Apostle John's relationship with Jesus Christ
Quick points to know now:
- John had a unique relationship with Jesus Christ.
- John referred to Jesus as the Word of God.
- He was known as one of the “sons of thunder.”
- He was known as “John the Elder and Pastor.”
- He was ordained in his youth, wherein he learned from Jesus.
- John was part of “The Inner Circle” (which was Peter, James, and John with Jesus).
- John refers to himself as the “one whom Jesus loves.”
- Commissioned to write about many topics, including “The Divinity of Love,” “Real Christianity,” “God’s Will,” etc.
- He lived through the time of Jesus’ teachings, Transfiguration, Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension.
- He also lived through the forming of the first Church, as well as the persecution of the Christians.
- He witnessed his brother James’ martyrdom.
- He pastored the great Church at Ephesus.
- He was eventually banished to the Isle of Patmos, wherein he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
- He had a flashing temper, which was why he was called one of the “sons of thunder.”
- He became known as the “Apostle of Love.”
John’s declaration of Jesus was that “He is full of Truth and Glory, He is the Only Begotten of the Father.” This was found in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
John had knowledge of foundational truths of Jesus and the Gospel; therefore, he was entrusted to such writings. John bore record of the Word of God, and had a testimony of Jesus Christ and the things, in which, he had seen. John was singled out by God to deliver to us the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
John the Beloved has a unique relationship with Jesus Christ, which was similar to the other Johns. But, what distinguished John the Beloved was that he was filled with the love of Christ. Mark 3:14-19: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
The Inner Circle means to me that it was a small group of people who held a more intimate connection with each other. Although Jesus worked with all His Disciples, He liked also to work with individual things, so having a small group was what He had done. The Inner Circle seemed to be Peter, James, and John, because these three were the most common to be seen with Jesus in a more intimate setting. Some of the examples include being with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37-41), when Jesus raised a ruler’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:35-38), at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28-29), and during a private consultation about the end times and false christs (Mark 13:3-7). James and John are also noted as being partnered with Simon (Peter) in Luke 5:10, and they followed Christ (Luke 5:10-11).
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
The first Truth that we see in this lesson is “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous” (1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”). We confess our sins and He only has the power to forgive and cleanse from sin!
Then, in 1 John 2:3-5, we see evidence that He dwells in us and this is how we know Him. It is a way He perfects us. The Word accompanied by the Holy Ghost gives life. So, if He is perfecting us, it’s because of the Word in us working, which is evidence we’re in Him. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
In 1 John 2:6, we see that we shall abide in Him, walk with Him, and Trust Him in every circumstance in our life – if done, is evidence that He abides in us and that we’re in fellowship with Him. Also, abiding in His Word gives us endurance for every season of our lives. We must portray His footsteps in our life, and that as Jesus is obedience to the Father, we shall be also! “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
Next, we see in 1 John 2:7-11 the evidence of knowing Him is found in our love. When we try to witness or evangelize, the world can sense the true spirit of Love inside us. “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”
In 1 John 2:12-14, we see that Jesus Christ has overcome satan, which is evidence that we’re in a relationship with the Lord. We, then, are overcomers also, being children of God. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”
For 1 John 2:15-17, we see another evidence that we know God, for our relationship is better for lacking love for the things of the world. We are not to love anything of the world, for the result of such is that the love of the Father isn’t in us. We see issues to avoid that are in the world, which involve the lust of the flesh and of the eyes, and the pride of life. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
More truths we see in 1 John 2:18-23, as this is a Prophetical Word regarding the End-Time. Unity of the Spirit will be the evidence that we know God, and that we’ll not be led astray by the antichrist. We need to let His love surpass our self-will that we can all walk together in the faith of Jesus Christ. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 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. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
Christ in us is apparent when the fragrance of His presence is in our lives. Exodus 29:7 says, “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.” Exodus 30:23-25 says, “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.” David writes that Jesus is the Anointed One as we see in Psalm 45:7, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
John confirms such truths that he writes and warns us against deception, as we see in 1 John 2:26, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.” Even more truths are revealed to us in 1 John 2:24-29, as we see that we will remain in the Father and the Son as long as we walk in the light, be honest with ourselves, confess our troubles & deal with sin, speak the truth, walk in integrity, and being an example overall of Jesus Christ. We fulfil such desire for relationship with the Lord if we hide His Word in our heart. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”
In 1 John 2:25, we see a promise that occurs when we abide in Him: “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” Then, we see in 1 John 2:26-27 that John has told us that he writes such things concerning them that seduce you or try to lead one into error – but, we have an anointing that abides in us, that is Jesus the Anointed One, who will teach us – so that we don’t have to worry of new doctrines or false teachers. “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
As we finish out the chapter in the last two verses, 1 John 2:28-29, we see the result of abiding in Him: that we may have confidence and be unashamed before Him at His coming. If we know He’s righteous, then those that do righteousness are born of Him! Abide in Him through everything, because He will bring to us peace and confidence. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”
1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The anointing that we’ve received from the Lord abides in us, therefore, no one else needs to teach us of the anointing but the Anointed One, who is Jesus that lives in us. The anointing, I will say, teaches us to abide in Christ. It also keeps us drawn in to Him!
It’s also to note that many false teachers have a “special anointing” as claimed, so we’re admonished here that God anoints us, and that with Jesus being within us, He teaches us of the anointing so that we don’t have to worry about false teachers coming along and telling us of some “special” ungodly anointing they have (and how we can obtain it). All believers already have the true and correct anointing when they trust and abide in the Anointed One. Last thing to note: we receive this anointing as a gift, which is a graceful gift from the Lord. We don’t squander this gift, because it is part of our salvation. Therefore, we must also realize that we don’t need to “get God” in our lives, for we already have Him. We don’t need to try to get His anointing…we already have it!
We know God by His Word, because His Word is Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:20 says, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” The Son has revealed the Father unto us by helping us understand Him!
The proof of Divine Life as we see in this study is love. God bestowed His love upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Now we are the sons of God, and when He appears, we shall be like Him and see Him as He is! (1 John 3:1-2)
The Manner of Love that the Father bestowed upon us is that we should be called the sons of God. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
Those who abide in Him will not sin, for them that have sin has not seen Him or known Him. In addition, that no man should deceive you, for he that does righteousness is righteous. Therefore, whoever is born of God does not commit sin.
We have two natures; those are “spiritual” and “carnal.” These natures are at war within us. We who have an understanding of the law, spiritually, we know in our experience that the law is spiritual, but that our inner man is carnal. Being carnal, a man is fleshly and incapable of being obedient unto the law – for this is where spiritual and carnal war, because our spiritual man is leading us into things of the law, but the carnal man is leading us away (– because it is incapable of being obedient). We see in Romans 7:5, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Sadly, we cannot escape this carnal way while in our flesh, as we see in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” The flesh naturally does not know how to be obedient or perform good so it therefore wars against the spiritual. It’s a dilemma.
There will be many ways that a person accepts and applies the Word unto their life. Some are by the way side, which are those that hear – and then come the devil that takes it away from their hearts. Those that are on the rock hear and receive the Word with joy, but they have no root – so in the time of temptation, they fall away/sin. Those that are among thorns are they that hear and receive the Word, but go forth and are choked with the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life – to which they bear no fruit. However, those that are on good ground hear and receive the Word in an honest and good heart – keep it and bring forth fruit with patience. Overall, you have most people who are not on good ground, and need shepherded back to the Lord’s ways.
Jesus’ love was His laying down of His life for us, therefore, we should be the same way in our relationships with others. We should be willing to sacrifice. We don’t necessarily have to sacrifice our life, but general sacrifice is what brings love’s true nature. Therefore, if our brother has need, we need to sacrifice our time and help. If our friend calls on us, we should have patience and see to what he/she needs. For Jesus did the greatest sacrifice so that we would not have to deal with the sacrificial system anymore, therefore, we need to apply the principle of sacrifice unto our lives in our relationships with others. The example of family he gives us is that of Cain and Abel. His heart is burdensome for people not to repeat the sin of murder like in the situation of Cain and Abel.
Nonetheless, the Assurance of Jesus' Love is found in 1 John 3:19-24, “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
God’s commandments are not grievous – this means burdensome in that His Commandments, rather, are an expression of His Love and protection for us. They are not burdensome, especially when they are kept. We receive the love of God when we keep His Commandments (1 John 5:3). The test of our love is loving as Jesus loved! He loved us first while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). When we walk in the love of Jesus, there is love for the saints!
What is required in the Prosperous Road is that we walk in the Truth overall. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 4:1-2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”
Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Colossians 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 2:6-7, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 2 John 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”