Reads for the Weekend from SunGrist

Introduction to Christ for Individuals (CFI)

 

barnes and noble

The contemporary gap between Christ and church membership should be obvious to all. It hardly matters which church or denomination as you look at church members around you, and then look at the Christ of the Bible and the teachings of Christ, there is little similarity. The discouraging aspect of the gap is that it is getting larger each year. That means that it is diverging; and if it is diverging, it is conceivable that shortly the churches and Christ will be going in opposite directions. Horrible, yes; but what is the answer. What is the cure for this obvious and serious problem that has gripped the world of Christians? The answer is for church members to Learn Christ. Which Christ? The Christ from the apostles and prophets of the Bible. If one passage of the Bible were chosen as a gist or theme for this set of Bible commentaries, LEARN CHRIST FROM THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, it would be Ephesians 2:19-22. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:1922 NJKV) I know the classic reply for church leaders. “No human can be perfect”, and“at least they are trying.” No, that is the point: church members are not trying. They are doing what they want to do. They are not making positive efforts to be like Christ and to be like God, which is demanded in the Bible from the apostles and prophets. The description of what is presently happening to church members is like the description from the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 4:3,4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap
up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears from the truth…” (II Timothy 4:3,4 NJKV) You see it is no longer a negative thing of “we are trying…our heart is in the right place…but we just cannot reach perfection.” No, that is not it! It is a positive matter of first, a lack of tolerance for sound doctrine–church members will not listen to sound doctrine, church members will not go to hear sound doctrine, and church members will not tolerate preachers and teachers who preach sound doctrine. Church members, according to the Apostle Paul’s description, are motivated not by any effort to be like Christ and any effort at perfection, but are motivated by their own human desires; that is, “according to their own desires,” and “because they have itching ears.” In short, church members are doing what they want to do and they are believing what they want to believe. What they want to believe is things that will tickle their ears. Things that will give them pleasure like, “nobody is perfect” and “you are the people of God”, and “at least you are trying”. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago that was true; but not now. And the apex of the gap in Paul’s description is that they pile up or heap to themselves teachers. It is much like building a dirt fortress or batiment around themselves in order to protect themselves from sound doctrine. They buy books from teachers that feed their desires; they run off teachers and preachers that offend their itching ears with the truth; and they call as pastors, teachers, and administrators those “teachers” that will teach according to their own desires. The whole motivation is to turn away from the truth. Now, brother, that is a positive thing. It takes a lot of effort for so-called “Christians” to turn away from the truth of the Bible. It takes a lot of effort for church members to cease to Learn Christ; and in the place of learning Christ to learn some kind of church membership that is based on “desires” and “itching ears”. Some today, like among Presbyterians, are worried about an intolerance caused by the preaching of Christ as the only way of salvation. Brothers, you had better be concerned about the intolerance of sound doctrine that is growing. Being the third volume of the LEARN Christ commentaries, it is centered around the five books of the Apostle John with the emphasis on the book of Revelation. This approach helps to support the title theme of “Christ for Individuals”. As churches and denominations are “falling away” from God, Christ, and the Bible (not falling away from churches as church attendance may actually go up during the falling away), it is important that the few sound doctrine church members remaining of the seven Christian thousand adopt to themselves the Christ of the individual that is presented in Revelation 2-3. The approach to the eschatology of Revelation is simple. The outline is taken from the teachings of Jesus as given in Matthew 24 with the major divisions of the History of Christianity all the way to the end given by the natural divisions of“and then”: (1) Beginning of Sorrows; (2) Period of Persecution Tribulation (the tribulation of the fourth period is primarily physical tribulation and from God as the heavens and earth fall apart, the shaking of heaven and earth); (3) The Period of Offences, often the most neglected, when God’s people are offended by sound doctrine, betray and hate one another; and (4) The period of the Falling away which includes lawlessness and all the end time events. Remember, however, that whatever is in one period continues into the other periods.

In the Table of Contents of CFI, Christ for Individuals, you will notice the 3 major divisions of (1) The Book of Revelation., (2) The Gospel of John, and (3) The Three Little Epistles of John.  (Actually John’s little epistles are harmonized in part 3 to once again illustrate the harmony between John and Paul in 3 each little epistles, and to set forth both Faith Contending and the Security of the Believer.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LEARN CHRIST FROM THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS

Volume 2:   Christ for Individuals

Introduction:   Christ for Individuals pg 5

The Book of Revelation

chapter 1:   Eschatology in the book of Revelation pg 8

chapter 2:  Pride or Worship God, Revelation 1-3 pg 24

chapter 3:  Number the People of God or Worship Christ, Revelation 4-7 pg 46

chapter 4:  The Seventh Seal, The Completion of History, Revelation 8-12 pg 60

chapter 5:  War Against the Remnant, Revelation 12-20 pg 71

chapter 6:  “How Long” pg 94

chapter 7:   New Heaven and New Earth,Revelation 21,22 pg 109

chapter 8:  The Overcomers are the Seven Thousand pg 127

The Gospel of John

chapter 9:  “Come and See”, the Gospel of John pg 146

chapter 10:  Revelation, the Gospel of John, and the Epistles.

chapter 11:  Signs for Believing in Jesus pg 171

The Little Epistles of John Plus

chapter 12:   Security of the Believer pg 197

chapter 13:  Complete Outline of I John pg 214

chapter 14:  Faith and Faith Contending in the Bible pg 230

chapter 15:  Some Sounds of a Sound Faith pg 244

chapter 16:  What Do You Do? pg 282

You are welcome to receive the CFI book by free PDF download from the SunGrist website, or order it from several bookstores included the two listed below of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

  1.  The free download on the SunGrist website at http://www.biblecombibleman.com .   You can either free download the complete volume 2 of LCC at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFIfreedist.pdf
  2. Or free download any or all of the 3 parts of Revelation, John, and the Epistles.   (a) The book of Revelation at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFI_freedistRevelation.pdf (b) The Gospel of John at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFI_freedistJohn.pdf , and (3) The Little Epistles of John and Paul at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFI_freedistEpistles.pdf
  3. If you wish to own CFI in a paperback to increase or start your Bible book library, you can get it at a number of local bookstores including Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.  (a)  On Amazon.com at                                          https://www.amazon.com/Christ-Individuals-Learn-Commentaries-Apostle/dp/0692120556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538746170&sr=1-1&keywords=Jerry+mcmichael and                                                                                      (b) on Barnes and Nobel at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Jerry+McMichael?_requestid=3937941  .

cfi ad

Note:  SunGrist appreciates the many book stores and distributors that distribute these books, especially in Ireland and the UK because worldwide distribution is the prime goal; however SunGrist would like to share some of the profit.  Choose Prime on Amazon.com if you wish to share the profit with SunGrist.  Thank you.barnes and noble

Eternal Life in I John

Surely as we would see Eternal Life in I John, we would also see the Security of the Believer in I John; and in doing so it would become apparent from the Word of God itself the relationship between the Security of the Believer, Faith, and Faith Contending.  Why is Faith Contending necessary?  Because some who claim to be Christians are liars, and the truth is not in them, not in their spirits.

eternal life

  1. Eternal Life in I John 2:13.

Note where this is approximately half way in the epistle of I John as if to divide it in two parts, and that helps to stress another interesting aspect of I John in that unlike Paul’s epistles those addressed are mentioned shortly before this beginning of an eternal life emphasis, in I John 2:12-14- “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.”  (I John 2:12-14  KJV) * 

Little children have two characteristics:  (1) Their sins are forgiven in the name of Jesus; and (2) They have known the Father.  Young men addressed have three characteristics:  (1) They have overcome the wicked One, Satan, mentioned twice; (2) They are strong; and (3) The Word of God abides in them.  Fathers, the elders, have the single characteristic repeated twice that they have “known him that is from the beginning”.  We naturally take that to mean that these are first Christians that knew Jesus Himself.

So there is little doubt as to who the epistle of I John is addressed to:  (1) It is addressed to many Christians who knew Jesus at the same time that the Apostles knew Jesus; (2) It is addressed to their young men that have the Word of God abiding in themselves, being strong in the Lord and having overcome Satan; and (3) It is addressed to little children below the age of youth who have reached the age of accountability having come to know God the Father personally and having been forgiven of their sins.

Now with this background of who John wants to feel secure about their salvation of eternal life, we come to the first usage in I John of Eternal Life-“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.  “ (I John 2:24,13  KJV)

Also the point is made here by the Apostle John has been emphasized previously from the epistles of Paul:  that is, that eternal life is conditional.  Notice the conditional “if”, “if that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you…”  See that, it must remain!  What you heard from the beginning, and this is especially to those Fathers who heard Jesus for themselves, must remain in you, and that is when you receive security and eternal life.

  1. Eternal Life in I John 3:1-3. Here the words “eternal life” are not found; but the substance as first we find the assurance of being “sons of God” (I John 3:1) and then those who have this hope, which also reminds us of the Apostle Paul’s “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. Look at it closely and then a few comments will be made about it—“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.  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. And every man that hath in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”  (I John 3:1-3  KJV)   

You can see how I John comes behind the Gospel of John where the Apostle has made it clear that “as many as received him to them gave He power to become sons of God”.

*  The Hope assured us by Christ being inside us is the assurance that at the Second Coming we shall be like Him for we will see Him as He is.  The internal image of Christ in us becomes also an external image at the Second Coming.

*  Again a conditional statement about those who are secure in this hope are also those that purify themselves.  They purify themselves because Jesus is pure, and if the image is to reflect the pure Jesus, it must also be pure.

  1. Eternal Life in I John 3:14. Here while only the word “life” is used instead of “eternal life”, we know it is eternal life since this life is the opposite of death— “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”  (I John 3:14  KJV)
  2. Eternal Life in I John 3:15. Eternal life is negative here, letting us know that faith contending is also involved as certain practitioners of contentious faith are eliminated from the security of the believer by being murderers in that they hate Christian brothers— “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (I John 3:15  KJV) *  This theme of lack of respect for other Christians, the same as hate or the lack of love for Christian brothers, is not only in I John, but is an echo of what the Apostle James writes in the book of James— “But if ye  have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”  (James 2:9  KJV) *  It is also significant that the words before I John 3:15, and introduction to murder and to I John 3:15 is a reference to Cain and Able, also a characteristic of those of contentious faith condensed with in the prime book on faith contending, Jude and Jude 11. “Woe unto them!  for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”    (Jude 11  KJV) *  This is a good one verse summary of practitioners of contentious faith:  (1) They commit murder by hate because of lack of love of other Christian brothers; (2) They work greedily for personal gain in the ministry like Balaam; and (3) They like Core strive to identify themselves and their group as the real people of God.
  3. Eternal Life in I John 3:24. Once again this is the concept but not the words “eternal life” itself, or perhaps we should say this is the Security of the Believer again— “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, be the Spirit which he hath given us.”  (I John 3:24  KJV) *  Notice “pneuma” for “Spirit” is capitalized here since it refers to the Holy Spirit. *  It provides the background for the spirits to be tested in the next verse which are human spirits and spirits of those who falsely claim to be Prophets and Apostles.
  4. Eternal Life in I John 5:11-13.

Three times eternal life is mentioned in these three verses as if having started on eternal life in the second chapter, it increases in intensity, and comes to a climax in this fifth chapter— “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God;  that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye  may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (I John 5:11-13  KJV)

 

Note:  At any time during this Bible study of the 5 books of the Apostle John you are welcome to download free the complete CFI at http://sungrist.org/LCCV2_CFI.pdf .

Advertisements