Come Follow Me LDS- 1 John (Dec 2-8)

–  ‘Love God, Love Your Brother’

–  Follow the Example of the Savior, Don’t Just Have Faith in Him

–  If we Love Him, we will act!

–  The Nehor Principle is a constant, mortal force

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Come Follow Me LDS- 1 John (Dec 2 – 8)

‘Love God, Love Your Brother’ – Follow the Example of the Savior, Don’t Just Have Faith in Him – If we Love Him, we will act!

Come Follow Me for Individuals and Families

LDS, Mormon

Raw Transcript

in this quick media episode we talk

about love your God and love your

brother here we go alright so in this

episode we’re going to cover first John all

chapters here John is likely the author

of the Gospel of John and the book of

Revelation at the end of the New

Testament not for sure but if it’s not

John it’s someone who is taking the

style and some of the themes that John

writes about and puts them into this to

this epistle for example here in chapter

1 here’s what we get we get some

descriptions and titles or different

words that basically describe the Savior

for example starting off in verse 1 we

have that which was from the beginning

remember from the beginning of the

Gospel of John we have in the beginning

right so he goes right back to that

which was from the beginning and

remember when we talk about the

beginning we’re talking about in temple

terms and we need to think that way

because even though we might be thinking

broader than what is in the temple the

temple is what brings this thought

process together for these writers and

they are referring directly to the

rituals to the imagery and to the drama

of the temple and I believe that’s

what’s happening here in first John that

which was from the beginning which would

be the beginning is the Holy of Holies a

representation of heaven or the throne

of God is which we have heard which we

have seen with our eyes which we have

looked upon and our hands have handled

of the word of life also in Johnnie’s

called the word

the logos right so he is also like Peter

John would be a personal witness of

Christ of Jesus while he walked in

mortality and that’s one of the great

things about these witnesses here is not

only did they know and witness that

Jesus is the Christ and that he

resurrected but they saw him live day to

day and so they give great examples here

of or great teachings about following

the example of the Savior not just who

he is

in terms of the great event of his

sacrifice and resurrection but of who he

is based on how he lived and the example

that he provided and how we need to do

the same so you find that as very firm

teachings from both Peter and from John

here and their epistles so in the

beginning of the word of life the next

verse for the life was manifested he

calls him the life remember that the

Savior says I am the way and the truth

and the light I am the life so there’s

all these things that really more than

likely would go back again to the temple

and the imagery that we find in the

temple construction the objects within

the temple the architecture of the

temple and the drama in the temple and

then down in verse 5 same thing God is

light and in him is no darkness at all

so these are themes that we can see in

modern-day temple dramas or in the

beginning of Genesis or Moses or Abraham

where we have the temple drama or a

portion of it which is the creation

story that’s what that is

those creation stories are not history

those creation stories are Temple

liturgy they’re written for the temple

they’re part of the vision that these

prophets received about the plan of

salvation they’re not a science book on

how the create

came about and then down in verse seven

he says the following but if we walk in

the light that would be in the light of

Jesus Christ as he is in the light we

have fellowship one with another and the

blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses

cleanseth us from all sin he’s going to

give us this message here throughout

this epistle that he’s our Savior but

it’s not just the grace of the Savior

that saves us right he’s saying here

that if if right it’s qualified if we

walk in the light then the blood of

Jesus Christ the Son cleanses us so

again what Christ did in his sacrifice

is provided opportunity and if we look

at this in whether it’s in politics

whether it’s in our practical day-to-day

lives the focus of the plan of salvation

the focus of gospel as far as equality

goes is on opportunity because as long

as all people have the opportunity then

they have equality under the laws of God

he doesn’t say that there will be an

equal outcome for everyone right he

qualifies it only those that walk in the

light are cleansed by the sacrifice of

Jesus Christ so it has to do with who we

are who were becoming what our decisions

are how we use our agency are we

obedience do we repent are we developing

the attributes of God and are we trying

to become like the Savior and follow his

example this is a strong message from

Peter and John and then in Chapter two

we get this and Joseph Smith kind of

supports this idea about following the

Savior’s example here’s verse one

without Joseph Smith’s translation in it

it says 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 the Zedek as in

Melchizedek but Joseph Smith had

something here what he says is that and

if any man sin and repent we have an

advocate right so again it’s up to us on

how we’re going to act and what works

we’re going to put forward so that we

can take advantage of the grace and the

charity of God the opportunity that’s

been given to us and he says again

another qualifier here if you if you go

back to the Book of Jeremiah he talks

about the New Covenant that it will come

again and that when that new covenant

comes and those that are participating

in the New Covenant which is the

Melchizedek covenant the fullness of the

gospel that is focused around the

sacrifice of Jesus Christ he says that

we will know God or the Savior the Lord

and he will know us that will be part of

the benefit of that new covenant well

here in verse 3 it says and whereby we

do know that we know him if again he

qualifies it if we keep his Commandments

it’s very specific throughout here when

you really study this if you just very

broadly go over for example the Pauline

letters and you see that there’s a

little bit more talk about grace than

there is about works even though he

talks about both very clearly you might

get the idea that all you have to do is

believe right but that isn’t true there

are qualifiers all over the place again

atonement is at one mint we have to

reach to him and reach up just as he has

reached down to us through the sacrifice

of Jesus Christ that’s how that’s what

at one man is that’s what covenant is to

come together it’s not one-sided and it

says here in verse four he that saith I

know him or is participating in the

New Covenant and keepeth not his

Commandments is a liar and the truth is

not in him

right so again

you can’t say you’re a part of it and

that you know him and not have the right

works that doesn’t work in verse six we

have to follow his example to make this

work he that saith he abideth in him

ought himself also to walk even as he

walked so that sums it up very well

there we need to follow his example and

act like him if we’re going to

participate in the New Covenant in the

higher covenant in the higher law and

then again he qualifies our works

down in 15 he says love not the world

right don’t put emphasis in your values

hierarchy on the things of the world

neither the things that are in the world

materialism If any man love the world

what does that mean to love the world

again it’s not your feeling the feeling

is a result of your love right the love

is what you focus on the love is what

you do so that if you are doing acts

that are of the world then that is where

your heart is and that is what you love

and so if you’re doing if any man loveth

the world the love of the father is not

in him in other words that grace that he

gives us we’re not participating in that

it’s not automatic it’s free right he

did it because he loved us and we cannot

pay him back but what he gave us through

that grace is opportunity we need to

take advantage of that in 16 for all

that is in the world the lust of the

flesh and the lust of the eyes and the

pride of life

remember pride is the great attribute of

the great and spacious building is not

of the Father but is of the world so we

have those decisions right again as I

think about Lehigh’s vision which i

think is a central image a central

narrative or drama that we should use

often as we filter through all of the

Scriptures just like we should use the

creation story

we have those two ways right we have the

Tree of Life which is the things of the

Father and participating in the love of

God as he just went over by partaking of

that fruit or we have pride and lust

which is the great and spacious building

and that’s easy to spot after a while

right you can realize you can become

aware and have your eyes opened and

realize when you are in the great

spacious building or when someone is

trying to get you to go toward the great

and spacious building and then in 18 he

brings up the fact that there are many

antichrists right now we get the

Hollywood version almost if you will of

the Antichrist that comes in the last

days or something like that this is not

an individual so to speak I mean the

only iconic Antichrist would be Satan

but outside of that Antichrist are

simply people they can be good people

but there are people who don’t believe

in Christ they don’t believe in the

doctrine of Christ so if you think about

well if you go through what I teach

about the Nehor Principle right

you’ll realize that as you go through

time one of the strongest focuses

against truth is not just to have you be

to to to sin right to break the covenant

that’s a big one obviously but the other

one that is a constant pressure in this

world is to tweak or remove the doctrine

of Christ we see it in the Book of

Mormon over and over and over again the

Anti Christ Korihor and Sherem and

Nehor in the Old Testament we see

the focus against the doctrine of the

Messiah as the savior of the world as

God we see it in the time of Isaiah we

see it in the time of Jeremiah and Lehi

and it winds out right it wins out for

many centuries for the majority of those

that are trying to follow the gospel

it’s very slippery and then down here in

20

who we get this definition from John it

says who is a liar but he that denieth

that Jesus is the Christ he is

Antichrist that denieth the father and

the son right so this is where they’re

coming out of right this is where

Judaism had been for a long time not

forever but for many centuries at least

the establishment of Judaism this is

where it had been there is no son of God

and God is not going to come down to the

world to the earth and be incarnated and

take on the sins of the world the

doctrine of Christ had been severely

tweaked in fact removed for the majority

of Judaism and those that follow Judaism

and those that follow the scriptures and

the prophets and the law that was

supposed to be looking forward to Jesus

Christ the Son of God and then in 27 we

get something kind of interesting it

says but the anointing which ye have

received of him abideth in you one thing

I’ve thought about and that I’ve read

about is the term Christian or

Christians Christianity we can say that

someone is a Christian because they

follow the teachings of Jesus Christ but

what does Christ mean like Christ means

anointed the Anointed One

that’s what Messiah is right Messiah so

Christian perhaps early on was not as

much meant as a follower of Christ but

would mean the anointed ones those that

were anointed that could be something

you could look at through baptism even

or perhaps other rituals where they went

through and had the anointing stunned so

if you are anointed in a sense you are a

an anointed one right you were a Christ

or you are a Christian just something to

think about and then in chapter 3 he

goes back to talking about this

knowing God and having him know us those

that participate in the New Covenant he

says in verse 1 behold what manner of

love the father hath bestowed upon us

that we should be called the sons of God

or the sons and daughters of God

therefore the world knoweth us not

because it knew him not

right so Jesus when he comes to teach

and people realized what he’s there to

do is completely rejected of the world

well it’s not going to be any different

for those that follow those teachings

right if you follow the same teachings

you are also going to be rejected of the

world and you should be if you’re not

well maybe something’s wrong

he says here in verse 2 but we know that

when he shall appear talking about the

second coming we shall be like him so

how are we like him again it’s because

of what we do who were becoming that’s

part of being in that covenant we’re

trying to be in the same state of mind

have the spirit with us have that hope

of the Resurrection and of a better

place for we shall see him as he is

that’s an interesting statement so that

means that those that don’t follow him

do not see him for what he is right they

can see him as someone evil which a lot

of people did in the time of Christ they

saw him as an evil one as a blasphemer

as someone who was trying to assert

power perhaps as a threat but if we are

following his teachings then we will see

him for who he really is and then he

puts a contrast between those that do

know him and that try to participate in

that covenant and those that don’t hear

in verse 11 in verse 10 he says in this

the children of God are manifest and the

children of the devil whosoever doeth

not righteousness is not of God neither

he that loveth not his brother that’s a

very telling tale right there a telling

sign about those that are fall

the example of the Savior he that loveth

not his neighbor or his brother or his

sister being those that are around him

in his world or her world 11 for this is

the message that he heard from the

beginning that we should love one

another right that’s one of the two

great Commandments love God and love

your neighbor love one another so if

you’re doing those two great

Commandments then you are living within

that covenant and he supports it with an

example here he says in verse 12 not as

Cain who was of that wicked one and slew

his brother and wherefore slew he him

because his own works were evil and his

brothers righteous so why would he do

that

well if we read in the book of Moses we

learned that he did it

Cain killed his brother the great secret

right of Master Mahan was that he wanted

to get gain and through murder he could

get gain material gain well we can see

here and just looking at the story

itself it’s Envy we’ve talked a lot

about that Paul talks about Envy Peter

talks about enemy John here talks about

envy those that are wicked may be

envious of those who are not and very

simply here John says why does he do it

because his own works were evil and his

brothers righteous and then he says

Marvel not my brethren if the world hate

you so could be if there’s push back on

you and you are trying to follow the

teachings of Jesus Christ

you should probably expect that there is

pushback from the world otherwise you

may not be doing what is right you

should be a minority in your spiritual

beliefs it’s always been that way and he

contrasts Cain with the Savior here in

16 he says hereby perceive we the love

of God because he laid down his life for

us

and we ought to lay down our lives for

the Brethren okay that’s the ultimate

end of giving something up for somebody

else the ultimate manifestation of love

and charity it’s the exact opposite

right of what Cain did it’s taking what

Cain did and flipping it on its head

it’s saying I’m going to give up

everything for somebody else and that

act that effort that work is love and

then here we get another qualifier on

our works and it says here in 22 about

prayer and whatsoever we ask we receive

of him because we keep his Commandments

and do those things that are pleasing in

his sight so that’s a qualifier to me

that’s how I read that right if I am NOT

obeying the commandments if I’m not

doing the things that are pleasing in

God’s sight it’s hard for me to probably

have the type of faith that I need to

receive what I’m asking for

doesn’t mean I’m always going to receive a

regardless that’s just not the way it

works we see that throughout the

Scriptures even the prophets right they

ask for certain things they don’t get

them and I would not compare my level of

faith with theirs

in that scenario I think we still need

to look at ourselves as children of God

who is a wise and loving parent and say

sometimes they’re not always going to

give us what we want and he says that

these are the commandments that you

should follow here in 23 and this is his

commandment that we should believe on

the name of his son Jesus Christ again

believe here comes from pistis faith so

that we should have faith on the name of

his son Jesus Christ so that’s from his

sacrifice and love one another as he

gave us commandment so following the two

great Commandments and in 24 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 so

again this kind of goes back to John’s

themes in the Gospel where we talked

about and I’ve skipped some of this but

he talks a lot about abiding in God and

God abiding in us and kind of being one

remember John talks about that a lot in

his gospel that he and the father are

one and that Christ wants to be one with

his disciples as well is the Hebrew a

hot which means unity really and then in

chapter four he says something that I’ve

brought it before that I really like

about how the prophets right talk to us

it’s different sometimes by the time

things trickle down from what we might

hear in General Conference and then they

get down to the state level and the ward

level and there may be a class that we

have sometimes it’s like the game

telephone right things change a little

bit because we pick up different things

from these talks and we filter them

through our experiences and our

assumptions and our belief systems and

our weaknesses but the prophets say this

all the time

says here chapter 4 verse 1 beloved

believe not every spirit but try the

spirits whether they are of God because

many false prophets are gone out into

the world so this is an important thing

he’s saying here that there will may be

people that you think are good that are

trying to say something to you that you

think might be good but it’s not always

good and so it’s my firm belief that

even when we hear things from the pulpit

right if we might hear it in in our

wards we hear it at stake conference we

hear it from a general authority we hear

it from the president of the church the

Prophet we need to try it

and that means prove it now you might

say well wait a minute that’s not having

faith or that’s not having belief that’s

not true that is not what faith is faith

is evidence right faith is evidence and

so he’s asking us to try these things

out or to prove them to yourself now how

do you do that

well you take the words it could be from

the scriptures here you take the words

and you internalize them and you put

them into practice you dwell on them you

pray about them you ponder on them and

then you act and you try it out and

eventually as you have consequences that

are positive because of those principles

that you’re following then you can trust

in them because you have tried them or

proven them you’ve tested them

that’s what Alma’s discussion is in Alma

32 about taking the word it’s not faith

we think oftentimes that’s about the

seed is faith the seed is the word right

so we’re taking the word that someone

has given us or something they’ve said

to us even a very prominent respectful

person like a general authority or

something we read in the scriptures and

then we internalize it we nurture it and

that seed grows and becomes a tree if we

nurture it but see once that belief

matures into a faith which is trust then

we’re not wishy-washy on whether we

believe it or we don’t believe it is

that really true or is it not true well

we’ve done it the knowledge that we get

is not just something we’ve read or

heard but it’s something we have tested

that we’ve proven that we’ve tried that

changes everything and that’s what our

testimonies need to be built on is that

experience of the principles of the

gospel especially in the Internet age

and here in 7 & 8 we get the idea of

love as an attribute of God the

attribute we can think of this even as

charity says here beloved let us love

one another for love is of God and every

one that loveth is born of God and

knoweth God again we can’t think of this

as just something we feel I think we

need to think about it the other way

around it’s what we do it’s

we sacrifice it what’s what we bear it’s

what we take responsibility for with

someone else that’s love the result of

doing those things is the feeling of

love if you’re a parent you know what

I’m saying if you’re a spouse you know

what I’m saying and of course you can do

that without being a spouse or a parent

as well but that’s what I think those

the institution of marriage and the

institution of families its primary

purpose I think is that exact thing it

develops charity it develops love and

then in verse 12 we get something very

interesting here no man hath seen God at

any time this is really interesting if

we love one another god dwelleth in US

and his love is perfected in us so back

again at the beginning of that verse no

man hath seen God at any time this is

interesting because back with the

Deuteronomists that is a theocratic

party of Judah back in the time of

Jeremiah and Lehi right they apparently

it looks like there was a lot of change

in the theocracy in the religion at that

time starting with the time of King

Josiah remember he had all the temple

reforms and there was the new book

whatever that means was found in the

temple and there was purging of things

out of the temple and a centralization a

real strong centralization of the

religion where the power could be

consolidated in Jerusalem and what the

deuteronomist said is you go through and

you can read some of the changes that

they likely made in many of the books

what the deuteronomist said was that no

man has ever seen God you can’t see God

it’s impossible even though in many of

the other writings we see that they did

we know that in Exodus Moses did see God

but in other places we see you can’t see

God when they refer to Moses well here

we have from John saying that you can’t

no man has ever seen God and yet Joseph

Smith here inserts

something different he says no man hath

seen God at any time except them who

believe or have faith so here we get

again the whole Antichrist thing right

is that the change in doctrine which is

just the water runs downhill and so here

in the New Testament we get this

apparent idea that no one has ever seen

God and Joseph Smith has to come back

and restore something and say except

those that have had faith in him so that

pressure against the doctrine of Christ

we can find throughout not just the Old

Testament but also in the New Testament

and of course the opening of the

restoration in the last days comes from

a vision of Joseph Smith seeing God very

important that we note the opening of

the veil there seeing two personages and

the doctrine of Christ that is revealed

at that time changes everything

then in 18 we get an interesting formula

here about love it says there is no fear

in love but perfect love cast casteth

out fear because fear hath torment he

that feareth is not made perfect in love

I think that’s really interesting

you have put on opposite sides of the

spectrum here love or let’s say charity

on one end and on the other end is fear

so in some ways courage is a part of

love right the ability to get beyond

that fear and so if we look at the

attribute or progression of faith hope

and charity or love we can see that at

the beginning of that attribute of

progression the faith is what we need to

kind of overcome that fear and as we

place that faith in the sacrifice of

Jesus Christ and in principles of the

gospel then that would be the first step

to

get past any fear that we might have to

result in a hope and then eventually to

have the love of God within us it’s all

what’s in here right it’s just like the

word courage really means it’s cure

right the Cure from French heart

courage is from heart just as love is

from a heart and so the ability to

overcome those fears starts with our

faith and our trust and then moving

forward so we can have the love that we

want perfected and then again finishing

up the chapter in 21 in this commandment

we have from him that he who loveth God

love his brother also so they go hand in

hand he did three again a qualifier

about how we love God for this is the

love of God so when we have love for God

that we keep his Commandments so again

how do we support that we love him not

from how we feel but from how we act

that’s our love that’s what the love of

for God is and throughout all of John we

get these same themes that he we have in

his gospel which is about the begotten

one and John writes we get in the second

last chapter of his gospel we hear him

say the reason he’s writing it cuz

remember John wrote his gospel after the

other three were done the synoptic

Gospels Matthew Mark and Luke had been

done for a while and then John says okay

later in his life I’ve got to put this

this testimony out to him as well about

Christ and the reason he does it is

because it looks to me like there is

again a corruption starting to happen

again of the doctrine of Christ and so

he says that the reason he writes that

gospel is because he wants everyone to

know that Jesus is the Son of God so he

specifically uses that title what does

that mean it means that God Jehovah came

down to earth the condescension of God

as we read from Nephi

his vision about the Tree of Life and

that he took on the sins of the world

and so appears to me that there’s later

in Christianity here after the first few

gospel Gospels had been written after

many of the Pauline letters had been

written John adds the gospel in here to

solidify the idea that it was Jehovah

that came down and was Jesus Christ that

they are one in the same

that’s what the Son of God means and so

as he finishes up here in this epistle

we see the words begotten the son of God

20 and we know that the Son of God is

come and he given and hath given us an

understanding that we may know him that

is true and we are in him that is true

even His Son Jesus Christ this is the

true God and eternal life so very much

like John in his gospel

so John here in his first epistle is

very similar to Peter he is a personal

witness of the mortal Messiah he saw him

act everyday as a perfect human being he

saw him love his neighbor had loved the

sinners that were around him sitting at

the tables with the tax collectors and

other sinners he saw the example of how

Christ lived and so we have here

everything about love about charity

about loving God and loving our brothers

and sisters and not just accepting Jesus

as the Christ as the Messiah as the

savior of the world but as our example

so that to make our faith in his

sacrifice whole will actually apply it

through our works which works help us

become more like the Savior blessing our

lives and helping us fulfill the

potential

the Lord has given us I’ll talk to you

next time

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