(1 John 2:12-29)
“I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
I have written to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 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 none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
How are you doing? I am glad to be with you again. The Book of First John mentions often and puts great emphasis on the issue of distinguishing the false believers who are within the Church. And so, there are many passages that deal with whether you believe the gospel of water and the Spirit or whether “you are of the light or the darkness.” He also says, “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for us, but for the whole world” (1 John 2:2). This means that our Lord has blotted out all our sins. Put differently, the Apostle John is saying that the Lord has blotted out all our sins by coming to this earth in human flesh, taking the sins of the world upon Himself by being baptized by John the Baptist as the Lamb of God, being put to death by being nailed to the Cross and rising again from the dead.
And thus, the Apostle John declares that He who loves his brother abides in the light and he who hates his brothers and sisters who are in his Church is not in the light but rather lives in darkness. He is stating that those who are still in darkness have not yet believed in and entered into the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This passage makes mention of these important points.
Today we have read from 1 John 2:12 to the last verse. This passage deals with the same content as what I have mentioned to you just now. If we look at the passage from chapter 2 verses 12 to 14, we can see that it contains some spiritual truths.
What Does It Mean When the Bible Speaks of Being Forgiven of Our Sins “for His Name’s Sake”?
First of all, I would like to interpret verse 12 for you and then progress on from there. It is written, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12). The Apostle John is asking the children of God the question of how all their sins have been cleansed. And the answer is that they have been forgiven for His name’s sake. Here the word, His name, denotes Jesus Christ. The Apostle John does not just refer to Him as Jesus but as Jesus Christ. The reason is that He came to this earth and performed the ministry of salvation. The Lord saved us from all our sins. And so, the term “Christ” designates the ministry of Jesus. It is a witness to the work that He did on this earth. The Scripture is saying that Jesus Christ has fulfilled this work and has become our Savior with such an office. And so He is called Jesus Christ. And so the Apostle John says to the children of God that their sins have been forgiven for His Name’s sake. Jesus Christ came to this earth incarnate in human flesh, was baptized by John the Baptist, was hung on the Cross, was resurrected and thus He has saved us. And so this is why we call Him Christ. Through the ministry of the name of Jesus Christ, we obtain the forgiveness of all our sins.
He came to this earth as the Ruler of Heaven, the King of humankind and as the High Priest of Heaven. Thus, He is our Savior. And, in His body He bore all our sins once and for all. And so He is the Savior and He is the Prophet who shows us the way of salvation. Jesus Christ is the true Prophet who has taught us the way to obtain forgiveness of our sins. By holding three offices as the King, the High Priest and the Prophet, and by fulfilling the role of Savior on this earth, He was able to assuredly save those who truly believed in Him. He is the Son of God the Father and the High Priest of Heaven, and therefore, He made it clear that anyone can receive eternal life and be saved from all their sins for His name’s sake. This is because of the fact that unless one receives the remission of sins, he or she cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ said that He is the High Priest of Heaven. He also mentioned in detail who He really was, who God the Father was, and how He has blotted out all our sins. And, by doing so, He allowed us to obtain salvation by faith. And so His children received the remission of sins through faith in His name.
By trusting in the works that He had done when He came to this earth, we can be saved. We were able to receive the remission of all our sins by having faith in the fact that He is our Savior.
Have you been saved from all your sins yet? The Bible tells us about this issue. How then did Jesus Christ save us from all sins? What is the evidence that He has saved us from the sins of the world? There are three things that bear witness to this salvation. It is said to be the Spirit, the water, and the blood (1 John 5:6-8). This describes the fact that Jesus Christ, who is God, came to this earth in human flesh as the High Priest of Heaven, and took all our sins away once and for all by being baptized. And, He bore the entire sins of this world by going to the Cross and shedding His precious blood for us. And, He rose again from the dead and He poured out the Holy Spirit on those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, it means that the Lord truly becomes our Savior. We received forgiveness of sins, once and for all, by faith in the ministry of the water, the blood and the Spirit. Anyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will receive the remission of sins based on his or her genuine faith.
This Epistle Also Has Many Reiterations Just Like My Sermons Do
1 John 2:13 states, “I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.” The Fathers of faith know the One who is from the beginning. It means that they know who Jesus Christ is and that they know that the whole world was made by Jesus Christ. Those who are spiritually mature understand that Jesus is God.
Is the flower here not called a lily? A person who knows a lot about this flower knows assuredly that it is a lily. As flower experts know well about common flowers, we who trust in the righteousness of God know very well that Jesus is God who was from the beginning and that our Lord is the Creator. Those who are mature in their faith and even those who are still growing in faith—they all know that Jesus is the Savior. We also know that He saved us by the water and the blood.
When we pray, we call God, God the Father. And, it seems like we shouldn’t pray to Jesus and if we keep praying to the Father it seems like He will hear us, so without even knowing it, we pray saying, “God the Father, Abba Father.” It is good that we pray to God the Father, but our Lord also is God just the same.
And so, the Apostle John says in 1 John 2:13, “I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.” When the universe was created in the beginning, who was present? Jesus Christ was present at that time. 1 John 1:1-2 says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life. The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.” Who does this passage refer to? It is giving witness to Jesus. If we know the One who is from the beginning, we can overcome the wicked one, as it is written, “I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.” Those who are mature in their faith overcome the evil one.
Today’s Scripture passage also states, “I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father.” This means that those who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can call God their Father. They are able to call Jesus Christ their Father. This is why the Scripture is telling us this. Based on the level of spiritual maturity, proper admonishments are given. This Scripture passage reiterates,
“I have written to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14).
Young people in the genuine faith can overcome the world, follow after the Lord rather than following after this world and can serve the Lord’s gospel of righteousness. This is what this passage is referring to.
Verses 15 to 17 deals with the same subject matter: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
So the people of faith overcome the world through their faith, and they can rid themselves of their old friends and any kind of worldly relationships. If we actually have an opportunity to meet our old friends again, we come to realize this. Long ago, we and our friends might have been inseparable, but now their lives seem so worthless or without value. When I see them struggling in order to scrape by, they seem so miserable to me.
After meeting the Lord, and serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I had a chance to visit where I used to live a long time ago. I met some of my old friends and they were so happy to see me that they asked me to have a drink with them.
So I said, “Well, since I believe in the righteousness of God and am now working for God, I don’t drink.”
They said, “But, why can’t you just have one shot?”
I then replied, “I’m sorry. Although I don’t drink, I know very well how it feels to be drunk. So let’s just say as if I am drinking with you, and have a good time. We aren’t young and we are old enough, so we can handle something like that.”
And so they drank and I didn’t drink and we talked together. They talked about what they’ve been up to, about getting married and having kids. One of them said that in order to support his family, he had to get up at five in the morning and go downtown to operate his small business. He talked about how hard he worked, until late in the evening. I asked them how much money they do make a month. And they answered they just scrape along month by month. One thing that became clear is that even though they have grown older, they are still consumed with making ends meet. When listening to how much they make a month, it seems so trite and I wonder why they live this way. They continue to say how it would be nice if they had something to look forward to in the future, but they also say that they have to continue to live the way they do until they reach sixty, seventy and eighty years old.
Dear fellow believers, there is a difference between living for oneself and living for others. Living for oneself means being preoccupied with making daily ends meet. The Bible says here not to love this world or the things of this world, but what is there to love about this world? There really is nothing. Here the Apostle John was speaking of this. He said that everything in this world pertains to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The lusts of the flesh means filling the basic desires according to our basic instincts; the lust of the eyes means looking and listening to good or tempting things; and the pride of life is seeking for fame or recognition from this world.
But, is it that great? To define it more clearly, such a life is led by struggling to make ends meet and to just get by. It is nothing. Living such a life can seem plausible, but when we take a closer look at such a life, we cannot find anything real and worthwhile about it. We should not pursue such things as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The righteous will not follow after these things. On the contrary, they want to follow God and His will even though they are lacking. It is good to follow the Lord in this way.
And so, the Apostle John is saying now that we the saints have received the remission of sins by believing in the name of the Lord. He calls us each as “fathers, young men, or little children” according to the maturity of our faith, and he also declares that we have overcome the world. He said that a righteous person’s life truly is one that overcomes the world. He continues to make mention of this until verse 17, and then he states that there is something else that he wants to mention here, and that it is regarding the fact that many antichrists have arisen in the world.
Who Is the Anti-christ That the Apostle John Is Talking about?
The anti-christ that the Apostle John is talking about is different from the Anti-christ that appears in Revelation 16. It is saying that among those who have heard the same gospel of the water and the Spirit that many adversaries and enemies of God have arisen. Put differently, it is telling us that many anti-christs arose in the Church where the Apostle John was pasturing and caring for the sheep. How do we know that the Apostle John called such adversaries and enemies of God as the anti-christs? We know this because it is written, “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 none of them were of us” (1 John 2:19).
An adversary of God is really an enemy of God, so who is an enemy of God? Isn’t a person who does not strive for the righteousness of the Lord an enemy of the Lord? A person who does not support the expansion of the Kingdom of God is not an ally but an enemy. An ally is someone who is on the same side as us, and an enemy is someone who is referred to as an adversary of Christ. The standard is whether or not that person takes sides with us or not. It does not depend on whether a person is a leader among us or not. During the time of the ministry of the Apostle John, it is said that there were people like this. When we read verse 21, we can see what the Apostle John had in mind concerning this. Verse 21 says, “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” This denotes that anti-christs are such people who knew the Truth but did not believe in it. In this manner, the Book of 1 John distinguishes between those who believe in the righteousness of God and those who don’t; between those who believe that the Lord has abolished the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and those who don’t.
Those who believe in the righteousness of God also love His people, that is, their brothers and sisters. However, there also can be some church members who do not actually believe in the righteousness of God; they know the Truth intellectually but do not believe in it with the heart. These people hate their “brothers and sisters,” the people of God. We must know about the righteousness of God intellectually and also believe in it with our heart. This passage is saying that if we do not believe with our heart we will not love our brothers and sisters, but if we do believe with our heart we will love them. The difference stems from their differences of faith.
In this way, the Apostle John has distinguished the life that abides in the light from the life living in darkness. Now, from verse 22, the Apostle John starts to make mention of who these anti-christs are, which he intended to do when he said earlier in verse 12, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” Therefore, it is written, “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:22-23).
Jesus Christ, the Son of our God the Father, is our Savior. In order to save us from the sins of the world, He, as the High Priest of Heaven, came to this earth in human flesh and became a sacrificial offering for our sins. The Lord was baptized in order to take upon all our sins on His body and was hung on the Cross in our stead. This is how He sacrificed His own body as our sacrificial offering. In this manner, the Lord fulfilled the role of the High Priest from Heaven by offering His own body as a sacrifice for all our sins. The Lord is our Savior.
However, there are those who deny this Jesus Christ, and such people do not have the Father. He who acknowledges the Son has the Father, but those people who do not believe that Jesus Christ has blotted out all of our sins through the water, the blood, and the Spirit do not have the Father. To those who believe in the righteousness of God, the Father of Jesus Christ becomes their Father, but those who do not believe that Jesus Christ has blotted out all their sins through the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit do not have the Father. God the Father can never be their Father. This is what the Apostle John is referring to when he says, “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
We have become the children of God by receiving the remission of sins by having faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Savior and the Father of Jesus Christ is our Father. So the person who has the Son also has the Father, and whoever has the Father also has the Son. The person who trusts in God the Father, is the one who believes that God the Father sent His Son to this earth and removed all of his or her sins through the water and the blood, has the Father. In other words, we now have God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. By believing in the righteousness of God, we can have these two Divine Persons. Otherwise, we cannot have them. And so, we each can become an ally or an enemy of God based on whether or not we believe in the righteousness of God. Our works do not matter because we do a lot more wrong things when we are weak and young in faith. What matters is whether or not we have faith in the righteousness of God. Putting works aside, if one has weak faith or is young, he or she can act in this way or in that way, but whether we believe in our hearts or not decides whether each of us individually are an ally or an enemy.
Now the Apostle John sticks to the gospel again in verse 24, saying, “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.” What is the thing that we heard from the beginning? Is it not what we heard regarding Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son? Haven’t we heard about the Truth that blotted out all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit? If the same person writes a long letter, there is a consistency of subject that penetrates the whole passage. The First Epistle of John reveals this consistency. So let’s look at 1 John 5. It makes mention of this subject regarding what it is that we have heard from the beginning.
What Have the Children of God Heard from the Apostles from the Beginning?
Let’s read 1 John chapter 5 verses 5 to 8. “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one” (I John 5:5-8).
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God? He or she is the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He came to this earth and saved us through the water and the blood. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the body of Mary and was born on this earth and, at the age of thirty, bore all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, and shed His blood for us on the Cross. He then rose again from the dead and became our Savior. This passage is saying that if it is not the one who believes in the water and the blood, the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, who is it then that can overcome the world? How can anyone overcome the world unless the person becomes a child of God first? In other words, how can anyone escape the power or authority of Satan when that person still has not become a child of God?
These days, during the summer, I can tell that Satan is creeping into and influencing many television programs. There are a lot of features of summer evenings on TV that deal with the haunts of ghosts. In this way, evil spirits are entering people’s hearts and they are at work so that the demon-possessed are imitating things that evil spirits do. Such phenomena are very prevalent in these days. A generation ago, evil spirits would enter into people, but it seems that more evil spirits are entering people these days to the point that those without an evil spirit are not the norm.
Dear fellow believers, if you want to escape from the power of Satan, you must wholly belong to Jesus Christ. It is said, “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Even though He was the Son of God, did He not come to this earth to save us from our sins? By taking all our sins by being baptized and hanging to death on the Cross and by rising again from the dead, did Jesus not save us? By believing in this fact, you have received the remission of all your sins, and God has thus become your Father, and Jesus Christ has become your Savior. If you did not do this, you would be held captive by Satan and you will remain his slave. In other words, you will eventually be destroyed.
The Lord said in John chapter 10 that the robber comes to rob, steal and to take away everything that we own. However, it further says that the reason our Lord came is so that we, His lambs, can receive life even more abundantly. The reason the Lord came is to give us new and eternal life, to blot out all our sins so that we would become His children, and to protect us even on this earth. This is so that Satan cannot even touch us and that we will be cared for by Him. Unless God protects us, when Satan the robber comes he will take everything that we have away, kill us and even rob us. It means that we will be subjected to the authority or power of Satan. What is worse is, as the last days are around the corner, evil spirits will enter into the hearts of all people. Without exception, you will or will not be demon-possessed based on whether you believe or not; if you believe in the righteousness of God, no evil spirit can abide in you, but if you do not believe you will be possessed by demons without exception. If you are possessed by demons, you will do things that you do not want to do. If the evil spirits make you do these things, then there will be no choice for you other than to obey them. It is because of this that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not something that we can choose to believe in or not. We must belong to either God or to the evil spirits. The freedom to choice is solely with us, but depending on how we choose the difference in results will be huge.
There are not many people who know this. However, what I am trying to tell you or emphasize is that Jesus has saved us from the sins of the world by coming by the water and the blood. In other words, the Son of God was conceived in the body of Mary by the Holy Spirit, was baptized (in water), hung on the Cross (the blood) and rose again from the dead, and thus saved us from all our sins. Do you all believe in these facts? If you believe this, you now have the Father, and the Father of Jesus Christ has become your Father and Jesus Christ has become your Savior. But, if you don’t have the Son, you don’t have the Father nor Jesus Christ. Then who or what do you have? Only curses and the Devil exist in your heart.
Is there anyone in the Church of God that I hate? Is there anyone that I dislike? If by any chance someone does something that is inexcusable or unexplainable I may admonish or reproach that person, but there is not a single person among the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that I dislike or hate in my heart. So then, do I hate the people in this world? I may hate their actions, but as the saying goes to hate the sin but not the person, so I don’t hate even the people that are of this world. I feel only compassion for them. Rather, I feel compassion for them so I don’t hate them. For the children of God, because they have the Holy Spirit in them, it is more difficult to hate others than to love them. It is more difficult to curse others than to bless them. Why is this so? It is because the Holy Spirit is within them. This is not the case just for me but for all of you as well. How about you? Is this not the case? Yes, it is. Therefore, it is good for you to hear a message such as this early on in your spiritual lives.
Some may say, “Haven’t you dealt with 1 John before? You have already published two books on this Epistle and why are you going over it again?” At that time, I just dealt simply with the issue of whether you have received the remission of sins or not, but now I would like to preach to you on the Epistle in a more profound level. But, doesn’t it still seem new to you? I explained basic things to you when you were young in faith; and I moved on to another issue when you grew a little, and then I now preach even deeper issues since you have grown up even more. Even if I comprehend and am aware of something spiritual that you are still not ready to learn about, I can’t just preach it. It is a waste of time. I must see what level the congregation is at and it is not fair to persist in telling someone who is at a level that they cannot comprehend something. That is not proper teaching.
Right now at this time, Satan is trying to enter into peoples’ hearts as demons to possess the souls, minds and thoughts of people as well as their bodies and he then tries to kill them. Such works of Satan are occurring in earnest not only in our country but in the whole world. We are living in such times as this. Therefore, we must belong to God without fail. It is because only then can we have God the Father as well as the Son, for the Scripture says that whoever believes in the Son has the Father and whoever believes the Son has the Father also. We who believe that God the Father planned to save us humans through His Son and actually did save us, and we, who believe in the righteous works the Lord has done, have the Father also. This is what I am talking about.
What happens if you don’t believe this Truth? You will be captured by demons. Then you will not be able to do as you please. If one obtains the remission of sins then the Holy Spirits abides in that person’s heart, but if that person has not received the remission of sins then he or she is indeed possessed by the Devil. Once someone is demon-possessed, then this person cannot do anything as he or she wants.
I told you before that I was once possessed by an evil spirit a long time ago. That evil spirit would whisper in my ear and tell me that I sinned some time ago and my heart would hurt so much. He would be piercing a place where it already hurt so much and he would get me so upset by pouring salt into an old wound. And later on, he would go on to say something like this: “If it is that painful for you then isn’t it better for you to die than to live?” If you hear something like that, it does start to make sense. That’s why you see people possessed by evil spirits talking to themselves or laughing aloud suddenly. I was like that, too. So I murmured, “Yes, I think you’re right.” No one knew what was going on in my mind because the evil spirits were talking only to me, saying, “Wouldn’t it be better to just die than to live?” I would say, “Yes, I think you’re right. It would be better for me to die.” If one agrees with the evil spirits like this, then he or she is now standing at the edge of a cliff.
It’s not true that people possessed by evil spirits don’t exist. They do exist and they live in society in our very midst. But, they are nevertheless possessed by evil spirits. But, the power of Jesus Christ is greater. Even before I was born again, I would order in the name of Jesus Christ, “Satan, stay away from me! Even if I sinned, I sinned to God not to you. You keep bothering me, but with what authority do you tell me whether to live or die? I sinned only before God. Why do you keep telling me this when you have no authority to do so?” I would argue with Satan in this way. I would tell him, “You are lying, you are bad and you are ridiculous.” Then, I would say, “I command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Stay away from me!” At that time, I would be suffering from a bad headache. But when I ordered him like this, he left suddenly and my headache was gone immediately. In this way, even though someone may not be a believer in the Truth, this person can still experience the power to drive out demons if they just trust or rely on the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind, and He is by nature the true God. So Satan fears Jesus Christ. If you command Satan to depart in the name of Jesus Christ boldly, he will depart right away.
I watched on television where some people testified that they were demon-possessed after having bad dreams. To such people, odd dreams can be the sign of demon-possession. And then they have sexual intercourse with demons in their dreams. And they would break out in a cold sweat, grow thin and then later on die. From bad dreams and lewd things such as these, you must courageously command Satan in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to leave and thus defeat him. If you leave him alone and accept his every thought, then he will continue on and keep on speaking his words of nonsense.
I am not talking only to those who are not born again yet. I am saying that you all must believe this. If you do not believe this, then there is only destruction. Satan will control you. Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). His eyes are keen. Satan is the one who opposed God and with his followers came down from Heaven. His servants called demons are trying to find ways to connect with you. There must be a path for them to make contact with each human being. So they make use of people you know, in particular people who have died an unfair death. Demons pretend to be these deceased people, and then enter into the feeble minded and live there. And, because demons say they are a certain person who passed away to demon-possessed people, these people are fooled completely by their trickery. Such is how demons act, and because demons enter in the name of someone that people knew very well, many human beings are completely deceived.
This is why we must believe in the name of the Son of God. We must believe in Jesus Christ. By believing in Jesus Christ who saved us we obtain even stronger faith. When you trust in Him with your heart, that faith comes to your heart; otherwise, such faith does not come to your heart. It is not enough to just know this intellectually. You must believe. Then, you also must confess such faith with your mouth. Do you all believe? This is very important.
I think that if I get an opportunity I need to speak about demons—about how evil spirits work. I think I need to discuss such things with you. A person who can see evil spirits with their eyes has already been possessed by them. We can know how demons act. We can know how an evil spirit enters into a person, how it makes contact with humans like us, how it possesses people, how it acts and how it commands people to do crazy things. As I’m telling you, a person who has the Holy Spirit can know all these things.
But, more important than having knowledge of these things is to believe in Jesus Christ with our hearts. This is what we have heard from the beginning. This is the very gospel of the water and the Spirit. We all have heard from the beginning about Jesus Christ who came by the water and the blood. What did the Apostles give to their disciples and to the saints? They passed down the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them.
It is not just us that talk about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Apostles including the Apostle John delivered the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the saints in their days. The gospel of the water and the Spirit was what was spoken of from the beginning by the Apostles and it is what the believers heard from the beginning. So it is written, “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father” (I John 2:24). When we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Father and the Son abides in us.
A lot of time has already gone by, so I want to wrap up this sermon and continue speaking about this issue at the evening worship service. I just started and gave the introduction on this issue. I need to continue on instead of just giving you the introduction because this is of no use if I just stop here.
Nevertheless, you and I, as I have taught you in the Church of God, must remain in our Lord. If you are in Christ, you must live righteously, but if your heart does not abide in Christ, you will depart into the world. Your heart must remain in the Lord. Let’s wrap things up now and continue later on this evening.
It is written, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). If we abide in the Lord, then we are not ashamed before the Lord. On the contrary, if we do not abide in the Lord, then we will be put to shame. This shame refers to destruction. I am telling you about your possible destruction ahead of time.
Today’s Scripture passage continues to say, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 John 2:29). Dear fellow believers, you must know the fact that those who practice righteousness are the children of God and the servants of God Do you all know this? A true believer will show his genuine faith through his righteous actions. Such a person of faith serves the Lord in whatever form or action. Isn’t this true? Yes, it is true.
I am preparing a sermon book titled, “Are You Still Agonizing over Your Personal Sins?” So I need to preach a lot of sermons in order to publish this book, but I am finding it a bit difficult. Nonetheless, it is still good that we got to meditate on God’s Word together like this.
Anyways, what is this age and time that we are living in? It is the age of the Anti-Christ. It is the hay days of the Devil. It is the times of the Anti-christ. It is a time when the evil spirits are at work with full freedom. Do you know how many people are possessed by evil spirits? If we are not careful, in other words, if we do not remain in the Lord, you and I will also be possessed by evil spirits. Evil spirits know well whether we believe in the Truth or not. Don’t they know this? They certainly know well about your spiritual condition. That is why you must believe firmly in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You must hold fast to this Truth.
You and I are vessels. We are either vessels that the Lord can use or vessels that the Devil uses. Based on who uses us, we will either be honored or cast away. The Devil uses any vessel and then casts it away and destroys it. On the contrary, God uses us for the great cause and cleanses us to bear more fruit as He said, “Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). Even if there is something that is lacking, He renews us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit and makes us clean. This is the different fates of the two different kinds of vessels.
This is a time when we must be wide awake. This is true. I hope that you feel the same way and agree with me. I will end the message here.