Do you have the Word of Life? Those that claim to know and have a relationship with יהוה/Yahuwah will be tested by their attitudes towards sin. Yochanan/John addresses the claims of the secessionists by delving into what intimacy with יהוה/Yahuwah really is.
Yochanan Aleph opens with a preamble concerning the Word of life and then Yochanan addresses the claims of the secessionists to know יהוה . Their claims to know יהוה are to be tested by their attitudes to sin.
Yochanan’s purpose is to strengthen the communities commitment to what they already know.
There’s really 3 temporal junctures to which Yochanan is writing this letter:
The epoch of Yahusha’s incarnation existence on the earth.
The epoch when witnesses came into contact with Him.
The epoch of this letters reading and the communities response to it.
First John 1:1 He who was from Beresheeth, whom we have heard, whom we have seen with our eyes, that which we did behold, and our hands have handled, we declare to you that He is the Torah of chayim.
5 descriptions/facts of the ‘the Torah/Word of Chayim’:
‘that which was from the beginning’ (ho e’n ap’ arches) – it’s parallel is found in the Fourth Gospel, ‘In the beginning was the Word’ ( en arche’ e’n ho logos) – in the Gospel of Yochanan – time before the creation of the world – in Yoc Alef – ‘the Word of life’ incarnate in Yahusha – the fact of the incarnation – the transcendent has become palpably immanent – the divine has made himself corporeal and historical.
‘that which we’ve heard’ 1:1 makes it clear that this is a firsthand hearing and proclamation of the Master!
‘that which we’ve seen with our own eyes,’ eyewitness testimony – in the LXX it means sense and perception – a direct personal experience with that which was seen.
‘that which we did behold ’ – the actual seeing with the human eye ‘theaomai’ ‘beheld,’ this is more a solemn witness than just a casual glance of the eye as the NIV has it ‘looked at!’
‘that which our hands have handled,’ – in the LXX it’s used predominantly to denote actual touching with hands. The incarnation manifested.
First John 1:2 And the chayim was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness to, and declare to you that eternal chayim, that was with Abba and was manifested to us. 3 We announce to you that which we have seen and heard; that we declare to you, that you also may have chavurah with us; and truly our chavurah is with Abba and with His Son gauvh ha Moshiach.
Koino’nia: commitment to a common task, personal relationship, sharing financially, fellowship with each other beginning at the start of the Festal year – Passover.
First John 1:4 And these things we write to you that your simcha may be full. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that vuvh is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.
V.6-10. Three conditional sentences which show Yochanan’s understanding of the
claims of the secessionists, thereby addressing their false teaching.
If we say that we have chavurah/fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness….
If we say that we have no sin….
If we say that we have not sinned….
First John 1:6 If we say that we have chavurah with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the emet. 7 But if we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have chavurah with one another and the dahm of gauvh ha Moshiach His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the emet is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Lying about your relationship with יהוה – יהוה is light and there is no fellowship between light and darkness (their claim to walk with יהוה (whilst walking in darkness) is false.
They are guilty of ‘not doing the truth’ . The opposite of doing evil – doing the truth means living in the light of the truth and seeking to avoid sin. You can’t claim to know יהוה and leave it at that – put it into practice and flee from sin.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that Light has come into the olam hazeh, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone that does evil hates the Light, neither comes to the Light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he that does emet comes to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are done through tvkt.
What the Tanakh predicates of יהוה as the light the Brit predicates of Yahusha as light – this is done wittingly!
Two consequences of walking in the light:
We have fellowship with one another. The false Christian idea that if you walk in the light you have fellowship with God is exposed here – we have fellowship with one another – this brings us into fellowship with יהוה – there is no personal fellowship with יהוה which isn’t expressed in fellowship with the Yochanite community. The secessionists claim to have fellowship with יהוה whilst having no fellowship with the Yochanite community is shown to be false.
The dahm of Yahusha, His Son purifies us from every sin. The light and blood coagulate into the heart of the remnant bringing forth waters of purification in word, deed and action – an ongoing walk of cleansing.
2nd of the 3 conditional phrases which Yochanan uses to expose the secessionists errors.
II. V. 8 – ‘if we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves.’ ‘Hamartian ouk echomen’ literally – ‘If we say that we don’t have sin.’ The secessionists were claiming to have no sin since they came into the knowledge of Yahusha – this is presented in an ongoing action. It not meant to express that the secessionists think that they don’t have the sin nature that’s common to all men, which the translation with the added King Jimmy grammar implies with ‘if we claim to be without sin’ implies.
‘To have sin’ – ‘echo hamartian’ means to be guilty of sins, they weren’t claiming to be יהוה free from the sin nature but claiming that they don’t sin anymore since they know and have experienced Yahusha! They’re in an ongoing state of bondage to their self- deception.
‘And the truth is not in us’ – they’re liars.
If you walk in the darkness, whilst claiming to know יהוה means your’e a liar. Compounded with the claim that you no longer sin, you lie to yourself, and finally you make יהוה out to be a liar because יהוה has declared the human race to have sinned.
DSS scrolls reflect these same ideas – ‘sons of truth.’ Pilate asked, ‘what is truth’ truth is only found in the Word of the Father turned to
mankind, incarnate in Yahusha, illuminated through the action of the Ruach Ha Kodesh.
True pious living involves the honest and ongoing acknowledgment of sin in our lives and the commitment to seek purification from it – word – action – thought – deed!
Matthew 3:6 And many were immersed by Yochanan the immerser in the Yarden River, confessing their sins.
Mark 1:15 Yochanan the immerser said, the time is fulfilled, and the malchut of vuvh is at hand: make teshuvah, and believe the Besorah.
James 5:16 Confess your sins one to another, and make tefillah one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent tefillot of a tzadik man is powerful accomplishing much.
Acts 19;18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their s.a.tanic deeds.
Didache 4:14 In the group session you will confess your faults. You will not go to prayer with a guilty conscience. And this is the road of life.
First John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Our forgiveness and purification become complete when we do this – יהוה is faithful and just – Yochanan is hearkening back to who יהוה truly is – Exodus 34 – 13 attributes!
2:1 causes much confusion…..who’s ever been told or maybe even told someone themselves, ‘do you realize we really have the ability not to sin in Messiah?
2: 1 ’My dear children, I write these things (lit.) to you so that you will not sin.’
Surely Yochanan isn’t now adopting the position of the secessionists which he just spent all this time exposing and condemning (1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the emet is not in us). To interpret this verse that way would mean that you believe he is.
The ‘these things’ refers to the situations projected either for commendation or condemnation in (1:6-10…. if we say, if we walk, if we say, if we confess, if we say… verses). Referencing these verses will stiffen the communities resistance to sin!
Yochanan is writing these things, in context of V6-10, so that the community not fall in with the secessionists and claim that they too no longer sin!
The latter part of 2:1 confirms this interpretation because Yochanan recognizes the possibility of the community sinning,,,,’ But if anyone sins, we have an Intercessor with Abba, gauvh ha Moshiach Ha- Tzadik. 2 And He Himself is the keporah offering for our sins.
This book takes death by the horns and wrestles it into submission with the doctrine of eternal life in Messiah.