[WRITTEN FROM EPHESUS, A. D. 68.]
I.--THAT which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have contemplated, and our hands have handled, concerning the living Word--(for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and declare to you that life which is eternal, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;) that which we have seen and heard, we declare to you; that you also may have fellowship with us: and our fellowship truly is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you, that your joy may be complete.
5.--Moreover, this is the message which we have heard from him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say, that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and obey not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light; we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
II.--My little chidren, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. Yet, if any one has sinned, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Just One. And he is a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. He who says, I have known him; and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in this man. But whoever keeps his word, truly in this man the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in him. He who says he abides in him, ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.
7.--Brethren, I do not write a new commandment to you; but an old commandment, which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word, which you have heard from the beginning. On the other hand, I write to you a new commandment, which is true concerning him and concerning you. For the darkness is passing away, and th light which is true now shines. He who says he is in the light, and yet hates his brother, is in the darkness till now. He who loves his brother, abides in the light, and there is no stumbling block to him. But he who hates his brother, is in the darkness, and walks in that darkness, and does not know whither he goes; because the darkness has blinded his eyes. Little children, I write to you, because your sins are forgiven you, on account of his name. Fathers, I write to you, because you have known him from the beginning. Young men, I write to you, because you have overcome the wicked one. Young children, I write to you, because you have known the Father. Fathers, I have written to you, because you have known him from the beginning. oung men, I have written to you, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things which are in the world. If any one love the world, the love of the Father is not in hm. 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. Now the world passes away, and th lust of it; but he who does the will of God, abides forever. Young children, it is the last period. And as you have heard that the antichrist comes, so now there are many antichrists; whence you know that it is the last period. They went away from us, but they wer not of us. For, if they had been of us, they would have abode with us; but they went away, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us. But you have an unction from the Holy One, and know all thins. I have not written to you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar, if not he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son, does not acknowledge the Father: he that acknowledgs the Son has the Father.--Therefore, let what you have heard from the beginning, abide in you. If what you have heard from the beginning, abide in you; you also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father: and this is the promise, which he has promised to us, even eternal life. These things I have written to you, concerning them who deceive you; but the unction which you have received from him, abides in you; and you have no need, that any one should teach you, unless as the same unction teaches you concerning all thins, and is truth, and is no lie: and as it has taught you, you will abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and may not be put to shame by him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one who works righteousness, has been begotten by him.
III.--Behold how great love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know him. Beloved, now we are the children of God; but it does not yet appear what we shall be. However, we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him;--that we shall see him as he is. And every one who has this hope in him, purifies himself, even as He is pure. Every one who works sin, works also the transgression of law; for sin is the transgression of law. Moreover, you know that he was manifested, that he might take away our sins;--and in him is no son. Whoever abides in him, does not sin. Whoever sins, has not seen him, neither has known him. Little children, let no one deceive you: he who works righteousness, is righteous, even as He is righteous. He who works sin, is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been begotten by God, does not work sin; because his seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been begotten by God. By this, the children of God are discovered, and th children of the devil: whoever works not righteousness, is not of God, neither he who loves not his brother. For this is the message, which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not being of the wicked one, as Cain was, who slew his brother. And on account of what, did he slay him?--Because his own works were wicked, and his brother's righteous. Do not wonder, my brethren, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed away from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who loves not his brother, abides in death. Every one who hates his brother, is a manslayer; and you know that no manslayer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we have known the love of Christ, because he laid down his life for us; therefore we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Whoever, therefore, has the goods of this world, and sees his brother in need, and yet shuts up his compassion from him, how abides the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue; but in deed, and in truth. For by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. But if our heart condemn us, certainly God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart do not condemn us, we have confidence with God. And whatever we ask, we receive from him; because we keep his commandments, and do the things which are pleasing in his sight. For this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and should love one another as he gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments, abides in Him, and He in him: and by this we know that he abides in us, even by the Spirit, which he has given us.
IV.--Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be from God; because many false prophts are gone forth into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is from God. And every spirit that does not confess Jesus, is not from God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, which you have heard that it comes, and now is in the world already. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because he is greater, who is with you, than he who is with the world. They are of the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world hearkens to them. We are of God: he who knows God, hearkens to us; he who is not of God, hearkens not to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love on another; for love is from God: and every one who loves, has been begotten by God, and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God; for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested to us, that God sent forth his Son, the only begotten, into the world, that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent forth his Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God, at any tme. If we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is made perfect in us. By this we know that we abide in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. Now we have seen, and bear testimony, that the Father has sent forth his Son, to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever will confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we hve known, and belived the love which God has to us. God is love; wherefore, he who abides in love, abides in God, and God in him. By this the love has been perfected in us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment: therefore, he who fears is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If any one say, Indeed I love God, and yet hate his brother, he is a liar: for he who loves not his brother, whom he has seen, how can he love God, whom he has not seen? Moreover, this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God, loves his brother also.
V.--Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ, has been begotten by God; and every one who loves the begetter, loves also the begotten by him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdensome; because every one that is begotten by God, overcomes the world. And this is the victory which overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood, even Jesus the Christ; not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And it is the Spirit who testified; because the Spirit is the truth. Indeed, there are three who bear testimony; the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. Now, this is the testimony of God, which he has testified concerning his Son.--(He who believes on the Son of God, has the testimony in himself. He who believes not God, has made him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony, which God has testified concerning his Son.) Now this is the testimony, that God has given to us eternal life: and this life is in his Son.--He who has the Son, has this life; he who has not the Son of God, has not this life.
13.--These things I have written to you, that you may know that you have eternal life;--that you may continue to believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence which we have with him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he hearkens to us. And if we know that he hearkens to us, concerning whatever we ask; we know that we shall obtain the petitions, which we have asked from him. If any one see his brother sinning a sin, not to death, let him ask, and he will grant to him life, for those who sin not to death. There is a sin to death. I do not say concerning it, that you should ask. All unrighteousness is sin: but there is a sin not to death. We know that whoever has been begotten by God, does not sin; but he who is begotten by God, guards himself, and the wicked one does not lay hold on him.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies under the wicked one. Moreover, we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, that we might know him that is true; and we are in him that is true,--in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and the eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
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