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On the Epistles of John, Part 6: Separating the Wheat
We began our last presentation in this commentary, The Authors of Sin, with a discussion of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares which is found in chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew. That is because here in chapter 3 of the first epistle of John, the apostle teaches his readers in his own words how to separate the wheat from the tares, ostensibly from lessons that he himself had learned while hearing the teachings of Christ. By the time he wrote this epistle, John evidently had many decades of experience contemplating those words and putting them into practice. And although John did not use the same terms which are found in the parable, examining his words here we may notice that in keeping the commandments of Yahweh through the instruction of the Gospel of Christ, and loving one’s own brethren, Christians are afforded the ability both to separate the wheat and to discern the identity of the tares.
Beginning our discussion of this phenomenon in that last presentation, we tarried at length on verse 8 of this chapter, where, paraphrasing our own translation, John had said that “8 He who is creating sin is from of the Devil, since the Devil sins from the beginning. For this the Son of God has been made manifest, in order that He would do away with the works of the Devil.” So he who is creating, authoring, or perhaps merely practicing sin is of the Devil. But John is not telling us that everyone who happens to sin is of the Devil, as all men sin and John himself also tells us in chapter 1 of this epistle that “8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Rather, as John explained in chapter 2 of this epistle, there are children of God who may sin, but when they do sin they have an advocate and a propitiation in Christ. Being children of God, they are certainly not “of the Devil.” It is only the tares that the Devil had planted which are “of the Devil”, and they cannot help to keep themselves from sin.
This we concluded at the end of our last presentation: “The Wheat are the children of God, and the Tares are indeed the children of the Devil, while all those who are not Wheat are Tares, just as there are only sheep and goats out of all the nations. The Tares cannot help but to offend, because their very presence among the sheep is sin against God as He never took credit for having created them, and therefore they must be bastards, and not sons.”
But as we observe from Luke chapter 3, Adam was the son of God, and Luke called him the son of God in spite of his own sin. Yahshua Christ being the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) it is certain that Yahweh knew from the beginning that the man He created would sin and fall from His grace, therefore requiring His redemption. So Yahweh Himself had assumed responsibility for His creation, as He subjected the Adamic man to vanity, having known beforetime what would happen. This is evident in Romans chapter 8 where Paul wrote “18 Therefore I consider that the happenstances of the present time are not of value, looking to the future honor to be revealed to us. 19 Indeed in earnest anticipation the creation awaits the revelation of the sons of Yahweh. 20 To transientness the creation was subjected not willingly, but on account of He who subjected it in expectation 21 that also the creation itself shall be liberated from the bondage of decay into the freedom of the honor of the children of Yahweh.”
Through the agency of the Devil, the entire Adamic creation was subjected to vanity, and the entire Adamic creation shall be liberated from that vanity into eternity. Using the word creation in that passage, Paul was not speaking generally of everything which Yahweh had created, as in subsequent verses he contrasts that creation of which he spoke to many other aspects of the overall creation. So that word creation in Romans chapter 8 is used in a narrow sense, where it speaks of the Adamic man in particular. In that same manner Paul ends that portion of his letter by asking “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Affliction, or strait, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, that ‘for your sake we are put to death the whole day; we are counted as sheep for slaughter.’ 37 But in all of these things we are more than victorious through He who loves us. 38 I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor messengers [or angels], nor magistrates, nor present, nor future, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation will be able to separate us [the Adamic creation] from the love of Yahweh, which is in Christ Yahshua our Prince.” So where Paul says “nor any other creation”, we are assured in the context of verse 20 that there he spoke only of the Adamic creation, of Adam and his descendants, as he was speaking of the children of God. Of these, the children of Israel are those whom Yahweh God foreknew, predestinated, and calls to be conformed to the image of his Son, as Paul had explained in that same passage.
Ostensibly, Paul did not compare other, non-Adamic races of so-called “people” in his list of “any other creation” because they were not created by God. Rather, they are corruptions from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and for that reason all of the goat nations have their destiny in the “fire prepared for the Devil and his angels”, without exception. They are the tares which shall be gathered and thrown into the fire.
As we had also mentioned briefly, Solomon spoke of Yahweh God’s having purposely exposed man to vanity, in Ecclesiastes chapter 1 where he said “12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.” Yet that same Solomon had said in Wisdom chapter 2: “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. 24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.”
Because Christ came to “destroy the works of the devil”, as John had written in verse 8 of this chapter, then Adam must be restored to the life for which he was created, and for that same reason Paul of Tarsus had written, in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, “ 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” So for that very same reason, as we commence where we had left off in this first epistle of John, immediately after making the statement that Christ came to “destroy the works of the devil”, the apostle writes that:
III 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.
And of course this does not mean that men born of Yahweh cannot sin, as the same apostle already informed us in 1 John chapter 1 that we cannot deny having sinned, and if we do, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. As we have also explained, by using a verb which means to create, produce or practice along with the noun for sin, John means to describe something more than the mere act of sinning, for which he may have simply used the verb which describes that action. So, once again paraphrasing our own translation, where John wrote here that “Each who has been born from of God does not create sin” he is referring to something more than a mere sinner, and describing an author or practitioner of sin. Yet where John wrote that “he is not able to sin” he does use the verb ἁμαρτάνω, the common verb which means to sin.
As we also discussed in our last presentation, the tares of the field which were planted by the Devil are those who have descended from the ancient Nephilim, the seed of the serpent which represents the fallen angels which are found in Genesis chapters 3 and 6, and from these are all of the goat nations in the world today. Within the scope of the Old Testament, these tares can be identified as Kenites and Rephaim, but it is also evident that they in turn had mingled with Canaanites, Edomites and many other tribes. As we also discussed, mentioning for example the giants who were the rulers of certain cities outside of Canaan, these Nephilim were not limited to the land of Canaan. However in the Old Testament, the events and circumstances in Canaan are the general subject and scope of the Scriptures, and other nations or regions are mentioned only when there is interaction with the Israelites in Canaan.
Here we should reach the conclusion that the wheat being identified as the race which Yahweh God had created, the Adamic race, so long as their seed abides in them, they are not able to do wrong, because they have been born from of Yahweh. Where John wrote “because His seed abides in him” he is making a clearly racial statement relating to the kind-after-kind Creation of God, and Adam’s own proclamation that his wife was “now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh”, which is the Biblical standard for a legitimate marriage. So likewise it says in the law that “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD”, and Paul of Tarsus said in chapter 12 of his epistle to the Hebrews “8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Paul was speaking of all Israel, addressing Hebrews. All of Israel was to be punished for their iniquity.
All Adamic men are partakers of chastisement in the manner that Solomon had explained where in Ecclesiastes he had described “… this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.” Being exercised, there must be a greater reason for the exercise, regardless of how we sin, or there is no lesson in the exercise and, as Solomon also said, being sarcastic, “14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” But the final lesson of Ecclesiastes is this, which is found in its closing chapter: “13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” So all is not vanity with God, because all of the works of men shall be judged in the end. There is no point in that judgment if men are not alive to see it and realize its outcome.
This opens a door for confusion, because there is a difference between the wider Adamic race and the children of Israel, the only portion of that race who were given the law. But as Paul said in Romans chapter 5, “13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Therefore, although every member of the race has sinned, sin is not imputed where there is no law. Christ came to redeem those who were under the law (Galatians 4:5), the children of Israel who have a propitiation in Him if they do sin (1 John 2:1-2). So there actually is no confusion.
So those of the children of Israel, who are all born of God, cannot sin because although they all sin they all have Christ as a propitiation for sin, so their sins having been remitted, or forgiven, the sins will no longer be imputed. Christ being the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”, He must have also foreseen the forgiveness of the sins of men, as well as the circumstances of their sins. However in spite of that fact, as it says in Daniel chapter 12, “2… many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Of course, only the Adamic race is instilled with the spirit of Yahweh, and resurrection is through that spirit so only they can be resurrected [John 6:63, Romans 8:10]. A life spent in eternity may be disconcerting for those who awake “to shame and everlasting contempt.”
In his Wisdom, Solomon further defined what is “born from above” where he wrote in Wisdom chapter 19, as we would translate the passage: “6 For the whole creation [ὅλη γὰρ ἡ κτίσις] within its own race [ἐν ἰδίῳ γένει] was perfectly formed again from above [πάλιν ἄνωθεν διετυποῦτο], serving its commandments [ὑπηρετοῦσα ταῖς σαῖς ἐπιταγαῖς] in order that Your sons [ἵνα οἱ σοὶ παῖδες] may be kept unharmed [φυλαχθῶσιν ἀβλαβεῖς].” Speaking of what was “formed again from above”, this is also corroborated in the canonical Scriptures, where we read in Isaiah chapter 44: “2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.” The concept is repeated several times in that and in subsequent chapters of Isaiah. Yahweh God created and formed the children of Israel from above as His servant race from the giving of the law at Sinai, and even before that, and according to Solomon they alone are the reformation of the “whole creation”, referring to the Adamic creation. Abraham was called out of an entirely pagan world and into the favor of his Creator for that very purpose.
In any event, out of all of the sons of Adam the children of Israel have a greater promise, for which reason “all Israel shall be saved: as it is written”, and when Paul of Tarsus wrote those words in Romans chapter 11, he must have been citing Isaiah chapter 45 where the Word of God says that “ 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” Thus the Adamic man, so long as his seed remains in him and he is not a bastard, cannot sin because he is born of God. It is “through envy of the Devil” that death came into the world, and therefore every Adamic man and woman shall be restored, as Christ came to destroy the works of the Devil. So in the end, Yahweh will not impute to the Adamic race their sins. Yet all of the others, because they are all goats and ostensibly all tares, are all destined for the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
In 1 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul of Tarsus wrote of a man who was a fornicator and he had instructed the Christian assembly of Corinth to put him out, demanding them “5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” So we see the Spirit of a man is saved apart from sin, as John says here that “because His seed abides in him ... he is not able to sin, because from of Yahweh he has been born.”
Likewise we may recognize the “shame and everlasting contempt” mentioned by Daniel in the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 3, where he is speaking of the foundation of Christ: “12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
Without a doubt, according to the Word of Yahweh all Israel shall be saved, and the entire Adamic race was created to have eternal life, being made in the image of the eternity of Yahweh. This is in spite of the fact that for some, there will be misery as they are resurrected to everlasting contempt, or without any reward once their works have all disappeared in the flames of judgment. In Romans chapters 5 and 8 and in 1 Corinthians chapters 3, 5 and 15 Paul had taught the same things which John teaches here, that all those who are born of God, meaning the descendants of Adam, have eternal life. But sadly even many Identity Christians continue to reject it, not understanding what Christ had meant when He said, in John chapter 17: “28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” No man, and not even the Devil, as Paul had said in Romans chapter 8 and as we have already cited, that not even angels – not even fallen angels – can separate the Adamic creation from the love of Yahweh.
Now John begins to inform his readers as to how to separate the wheat:
10 By this are manifest the children of Yahweh and the children of the False Accuser.
We will pause here in the middle of verse 10.
So here we see that the tares are indeed the children of the Devil, and their having been planted by the Devil, as the accounts go in Genesis chapters 3 and 6, there is no reason to doubt that there are literal, genetic children of the Devil just as there are literal, genetic children of God. When Adam was created, there was a Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil already present in the garden, in Genesis chapter 2, just as in Genesis chapter 6 we read that the Nephilim, where the term is translated as giants, were already in the earth “in those days”. In the Enoch literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls, not only are the Nephilim, or fallen angels, blamed for being The Authors of Sin, it is also said that they sought to corrupt the creation of Yahweh even beyond what we read in Genesis chapter 6.
What follows are some excerpts from The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, by Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr., and Edward Cook, (HarperSanFrancisco, 1996) p246-250.
First, from the scroll identified as 1Q23, Fragments 1 and 6, we read: “[ . . . two hundred] 2 donkeys, two hundred asses, two hundred . . . rams of the] 3 flock, two hundred goats, two hundred [ . . . beast of the] 4 field from every animal, from every [bird . . . ] 5 [ . . . ] for miscegenation [ . . . ]”
While the text is highly fragmented, it is possible to discern what it is describing, just as we read in Genesis chapter 6 that “12… God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”
Then, in another fragment of Enoch literature, from the scroll identified as 4Q531 Fragment 2: “[ . . . ] they defiled [ . . . ] 2 [ . . . they begot] giants and monsters [ . . . ] 3 [ . . . ] they begot, and, behold, all [the earth was corrupted . . . ] 4 [ . . . ] with its blood and by the hand of [ . . . ] 5 [giant's] which did not suffice for them and [ . . . ] 6 [ . . . ] and they were seeking to devour many [ . . . ] 7 [ . . . ] 8 [ . . . ] the monsters attacked it.”
While the number of missing portions in the text are significant, here and in other fragments we can indeed determine the context of what was being said, and piece together enough of the story that we see how it agrees with the Genesis account, and that it even describes sins of these fallen angels far beyond what is evident in Genesis.
But perhaps there is more which is evident in Genesis than what we imagine. In Genesis chapter 2 we read: “18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” So at this point, because Adam would not commit miscegenation with the animals, Yahweh created a proper wife for him, a wife of his own flesh and bone. This event also serves to demonstrate that Adam knew what things Yahweh had created, as opposed to what corruptions may have come from the fallen angels.
Ostensibly, once we understand the sin of the fallen angels as it is described in the Enoch literature, and that it is they who were the authors of sin, and how they sought to corrupt the creation of God, then we can determine that this account in Genesis chapter 2 describes an event which is antithetical to the sin of the fallen angels. The fallen angels sought to corrupt the creation of Yahweh, and Yahweh instructed Adam as to how to keep himself pure and free of that corruption. Yet the serpent would nevertheless succeed in seducing Eve, as it is described in Genesis chapter 3.
We can also know from Genesis what is the sin of both Genesis chapters 3 and 6, and that is because the Adamic men of Genesis chapter 6 were punished for the race-mixing with the Nephilim. While sin was not imputed where there is no law, here there was one law which Yahweh God had given to Adam, found in Genesis chapter 2: “17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Since sin was imputed and punished in both accounts, in chapters 3 and 6, and since this was the only law given to Adam in all the time before the flood, from that as well as from the accounts themselves we can understand that the sin which they had committed was fornication, or race-mixing, in both places.
In 1 John chapter 2, the apostle wrote that “even now many antichrists have been born”, where we see that men are antichrists by virtue of their birth. Here in this chapter John’s words are still in that same context, contrasting the children of God to the many antichrists which had already been born, and here he explains that they are children of the devil where he continues to contrast them to the children of God. After Eve was seduced by the serpent, we read where Yahweh addressed the serpent and said: “15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Then in the Revelation, where Yahshua Christ had revealed the origin and identity of the serpent, we read: “15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood”, and a little further on: “17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” So even in the Revelation, the Scripture describes an account of a struggle between two parties: the seed of the serpent, which are the tares and the goats, and the children of God, the Adamic race, who are also the wheat and the sheep.
Regardless of their origin all men sin, but because the children of Yahweh have a propitiation for sin, and if their seed abides in them they will not be imputed with sin, then it is evident that the Gospel of Christ is not meant to divide those who do not sin from those who might, as if there is anyone but Christ Himself who does not sin. Rather, the Gospel of Christ is meant to divide those who are children of God, sinners or not, from those who are children of the Devil, even if there is no apparent sin which the children of the Devil have committed. Yahshua Christ said to his disciples, while it was still relatively early in His ministry, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” There John informed us that He was speaking of Judas Iscariot, who was evidently an Edomite and not an Israelite, and who certainly did turn out to be a devil, a False Accuser, even though no sin was ascribed to him up to that point where he was called a devil (John 6:71-72). Therefore he was not a devil on account of any sin, and there must be another reason why he was a devil. That reason had to be by the circumstances of his birth. Neither was there any sin ascribed to those whom Christ had described as saying “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils [demons]? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” Yet He would say to them “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).
Because no man can pluck a child of God out of the hands of God, it becomes apparent that a man cannot even pluck himself out of the hands of God by sinning. That is further evident in Isaiah chapter 28, where the children of Judah were described as having made a covenant with death, and the Word of Yahweh said: “18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand”. Likewise we read in Isaiah chapter 25, after the destruction of the enemies of God, that “8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” Then again, in Hosea chapter 13: “ 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” Yahweh intends to destroy death, and for that He will not change His mind.
So the children of Israel are granted mercy, they are forgiven and saved in spite of their sins. But they were not the authors of those sins. As we read in Genesis chapter 15, the land of Canaan was inhabited by Rephaim and Kenites, who descended from the Nephilim or fallen angels, and in addition to the Canaanites, there are several other tribes listed which did not have their descent from Adam, so they had other origins. Then there were others as well, such as the Zuzims and Emims in the proximity of Canaan which are mentioned in Genesis chapter 14.
When the children of Israel invaded the land of Canaan, they were instructed in several places to destroy or drive out all of the previous inhabitants. For example, we read in Numbers chapter 33: “55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” Consequently, as it is recorded in the historical books of Scripture, the children of Israel adopted all of the sins and practices of the devils. For that the children of Israel were ultimately sent into captivity, but here in John the apostle knows, as he had written in his Gospel, that it is they who were to be regathered in Christ, as they were the “children of God scattered abroad”.
Now to finish verse 10 along with verse 11:
All who are not bringing about justice are not from of Yahweh, and he not loving his brother, 11 because this is the message [א and C have “announcement”, ἐπαγγελία, rather than ἀγγελία. The text follows A, B and the MT] which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
In chapter 5 of this epistle, the apostle explains how to love one’s brother, where he wrote: “2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” So if the love of God is to keep His commandments, that is also how men should express love for their brethren: simply by keeping the commandments of God. While a man may add to that with good works of charity, there is no love for one’s brethren apart from keeping the commandments of God.
To keep the commandments is what John means where he speaks of “bringing about justice”, which is righteousness. In the phrase “bringing about justice” the word for justice is δικαιοσύνη, which is often translated as righteousness. This we read in Deuteronomy chapter 6: “24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.” Then likewise in the 119th Psalm: “172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Then finally, in Isaiah chapter 48 where Yahweh lamented that the children of Israel had failed, and He said: “18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.”
So true justice, or righteousness, is to keep the commandments of God, just as Christ had required of those who love Him, where we read in John chapter 14: “15 If ye love me, keep my commandments”, and then a little further on: “21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Then again, in John chapter 15: “10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” But finally, a little further on: “12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Here John also makes the assertion that to love one another is “the message which you have heard from the beginning”. Throughout the Gospel Christ had admonished His followers to love their neighbors, and He even called that admonishment the second greatest commandment of the law, where a lawyer had attempted to try Him and we read in Matthew chapter 22 where he asked Him: “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Then answering: “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 a brother is not merely one who claims to believe, and a neighbor is not merely someone who lives nearby. Paul defined his use of the term brother in Romans chapter 9 where he wrote: “3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites…”, so his brethren are racially related kinsmen of his own flesh, who are Israelites, being of his own nation. We cannot imagine that Paul had used the word for brother or brethren anywhere else with a different definition in mind. This we also learn from the very law Yahshua Christ had cited commanding the children of Israel to love their neighbors, which is only found in the law in Leviticus chapter 19, where we read: “18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” So according to the law, one’s neighbor is one of the “children of thy people” just as Paul’s brother is one of his “kinsmen according to the flesh”. Since Christ Himself had said that He came only for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” for whom the New Covenant was explicitly promised, these commandments still stand with those same meanings, and we cannot imagine that John himself had meant them in any other way.
Here we can separate the wheat and the tares, the wheat being those who love the law of God and seek to keep it, even if it is inevitable that sometimes they shall fail, and those who love their fellows, which should be their own brethren, the men and women of their own race. Christians should have no shame in preferring only those of their own race, as Paul even told the Romans, in chapter 12 of his epistle to them, to “10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another…” Then as Christ Himself had said, in John chapter 10: “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” So ostensibly, according to the apostle, those who resist His commandments and despise their brethren are actually bastards. But regarding Paul’s warning in 2 Timothy chapter 3, perhaps we may add that in today’s time, on account of the prophesied apostasy, even brethren of our own race should be accounted as bastards if they remain in sin unless and until they repent.
In John’s time, it was much more difficult to distinguish wheat and tares, as the Canaanites and Edomites were nearly indistinguishable from Israelites physically. In fact, as it is recorded in John chapter 2, the apostles marveled that Christ could tell them apart, where we read in reference to the Pharisees: “24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” Over the course of history, being driven from the empire after the adoption of Christianity, the Jews went to many other places and mingled their seed with that of the natives, so that they became less White in their appearance. But likewise, once again today it is also difficult to tell apart the wheat and the tares, especially with the relevantly recent increase in race-mixing which is becoming prevalent in today’s society. So just as Christ had warned, we must know men by their fruits: whether or not they love and endeavor to keep His law, and whether or not they love their own supposed brethren. Even Paul of Tarsus wrote of the perils which he suffered at the hands of false brethren (2 Corinthians 11:26) and how they sought to infiltrate the assemblies of Christ in order to corrupt them (Galatians 2:4).
Now John makes an example of one who certainly did hate his brother:
12 Not as Kain who was from of the Wicked One and slaughtered his brother; and with delight he slaughtered him, because his deeds were evil, but those of his brother righteous.
There is no evidence of any prior sin on the part of Cain. But Abel having sacrificed must have been within the bounds of the law. Not that the law was given or written, but when he sacrificed Abel must been been operating within Yahweh’s concept of righteousness. But Cain, sacrificing, must have been transgressing by the very act of sacrifice, as his sacrifice was not accepted.
There is a phrase here, καὶ χάριν τίνος, that the King James and other versions interpret as a question, “And wherefore…?” This is a special use of the word χάρις, where in the definition of the term as it appears in the 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon it is listed under “Special usages” and we read of the Genitive Case phrase τοῦ χάριν that it may mean “for what reason?” But we would assert that here the word appears in the Accusative Case, as the same form was used for either case, and in that very same section of the definition, listed first in that same section, we read: “accusative singular as Adverb, χάριν τινός in any one's favour, for his pleasure, for his sake…” and this is how we chose to translate the phrase here.
Furthermore, while χάρις primarily means “outward grace or favour, beauty, properly of persons or their portraits” but also “in [a] subjective sense, grace or favour felt, whether on the part of the doer or the receiver”, or “in [a] concrete sense, a favour done or returned”, the word is also defined to mean “gratification, delight, τινος in or from a thing”, using the same Genitive form of the pronoun. So our translation is fully supported by the Lexicon in multiple ways. Therefore we would make the assertion that according to John here, as the Greek phrase χάριν τίνος was commonly used, Cain had taken delight in slaughtering Abel.
Here Cain is offered as an example of a man who hated, and therefore murdered, his own brother, but the example also has a deeper purpose as John is contrasting actual, genetic children of God to actual, genetic children of the Devil, while he is also attesting that Cain is a child of the Devil. As John had explained in earlier passages, antichrists are born that way, and the children of God cannot sin if their seed is in them, meaning that they are legitimate descendants of Adam. When they do sin, that does not make them children of the Devil, and when the children of the Devil claim to believe in Christ, He rejects them as devils regardless of their professed belief.
So we must ask whether Cain was truly the brother of Abel. There is no word for half-brother in either Hebrew or Greek. In many places throughout Scripture, men who are clearly half-brothers, such as Ishmael and Isaac, or in the New Testament even Yahshua and His brethren, James, Joses and Jude, are simply called brothers. Yahshua had a different father than His Own brothers, who were born later, yet they were still considered His brothers. In John chapters 8 and 10, Yahshua Christ attested that His adversaries were opposed to Him because they were not His sheep, because God was not their Father, and told them that Cain was their father but that they were not of God. So with all certainty, Cain and Abel had the same mother although they had different fathers, and they were nevertheless considered to be brothers.
As we have explained many times, the one verse in the Bible that suggests that Adam was the father of Cain, Genesis 4:1, has been demonstrated to be a grammatically corrupt verse, and therefore it is not a reliable witness, especially being the only witness. All other witnesses in Scripture refute the assertion that Adam was the genetic father of Cain, even if his having accepted the sin of his wife compelled Adam to have raised Cain. So, as Adam was the apparent father of Cain and raised him as his own son, just as Joseph was the apparent father of Yahshua Christ, and raised him as his own Son. The irony is first noted in a deservedly apocryphal work known as the Protoevangelium of James.
Here in 1 John 3:12, the Greek preposition ἐκ, which denotes source or origin, appears with a noun of the Genitive Case, which is a form that was used to refer to ancestry when it speaks of people in respect to other people. In fact, not even the ἐκ is necessary to make the inference, as in the genealogy of Yahshua Christ given in Luke chapter 3 we see only the Genitive Case denotes ancestry, for example in in Luke 3:34 where we may read: τοῦ Ἰακὼβ τοῦ Ἰσαὰκ τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ τοῦ Θάρα τοῦ Ναχὼρ, which are all proper names accompanied with the Genitive masculine form of the definite article to denote ancestry. The King James adds the word son to each of the appropriate phrases, and therefore we read: “34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor…”
The definitions for the preposition ἐκ provided by Liddell & Scott are split into various groups, the first group being of place, and the second of time, none of which fit the context here. The third group is of origin, and the first definition is “of Material, out of or of which things are made”, followed by “of Parentage” and “of Place of Origin or Birth”. These last are the only ones which do fit the context here, they relate directly to people, and where there is no other descriptive language employed in order to further qualify the meaning then the meaning is that which denotes the origin of people from other people, which describes their ancestry. So the Wicked One was the father of Cain.
We see the same preposition with the same Genitive form of the article and nouns in the construction ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου, which is found in John 8:44 where we read in the King James Version “You are of your father the devil”. In the Septuagint, in Genesis chapter 19 we see the same phrase, ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς, where we read in the King James Version the words “by their father” in the verse which reads “36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.”
In this passage, ἐκ is used along with a Substantive clause that functions as a noun, so τοῦ πονηρου being in the Genitive Case is “of the Wicked One”, signifying a particular individual. Perhaps it could be claimed that it refers to Adam, but then the words would have also been true of Abel, or of Seth and then of all of his descendants, and the context here does not admit the claim. So we must ask, how was Cain “of the Wicked One”? The Devil had no school in the garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat of a tree, rather than a religion or a philosophy. So it cannot be said that Cain was a follower or a student of the Wicked One, and in fact, he killed his brother because he was attempting to please God with his sacrifice, and Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted while that of his brother was accepted. So Cain was not following the Devil, but rather, Cain was trying to be a follower of God, he was seeking to please God, but he could not.
Neither can it be said that he was “of the Wicked One” because he killed his brother. Rather, just the opposite is true, and Cain killed his brother because he was of the Wicked One, which is what John is also saying here, that Cain was of the Wicked One first, and for that reason he slaughtered his brother. As Christ told His adversaries, “Ye do the deeds of your father”, so did Cain. Later in Scripture, Moses killed a man, and David killed a man, and David’s son Absalom had killed his own brother Amnon, and Solomon also had his own brother Adonijah put to death, but none of those men were ever described as being “of the Wicked One” for that or for any other reason. Even the evil Abimelech, who killed seventy of his own brethren, was not said to be “of the Wicked One”, yet Yahweh God used him as a scourge, to punish the sinful men of Shechem (Judges chapter 9).
Rather, in Genesis chapter 4, where Cain had been disappointed because his sacrifice was rejected, Yahweh had challenged him to do good, and said that if he did not do good it was because “sin lieth at the door”. That word for door, pethach (6607), means opening, and as a verb (6605) it was also used of the opening of the womb, as it is in Genesis 29:31 and 30:2. Cain could not do well, because even his entry into the world was sin. So Cain must have been the son of the Wicked One, which is the literal meaning of John’s statement here. He was the first murderer, “a murderer from the beginning”, and for that reason in John chapter 8 Christ had told men who were truly his descendants that they were of their father the devil, by which He was also calling Cain a devil. Cain was a devil because his father was a devil, as kind begets kind and as the tree is known by its fruit.
What it means to be “of the Wicked One” was explained by Christ in His explanation of the parable of the Wheat and the tares. When He gave the parable, He said only that “an enemy had done this” in reaction to the appearance of tares in the field of wheat. But when He explained the parable, where it cannot be assumed that His words are allegories because He wants His disciples to understand what He was saying, and therefore He was not speaking in riddles, He had said that “the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil…” Therefore to be “of the Wicked One” is to be an actual genetic child of the Devil.
The fact that there were descendants of Cain in Jerusalem at the time of Christ is evident in His words in Luke chapter 11 [cf. Matthew chapter 23] where He is recorded as having said to His adversaries: “50… that the blood of all the prophets spilled from the foundation of the Society should be required from this race, 51 from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias who was killed between the altar and the house. Yeah, I say to you, it shall be required from this race!” Only the descendants of Cain could ever be held responsible for the blood of Abel. The Edomite Jews had indeed descended in part from Cain, through the Canaanites who had mixed themselves with the Kenites, and from whom Esau had taken his wives.
Now John makes a statement concerning the world, or society, but he is not really changing the subject:
13 [א and C insert “And”; the text follows A, B and the MT] Do not wonder, [the MT inserts “my”] brethren, if Society hates you.
First, we must state that Christians should in turn hate the world. John had already admonished his readers in chapter 2 of this epistle to “15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The apostle James also had warned his readers, in chapter 4 of his epistle, that “whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” The denominational Christians often claim that “Jesus loves everyone” and they cite John 3:16 where we read “God so loved the world”, but they fail to distinguish between the world which God loves and the world which Christians are instructed to hate. They cannot be one and the same world. But John himself explains the distinction where in 1 John chapter 5 we read: “18 For we know that each who has been born from of Yahweh does not do wrong, rather he born from of Yahweh keeps himself [because he does not commit fornication and therefore maintains his race] and the Evil One does not touch him [they may kill the body, but cannot kill the Adamic spirit]. 19 We know that we are from of Yahweh and the whole Society [or world] lies in the power of the Evil One.”
There is a world which God created, and a world which has been corrupted, and the corrupted world is not the world which He made. But He made the Adamic man, so if we keep ourselves by keeping our seed in us, we cannot commit sin because sin will not be imputed to us – although we shall be rewarded for our works. So understanding the purpose of God, Solomon defined the world of the Scriptures for us, in Wisdom chapter 18 where he wrote “24 For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head.” Only the children of Israel are represented by those four rows of stones in the breastplate of the high priest, so they are the “whole world” according to the Wisdom of Solomon. Yahshua Christ having come only for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”, the ancient Israelites for whom the New Covenant was promised, they are the world which He loves and nothing else matters.
But when Cain slew Abel, he was sent out of the garden and into the Land of Nod, and Nod is a transliteration of a Hebrew word which means wandering. In Scripture, words which mean wandering also having been used as allegories for sin, Cain was sent into the land of sin, the world of the Nephilim among whom his descendants were later found. That is the world which all of the other Adamic nations had also gone off into, having wandered into paganism. That is the world which lies under the power of the Evil One, and that is the world which Christians are told to hate.
But that is also the world which hates Christians, because Christians should not approve of its sins. In his first epistle, the apostle Peter made a similar warning where he wrote: “1 Therefore with Christ suffering in the flesh, you also be equipped with the same mind, because he who suffers in the flesh ceases from wrongdoing, 2 for which no longer in the desires of men, but in the will of Yahweh should he live the remaining time in the flesh. 3 For enough of the time has passed perpetuating the will of the heathens, having walked in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revelries and lawless idolatries. 4 While they are astonished, they blaspheme at your not running together in the same excess profligacy.” The world is astonished at Christians who reject its sins, and for that Christians are hated. We see this very circumstance is manifested all around us today.
But John now offers an assurance:
14 We know that we have passed over from out of death into life, because we love the [א has “our”] brethren. He not loving [C and the MT insert “the brother”, τὸν ἀδελφόν] abides in death.
Of course, it is not that Christians won’t die, but that Christians should be fully confident that dying, they shall live because they have an assurance of eternal life in Christ. Of this same thing Paul of Tarsus had written in Colossians chapter 1 and said: “9 For this reason we also, from the day in which we heard, do not cease from praying and requesting on your behalf that you would be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 to walk worthily of the Prince [or Lord] in all complaisance, in every good deed bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of Yahweh, 11 with all power being strengthened according to the might of His honor for all endurance and long-suffering with joy, 12 being thankful to the Father, who qualifies us for that share of the inheritance of the saints in the light, 13 who has rescued us from the authority of darkness, and instead gave us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption: the dismissal of errors.” These Scriptures from both John and Paul also demonstrate that this world is irredeemable, and that it cannot be salvaged, but that the children of God are guaranteed a place of their own apart from it. It is not that the children of God are in His kingdom while they are here in the earth, but that they are assured that they shall be in His kingdom here on earth. Then where Paul mentioned “every good deed bearing fruit”, those are the deeds of Christians who do love their brethren, and by that we know that we have “passed over from out of death into life”. So in different words, Paul taught the precise same Gospel message which John is teaching here.
Now, returning to those who have no such assurance, John says:
15 Each hating his [B inserts "own"] brother is a murderer [literally "is murderous"], and you know that any murderer [literally "anyone murderous"] does not have eternal life abiding in him [א, C and the MT have “abiding within himself”; the text follows B].
Of the examples we cited earlier, Moses killed the Egyptian in defense of his own people, but not out of hatred. David had Uriah killed on account of his own lust, but not out of hatred. David’s son Absalom had killed his brother not out of hatred, but for vengeance because Amnon had raped his sister Tamar. Solomon killed Adonijah because of Adonijah’s own posturing, that he was a threat to Solomon and aspired to rule as king in his place. Abimelech was punished for what he had done, but not according to the law. Whether these killings were truly justified or not only Yahweh could know, although Scripture has already informed us in part. The evil world and its sin often puts men in predicaments where they may have to kill a brother, and Yahweh always knows the circumstances and the thoughts of the hearts of men. But ostensibly, Cain killed Abel for no other reason than his hatred for Abel, and Yahweh has already deemed that Cain is not justified, and that he truly is a murderer. So this is the true definition of a murderer: a man who hates his brother.
By this we may also separate the wheat, since the tares, from among which are those false brethren about whom the apostles had warned, hate the children of God even while they pretend to love them. The very presence of a wolf in the sheepfold is contrary to the interests of the sheep, and among the commandments of God the children of Israel are continually instructed to be a separate people, and the admonishment is repeated in the New Testament in 1 Peter chapter 2: “9 But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, so that you should proclaim the virtues for which from out of darkness you have been called into the wonder of His light…” A holy and peculiar nation is a separate and distinct nation. The Jew with his incessant promotion of abortion, Sodomy, fornication, egalitarianism, diversity and countless other sins in the name of “love” and the “universal brotherhood of man” is the ultimate murderer, continuing the works of his father.
Yahweh willing, we shall return to this epistle of John in the near future.