For the last couple of weeks I have been mediating on the first letter of John. I took some extra time this morning to read through the whole book and to meditate on the verses where John speaks of those who are liars, deceived, and in darkness.
The first letter of John is a very revealing part of the Word of God. John’s purpose in writing the letter was so that we who “believe on the name of the Son of God… may know that ye have eternal life” (1Joh 5:13).
John has some very strong things to say in this book, which will show us who is truthful and who is a liar, who is walking in the light and who is walking in darkness, and who is enlightened and who is deceived.
I would ask that you prayerfully read this article and “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2Cor 13:5).
John, one of the original twelve disciples of Christ, opens this letter by stating that which he had heard and seen, he declares unto those he addresses in his letter.
That John is addressing a mixed multitude is clear, as he addresses not only little children (1Joh 2:1,12,13,18,28, 2:1,12,13,18,28, 3:7,10,18, 4:4, 5:2,21), young men (1Joh 2:13,14), and fathers (1Joh 2:13,14) in the faith, but he states that one of his purposes is that some of whom he is addressing “may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1Joh 1:3).
Fellowship with the Father and the Son is gained through salvation. John states that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1Joh 1:5), and right after this he makes one of his first in a series of very strong statements. In 1Joh 1:6, John states the following:
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
Here John clearly states if you claim to have fellowship with Christ and you walk in darkness you are lying. In other words, a person’s profession of having fellowship with Christ is false if they walk in darkness.
So right away our question should be, “what does it mean to walk in darkness?” John tells us that “he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness” (1Joh 2:11). To be in darkness or to walk in darkness is to commit sin. So in other words, if you have been giving into the temptation of hatred toward someone, and you profess to be in fellowship with Christ, John says you are a liar.
For the Christian, “the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth” (1Joh 2:8) in our soul. Real Bible salvation has delivered us not only from all darkness and hatred, in that “he that loveth his brother abideth in the light” (1Joh 2:10), but has delivered us from committing all sin (1Joh 5:18).
Sin is a willful transgression against a known commandment of God, not an error, fault, or mistake in opinion or action. Under the new covenant, a person must be tempted before they sin. You can view a list of articles on this subject under the Sin-free Living category.
Some make a plead for sin in their life by saying that this scripture means “walk in darkness continuously”. I have addressed Sinning and the Greek Present Tense in a separate article, which I strongly suggest that you read.
I would hold that the New Testament teaches their is no difference in a person’s standing in Christ whether they walk in darkness for one hour or for one month, in that they are not saved and the wrath of God abides on them no matter what they profess with their lips. However, the longer a person stays in sin, the more seared their heart will become, they will fall into greater depths of sin, and there will be a greater chance of never recovering from their lost estate.
The next scripture that discusses people being deceived is 1Joh 1:8. It is one of the most quoted scriptures to support a sinning Christian life.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
The first question that must be asked is, who does this scripture apply to? We have just been told that “if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie” (1Joh 1:6) and in the following chapter that “he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar” (2Joh 2:4).
John is not going to tell us as Christians “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” and in the next breath tell us “he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”.
This apparent contradiction is easily solved. If those who are not in “fellowship with us”-which means they are not in fellowship “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ”-claim to be free from sin, they are deceived. The only way that a person can be freed from sin is through Christ and the power of His blood to cleanse from sin.
This goes right along with 1Joh 1:10 which says:
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
I have not met very many people that lay claim to this or verse eight, but they kind of go hand in hand. If a person who is not saved claims to have no sin, they more than likely will be claiming to have never sinned.
The fact is that we like David were all “shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa 51:5), and our state before salvation was that our “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9). In showing the Jews that both they and the Gentiles were all under sin, Paul in his letter to the Romans quotes the following from the Old Testament scriptures.
“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:10-18).
In fact, we were so morally bankrupt that we did not even have the ability to seek after God, unless the Father first drew us and enabled our wills. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: (Joh 6:22). Let us eternally praise Jesus Christ for the “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Joh 1:9) and that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Tit 2:11).
The next scripture that John gives us concerning those who are liars and do not have the truth, is 1Joh 2:4:
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
I am thankful that just a few verses after 1Joh 1:8, this verse is added. This is a very difficult scripture for those to deal with who desire to maintain that it is normal for a person to continue to sin after they are saved.
This scripture is similar in strength to the verses in the Gospel of John that state “he that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (Joh 14:21), and “he that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” (Joh 14:24).
Those who profess to be Christians and willfully disobey known commandments of the Lord, hear the Word of God. You are a liar, the truth is not in you, and no matter what your lips may say, you do not love the Lord.
The next scripture I would like to look at is 1Jn 2:21:
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Here, John tells the Christians whom he was addressing that they were not ignorant of the things he was writing to them about. Not only were they able to discern the truth, but they were able to judge the false teachers and discern their false teachings and perceive the difference between the truth and a lie.
We also need to be discerning Christians who have the unction and anointing of the Spirit of God on our life so that we can discern the truth (1Joh 2:20). We need to love the Word of God and to spend much time in it.
John, speaking of his day, tells us that even back then there were “many antichrists” (1Joh 2:18). And in chapter 2 verse 22, he tells us who these antichrists are.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
Note 5:41pm : I will try to finish this article up Saturday morning.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.