanks to the Father. What the Father has done for us:  (1) Made us partakers of the inheritance of saints; (2) delivered us from the power of darkness; (3) translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; and (4) given us redemption through the blood of the Son with forgiveness of sins.

Who is this Jesus?  (1) The image of the invisible God; (2) Firstborn of all creatures; (3) Medium of all creation; (4) Recipient of all created things; (5) Preeminent to all; (6) All things have their continuing existence by Him; (6) Head of the church; (7) The beginning of new creations as the Firstborn from the dead; and (8) The Father’s focal point for all fullness. NOTE:  Right here is something we want to do more of since it is the Bible way, a balance between security and “if”.

You are welcome to free download this message at the SunGrist link below:

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