Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first fourteen verses of the second chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you find the apostle Paul transitioning to one of the many reasons for writing this epistle. As you come to and approach this second chapter you will find the apostle John writing unto his audience and declaring unto them how he wrote this epistle in order that they might sin not. This is actually incredibly intriguing and interesting—particularly and especially when you consider the fact that when he wrote the gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus, he wrote that account that those who read it might believe. When the apostle John weote the gospel which detailed and describes the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, his main goal and ambition was to bring those who read it to a place of belief in the Son of God. It was the apostle John Himself who wrote that to as many as believed in and on Jesus the Christ—to those was given the power, the authority, the ability to become sons of God. Throughout the entire gospel you will find the apostle John writing and speaking of belief, for he sought that men and women might not only believe in Jesus, but also that they might believe in Jesus. Oh we dare not miss or lose sight of the tremendous significance of this reality, for whenever you write, whenever you speak about the Lord Jesus Christ, you do so in order that others might believe in Him. The apostle John spent twenty one chapters in the gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ trying to bring his audience into a place where they were so utterly and completely consumed and caught up in the reality of who Jesus truly was fang DNS’s could not help but believe in Him. How absolutely wonderful it is to think about and consider the fact that at the very beginning of the New Testament you find four distinct gospel accounts concerning the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in order tang men and women might believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words—it was as if the four gospel writers presented the facts concerning Jesus and then allowed those who read the words to decode for themselves whether or not they would believe in Him.
I absolutely love the gospel which the apostle John wrote at the beginning of the New Testament, for within it the apostle Hohn sought to bring his readers into a powerful confrontation with the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Hohn spent twenty one chapters describing the life and ministry of Jesus Christ—although at no point within the gospel did he write about the birth of Christ. Of the four gospel writers—the apostle John was the only writer who chose not to write about the birth of Jesus Christ. Instead, the apostle John sought to place an incredible amount of emphasis on the reality that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. It was based on that reality of Jesus Christ being the Son of God that he sought to bring men and women to the place where they would choose to believe in and trust on the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the entire gospel the apostle Hohn sought to convey Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God, and as the living Word which took on flesh to dwell among us. How incredible it is to think about and consider this fact, for if we set out to read the gospel which the apostle Hohn wrote we must set out to do so from a place of belief, from a place of trust, and from a place of confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not, we cannot, we must not miss this incredible reality, for if one would seek to read the writings of the apostle john as a whole, they must first do so by seeking to come to a place of belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. Until and unless you first enter through this place of belief in the Lord Jesus Christ you cannot and will not be able to understand that which the apostle Hohn sought to write in this first epistle. This first epistle written by the apostle Hohn was one that was entirely Christo-centric, in that it focused a great deal on the reality of Jesus Christ within our lives. I am convinced that we cannot and will not allow the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ to guide and govern our lives until and unless we are first willing to make the conscious and deliberate decision to trust and believe in Him. It is absolutely imperative that we allow ourselves to first enter through the place of belief, for belief is what will ultimately guide and govern how we respond and react to Jesus within our hearts and lives.
When I read the first epistle written by the apostle John, I can’t help but be caught up and consumed with and by the fact that he set out to present those things which he heard, those things which he saw, those things he looked upon, and those things which he handled with his own hands. In other words—the apostle Hohn sought to write from a place of experience, as he had encountered the life and ministry of Jesus Christ for three and a half years. So radically changed and transformed was the apostle John by the life and ministry of Jesus that he sought to write an epistle which would not only be based on experiential truth and experiential reality. I would dare say that this is perhaps the greatest method of our speaking, for until and unless we are willing to speak from a place of experience, we are really spouting out and spewing vain words. There are many who would seek to speak from a place or knowledge rather than experience, and while knowledge is in and of itself not inherently evil—it is only part of the picture. I am completely and utterly convinced that the knowledge we have about and the knowledge we have concerning Jesus the Christ must be met with an experiential reality with the lord Jesus, for the two are intrinsically kinked and connected to each other. When the apostle John wrote this first epistle which was written and sent unto the saints at Ephesus, he did not write based solely on a knowledge concerning Jesus Christ—although knowledge was certainly a tremendous part of the epistle. When the apostle John wrote this epistle, he did so from a place of experience, for he knew and understood that experience is and was the foundation for the words he sought to convey within the epistle. In the opening parts of the epistle, the apostle John was very clear and very intentional on writing concerning his personal—sometimes private—experience with Jesus the Christ, for it was that experience which guided and governed his life. It was almost as if by writing and speaking from a place of experience the apostle John was setting forth an undeniable level of credibility for the words he wrote, for he wasn’t speaking idle words or speaking from his own imagination.
Consider if you will the words which the apostle John wrote in the first three verses of the first chapter of this epistle, and you will know and understand just how much he sought to base this epistle off of a wonderful and powerful sense of experience with the person of Jesus Christ: “That which was from the beginning, 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; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1-3). Within the first verse of this first chapter the apostle John sets forth to convey to his readers the wonderful and powerful reality of experience—experience which guided and governed everything that would come after this in the following verses. The apostle John opened and began this epistle by writing and speaking of his unique experience with Jesus the Christ—with He who was from the beginning, and He was in the beginning with God, and was in the beginning God. The first chapter of this epistle brings us face to face with the awesome and absolutely incredible need for experience with the Lord Jesus Christ, for there are many who can make the statement and declaration that they know about Jesus, but there are very few who can actually declare with absolute certainty that they truly know Him. I feel compelled to express the great truth and reality that there is a fundamental difference between knowing about Jesus Christ, and actually knowing Jesus. In fact, I am convinced that this is what we find in Jesus’ question to the disciples when He asked them who men said that He was. What’s more, is that I am convinced that this was the reality and truth the apostle Paul was seeking to convey when writing his epistle unto the Philippian congregation. Consider if you will the encounter between Jesus and His disciples, as it is recorded in the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew, as well as the third chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Philippian congregation:
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say hey that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto Him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged He his disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:13-20).
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness with is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing” (Philippians 3:7-16).
It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we consider the encounter between Jesus and His disciples at Caesarea Philippi, for it was there when Jesus first asked His disciples whom other men said that He was. This is actually rather peculiar and interesting when you consider it, for Jesus didn’t immediately lead with whom His disciples said and believed He was. Instead of asking them whom they believed Him to be, He first led with a question concerning and regarding whom others believed Him to be. I find this to be absolutely incredible and fascinating, for it was almost as if Jesus sought to ask His disciples and bring them into the place where they would admit and acknowledge what others said about and concerning Christ. That which Jesus Christ was seeking to do was challenge His disciples concerning the opinions and thoughts which others had concerning Him during those days and during that generation. Please don’t miss the tremendous and incredible importance of this reality, for although Jesus was ultimately concerned with who the disciples believed Him to be, and what the disciples thought about Him, He first sought to confront what was being said about Christ. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what this would look like in our generation today. What would it look like if Jesus were to enter into our churches, into our assemblies and into our congregations and ask us point blank: “Whom do men say that I am?” What would happen, and how would we respond and react if Jesus entered into our sanctuaries and asked us concerning that which was being said and that which was being spoken concerning and about Him within this generation? What would our response be if Jesus asked us what was being said and spoken about Him within the churches within and throughout the nation, as well as what was being said and spoken of Him on the streets? It’s important that we recognize that this question which Jesus posed to His disciples wasn’t presented in church, nor was it presented as such where He was asking church folk what they said and thought about Jesus Christ. A vast majority of Jesus’ ministry took place outside the Temple, and outside the synagogues, and therefore this question which was being asked was one which would confront that which was being spoken of concerning Jesus within and upon the streets of Jerusalem, Judaea and Samaria. When Jesus was alone with His disciples He sought to ask them concerning the opinions which others had about Him, and I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was seeking to see whether or not the disciples were getting caught up in what others were saying and speaking about Jesus while at the same time talking with Jesus. I can’t help but wonder if it is possible that we can walk with Jesus—hear His words, see Him work, watch Him move—and yet still be caught up in what others are saying and speaking about Him, rather than what we ourselves say and believe about Him based on our experience with Him.
What I find to be absolutely remarkable and captivating when reading the words which Jesus asked the disciples, was that even when the apostle Peter spoke up, the apostle Peter didn’t speak from a place of experience, but rather from a place of revelation. One of the greatest questions I can’t help but ask myself is whether or not we are living from a place of opinions, or whether we are living from a place of revelation. As you read concerning this encounter between Jesus and His disciples, you will find a clear and concise difference between the opinions of man and the revelation of God. I am sitting here right now and I am finding myself being confronted with the reality that it is very easy to allow our relationship—or rather, our perceived relationship—with Jesus the Christ to be governed by the opinions of man, rather than by the revelation of the Father. I can’t help but be reminded of the two distinct times within the life and ministry of Jesus Christ when the heavens were opened, and when the voice of the Father spoke from glory and not only declared that this was His beloved Son, but also that He was well pleased with Him. When the apostle Peter spoke up and declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus acknowledged that flesh and blood—the opinions of men—did not reveal it unto him, but rather, His Father who was in heaven who revealed it unto him. Please don’t miss or lose sight of the tremendous significance of this reality and concept, for to do so would be to miss out on the incredible challenge we as the saints of God face with deciding whether or not we are going to be a people who are governed by the opinions of men, or whether we are going to be a people who are governed by the revelation of Jesus Christ. I am firmly convinced that experience is one of the most fundamental realities and truths within and concerning our relationship with Jesus Christ, and I firmly believe that revelation together with experience serve as the catalyst for our faith, for our belief, and for our trust and confidence in the living God. We dare not miss or lose sight of what is found in this passage of Scripture, for within this passage of Scripture Jesus causes a clash between the opinions of men and the revelation of the Father who was in heaven. THE CLASH BETWEEN THE OPINIONS OF MEN AND THE REVELATION OF GOD! If we are going to truly serve the Lord Jesus Christ with our full and complete heart, we must be brought to the place where we are able to determine and distinguish whether we are allowing ourselves to be governed by the opinions of men, or whether we are going to be governed by the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is very easy to be governed by the opinions of men, while completely neglecting and ignoring the revelation of the Father within our lives.
In fact, there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the apostle Peter kept his mouth shut while the other disciples were speaking forth the opinions of men while at the same time bursting from the seams to declare the revelation that was placed within His heart and spirit. I can’t help but wonder if the apostle Peter was growing anxious and excited listening to the other disciples declare the opinions of men waiting for the opportunity to share the revelation of the Father. I wonder if the apostle Peter—this same one who was the only disciple to get out of the boat and walk on the water to Jesus Christ—received this revelation from the Father concerning Jesus Christ, and when asked what others said about Christ, he wanted to share what He had personally received of the Father. I can’t help but think about that moment when the Father revealed unto the spirit of Peter that Jesus was indeed the Christ, and was indeed the Son of the living God. I can’t help but wonder at what point within the life of the apostle Peter he received that revelation from the Father that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is absolutely imperative that we recognize and understand this, for the great disparity that exists within this particular passage is that which exists between the opinions of men rather than the revelation of Jesus Christ. Oh, I am finding myself wondering how much of our preaching today is governed by the opinions of men rather than the revelation of the Father. How much of what is being brought forth from the pulpits of our churches is nothing more than the opinions of men, and has absolutely nothing to do with the revelation of the Father? Moreover, how many men and women are actually willing to stand in the presence of the Father—in the presence of the living God—long enough to even hear His voice speaking to them, and to hear what He seeks to reveal concerning Jesus Christ His eternal Son. There is no indication whether the apostle Peter was at the Jordan River when the heavens were opened, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and when the voice came from heaven declaring concerning Jesus that He was the believed Son of the Father in whom He was well pleased. What’s more, is that what we find in the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew took place before Jesus led Peter, James and John up into a high mountain where He was transfigured before them with the glory He had with the Father from the beginning. That experience hadn’t yet happened, and yet Jesus still acknowledged that flesh and blood did not reveal this unto the apostle Peter, but His Father who was in heaven.
This actually brings me to an incredibly important truth concerning this concept of revelation, and that is how often we allow ourselves to get caught up in thinking revelation needs to occur at the Jordan River, and perhaps even atop the mountain in order for it to be lasting and transformative. So many times we think and believe that revelation must occur on the mountain top where we experience the glory of the Father, and the glory of Jesus Christ in order for it to be substantial and lasting. More often than not we think and believe that revelation must occur in and form the place of glory, and from the place of majesty, and a voice from heaven speaking of and declaring truth concerning Jesus who is the Christ. There are so many times when we allow ourselves to get caught up in thinking and believing that revelation can only occur when the heavens are opened, when the Spirit descends like a dove, and when the voice of the Father speaks from heaven. I am convinced—based on what I read within the four gospels concerning the life and ministry of Jesus—that this simply is not the case. I am convinced that the revelation which the apostle Peter received from the Father did not occur on the mountain top, nor did it occur at the Jordan River when the heavens were opened, and when the Spirit descended as a dove, and the voice of the Father spoke from heaven. I am convinced that this revelation which the apostle Peter received came—perhaps at different moments while He was simply following Jesus. Is it possible that we look for revelation concerning Jesus the Christ on the mountain top and at the river when all the while what we really need to be doing is looking for the revelation in our every day walking with and following Jesus Christ. I am convinced that the greatest source of revelation within our hearts and spirits comes not necessarily from a place of glory, or from a place of majesty, but simply from a place of following and walking with Jesus. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to quit seeking, and quit looking for revelation on the mountain top and at the river, and start looking for revelation in those places where you are simply following and walking with Jesus. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote when writing the epistle unto the churches in Galatia. Beginning with the eleventh verse of the first chapter of this epistle we find the following words:
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither when I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned against unto Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I cam into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: but they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which he once destroyed. And they glorified God in me” (Galatians 1:11-24).
You will notice two distinct and two powerful truths contained within this particular passage of Scripture—the first which is the concept of the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the second is the absence of consulting and conferring with flesh and blood. As you read the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches in Galatia, you will find that he first emphatically declares that the gospel which he preached was not after man, nor did he receive it of man, neither was he taught it. What’s more, is that as you continue reading this passage of Scripture you will find that when it pleased the God to reveal His Son in him, that he might preach Him among the heathen, he didn’t immediately confer with flesh and blood. Instead of conferring with flesh and blood, the apostle Paul went into the desert and wilderness of Arabia where he would be taught and learn of God concerning Jesus Christ. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we pay close attention to this reality, for when you look back on the words which Jesus spoke unto the apostle Peter, you will find that Jesus declared unto him that flesh and blood did not reveal the reality concerning the Christ unto him, but His Father who was in heaven. The revelation which the apostle Paul received about and concerning Christ came not from flesh and blood, but came instead from a revelation of Jesus Christ. What’s more, is the apostle Paul did not experience some mountain top experience where Jesus was transfigured before Him—although the apostle Paul did experience the Lord Jesus appearing unto him while he was traveling from Jerusalem to Damascus in order that he might persecute and imprison the Christians who were there. The beloved physician Luke makes it very clear that not only did the Lord Jesus appear to the apostle Paul while traveling on the road to Damascus, but the Lord Jesus also spoke to him, calling him by name and then asking why he persecuted Him. When the apostle Paul asked “Who are you Lord,” Jesus responded by declaring that He was Jesus whom he was persecuting. I have to admit that when I read the words which the apostle Paul wrote in his epistle which was written and sent unto the churches in Galatia, I am stirred and gripped by the fact that so many times we allow ourselves to get caught up in looking for and seeking after revelation atop the mountain, expecting revelation to come with glory and majesty, and a voice speaking from heaven concerning Jesus Christ. So many times we allow ourselves to look for revelation at the river where the heavens are opened, the Spirit descends, and where the voice of the Father speaks from heaven concerning His Son.
The truth of the matter—at least for me—is that more often than not this revelation from the Father comes not while on the mountain, nor at the river, but simply in the ordinary, the normal, and perhaps even the seemingly mundane walking with and following Jesus who is the Christ. The revelation which the apostle Peter received of the Father concerning Jesus the Christ came before the mountaintop experience where Jesus was transfigured before he, James and John, and came perhaps even came without experiencing the revelation and voice of the Father at the Jordan River. The mountaintop experience hadn’t yet occurred, and yet Jesus emphatically declared that flesh and blood had not revealed this wonderful truth concerning Jesus Christ, but His Father who was in heaven. While others were allowing themselves to get caught up in the opinions of others concerning the identity of Jesus the Christ—perhaps even some of his fellow disciples—the apostle Peter had received a wonderful and powerful revelation from Jesus the Christ simply while walking with and following Jesus. Perhaps it was when he stepped out of the boat onto the water in the midst of the raging storm, or perhaps it was when such a great catch of fish took place after launching their nets out into the deep. Perhaps it came after watching Jesus feed the five thousand with fives loaves of bread and two fish, or p recaps it came at some other point during his time walking with and following Jesus the Christ. One thing is absolutely certain from this passage, and that is that at some point while the apostle Peter was walking with and following Jesus the Christ, there came a revelation from the Father concerning Jesus the Christ—one that came not by flesh and blood, and one did not originate from the opinions of man. One thing we must settle within our hearts and our spirits is whether we are going to allow ourselves to get caught up in being controlled, dictated by, and swayed by the opinions of man, or whether or not we are going to allow ourselves to simply walk with and follow Jesus, and from that place of walking with and following Jesus we can and will experience a wonderful sense of revelation from the Father. It is absolutely necessary and vital that we understand that more often than not the revelation we are seeking comes not from these extraordinary places of glory and majesty, but they come simply from and by walking with and following Jesus. In fact, I would dare say that the more we walk with and follow Jesus, the more we position ourselves to experience the revelation concerning Jesus, and the more we position ourselves to receive revelation from the Father. I would dare say the greater the degree and measure of our walking with and following Jesus the Christ, the greater the potential for revelation from the Father who is in heaven. There are countless men and women who are abandoning and neglecting revelation from the Father who is in heaven, simply because they are looking for it in all the wrong places. There are countless men and women who want to remain atop the mountain, or even at the river, and they do so simply because they believe that remaining in such a place will guarantee revelation from the Father within their hearts and spirits. They seek to build tabernacles and tents atop the mountain within that place of revelation, not knowing or understanding that such a reality is neither necessary nor prudent. Oh that we would allow ourselves to simply walk with and follow Jesus, and from that place of quiet trust and confidence in Jesus who is the Christ we experience a wonderful and powerful sense of revelation concerning Jesus who is the Christ and Son of the living God.
I absolutely love the revelation that is found concerning Jesus who is both Christ and Lord within the first chapter and a half within this first epistle written by the apostle John. In the first chapter the apostle John declared that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In the opening verse of the second chapter of this epistle we find the apostle John writing that if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. What’s more, is that Jesus Christ is and was the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. This reminds me of two separate occasions within the life and ministry of John the Baptist when he spoke concerning Jesus Christ. In verses twenty-nine through thirty-six of the first chapter of the gospel of John we find the following words: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto Him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for He was before me. And I knew Him not: but that he should be manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew Him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of His disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:29-36). It was John the Baptist who first made the declaration that Jesus Christ came to take away the sins of the world, which is interesting how the apostle John would record it in his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus, and would then in his first epistle emphatically declare that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins: and not only our sins, but for the sins of the whole world. I love what the apostle John goes on to write, for he goes on to echo words which Jesus Himself declared when alone and in private with His disciples. I leave you with the following words which the apostle John wrote concerning concerning our walking with and following Jesus: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keep them 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. He that saith He abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 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, I 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” (1 John 2:3-11).