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On the Epistles of John, Part 10: The Spirit, the Water and the Blood
Writing this first and most significant of his three surviving epistles, the apostle John began describing the love which is in the law in chapter 2 where, speaking of Christ, he wrote: “3 And by this we may know that we know Him, if we would keep His commandments. 4 He saying that he knows Him and not keeping His commandments, he is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5 But he whom would keep His word [God’s Word], truly the love of Yahweh is perfected in him: by this we know that we are in Him.” Following that point, throughout chapters 3 and 4 of this epistle John spoke of the love of Yahweh God which He has for His children, and upheld that love as the reason for which those same children should love one another. So in chapter 3 of the epistle, John also asserted that the love which the children of God have for one another serves as the assurance that they have eternal life, where he wrote: “14 We know that we have passed over from out of death into life, because we love the brethren.” On the surface, John seems to be using the term brother quite loosely, as a fellow man or fellow believer, but that is clearly not the case once it is understood that the Gospel of Christ is the only manner which men have to distinguish the wheat from the tares. So as he continued, he stated that “He not loving [his brother] abides in death.”
As Paul of Tarsus had often attested, there are brethren and there are false brethren. Paul counted his brethren as his “kinsmen according to the flesh” in Romans chapter 9. But in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 he spoke of having faced “perils among false brethren”, and then in Galatians chapter 2 speaking of certain Judaizers, those who would bind men to rituals of the flesh, he called them “false brethren, such who infiltrate to spy out our freedom, which we have in Christ Yahshua, in order that they may enslave us…” Paul had referred to the same in Acts chapter 20 where he warned the elders of Ephesus of the “oppressive wolves [which] shall come in to you, not being sparing of the sheep!” Paul distinguished those wolves from men who would arise from among themselves who may speak distortions, ostensibly creating their own heresies.
Likewise, in his brief epistle the apostle Jude warned that “4 … some men have stolen in, those of old having been written about beforetime for this judgment, godless men, substituting the favor of our God for licentiousness and denying our only Master and Prince, Yahshua Christ.” Historically, there has been little open acceptance of the sort of licentiousness found at Sodom and Gomorrah until recent times, and now both priests and pastors generally and openly accept, and even promote, all sorts of sin, including Sodomy and fornication, in their congregations. So today many churches are even being run by these godless intruders.
Men do not always have the ability to separate the wheat from the tares. The apostles of Christ could not even do so, marveling at Him that He could know what was in men (John 2:24-25). They had even esteemed Judas Iscariot as one of their own, whom Christ had called a devil and who was evidently an Edomite. Later, where Paul professed having struggled with false brethren, it is also evident that he had to give them space until the time when they would reveal themselves. According to the words of Christ in the parable of the sheep and the goats, His angels will distinguish them on sight. But until then, as He also said, the wheat and the tares must grow together until the time of the harvest, even if His angels could tell them apart sooner, so that no wheat would be destroyed along with the tares.
So here in this epistle, the apostle John teaches us that the way to discern who are the children of God and who are the children of the Devil is through the love that the children of God should display by keeping the commandments of the law, and the love that they should have for one another. John repeats this theme several times in this epistle, yet each time he does he adds a new perspective, or a somewhat different explanation which strengthens the overall teaching. So in chapter 2 he explained that those who denied that Yahshua is the Christ are antichrists, and that they are born as antichrists for which reason they deny Him, and further, that “they went out from us, but they were not of us,” indicating that they were never Israelites in the first place. Then in chapter 3 John contrasted those who may sin but who have Christ as a propitiation for their sins, with those who practice or even author sin, who are of the Devil.
In this explanation John had used Cain as an example, and explained that Cain killed his brother because his works were evil. So Cain was not evil because he killed his brother, but rather, Cain killed his brother because he was evil in the first place, as he was “from of the Wicked One” and for that reason, as we read in Genesis 4:7, he was told that “sin lieth at the door”, which his the point of his entry into the world. For that same reason John professed that “with delight he slaughtered him, because his deeds were evil, but those of his brother righteous.” But Cain was not merely doing eveil. There was no sin of which he was accused before he killed his brother. Rather, his deeds were evil because he was intrinsically evil. Ostensibly, Cain also being a devil as Christ had attested in John chapter 8, he was the first in a long line of “false brethren” since Adam was not his true father, something which can be demonstrated in spite of the text of Genesis 4:1, which is a corrupt passage.
Above all other things, according to John here the sole fact that Cain hated his brother and killed him had exposed him as having been spurious. So throughout this epistle John teaches his readers that both love for one’s brother and a keeping of the commandments of God are the way to the Discerning of Spirits, the way by which we may distinguish true brethren from false brethren, those who are born of God and those who are not. So within the context of the wheat and tares in Judaea and the wider Roman world, which are brethren and false brethren, and the narrower context of his example of Cain, John professed that “15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
Now, as we commence with the final chapter of John’s epistle, the apostle continues that same exhibition, and he continues to repeat his central theme while adding further perspectives and additional instruction:
V 1 Each believing that Yahshua is the Christ has been born from of Yahweh, and each loving He who engendered loves [A and the MT insert “also”] he having been engendered by Him.
The Codex Sinaiticus (א) has the last clause to read “that which has been engendered by Him”, and the Greek neuter form appears again in verse 4. Here our text follows the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Vaticanus Graecus 2061 (048) and the Majority Text, which have the masculine gender.
As John had explained earlier in this epistle, not all men are born from of God, and then, not all spirits are from of God, evidently speaking of embodied spirits. John professed in chapter 3 that “9 Each who has been born from of Yahweh does not create wrongdoing, because His seed abides in him, and he is not able to do wrong, because from of Yahweh he has been born. 10 By this are manifest the children of Yahweh and the children of the False Accuser.” Then in chapter 4 he wrote “1 Beloved, do not have trust in every spirit, but scrutinize whether the spirits are from of Yahweh, because many false prophets have gone out into Society. 2 By this you know the Spirit of Yahweh: each spirit which professes that Yahshua Christ has come in the flesh is from of Yahweh, 3 and each spirit which does not profess Yahshua is not from of Yahweh, and this is the Antichrist, whom you have heard that it comes, and is already now in Society. 4 You are from of Yahweh, children, and you have prevailed over them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in Society. 5 They are from of Society: for this reason from of Society they speak and Society hears them.” Next, John evokes the words of Christ which are recorded in John chapter 10 where He said “My sheep hear My voice”, and told His adversaries “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”, where he wrote: “6 We are from of Yahweh: he knowing Yahweh hears us. He who is not from of Yahweh does not hear us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.” In John chapter 8, Christ told those same adversaries that they were not of God, that God was not their father, and they had correctly admitted the implication of those assertions where they replied “We be not born of fornication…”
In those verses from chapters 3 and 4 of this epistle, John is describing a relationship between those born of God, which are the men having an origination from God, the men who had been endowed with a spirit from God, as those having His seed in them. The word translated as engendered here in this opening verse of chapter 5 is begotten in the King James Version, and in Greek it is γεννάω, a verb which is defined by Liddell & Scott in their Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon to mean “of the father, to beget, engender… rarely of the mother, to bring forth…” Here, speaking of God the Father, it refers to the begetting of His children, and Adam was the first son of God (Luke 3:38).
Yet it is clear in Old Testament Scripture that not all men are of Adam, and therefore, as John attests here, not all men are from of God. In Genesis chapter 6, before the flood of Noah, we learn that “4 There were giants [or Nephilim, fallen ones] in the earth in those days”, and the Genesis account does not explain their origin, although Christ did explain it in His parables, especially in Matthew chapter 13, and in the Revelation, in chapter 12. Examining Jude’s warning concerning those certain men who “crept in unawares, those of old having been written about beforetime for this judgment”, it is evident that they also could not have been of Adam. If they were of Adam, they could not have “crept in unawares”.
Furthermore, it is clear in Old Testament Scripture which people were of Adam, as there is a list of the nations descended from Noah in Genesis chapter 10, and those nations, all of them White, can be identified in history and in archaeology. They can be traced through history either to their decline and ultimate demise, or to the White European nations of today, those which have survived history because they had been promised preservation by God. Noah having been perfect in his descent, all of his sons must have had a similar image and likeness, and they were not of different races since God’s law of creation is “kind after kind”. The race-mixing fornication of Adam’s descendants with the Nephilim is the reason why Yahweh God became vexed and destroyed the people in the flood in the first place. So Yahweh punished the descendants of Adam, yet later Scriptures attest that there were still Nephilim, some of them called Rephaim and Anakim and by other names, which had survived the flood (i.e. Genesis 15:19-20, Numbers 13:33).
So where John had described the antichrists, those who would deny that Yahshua is the Christ, he warned that “even now many Antichrists have been born”, where he used the Greek word γίνομαι, a word which Liddell & Scott define to mean in a “Radical sense, to come into being” and then “of persons, to be born”, which is how men come into being. So we see that antichrists are born, but are not of God as John had also said in the very next verse that “They went out from us, but they were not of us…” Then in chapter 4 he explained that such spirits are not from of God, so they must have some other origin. Christ identifies that origin where He told His adversaries, as it is recorded in John chapter 8, that “23 … You are from of those below; I am from of those above. You are from of this Society; I am not from of this Society.” Later in that same chapter, He told them that God was not their Father, and although they denied having been born of fornication, He nevertheless having upheld the assertion, they convicted themselves by admitting the implication in their denial.
Where John spoke of those born of God, he said “1 Look at the sort of love which the Father gave to us, that we should be called children of Yahweh! And we are. For this reason Society does not know us, because it did not know Him.” So the children of God are not His children merely because God called them His children, as John was speaking for and about the children of Israel, and where he had further written “And we are”, he attests that they are called “children of God” because they are children of God. Paul had even told the Japhethite Athenians, who were Ionian Greeks, that they were the children of God, having descended from Adam, in his address at the Areopagus recorded in Acts chapter 17, and the Athenians were certainly not of Israel. So he says further on in the chapter that “9 Each who has been born from of Yahweh does not create wrongdoing, because His seed abides in him,” and in chapter 4 he explains that “each spirit which professes that Yahshua Christ has come in the flesh is from of Yahweh…” while further attesting that “4 You are from of Yahweh, children, and you have prevailed over them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in Society. 5 They are from of Society: for this reason from of Society they speak and Society hears them. 6 We are from of Yahweh: he knowing Yahweh hears us. He who is not from of Yahweh does not hear us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.”
At every turn, the language which John had used clearly elucidates the fact that he is contrasting two genetic races of men, races opposed to one another, one race which originates in God, and one race which does not have its origins from God. So here he is reinforcing all of that language by further speaking both for and about those men who are born, or engendered of God, whose origin is from God, and he is teaching them how to distinguish those who are not. Paul taught very much this same thing, for a somewhat different reason, in chapter 12 of his epistle to the Hebrews where he wrote “8 But if you are without discipline, of which you all have become partakers, then you are bastards, and not sons. 9 Accordingly we have had as disciplinarians our fathers of the flesh and we respect them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of Spirits, and we shall live? ” Yahweh is the Father of all those Spirits which are born from of God, as we have seen here in chapters 3 and 4 of this epistle.
Here John is teaching his readers that they should love what God created, they should love those who are born from of God, and we can trace the Adamic race, and the portion of that race which had come from the ancient children of Israel, through history to see who and where those men are today, even if there are still some tares among them. They are the sons of God, but Christians have no obligation to love the bastards. Men should love what God had created by not committing Sodomy or adultery or fornication, words which describe race-mixing as well as other sins, and those things are all forbidden in His commandments. Men must not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. John will strengthen this teaching with a further revelation as this chapter proceeds.
First, however, John once again professes a relationship between the love of God, the love of brethren, and that same adherence to the commandments in obedience to God:
2 By this we know that we should love the children of Yahweh, when we would love Yahweh and we would keep [B has “we would practice”; 048 has “we keep”; the text follows א, the MT and A which varies slightly] His commandments.
We cannot love our brethren without keeping the commandments found in the laws of Yahweh our God. If one claims to love his brethren, yet he cheats, steals, commits adultery, fornication, sodomy or any other such sins, then as John had written in chapter 2 of this epistle, “4 He saying that he knows Him and not keeping His commandments, he is a liar and the truth is not in him.” Here we must again repeat what Paul had written to the Hebrews: “8 But if you are without discipline, of which you all have become partakers, then you are bastards, and not sons.” Yet rather than discipline, the King James Version in its translation of that verse has chastisement. The Greek word is παιδεία, which is primarily “the whole training and education of children”, from the word παῖς which is a child. Ostensibly, the King James Version translators understood the relationship between punishment for wrongdoing and the education of children. [The Greek word παιδεία is also the root of our English word encyclopedia.]
When the children of Israel had sinned and were being sent off into captivity, Yahweh said “ 2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? ” So we read in chapter 2 of this epistle that “6 He purporting to abide in Him, just as He had walked, thusly he also is obliged to walk.” To walk with Christ is to accept the punishment of Amos 3:2, if indeed one is of the children of Israel, and being corrected, to learn not to commit iniquity, thereby walking with God.
Now John repeats himself once again:
3 For this is the love of Yahweh, that we should keep His commandments: and His commandments are not burdensome!
The word translated as burdensome, βαρύς, is literally heavy in weight, and allegorically it may also mean oppressive, or as it is in the King James Version, grievous. The exclamation evokes the words of Christ found in Matthew chapter 11, where He had exhorted the people of Galilee and He said: “28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In our commentary on the closing verses of John chapter 4, we have already cited Paul’s similar teaching in Romans chapter 13 where he had written: “8 You owe to no one anything, except to love one another: for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” So just as John professes here, Paul had also meant that keeping the commandments is the way to expressing love for one’s brethren. So where he continued, he wrote: “9 Indeed you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not lust, and any other commandment is summarized in this saying, to wit: ‘You shall love him near to you as yourself.’”
In his own epistle, James had called that law the “royal law”, and for good reason. During His final week in Jerusalem, Christ had been asked by a young man, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 22, “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Then in the response we see the importance of this law: “37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” But the law itself, where it is found in Leviticus chapter 19, defines the word neighbor as well as the word brother, as one of “the children of thy people”. Paul uses the Greek word typically translated as neighbor in the next sentence from that same passage of Romans: “10 Love for him near to you who does not practice evil: therefore fulfilling of the law is love.” That may have been translated “Love for the neighbor who does not practice evil”, and we both explain and defend other differences which we have with the popular translations of that passage in our August, 2014 commentary on Romans chapter 13, titled Government as a Punishment from God.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 5 Paul admonished the assembly to expel a certain fornicator, and then went on to state: “11 But presently I have written to you not to associate with any brother if he is being designated a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or abusive, or drunken, or rapacious; not even to eat with such a wretch,” making the further demand of them that “13… ‘you will expel the wicked from amongst yourselves.’” But Paul did not consider such a sinner to be “of the devil” simply for reason that he sinned. Rather, by expelling the sinner from the assembly, Paul likened that action as delivering the sinner to the Devil, to Satan, or the Adversary, while acknowledging that the sinner was of God where he wrote earlier in that same chapter exhorting the assembly to “5 deliver such a wretch to the Adversary, for destruction of the flesh, in order that the Spirit may be preserved in the day of the Prince.” Being a sinner does not make one a child of the Devil, but genetics do, and being “good” does not make one a child of God, but one’s genetics certainly do.
So while Paul in Romans chapter 13 and 1 Corinthians chapter 5 was writing in more detail and at much greater length than John had here, their teachings concerning love and the keeping of the commandments are precisely the same. Christian love is for God and for one’s own brethren, and the expression of that love is in keeping the commandments of God which are found in the law.
Now John turns again to speak of what is born of God:
4 For everything which has been engendered by Yahweh prevails over Society, and this is the victory prevailing over Society: our [048 has “your”] faith.
Here we must state that the Word of God has assured the preservation of His Creation, that His Creation shall prevail according to His Word as He had created it, but bastards and corruptions cannot possibly prevail and shall not prevail. Thus we read, in chapter 3 of the Wisdom of Solomon, that “16 As for the children of adulterers, they shall not come to their perfection, and the seed of an unrighteous bed shall be rooted out.” Then a few verses later, in chapter 4: “3 But the multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not thrive, nor take deep rooting from bastard slips, nor lay any fast foundation.” That which has been born of God shall prevail, for no other reason than the fact that it was born of God.
While Yahweh God created all things, He did not create bastards, or anything else which may be a corruption of His creation. While it is apparent that Yahweh created the angels, although that is not explicitly stated in Scripture, the Nephilim are fallen angels, as Christ explained in Revelation chapter 12. Evidently, they had corrupted the creation of God to a greater extent than what is recorded in Genesis chapters 3 and 6, and therefore Jude describes them in part as having been “of old ordained to this condemnation” and “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day”, likening their sin to that of Sodom and Gomorrah as they had also given “themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh”, the Greek word for strange, which is ἕτερος, meaning different. Some of the descendants of the Nephilim were among the adversaries of Christ, but they were called by other names, and more specifically Edomites, as Esau had also mingled with them.
So all men are not born of God, as John attested earlier in this epistle, in chapters 3 and 4. However those men who are born of God prevail over this society, or world, evidently because, as John had written in chapter 3, “His seed abides in him, and he is not able to do wrong, because from of Yahweh he has been born.” For this reason Paul of Tarsus had also written, in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, that “22 Just as in Adam all die, then in that manner in Christ all [meaning all of Adam] shall be produced alive.” Paul had explained that same thing at greater length in Romans chapter 5, and contrasting the sin of Adam with the mercy of Christ he explained, in part: “18 So then, as that one transgression is for all men [meaning Adam’s descendants] for a sentence of condemnation, in this manner then through one decision of judgment for all men [again, Adam’s descendants] is for a judgment of life.”
As we had explained in our November, 2018 commentary on the opening portion of John chapter 3 and the discussion which Christ had with Nicodemus, titled Origin and Destiny, one’s origin determines one’s destiny, as Christ had said in that chapter that “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man should be born from above, he is not able to see the Kingdom of Yahweh.” Here John has explained what it means to be “born from above”, which is to have been born of God, or as we have translated the verb, engendered by God. The English verb engender is primarily defined by Merriam-Webster as “beget, procreate”.
5 Now [A and the MT want “Now”; the text follows א and 0296, and B which varies in word order] who is he prevailing over Society if not he who believes that Yahshua is the Son of Yahweh?
In chapter 4 of this epistle John had written that “15 He who shall profess that Yahshua is the Son of Yahweh, Yahweh abides in him and he in Yahweh.” There we had explained how these statements do not diminish the fact that all of the children of Adam are also children of Yahweh, but that the promise in Christ was a promise of a specific Son of God, the Son of the 2nd Psalm, the Son destined to rule over creation. Then as we also explained in relation to the belief that Yahshua is the Christ, a just profession of that belief must include an acknowledgment of all of the Old Testament prophecies describing the purpose and nature of the Christ.
Furthermore, Yahshua Christ being the True Vine and all things having been made by Him, as Paul had also professed in Colossians chapter 1, ostensibly He also represents the Tree of Life through which the Adamic man would live forever. So we read in Revelation chapter 2, in the message to the Church at Ephesus, which is evidently the same place where John had written this epistle: “7 He having an ear must hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies! To he who prevails I shall give to him to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of Yahweh.” Later, in chapter 3, we read in the message to the church at Laodicea that: “21 He who prevails I shall give to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also have prevailed and I have sat with My Father on His throne. 22 He having an ear must hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies!” Finally, in Revelation chapter 21: “7 He who prevails shall inherit these things and I shall be a God for him and he shall be a son for Me.”
Here in this epistle we learn in the words of that same John who had recorded the Revelation that he who prevails is he who has been engendered by God. So it is the will of God that His creation found in Adam and his descendants will prevail, simply because He created them.
As it is recorded in John chapter 16, just a short time before His arrest later that same evening, Christ had said to His apostles: “27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and you have believed that I came out from Yahweh.” Then a little further on, “32 Behold, the hour comes and has come that you shall be scattered each to his own affairs and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me! 33 I have spoken these things to you that in Me you should have peace. In Society you have distress, but you must have courage, I have prevailed over Society!”
So each of us, if we are of Adam, have been engendered by God and we have already prevailed, but only because God has prevailed in Christ. So here Christ encouraged His disciples by that very fact, that He has prevailed, and for that reason they shall also prevail.
The apostles had to have courage on account of the assurance of eternal life which they have in Christ. So in the very next verses, at the beginning of John chapter 17, Christ had prayed where we read that “1 Having spoken these things Yahshua then lifting His eyes to heaven said ‘Father, the hour has come. Honor Your Son, that the Son may honor You. 2 Just as You have given to Him authority over all flesh, that all which You have given Him, to them He would give eternal life. 3 And this is the eternal life; that they may know You are the only true God and whom You have sent: Yahshua Christ.’”
But who did the Father give to Christ other than those who are of Adam? All flesh not being the same flesh, as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, and since the term “all flesh” certainly does not include the adversaries of Christ, the antichrists, for consideration as Christians, then we must consider the meaning of the term as it was also used in the words of the prophet Joel, in chapter 2 of his writing where it says “27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” In that passage, “all flesh” is directly related to the sons and daughters of Israel. In Numbers chapter 16, we see another use of the phrase “all flesh” which means only to describe all of the children of Israel, where Yahweh had spoken to Moses and Aaron: “22 And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?”
Repeating verse 5, John wrote: “Now who is he prevailing over Society if not he who believes that Yahshua is the Son of Yahweh?” It is evident that John had written this epistle for the children of God, but that not all men are of God. John wrote this epistle for the man in whom “His seed abides in him”, and it is they to whom sin will not be imputed. John wrote this epistle for those spirits which are from of God, and as he said here in this chapter, he wrote this epistle for those whom God had engendered. So we certainly may assert that it is the Adamic man who prevails, so long as he is of the blood of Adam, and that a belief in Christ is not how the Adamic man prevails, but rather in this age, as John says here, a belief in Christ is a sign that such a man shall indeed prevailed.
Next, John illustrates the importance of the blood, but on account of certain differences among the manuscripts, we shall first present verse 6 in three pieces, as we have translated it as three sentences:
6 This is He having come through water and blood, Yahshua Christ.
The Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Alexandrinus (A) have “6 This is He having come through water and blood and spirit…”; the Codex 0296 has “6 This is He having come through water and spirit and blood…”; our text follows the Codex Vaticanus (B) and the Majority Text, especially considering the reading of 6b, where the Codex Sinaiticus is consistent with our text here. In any event, spirit does not replace blood here in these manuscripts, but is only added to the list, while the Codex Alexandrinus does substitute spirit for blood in 6b..
Continuing the verse:
Not by water only but by water and blood.
Here the Codex Alexandrinus (A) has “Not by water only but by water and spirit.” So only here does this one manuscript replace blood with spirit. Our text follows the Codex Sinaiticus and the Majority Text, and also the Codex Vaticanus, which varies only slightly where it inserts another instance of the preposition translated as by before the word for blood.
According to the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, the reading of the last sentence of verse 6 is not contested in any Greek manuscript predating the 16th century:
And it is the Spirit which testifies, because the Spirit is the Truth.
Of course, that Spirit is the Spirit which comes from God, which cannot be soiled with the lies of men. Yahshua Christ had attested that it is a manifestation of Himself where He said in John chapter 14 that “15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 And I shall ask the Father and He will give to you another advocate, that it would be with you forever, 17 the Spirit of Truth, which Society is not able to receive, because it does not see nor does it know it. You know it, because it abides with you and it is in you. 18 I shall not leave you fatherless: I come to you.” A little further on in that chapter, where Christ continues encouraging His disciples, we read: “25 I have spoken these things to you abiding with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, which the Father shall send in My Name, He shall teach you all things and shall remind you of all things which I have told you.”
So according to the most reliable readings of the ancient manuscripts, 1 John 5:6 should read, according to our translation:
6 This is He having come through water and blood, Yahshua Christ. Not by water only but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifies, because the Spirit is the Truth.
This reading is also consistent with the text of the King James Version, where it is evident that even the Majority Text does not agree with the Codex Alexandrinus in this passage, although they usually do agree elsewhere, and especially in the Gospels. That codex is esteemed to be a significant source of the so-called Byzantine Text Type, which in previous centuries was popularly called the Majority Text, a name which we prefer to maintain. Modern scholars admit that the earliest and most complete representatives of the so-called Byzantine Text Type, the Codices Alexandrinus (A) and Ephraemi Syri (C) are actually mixed with what they identify with books of the so-called Alexandrian Text Type. We are persuaded that all of these designations are problematical.
There are no references to being “born of water” in the Old Testament, so we only see the analogy here and in John chapter 3. But from the earlier passage in the Gospel we can know what it means to be “born of water”, or as it is here, “having come through water”, because Christ Himself explained the meaning where He had first used it, as it is recorded in John chapter 3 when Nicodemus could not understand what is “born from above”, and “5 Yahshua replied: ‘Truly, truly I say to you, if one should not be born from water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh! 6 That which is born from of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born from of the Spirit is Spirit.’” So in that analogy, where it is evident that Christ had purposely employed a parallelism, what is born of water as opposed to what is born of spirit in verse 5 is the same as what is born of flesh as opposed to what is born of spirit in verse 6. So what is “born of water” is that which is born of flesh, most likely referring to the natural process of childbirth. This interpretation of the phrase being directly from the words of Christ, who had first used it, is quite certain.
Furthermore, references to blood in relation to race or birth in the Old Testament are rare, although in the past we have cited Hosea 4:2 as an example, where in Brenton’s translation of the Septuagint we read: “Cursing, and lying, and murder, and theft, and adultery abound in the land, and they mingle blood with blood.” There, it is evident that mingling “blood with blood” is a reference to the result of adultery, and the same word for adultery, the Greek word μοιχεία, certainly was used by Hellenistic Greek and even earlier writers to describe race-mixing. In our March, 2017 commentary on chapter 1 of Paul’s epistle to Titus, titled Purity Spiraling in Apostolic Christianity, we provided relevant examples from Strabo’s Geography and Aristotle’s Animalia.
Yahshua Christ having come through water, meaning the flesh, and through blood, we would esteem the blood to be a reference to the blood of the particular race, the blood of Adam, Abraham, and Israel. The word adam itself is derived from the Hebrew word dam, which means blood (Strong’s # 1818). This also supports, and is supported by, our own translation of John 1:13, and here we shall read the passage starting from verse 12: “12 But as many who received Him, He gave to them the authority which the children of Yahweh are to attain, to those believing in His Name: 13 not those from of mixed origin nor from of desire of the flesh nor from of the will of man, but they who have been born from Yahweh.” So we see the same concept here in John’s epistle, that it was necessary for Christ to also come through the same blood as Israel. Translating that passage in John 1:13, we concluded that John’s use of the term blood in the plural referred to bastards, to people of mixed origin, as the many Edomites who inhabited Judaea at the time of Christ were indeed of mixed origin.
This is not alien to the consciences of the apostles, as Jude described fornication as the going after of different flesh, and as Paul had warned the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 not to commit fornication as their ancient fathers had, using an example from Numbers chapter 25 where the sons of Israel had joined themselves to the daughters of Moab, and suffered greatly for their sin, calling it fornication.
Commenting on that passage from Hosea chapter 4 in our June, 2018 commentary on John 1:13, titled The Sons of God, we said in part:
This statement by Hosea is an obvious reference to race-mixing, since it is in the context of adultery. Although the King James Version is somewhat different, Brenton’s translation is faithful to the Greek of the Septuagint text, which obviously differs somewhat from the Masoretic Text here. However we may translate the last part of Hosea 4:2 from the Hebrew to read: “… and committing adultery they break away and with bloods they touch bloods.” If bloods should be rendered idiomatically as bloodshed here, it is because mixing one’s blood in adultery is essentially murder, it is bloodshed because it is the destruction of one’s own seed.
In John 1:13 the word for blood is plural, and not singular, where the King James Version has blood in the singular and we have mixed origin, because it is plural. So in that same commentary on John 1:13, we explained at length the use of the Hebrew word for blood in the plural as an idiom for bloodshed in the Old Testament. But Hosea 4:2 is an exception because the context is adultery, and we also demonstrated that the idiom did not carry over into the New Testament, although it is found in the Greek of the Septuagint. Then, after discussing minor and more recent manuscript variations in two New Testament passages, we concluded that “Therefore this plural occurrence of αἷμα in John 1:13 is unique in the New Testament.”
Following that, we wrote that:
Thayer has at αἷμα, in part: “Since the first germs of animal life are thought to be in the blood… the word serves to denote generation and origin (in the classics also): Jn. i. 13”, citing this very passage. So as we read here, citing John 1:13 Thayer admits that the reference to blood is a reference to generation and origin, which is precisely our assertion. In the Intermediate edition of their Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell & Scott have at αἷμα, in part: “blood ... III. like Latin sanguis, blood-relationship, kin ... ὁ πρὸς αἷματος one of the blood or race ...”. Likewise in the large 9th edition: “blood ... III. blood-relationship, kin ... blood or origin….” And here in John 1:13 where αἷμα appears in the plural, Thayer and the other lexicographers admitting that even here it refers to origin, we would certainly agree.
However we would assert that since it is also in the plural it must mean to refer to multiple origins, i.e. mixed blood, bloods, as Thayer himself nearly suggests, but where he failed to address the plural form and chose instead to ignore it. Furthermore, we are supported by the usage of the plural at Hosea 4:2 in the Septuagint, where it is speaking of adultery in the context of adulterous race-mixing.
So now we shall further assert, that since John observed the importance of Yahshua Christ’s having come through blood as well as through water and the spirit, it is significant proof of the veracity of our translation of John 1:13, and in turn, the statement in John 1:13 helps us to understand John’s intention here: that by saying blood he is referring to the blood of a particular race. Understanding these passages in context with one another as well as in the context of the overall narrative of Scripture, where the Messiah must be of the lineage of Jacob, Judah and David, our interpretations of each of these passages corroborate one another.
Repeating verse 6:
6 This is He having come through water and blood, Yahshua Christ. Not by water only but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifies, because the Spirit is the Truth.
So we see the significance which John has placed upon not merely the Spirit, as the denominational churches often claim that only the spirit is relevant to a Christian, but to the Spirit, the water and the blood. And if it is important that Christ was “made of a woman, made under the law,” so that He may “redeem them that were under the law,” as Paul had attested in Galatians chapter 4, and if it is just as important that we keep His commandments, as John had proclaimed throughout this epistle, then He shall also keep His commandments, so as we read in Deuteronomy 23:2, “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD”, just as Paul had also contrasted sons and bastards in Hebrews chapter 12. So once again, as we read John 1:13, and as the apostle attests here in this epistle, those who believe in His Name and whom He had come to redeem are “13 not those from of mixed origin nor from of desire of the flesh nor from of the will of man, but they who have been born from Yahweh.”
Only the race of Adam is born from of Yahweh, and the remnant of that race is found in the White nations of European history, as they are the true descendants of the ancient children of Israel, having descended from the seed of Abraham. Therefore it was important for Christ also to be born of that same blood, and we read in the words of Paul of Tarsus in Hebrews chapter 2 that “14 Therefore, since the children have taken part in flesh and blood, He also in like manner took part in the same, that through death He would annul him having the power of death, that is, the False Accuser, 15 and He would release them, as many as whom in fear of death, throughout all of their lives were subject as slaves. 16 For surely not that of messengers has He taken upon Himself, but He has taken upon Himself of the offspring of Abraham, 17 from which He was obliged in all respects to become like the brethren, that He would be a compassionate and faithful high priest of the things pertaining to Yahweh to make a propitiation for the failures of the people. 18 In what He Himself has suffered being tested, He is able to help those being tested.” Where Paul wrote “since the children have taken part in flesh and blood”, it must be understood that they were already children before Christ “was obliged in all respects to become like the brethren”, and therefore they are the same children of Israel found in the Old Testament, sharing His blood, so Christ professed that He came only for them, as He had announced in Matthew chapter 15 that “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, to sheep that were already lost.
Then in the epistle to the Romans Paul wrote: “16 Therefore from of the faith, that in accordance with favor, then the promise is to be certain to all of the offspring, not to that of the law only, but also to that of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all…” So the promise is certain not only to those who kept the law, meaning the Israelites in Judaea, but to all of the offspring of Abraham according to the faith which Paul describes a little further on in the chapter where he spoke of Abraham and said: “18 who contrary to expectation, in expectation believed, for which he would become a father of many nations according to the declaration, ‘Thus your offspring will be.’” The faith of Abraham was the belief of Abraham that God is true, and would keep His promises, that his seed would become many nations.
In Romans chapter 9 Paul further explains that flesh alone would not be sufficient to inherit the promises of Abraham. So just as John had said here, “not water only, but by water and blood”, Paul had written and said: “ 8 … They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth)…”
There being descendants of both Jacob and Esau in Judaea in the first century, and the descendants of Esau being prevalent, Paul explained that just because they could claim to be “children of the flesh”, or physical descendants of Abraham, that is not sufficient. Rather, he asserted that the children of God are the children of the promise, and described the explicit promises made to both Sarah and Rebecca, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau. So continuing he said: “12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
So the birth of water alone is not sufficient for a man to enter the Kingdom of God, but as Christ had told Nicodemus, as it is recorded in John chapter 3, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man should be born from above, he is not able to see the Kingdom of Yahweh.” Only those men born from Adam are born of God, and only they are born from above, and just like Christ Himself, they also are of both the water and the blood. Throughout this entire epistle, John has taught the critical importance of the racial message of the Scriptures.
As for the Spirit, it is the Spirit of God through which He keeps His promises. So we read in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, in chapter 1, where he wrote of Christ “11 In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being preordained according to the purpose of He who accomplishes all things in accordance with the design of His will. 12 For which we are to be in praise of His honor, who before had expectation in the Christ, 13 in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth - the good message of your deliverance - in which also having believed, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, 14 which is a deposit of our inheritance, in regard to redemption of the possession, in praise of His honor.” The design of the will of God was the purpose of the prophets, and the Ephesians also being descended from the ancient Israelites had been preordained as it was prophesied of Israel in the Old Testament, so they were sealed by the Holy Spirit of the promise, the promise of a Messiah for the salvation of Israel. Not only the coming of Christ, but also the preservation of the race which is facilitated in His coming, and which bears witness of the truth of God, and that is the significance of the Spirit, the water and the blood.
Verses 7 and 8 of the chapter should have been one verse:
7 For there are three bearing witness, 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in One.
John is speaking in the present tense, “there are three bearing witness...” The three bearing witness were the children of God scattered abroad who were accepting the Gospel of Christ, which is also a testimony of the Truth of God. They are the Spirit, the Water and the Blood as once they accept Christ, they become one with Him. Therefore, returning to the prayer of Christ in John chapter 17, He spoke of His disciples, praying on their behalf just hours before His imminent persecution and crucifixion, and He said: “11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”
These verses are much longer as they appear in the King James Version. We will speak of that when we continue our commentary on this first epistle of John.