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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


1 John 1:1-3 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 show 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.

This epistle was written by John, a fisherman, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of the apostle James. Like James, he too, was called to be an apostle, and became a faithful and beloved disciple of Jesus Christ. This is a general epistle for Christians of all ages, and not directed toward any specific person or church. John opens this epistle in much the same way as he opened his gospel of Christ. There, by inspiration, he wrote, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God (John 1:1-2). Here the Word was manifested in human form as the Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

The Word (that) was with God the beginning is the same spoken of here as that which was from the beginning - the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. And it was God who spoke of Jesus by saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him (Matt. 17:5). John, along with his brother, James, as well as Peter, were present with Jesus on a high mountain were Jesus was transfigured before them. It was at this time that God spoke these words about His Son, Jesus Christ, from a bright cloud (that) overshadowed them (See Matt. 17:1-5). It was Jesus that brought, into the world, the message of eternal salvation. Jesus was the Messenger, and it was His message, which, John, in obedience to the voice of God, says, we (the apostles) have heard.

The credibility of the apostle John cannot be denied. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, John wrote the gospel of Christ, his three epistles, and the Revelation letter. All of these writings are, indeed, inspired messages of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. The world, including you and me, can rely on the truths contained in these messages of eternal salvation. John says that we have heard the Son of God, that is, he and the other apostles of Christ. He continues to say that, not only have we heard the gospel message of Christ, but also we have seen (Him) with our own eyes, ...(and) we have looked upon (Him), and our hands have handled (touched Him). In all of his recorded messages, and in this epistle in particular, John bears witness of the Word of life - Jesus Christ. God, the Author of eternal salvation, has now fully revealed, and made it known, through His Son. And John, who personally witnessed the establishment of the New Covenant through Christ, makes it known to the world through his inspired writings.

How can anyone not believe and accept these inspired teachings from one, such as John, that witnessed the coming of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Consider this proof found in verse 2 of the lesson text. 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 John witnessed, he has made known to the world, including you and me today.

John continues his affirmation of God's word by telling usThat which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.And, why did John declare God's word to us? So that ye also may have fellowship with us. In reading these gospel messages, John reveals to the world the fellowship that existed between God, His Son, Jesus Christ, and with the apostles chosen by Christ. Before His death, these instructions were given to His apostles: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matt. 28:19-20).

Beginning on the Day of Pentecost, the will of Jesus was carried out, and the church of Christ, His kingdom, was established. On that day, three thousand people that repented and were baptized for the remission of their sins, were added, by God, to His church. Just as on that Day of Pentecost, all men and women today, that hear, believe, and obey God's call to salvation, will also be added to the church of Christ. By doing so, they will have been obedient tothat which was from the beginning, and will enjoy a glorious fellowship in His kingdom, with the apostles, ...with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.