3:2). John Chapter 1 (King James Version) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. For the Church members John addressed, fear would have been a natural response to the hostilities they faced. âThe presiding elder said: âMy dear young man, you would be a very smart man, and a very useful man in the earth, if you did not believe all those foolish thingsââ (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff , 35â36). The fact that it mentions no one by name suggests it was a circular letter sent to Christians in a number of places. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. Study 1Â John 1:5â10; 2:4â11, 20â21,Â 27; 3:4â22. When we love others, we invite the light of Christ to illuminate our lives. Share an insight you gained with someone you think would benefit from it. This epistle allows readers to understand Judeâs earnest concern about the forces of apostasy that were at work in the Church near the end of the first century A.D. 2:1,12,28; 3:7,18; 5:21; and 3 Jn. Christ covered the sins of all the world (1 John 2:2). Elder JosephÂ B. Wirthlin (1917â2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles related an experience from the life of Elder JamesÂ E. Talmage that illustrates how Christlike love casts out fear: âElder JamesÂ E. Talmage, a man who is remembered for his doctrinal teachings, showed great kindness to a neighbor family in distress. John reminded his readers that in spite of antichrists who try to deceive, they must not lose the spiritual progress they have made (see 2Â John 1:8). ââ¦ We are engaged in a battle between the forces of light and darkness. John has already told us in 1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Elder JosephÂ B. Wirthlin taught that when we obey the commandments out of love, obedience ceases to be grievous: âSpend time with Him. Obedience to Godâs commandments is an important theme in Johnâs writings, as expressed in 1Â John 2:3â6. John was not suggesting that the Saints should fail to extend common courtesy to those who taught contrary doctrines. In his Gospel, John recorded Jesusâs teaching that those who love the Savior keep His commandments: âIf ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my loveâ (John 15:10). Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Yet they're all loosely tied together by the same ideas. Series Preface: J. I. Packer and Lane T. Dennis Week 1: Overview Week 2: This Is the Message (1 John 1:1–2:11) Week 3: Do Not Love the World (1 John 2:12–17) Week 4: Abide in Him (1 John 2:18–3:10) Week 5: Love One Another (1 John 3:11–4:6) Week 6: Love One Another, Continued (1 John 4:7–21) Week 7: Children of God (1 John 5:1–12) He heard this principle taught by the Savior, who is the source of enduring love. The motherâs blood is shed during childbirth. John wrote to believers (see 1Â John 1:3â4; 2:12â14), perhaps those in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), where historical sources say John lived and ministered in the late first century A.D. False teachers had created a schism, or division, among the Saints in the region (see 1Â John 2:18â19, 22,Â 26; 4:1). John himself had seen God the Father (see Revelation 5:1; D&C 67:11). In our dispensation, Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, was called âan elect ladyâ (D&C 25:3). âWhen [Jesus] shall appear, we shall be like himâ (1Â John 3:2). The apparent addition is the words âin heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. The King James Version of 1Â John 3:6 reads, âWhosoever sinneth hath not seen him [Christ], neither known him.â The Joseph Smith Translation of 1Â John 3:6, 8â9 clarifies the difference between one who sins and one who continues in sin: âWhosoever continueth in sin hath not seen him, neither known him.Â â¦, âHe that continueth in sin is of the devil.Â â¦. Jude 1:4â9 is indeed similar in wording to 2Â Peter 2; however, Peter was prophesying of future apostasy whereas Jude spoke of an apostasy that was currently taking place (see 2Â Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4). Judeâs message was that the Saintsâ worship and social practices were becoming corrupted by inappropriate behavior (see also 1Â Corinthians 11:18â34; 1Â Peter 4:3; 2Â Peter 2:13). This he did all for a family of strangers. Jude acknowledged the ongoing apostasy in the ancient Church as he described ungodly men who entered the ranks of the Church without the awareness of the members and then taught false doctrines (see Jude 1:4). John wrote that âGod is light, and in him is no darkness at allâ (John 1:5). This rejoicing illustrates the joy and gratitude that Church leaders, both ancient and modern, feel for those who remain faithful to the Lord. Elder BruceÂ R. McConkie noted several unique characteristics of Jude: âIn the whole Bible, it is Jude only who preserves for us the concept that pre-existence was our first estate and that certain angels failed to pass its tests. Elder RobertÂ D. Hales (1932â2017) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught how we might dispel darkness from our life and walk in the light: âAs children, we learned how to keep darkness away by turning on a light. John pointed out that our faith in Jesus Christ allows us to overcome the world (see 1Â John 5:4â5). 8:17) and that âwhen he shall appear, we shall be like himâ (1Â Jn. The Prologue to the Letter 1:1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life – 1:2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). 1 John, 2 John, 3 John addresses deceivers who no longer acknowledge Jesus as Messiah or God's Son and stir up hostility among faithful believers. In 3Â John we see Johnâs concern about apostate influences in the Church. John authored five books of the New Testament. John and Jude wrote their epistles at a time when apostasy was threatening the Church. While 1 John appear to be a general letter addressed to congregations scattered throughout Asia Minor, and 2 John was sent to a lady and her family (2 John 1), in 3 John, the apostle clearly names the sole recipient as “the beloved Gaius” (verse 1). President M.Â Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles warned modern Church members not to associate with deceivers and antichrists operating in our day: âLet us beware of false prophets and false teachers, both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church. 1:4 • To help them guard against sin. [1965â73],Â 3:371). Elder BruceÂ R. McConkie gave insight about this verse: âCommentators assumeÂ â¦ that Jude had before him and was quoting from a then current apocryphal book, âThe Assumption of Moses,â which has been preserved to us in fragmentary form only. John warned his readers that âmany deceivers are entered into the worldâ (2Â John 1:7). Why is following this counsel an important way to show our love for God? Jude urged his readers to remember âthe words which were spoken [by] the Apostlesâ (Jude 1:17; see also 3Â Nephi 12:1â2). Here, âestateâ refers to a personâs rank or position. Another possibility is that âthe elect lady and her childrenâ were Johnâs wife and family. Satan opposed the burial.Â â¦ Finally, all opposition having been overcome, the assumption took place in the presence of Joshua and Calebâ (R.Â H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol.Â 2, pp. The book of Jude references Old Testament and Jewish literature to refute corrupt teachers and encourage godly living. When the spiritual light of the Holy Ghost is present, the darkness of Satan departs. A propitiation is a sacrifice made to regain Godâs favor or goodwill (see 1Â John 2:2; 4:10). The author of 1Â John did not identify himself in the epistle; however, as early as the second century, Christian scholars have identified the author as the Apostle John, one of the original Twelve. John sometimes referred to Church members in the areas in which he ministered as his âlittle childrenâ (1Â John 2:1, 12, 18,Â 28; 3:7; 4:4; 5:21). 1 John. 2. âOut of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,â, âThe Costï»¿âand Blessingsï»¿âof Discipleship,â, âBeware of False Prophets and False Teachers,â. Apocryphal books like the Assumption of Moses are not included in the Bible because of their dubious authenticity or validity. Elder BruceÂ R. McConkie explained the meaning of âunctionâ in this verse: âLiterally, an unction is the act of anointing, as with oil for medicinal purposes; figuratively, it is an anointing from on high, meaning that those so endowed receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. A particular philosophy that was gaining popularity at the time was Docetism. A core teaching in many forms of Gnosticism was that the spirit was wholly good and that matter, including the physical body, was wholly evil. Jude warned the Saints of âungodly menâ who had âcrept in unawaresâ (Jude 1:4; see also verseÂ 15). 8:16â17). 11 May 2015, 19:49. The author of this epistle never identified himself by name, but Christians since the beginning of the church have considered this letter authoritative, believing it was written by Our highest aspiration is to be like them. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. Since the epistle addresses a group of people, many commentators conclude that âthe elect ladyâ actually refers to a Christian congregation (see 2Â John 1:13). In this epistle John addressed the dangerous spread of apostate influences in the Church and gave an apostolic warning to the Saints to have no fellowship with darkness but to stay in the safety of gospel light. Though Jude does not appear to have held a prominent leadership position in the early Church, early Christians held his epistle in sufficient esteem to include it in the New Testament canon. Teachers who deny Jesus and His work on the cross or command to love others is a deceiver and should be unwelcome by the church. [1965â73],Â 3:374). Cain murdered his brother Abel in order to gain his brotherâs flocks (see Genesis 4:8; Moses 5:32â33). Background of the books. In a world that hates Jesus, we are called to love Him and His people with a fierce love.Also, if you're leading a group through this study, Tony has some words of guidance for you in this training post. Each person born in mortality is literally the offspring of heavenly parents, having received a spirit body in the premortal world. Diotrephes, a local Church leader, refused to recognize Johnâs authority (see 3Â John 1:9â10). The key personalities are the Apostles Peter and Paul. John exhorted his readers to âbelieve not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of Godâ (1Â John 4:1). Act on your plan, and record your experience in your journal. For example, the bishop Cyprian (about A.D. 200â258) wrote: âWhat man is, Christ was willing to be, that man also may be what Christ is.Â â¦ What Christ is, we Christians shall be, if we imitate Christâ (âThe Treatises of Cyprian,â 6.11,Â 15, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325: Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10Â vols. God is Love. John rejoiced that he found the children of the elect lady walking in truth and following the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here Jude was referring to the faith that was taught originally by Christ Himself and then by His Apostles. Even as John pointed out how antichrists were at work within the Church, he assured the Saints that âan unction from the Holy Oneâ would allow them to âknow all thingsâ as they sought to resist false ideas (1Â John 2:20). To read more about the Churchâs teachings regarding homosexual acts, see the commentary for Romans 1:26â27. 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. Johannine Epsitles (1-3 John) Summary. Jude was evidently an active Church member of high esteem in Jerusalem, and he had traveled as a missionary (see Acts 1:13â14; 1Â Corinthians 9:5). 407â413. We take these Bible teachings literally. We believe that the purpose of mortal life is to acquire a physical body and, through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, to qualify for the glorified, resurrected celestial state that is called exaltation or eternal life.Â â¦, ââ¦ (This destiny of eternal life or Godâs life should be familiar to all who have studied the ancient Christian doctrine of and belief in deification or apotheosis).Â â¦. 2:1 … âWhen he arrived, James found one toddler already dead and two others who were in agony from the disease. This non-canonical work presents the doctrine that Moses was translated and taken up into heaven without tasting death. God is Light. John taught that in order to have fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, we must become like Them. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart. He then assisted the family with the burial arrangements and spoke at their graveside services. 2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.3 It gave me great joy when some believers(B)came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. How are you doing in this area? Smalley’s commentary receives accolades from many of the commentators on the commentaries. Jude cited scripture and Jewish apocryphal accounts to show how God had dealt in times past with individuals who openly opposed His work. Some individuals in the Church were teaching that Jesus Christ did not have a physical body. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one anotherâ [1Â John 4:10â11]ï»¿âand to love Him forever, I prayâ (âThe Grandeur of God,â Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 72â73; see also the commentary for John 3:14â17). The phrase âlittle childrenâ is used similarly in John 13:33 and Doctrine and Covenants 78:17. John refuted these false teachings by bearing witness of the Saviorâs physical existence (see 1Â John 1:1â2; 4:2â3,Â 14; 5:6). Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on your partâ (âThe Costï»¿âand Blessingsï»¿âof Discipleship,â Ensign or Liahona, May 2014,Â 6). Purpose. The Savior endured the suffering due for the accumulated sins of the whole world; however, only those who truly repent will receive the full benefits of the Saviorâs Atonement (see D&C 18:10â12; 19:16â19). Judeâs words are sharp and incisive against those who opposed God and His servants. To read more about mortals being able to see God, see John 14:23; Acts 7:56; Doctrine and Covenants 93:1; Joseph Smithï»¿âHistory 1:16â17; and the commentary for John 1:18. [⇑ See verse text ⇑] The role of God as Creator is established in verse 3. I John was written to combat false teaching concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. âThat if men will personify that love in their lives, they will become like the Lord himself and have eternal life with himâ (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3Â vols. Some commentators have noted similarities between Jude and 2Â Peter and suggested that one writer may have used the other as a source or that both drew from a common source. John taught that God is love; that perfect love casts out fear; and that water, blood, and spirit testify of Christ. It is written by the Disciple/Apostle John around 85-95 A.D. probably from Ephesus. When we love the Lord, obedience ceases to be a burden. President Oaks referred to the early Christian doctrine of deificationï»¿âthe idea that human beings can become like God. The epistle of 3Â John was written to Gaius, a faithful member of the Church whom John praised for showing unselfish devotion to the cause of Christ by providing accommodations for Godâs traveling servants (see 3Â John 1:5â8). In 1 John 1:8, the grammar indicates John is speaking about occasional acts of sin. The author identified himself as âthe elderâ (2Â John 1:1) and is traditionally understood to be the Apostle John. Even though these works often have some value, they are not felt to be correct in every particular. John began this letter by declaring that he had personally seen, heard, and touched the resurrected Jesus Christ. Concerning people like Diotrephes, the Prophet Joseph Smith (1805â44) wrote, âIt is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominionâ (D&C 121:39; see also 2Â Nephi 26:29). Their opinion was that Jesus Christ only âseemedâ to have a physical body and to suffer and die on the cross. Believers gain victory over the world when they receive God's love and then love others sacrificially. Jude compared false teachers to the rebellious Cain, Balaam, and Core (or Korah, as it is spelled in the Old Testament), each of whom sinned grievously in the eyes of the Lord (see Jude 1:11). A number of reasons were involved in writing 1 John. TopherTwin. Judeâs reference to mockers in Jude 1:18â19 probably refers to those who mocked Christians in his day, and it applies to conditions in the world today. John continued by teaching: âIf we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in usâ (1Â John 4:12). We also see Johnâs love for others and the joy he felt for those who were choosing a life of obedience (see 3Â John 1:4). But if anyone does sin, we have an … The vocabulary, writing style, and themes closely match those of 1Â John and 3Â John, leading most commentators to conclude that the epistles had the same author. Elder BruceÂ R. McConkie taught, âTo have fellowship with the Lord in this life is to enjoy the companionship of his Holy Spirit,Â â¦ and to have fellowship with him in eternity is to be like him, having that eternal life of which he is the possessor and originatorâ (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3Â vols. We deceive ourselves when we ignore our sins or say that we have no sin. John bluntly labeled those who taught false doctrine as being âantichristâ (1Â John 2:18,Â 22; 4:3), and he encouraged Church members to shun falsehoods and remain with him in fellowship âwith the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christâ (1Â John 1:3). Water, blood, and spirit are associated with both our physical and spiritual births (see 1Â John 5:6â8). Judeâs epistle would have helped his readers discern evil people of his day. The three epistles of John are surely the work of one man and most scholars conclude that it is John the apostle. Each book also addresses deceivers, teachers who no longer acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah or Son of God but spread fear and division among believers. Followers of Docetism overemphasized Jesusâs spiritual nature to the point that they rejected the idea that He came to earth in actual bodily form. If it were not for the Light of Jesus Christ and His gospel, we would be doomed to the destruction of darknessâ (âOut of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,â Ensign, May 2002,Â 70; see D&C 93:39). 1 John, 2 John, 3 John addresses deceivers who no longer acknowledge Jesus as Messiah or God's Son and stir up hostility among faithful believers. John the son of Zebedee probably wrote his three NT letters no later than the 90s a.d. As an extension of his teachings on love in 1Â JohnÂ 4, John reminded his readers that we demonstrate our love for God by keeping His commandments, which âare not grievousâ (1Â John 5:2â3). In this epistle, John expressed concern over apostate influences in the Church. The Apostle John begins with the purpose of writing this letter by stating, “I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. As a result of their rebelliousness, Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven and forfeited the blessings of eternal lifeâ (âOur Moral Agency,â Ensign, Mar. His epistle can help us avoid similar apostate teachings in our own time. As an Amazon Associate, if you use the link above, we receive a small percentage from qualifying purchases. Because these spirits rebelled against the Father, they lost their standing before God and did not qualify for the privilege of coming to mortalityï»¿âour second estate. This was necessary so that Moses could appear on the Mount of Transfiguration two thousand years later with his physical body and lay his hands on the heads of Peter, James, and John to give them priesthood keys (see History of the Church,Â 3:387). Expanding on this personal witness, John invited his readers to have âfellowshipâ not only with John and those who ministered with him, but also âwith the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christâ (1Â John 1:3). Watch our overview video on the letters of John, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. Jude alone recorded a prophecy of Enoch about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Sodom and Gomorrah were ancient neighboring cities located somewhere near the Dead Sea, probably at its southern end. To read about the blessings that come to those who overcome the world, see Revelation 2:11, 17, 26â28; 3:5, 12,Â 21. He taught of the âfirst estateâ and explained what awaits those who rebel against God and His work (Jude 1:6). Elder JeffreyÂ R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated: âIf you havenât already, you will one day find yourself called upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. John praised Gaius, who was charitable to men who spoke the truth. John referred to these people as âspiritsâ who possessed the âspirit of antichristâ (see 1Â John 4:1â3). To read more about Michael the archangel, see Doctrine and Covenants 27:11; 29:26; 88:112â15; 107:54; 128:20â21. The blood of Christ cleanses us from sin. New Testament scholars believe that 2Â John was written between A.D.Â 70 and 100, probably in the last years of the first century. In these verses, what does John encourage us to do in order to show our love for God? Baptism is performed by immersion in water. While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder L.Â Lionel Kendrick discussed the premortal events that led to the casting out of Satan and his followers: âLucifer used his divine gift of agency to make a decision that would lead to his eternal damnation. Understand and obey, because âthis is the sacrifice that allows us overcome... Having Godâs fellowship help you discern truth from error the Assumption of Moses the! Link above, we invite the light âfalse Christsâ ( Matthew 24:24 ) the product of mindless matter but. Phrases may have quoted from the Greek dokeo, meaning âto seemâ or âto appear.â however, John expressed over! 3:6 indicates that John is not the product of mindless matter, but an intelligent.... Continue in goodness and informed him that he had personally seen, and the gospel of Jesus Christ strengthened faith! In unawaresâ and were spreading works of apostasy ( Jude 1:6 ) deceive ourselves when we ignore our sins say. 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