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The Letters of John

BC Weekly Digest
Monday, November 9 1998

In this issue:

	1 John 5:6
	1 John 5:8-10
	1 John 5:7-11
	1 John 5:6-11
	1 John 5:7

1 John 5:6

1 John 5:6 (OPV)
6 He is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, 
not in the water only, but in the water and in the blood.
  This passage has occasioned much discussion. One error 
commentators sometimes make is to restrict the scope of 
what John says in some way. John is accustomed to using 
simple words to open up wide-sweeping vistas of thought.
5:6 "He is the one who came ... Jesus Christ"
  Jesus has "come in the flesh" (1 John 4:2). Later in 
verse 20 of this chapter, John says: "And we know that the 
Son of God has come, and has given us understanding that 
we might know the True One."
  The "coming" of Christ as Savior of the world is a 
prominent theme in the New Testament, and one which John 
particularly emphasizes.
  In his Gospel he writes: "There was the true light, 
[even the light] which lighteth every man, coming into the 
world. He was in the world, and the world was made through 
him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and 
they that were his own received him not" (John 1:9-11 
  The Samaritan woman at the well said: "I know that 
Messiah cometh (he that is called Christ): when he is 
come, he will declare unto us all things" (John 4:25 ASV).
  After Jesus fed the multitude, the people said: "This is 
of a truth the prophet that cometh into the world" (John 
6:14 ASV).
  The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem fulfilled 
the prophesy: "Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy 
King cometh unto thee, Meek, and riding upon an ass, And 
upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Mat 21:5 ASV).
  The multitudes cried out: "Hosanna to the son of David: 
Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; 
Hosanna in the highest" (Mat 21:9 ASV). "Hosanna; Blessed 
[is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed [is] 
the kingdom that cometh, [the kingdom] of our father 
David: Hosanna in the highest" (Mark 11:9,10 ASV).
  Thus, when John says here "He is the one who came," he 
refers to the coming of the promised Prophet, Savior and 
  But what does John mean by saying that the Christ came 
in water and in blood?
5:6 "He is the one who came by water and blood, ... not in 
the water only, but in the water and in the blood"
  Water and blood have meaning in Old Testament worship. A 
healed leper was cleansed with the blood of bird that was 
killed over running (living) water (Lev 14:2-8, 52). 
  Water was associated with blood in the cleansing of the 
people: "Wherefore even the first [covenant] hath not been 
dedicated without blood. For when every commandment had 
been spoken by Moses unto all the people according to the 
law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with 
water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the 
book itself and all the people, saying, This is the blood 
of the covenant which God commanded to you-ward. Moreover 
the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry he 
sprinkled in like manner with the blood. And according to 
the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with 
blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no 
remission (Heb 9:18-22 ASV). This was a foreshadowing of 
the blood of Christ (Heb 12:24; 13:12).
  The Levites were cleansed with the water of expiation 
(Num 8:7).
  When Jesus came up from the waters of His baptism, the 
Holy Spirit descended on him as a dove (Mat 3:16). Jesus 
began His ministry by coming forth from the waters of 
  When the soldier pierced the side of Jesus, blood and 
water flowed from the wound (John 19:34). The priest of 
the Old Covenant sacrificed the blood of animals for the 
sins of the people. Christ sacrificed His own blood (Acts 
20:28; Heb 9:12; 13:12).
  Having shed His blood, Jesus rose from the grave to 
offer cleansing and salvation to all peoples who believe 
the gospel and who are baptised into the death of Christ 
(Mark 16:15,16; Rom 6:1-8).
Roy Davison


1 John 5:8-10

1 John 5:8-10

5:8 "For there are three who are testifying: the Spirit, 
and the water, and the blood, and the three [agree] as 
one" (OPV).
  There are three entities that testify to the fact that 
Jesus is the Son of God. They are the Holy Spirit, the 
water and the blood.
  The Holy Spirit testifies through the written word that 
Jesus was indeed the Son of God. It is the resurrection of 
Jesus from the grave that bears witness (testifies) that 
we are also the sons of God. In Romans 8:16, the apostle 
Paul relates that entire scheme of the Spirit's testimony:
  "The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, 
that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; 
heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that 
we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified with 
[him]" (ASV).
  The immersion in water (baptism) is the tool which God 
has chosen to bring us into harmony with the will of 
Christ through faith, repentance, confession and finally, 
baptism. In the Galatian letter, Paul further explains 
this when he says in chapter 3, verses 26 and 27: "For ye 
are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For 
as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put 
on Christ."(KJV)
 It is the act of baptism in which we are cleansed of our 
sins (Acts 22:16). This was the same procedure that was 
required of every New Testament convert.
  And finally, it required the blood of a spotless 
sacrifice to provide this complete washing away of our 
sins. It was blood that was required for the sins of the 
people (Hebrews 9:7) under the Mosaic Law and it was the 
blood of a spotless sacrifice that has washed our sins 
away through baptism under the Law of Christ. 
  Hebrews 9:11,12 tells us, "But Christ being come an high 
priest of good things to come, by a greater and more 
perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, 
not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and 
calves, but by His own blood he entered in once into the 
holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]" 
  It is this grand sacrifice which enables baptism to wash 
away our sins. Without it, baptism would be nothing more 
than a washing of the "filth of the flesh" (1 Peter 3:21).

5:9 "If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of 
God is greater, for this is God's testimony, that He has 
testified concerning His Son!" (OPV).
  Surely, we are to believe the sworn testimony of the 
court witnesses. That is just common sense! Men are freed, 
men are punished with fines and prison time, and men are 
even put to death on the sworn testimony of witnesses. 
  This is the reason that telling the truth is so 
important. It is unfortunate that the world does not look 
at it the same way. Satan rules the world and he 
constantly tells men that it is okay to lie. God will 
punish all liars: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and 
the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and 
sorcerers, and idolaters, and all LIARS, shall have their 
part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: 
which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8 KJV). 
  It is most reasonable that the testimony of our Creator 
is of far greater worth and certainly is far more reliable 
than the testimony of any man. It is for this reason that 
we need to always heed what God says and not what some 
person tells us. If God forbids something and man says 
that we can indulge in it without sin, we had better 
believe that God's word is sure and that the man is a 
  If man says that adultery or homosexuality is 
permissible and God says that it is a sin, what God says 
is true and man is a liar. To follow after a man is not in 
accord with the will of God. 
  Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and 
the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"(KJV).

5:10 "The one believing in the Son of God has the 
testimony in himself. The one not believing God, has made 
Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony 
that God has testified concerning His Son" (OPV).
  It is that simple. Under conditions where the testimony 
of God and man disagree, if we believe God, then man is 
deemed a liar and if we believe man, then we make God the 
  What we often fail to see is that God is the author of 
truth. As we have just read in John 14:6, Jesus is the 
truth. Jesus stated that He came not to do His own will 
but the will of God (John 6:38-40 KJV). 
  "For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own 
will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the 
will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath 
given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at 
the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that 
every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, 
should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the 
last day" (ASV). 
  To which I say Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!!  
Howard B. Justice


1 John 5:7-11

What do the words "testify" and "testimony" mean as used 
in 1 John 5:7-11?
  The word testimony comes from the two Latin words 
"testificari" and "testimonium". These words mean 
"witness" and "evidence". The literal meaning is: "that 
which can be determined as the truth by a witness or 
witnesses." It simply means corroborated or established 
statements that are given and are accepted in a court of 
law as absolute truth. Hence, we see the testimony of the 
Holy Spirit as that which has been established as the 
absolute truth. How was it established? It was made a part 
of the written record by the fact that God gave His only 
begotten Son to save us from sin. 
  In John 20:30,31 the scripture says, "And many other 
signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, 
which are not written in this book: But these are written, 
that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of 
God; and that believing ye might have life through his 
  This passage is more than a reminder that God's Son was 
able to work miracles as proof of His identity. It says 
that God's promise, that was given in the words of the 
prophets many centuries before this time, had been 
fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ. He was able to 
establish His identity through the working of miracles, 
even the raising up of the dead which others were not able 
to do unless they were of Him. Peter, Paul and the other 
apostles were of Him and they were able to give testimony 
through the working of miracles that they were of Christ. 
Those who claim to work "modern day" miracles are not able 
to raise the dead. Therefore, they are not of Him.
  In addition to testimony being corroborated evidence, it 
can only be entered into evidence in a court of law by a 
true witness; one who has either experienced or seen the 
evidence first-hand. For this reason, we cannot be 
"witnesses" today as some have suggested. All that we can 
do is to accept the corroborated and established evidence 
found in the New Testament. Everything else is "hearsay" 
and is not admissible in any court of law. If it requires 
a modern-day revelation from God to accept it, then how 
could this evidence be true? How can man in his finiteness 
refute what our infinite God has given us or promised to 
us? We are cautioned not to add to or to take from the 
things written in God's word (Revelation 22:18-19)
Howard B. Justice


1 John 5:6-11

What do the words testify and testimony
refer to in this passage?
Understanding the questions about the
validity of portions of verse 7, the testimony
is that of God in the ways He has validated 
Jesus as his son.


1 John 5:7

1 John 5:7 (OPV)
7 And it is the Spirit who is testifying, because the 
Spirit is the truth.
5:7 "It is the Spirit who is testifying"
  The Spirit testifies to us through the Holy Scriptures. 
In Hebrews 10:15, an Old Testament quotation is introduced 
with the words: "And the Holy Spirit also beareth witness 
to us" (ASV). Notice that this is in the present tense as 
it also is in 1 John 5:7. The Spirit continues to testify 
to every generation through the Scriptures.
  Peter explained that the Old Testament prophets 
themselves did not fully understand the testimony of the 
Spirit that they were making known: "Concerning which 
salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently, who 
prophesied of the grace that [should come] unto you: 
searching what [time] or what manner of time the Spirit of 
Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified 
beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that 
should follow them. To whom it was revealed, that not unto 
themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, 
which now have been announced unto you through them that 
preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth 
from heaven; which things angels desire to look into" 
(1 Pet 1:10-12 ASV). 
  Jesus promised His Apostles that He would send the 
Spirit to testify to them about Him: "But when the 
Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the 
Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from 
the Father, he shall bear witness of me: and ye also bear 
witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning" 
(John 15:26,27 ASV). 
  The validity of testimony depends on the reliability of 
the witness. No witness can be found more reliable than 
the Spirit of God! What a great privilege that this 
testimony has been given to us through the prophets and 
Apostles, and has been preserved for us in the Scriptures! 
This privilege also carries with it a great responsibility 
to "keep the testimony of Jesus" that has been given to us 
by the Spirit of God "for the testimony of Jesus is the 
spirit of prophecy" (Rev 19:10 ASV). 
5:7 "The Spirit is the truth"
  Jesus promised His followers the help of the Spirit of 
truth for ever: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall 
give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for 
ever, [even] the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot 
receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye 
know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you" 
(John 14:16,17 ASV). 
  As mentioned above, the truth of the Spirit comes to use 
via the Apostles to whom Jesus said: "Howbeit when he, the 
Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the 
truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what 
things soever he shall hear, [these] shall he speak: and 
he shall declare unto you the things that are to come" 
(John 16:13 ASV).
  The Spirit testifying, is the Spirit of "the God of 
truth" (Ps 31:5).
Roy Davison