This study on 1 John 4 was given by pastor Barry on the 10th January 2021 as part of Calvary Portsmouth’s on-line family service.
In this chapter John reminds us again that false prophets have come, and will continue to deceive until the finally global deception is unveiled in the person of Antichrist.
The world is being conditioned right now to unconditionally accept a global leader who will bring peace and order out of the world’s chaos. Covid 19 is proving to be an interesting test case for what is to come. The world is more ready than ever before to do away with cash and move to electronic payment – something that will become compulsory under Antichrist’s regime. We are becoming all too familiar with having someone point a digital thermometer at our hand or head to check our temperature; we are also used to the idea of ‘track and trace’ to keep tabs on where we have been and who we might have come into contact with. How long do you suppose it will be before all of these things are combined into some form of implant, in the right and or forehead, that will track and trace, take our temperature, and be able to be used as currency – it would be a lot easier and safer to scan your hand or forehead and would prevent almost all fraud! Yet the Bible says that all this – regardless how practical and good it might sound to many – will usher in a system where all the world will be required to worship Antichrist. Those who do will forfeit their chance of eternity with God, leaving just one other option.
John then goes on to remind believers that God has shown His incredible love to us – as undeserving as we were – so we in response should freely show our love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. His Holy Spirit places within us the Love of God and it should simply overflow to those around us.
1 Corinthians 13 is considered the chapter on Love in the NT, yet 1 John 4 should be considered a contender!
- 27x in this chapter John speaks of Love
- In verse 10 John will give us the definition of Love, and it is diametrically opposed to the world’s view!
It is unconditional giving to another without thought of what you will get in return.
- We say “I love you” and we mean, “I love how you make me feel” – or “I love what you do for me”
- True love says: “I love what I can do for you! I love how I can bless you”
John also makes that point that no one has seen God (v12). This echoes what we read in John 1:18: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”.
Yet in Genesis 18:20-33, Abraham has a face to face conversation with God. In Genesis 32:24-30, Jacob not only sees God face to face, he wrestles with Him all night. In Exodus 24:9-11 Moses and the elders of Israel go up the mount, see God, and eat and drink in His presence! Later, Moses specifically asks God if he can see Him, God obliges on the condition that Moses can only see the ‘after glow’ of God’s presence as He passes by. Later, Joshua, Gideon, Samson’s parents and others see God, and their lives are spared. So how do we reconcile this issue?
The key is found in John chapter 4, verse 24. There we read: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” As a spirit being, God does not have a physical body. Physical objects are part of this order of things; ‘In the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter)’ (Gen 1:1). Before this, there was no time, no space and no matter. All three came into existence when God began His work of creation. It is therefore impossible for us, in this present order of things to see a God who ‘inhabits eternity’.
There will come a time when we will see Him…
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2)
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor 13:12)
Thus, no man has seen God as He truly is. For now, God has chosen to reveal Himself through physical manifestations as noted in the scriptures above. Jesus Christ is the ultimate (and final) physical manifestation of God. It is important to note that Father, Son and Spirit, all existed before the beginning, before matter. The Son did not ‘come into being’ at the point of conception with Mary; the Son has always existed, and has always enjoyed a relationship with the Father and the Spirit. For God’s purposes, the Son became a man (became flesh) and dwelt among us to declare the Father to us; to be a ‘lamp to our feet & a light to our path’ (thy Word is… Psalm 119:105), and to ultimately show us God.
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.
The audio and PowerPoint slides used in this teaching are available for free download.