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. “The presiding elder said: ‘My 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 things’” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff [2004], 35–36). 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 1 John 1:5–10; 2:4–11, 20–21, 27; 3:4–22. 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 Jude’s 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 Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles related an experience from the life of Elder James E. Talmage that illustrates how Christlike love casts out fear: “Elder James 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 2 John 1:8). “… 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 Joseph B. Wirthlin taught that when we obey the commandments out of love, obedience ceases to be grievous: “Spend time with Him. Obedience to God’s commandments is an important theme in John’s writings, as expressed in 1 John 2:3–6. John was not suggesting that the Saints should fail to extend common courtesy to those who taught contrary doctrines. In his Gospel, John recorded Jesus’s teaching that those who love the Savior keep His commandments: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love” (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 mother’s blood is shed during childbirth. John wrote to believers (see 1 John 1:3–4; 2:12–14), 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 1 John 2:18–19, 22, 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 “an elect lady” (D&C 25:3). “When [Jesus] shall appear, we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). The apparent addition is the words “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. The King James Version of 1 John 3:6 reads, “Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him [Christ], neither known him.” The Joseph Smith Translation of 1 John 3:6, 8–9 clarifies the difference between one who sins and one who continues in sin: “Whosoever continueth in sin hath not seen him, neither known him. …, “He that continueth in sin is of the devil. …. Jude 1:4–9 is indeed similar in wording to 2 Peter 2; however, Peter was prophesying of future apostasy whereas Jude spoke of an apostasy that was currently taking place (see 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4). Jude’s message was that the Saints’ worship and social practices were becoming corrupted by inappropriate behavior (see also 1 Corinthians 11:18–34; 1 Peter 4:3; 2 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 “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (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 Bruce R. McConkie noted several unique characteristics of Jude: “In 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 Robert D. Hales (1932–2017) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught how we might dispel darkness from our life and walk in the light: “As 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 1 John 5:4–5). 8:17) and that ‘when he shall appear, we shall be like him’ (1 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 3 John we see John’s 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. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles warned modern Church members not to associate with deceivers and antichrists operating in our day: “Let 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. [1965–73], 3:371). Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave insight about this verse: “Commentators assume … that Jude had before him and was quoting from a then current apocryphal book, ‘The Assumption of Moses,’ which has been preserved to us in fragmentary form only. John warned his readers that “many deceivers are entered into the world” (2 John 1:7). Why is following this counsel an important way to show our love for God? Jude urged his readers to remember “the words which were spoken [by] the Apostles” (Jude 1:17; see also 3 Nephi 12:1–2). Here, “estate” refers to a person’s rank or position. Another possibility is that “the elect lady and her children” were John’s wife and family. Satan opposed the burial. … Finally, all opposition having been overcome, the assumption took place in the presence of Joshua and Caleb’ (R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 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 God’s favor or goodwill (see 1 John 2:2; 4:10). The author of 1 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 “little children” (1 John 2:1, 12, 18, 28; 3:7; 4:4; 5:21). 1 John. 2. “Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,”, “The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship,”, “Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers,”. Apocryphal books like the Assumption of Moses are not included in the Bible because of their dubious authenticity or validity. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained the meaning of “unction” in this verse: “Literally, 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 “ungodly men” who had “crept in unawares” (Jude 1:4; see also verse 15). 8:16–17). 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 “the elect lady” actually refers to a Christian congregation (see 2 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. [1965–73], 3:374). Cain murdered his brother Abel in order to gain his brother’s flocks (see Genesis 4:8; Moses 5:32–33). 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 John’s authority (see 3 John 1:9–10). The key personalities are the Apostles Peter and Paul. John exhorted his readers to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). Act on your plan, and record your experience in your journal. For example, the bishop Cyprian (about A.D. 200–258) wrote: “What man is, Christ was willing to be, that man also may be what Christ is. … What Christ is, we Christians shall be, if we imitate Christ” (“The Treatises of Cyprian,” 6.11, 15, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325: Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 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 “an unction from the Holy One” would allow them to “know all things” as they sought to resist false ideas (1 John 2:20). To read more about the Church’s teachings regarding homosexual acts, see the commentary for Romans 1:26–27. 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 1:13–14; 1 Corinthians 9:5). 407–413. 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. …, “… (This destiny of eternal life or God’s life should be familiar to all who have studied the ancient Christian doctrine of and belief in deification or apotheosis). …. 2:1 … “When 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 another’ [1 John 4:10–11]—and to love Him forever, I pray” (“The Grandeur of God,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 72–73; see also the commentary for John 3:14–17). The phrase “little children” is used similarly in John 13:33 and Doctrine and Covenants 78:17. John refuted these false teachings by bearing witness of the Savior’s physical existence (see 1 John 1:1–2; 4:2–3, 14; 5:6). Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on your part” (“The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 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 Savior’s Atonement (see D&C 18:10–12; 19:16–19). Jude’s 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 Smith—History 1:16–17; 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. “That if men will personify that love in their lives, they will become like the Lord himself and have eternal life with him” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. Some commentators have noted similarities between Jude and 2 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 deification—the idea that human beings can become like God. The epistle of 3 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 God’s traveling servants (see 3 John 1:5–8). In 1 John 1:8, the grammar indicates John is speaking about occasional acts of sin. The author identified himself as “the elder” (2 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 (1805–44) wrote, “It 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 dominion” (D&C 121:39; see also 2 Nephi 26:29). Their opinion was that Jesus Christ only “seemed” 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. Jude’s reference to mockers in Jude 1:18–19 probably refers to those who mocked Christians in his day, and it applies to conditions in the world today. John continued by teaching: “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:12). We also see John’s love for others and the joy he felt for those who were choosing a life of obedience (see 3 John 1:4). But if anyone does sin, we have an … The vocabulary, writing style, and themes closely match those of 1 John and 3 John, leading most commentators to conclude that the epistles had the same author. Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught, “To have fellowship with the Lord in this life is to enjoy the companionship of his Holy Spirit, … and to have fellowship with him in eternity is to be like him, having that eternal life of which he is the possessor and originator” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 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 “antichrist” (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3), and he encouraged Church members to shun falsehoods and remain with him in fellowship “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Water, blood, and spirit are associated with both our physical and spiritual births (see 1 John 5:6–8). Jude’s 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 Jesus’s 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 darkness” (“Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,” Ensign, May 2002, 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 1 John 4, John reminded his readers that we demonstrate our love for God by keeping His commandments, which “are not grievous” (1 John 5:2–3). 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 life” (“Our Moral Agency,” 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 mortality—our 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, 3:387). Expanding on this personal witness, John invited his readers to have “fellowship” not only with John and those who ministered with him, but also “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 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, 26–28; 3:5, 12, 21. He taught of the “first estate” and explained what awaits those who rebel against God and His work (Jude 1:6). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated: “If you haven’t 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 “spirits” who possessed the “spirit of antichrist” (see 1 John 4:1–3). To read more about Michael the archangel, see Doctrine and Covenants 27:11; 29:26; 88:112–15; 107:54; 128:20–21. The blood of Christ cleanses us from sin. New Testament scholars believe that 2 John was written between A.D. 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. 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