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That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life.[1]

The apostle John sets out in sequence the development of a person’s testimony of their salvation and life through Jesus Christ. It begins with that, which we have heard, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and is, as Paul said in his letter to the Romans, the power of God to save. I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.[2]

Thus the gospel of Jesus Christ saves those who hear it and believe it, as Jesus said, but those who hear it and do not believe, now stand condemned as well. And what is the gospel of Jesus Christ but none other than: “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only [begotten] Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s One and Only [begotten] Son.”[3] That is why Jesus Himself is the Apostle of our faith – a Man who has seen God, who has received His gospel from God and confirmed it with signs, wonders and miracles with great perseverance, who Himself walked this Earth as One condemned to die in the arena.

The other apostles also have their gospels, and in the case of the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have all seen Jesus and received their gospel from Jesus with the exception of Peter who received his from the Father.[4] Each had a ministry of signs, wonders and miracles done with great perseverance, each walked this Earth as those who are last in the procession condemned to die in the arena.[5]

For the record, Peter’s gospel was given to him by the Father, as Jesus said, when Peter declared, “You are the Christ, [Messiah] the Son of the living God.”[6] John’s gospel: “God is love.”[7] Mary Magdalene’s gospel: “I have seen the Lord.”[8] Paul’s gospel: “It is by grace you have been saved through faith.”[9] Thomas’ gospel: “I have put my hands into His side.”[10] Whereas, James the Younger had no gospel, but his brother Jude’s gospel, through Enoch, is: “See the Lord is coming…”[11]

A true gospel has the power of God to save those who hear and believe, and the gospels of all true apostles will always point back to Jesus’ gospel for salvation, whereas the so-called ‘gospels’ of the false apostles and false prophets will dilute or point away from the exclusiveness of Jesus’ Person and Name as the source of all salvation for both Jew and Gentile.

Even if they, the false apostles, claim that they have received their gospel from ‘God’, or from an angel of ‘God’, you will find that these false gospels always point to an incompleteness of Jesus’ work of salvation, and as such, ultimately make Jesus Christ out to be a liar, for it is written Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only [begotten] Son to save the world…” and upon that roman cross on Calvary, Jesus said, “It is finished.”

As such, those who deny the truth of Jesus’ testimony and call Him a liar; we need not judge them for the words of Jesus will be their judge and condemnation. Indeed, if Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, and is in fact then a liar, for Jesus claimed to be the Son, then anyone who does not believe in His Name would not experience condemnation as Jesus Himself said, “But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s One and Only [begotten] Son.”

The salvation that comes from hearing and believing the gospel, John said, “we have seen with our eyes,” which means that you yourself will see for yourself the outworking of that salvation in your life, as your mind, your thoughts and your circumstances are changed, and thus, around you is changed. That which may be seen with your eyes can range from seeing your own crippled body healed or your blind eyes opened so that you may see to even seeing the Lord Jesus Christ yourself. What happens to whom, and in what order, depends on God. But a person’s testimony is built up from what he heard to what he has seen, and from seeing comes what he has looked at, denoting a deeper level of seeing, applied as one looking at the scriptures and seeing that which has been happening to you was already written in scripture.

Therein again lays the ‘proof of authenticity’ of the scriptures. If you have seen yourself healed, you will find as you look into scripture that healing comes from Him. If you find yourself delivered of demons, you will see as you look at the scripture, it is written that in His Name demons are driven out. Even if you find yourself or others denying the faith and betraying brothers and sisters, you will find as you look into the scriptures, that it is written: “Many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.”[12]

The testimony is then strengthened by the confirmation of that which is in scripture as it is written, so you see it happening to you and around you. Then it is made complete by “what our hands have touched.” As you lay hands on the sick, they are healed; as you knock on doors, they are opened; as you pick up serpents, no harm comes to you; to even as Thomas testified, “I have touched Him,” or Mary’s testimony, “I have held Him.”

Thus, the development and continuing development of a person’s testimony begins with hearing, seeing, looking and touching, each one bringing a person deeper and richer into a personal experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Father, which is eternal life.[13] Remember now, this is your testimony, not something someone forced upon you. You heard and believed – no one can force you to believe. You saw, you looked and it was your touch, therefore your testimony. It is no wonder John called those who went out from them and then denied that Jesus is the Christ, liars. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ.[14] They are liars because they have denied their own testimony, not that they were preaching a false gospel, but rather that they have denied their own testimony and called themselves a liar. Indeed, no one has accused them nor slandered them, but they themselves have fallen on their own words.

I trust that some, if not all of you, have reached enough maturity to recognise that a false apostle or false prophet is not necessarily a liar. They may be preaching a lie, but if they are preaching with honesty as they were given it, they are not lying though what they say is a lie. In fact, the oddity is this, and the justice: If they are preaching that which they are given for the glory and honour of the one who sent them, Jesus Himself called them a person of truth. For Jesus said, “He who speaks on his own does so to gain honour for himself, but he who works for the honour of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”[15]

As such, a man who works for the glory and honour of the devil who sent him is a man of truth, and therefore cannot remain a son of the devil for long. However, a so-called Christian who speaks on his own to gain honour for himself and not for God, unfortunately is more a son of the devil than the Satanist who works for the honour of Satan who sent him.

As such, when it comes to being able to discern ‘proof of authenticity’, you must understand what makes a man a liar or a man of truth, whether what he says is a lie or the truth. Thus, a man who preaches a false gospel can be more of a man of truth without falsehood, than a man who preaches the gospel of Christ for his own glory. That is why you must practise what Jesus commanded, “Watch!”[16]

For we have been warned through the Book of Daniel, that in these times, “many who are not sincere will join them.”[17] What Jesus called for and commended the church was not great faith, nor zeal, or successfulness, but He commended this, “You have kept My command to endure patiently.”[18] Patient endurance is a test of authenticity that few can counterfeit. Indeed, it is one of the seven signs of a true apostle[19] that is needed to authenticate the other three which can so easily deceive – “signs, wonders and miracles.” The false prophet will deceive those who are condemned, that is those who have not believed in the Name of the One and Only Son of God, with signs, wonders, and miracles, but he himself will be betrayed because of his lack of endurance and patience. However, he cannot and can never afford to be patient because he serves a master who knows that his time is short. We serve the Master who is Eternity personified, whose first characteristic is His patience, for as John said, “God is love,” and Paul wrote, “Love is patient.”[20]

Thus, if you experience delays or slowness of progress despite your efforts, it is merely God testing you for authenticity. I am not speaking of the delays and slowness of progress because of your laziness, which is just the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin and trying to save you from the fate of the lazy and wicked servant.

Not many are privileged to have come to know and to fellowship with a man who fulfils John’s description of an antichrist. You have been given such a privilege that you may learn how to authenticate correctly all things, even those who are supposedly antichrists. It is the authenticity of your faith and your testimony that will help you authenticate and judge what is real and what is counterfeit. Such expertise is needed now, for the church at large lives in fear of the counterfeit. It is good that they have appeared to have heeded Jesus’ words and warnings about false Christs and false prophets, but unfortunately, they did not heed His word enough to then acquire for themselves a working knowledge of that which is true. No one can truly say what a counterfeit is unless he is an expert in the real. That is a simple truth, clear enough to everyone, even the blind.

Thus the church will never lose its fear of counterfeits as long as it refuses to be an expert in the real, whereas the expert on what is real is watchful for the counterfeit, not fearful. After all, did not the Lord Jesus command, “Do not be afraid,”[21] and, “Watch!”? He did not command, “Watch not,” and, “Fear”!

Thus, your training, each of you individually, has been brought to train each of you to be experts in what is real and true and what is counterfeit, so that you are watchful, not fearful. It should therefore be no surprise to you that you are to test each other, watch each other, and test each other’s words and prophecies until you become an expert in recognising the real. And if one of you makes a mistake and so becomes the subject of a test of authenticity, you should repent and the others should forgive, for both have then learned and added to their knowledge of the word and its outworking. Paul wrote: “Love… always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”[22]

Love is made complete by perseverance, not by an enthusiastic out gushing of tears or gifts, which are mere varnishes to cover up fears. If indeed you are authentic, then your love for one another, as Christ loves you, is and must be one of constant protection, trust, hope and perseverance for each other. If you see something you do not know, do not understand, or do not agree, pray in secret between you and the Father, and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit for He will tell you what He has heard the Father say, and also what Jesus has prayed about the situation. That is what your training has always been directing you to, as men and women who are watchful and constant in secret communion with the Father in your prayers, fasting and acts of righteousness; men and women who are slow to speak but quick to agree with the Holy Spirit. For, if you were to devote yourselves or rather your ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit more than the tickle of gossipers, you would know what your brothers and sisters are already facing before they tell you. You would then not need to know what they are thinking or saying, but trust them enough to say, “Amen,” to their secret prayers.

The love that always trusts is the love that can say, “Amen,” to that which they have not heard, not seen, not looked at, nor touched. Against such love, there is no judgment. For you have not heard all that God has said, nor seen Him, or looked at Him or touched Him, yet you believe and love Him and can say, “Amen,” to Him. Then the ability to say, “Amen,” to your brothers’ and sisters’ secret prayers is the love that God has given you that you could trust God without seeing Him, looking at Him and touching Him.

Authenticity of love then, indeed authenticity of life, love, election, courage, goodness, citizenship, perfection, faith, loyalty, is perseverance with that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched. Then, that which we proclaim becomes the word of Life. For that is our testimony for which we are willing to be beheaded for and no one can call us a liar, not even ourselves.

Thus, in the paradox of all things God, an agent of the enemy who adheres to his testimony of what he has heard, seen, looked and touched from the devil for the glory of the devil, has more hope of life for he is indeed a man of truth in whom there is no falsehood. He cannot help but be saved by the Truth Himself. An agent of Satan, who works for his own glory and not Satan’s, however, is not a man of truth, but indeed a true son of Satan. Indeed, even here, there may be some saving grace for such a man, for he is a true son of his father.

But woe, and doubly so to those who are stewards of God, yet work for their own glory and not God’s, who sent them. They are not men of truth and in them are lies. Not only are they expelled from the T/truth, but they are worse off than the sons of Satan, for they have not been true to their Father. It is no wonder that the false prophet and the beast enter the Lake of Sulphur first, 1000 years ahead of Satan himself.

But be encouraged in yourself, for you know if you are working for the glory of He who sent you or whether you are seeking your own glory. In this, no one is your judge, but if we, as Paul said, judged ourselves, we will not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.[23] And as Paul wrote somewhere else, the Lord disciplines us as sons so that we know we are not illegitimates or bastards.[24] Ask then for God’s judgment on your motives. Do you seek God for glory or seek glory for God? God is gracious to the first for He is gracious, but God will honour the latter for He has said, “Those who honour Me, I will honour.”[25] God’s honour is displayed in how He honours those who honour Him. So, having been saved by His grace through faith, go the extra mile. Run the race to win. Seek not glory for yourself, but seek glory for God, for Jesus told us, “I am not seeking glory for Myself, but there is One who seeks it, and He is the Judge.”[26] If the Judge is gracious and merciful to those who are by nature ignorant and sinners, then how much more is He honourable to those who seek glory for Him?

So, be encouraged as the apostle John wrote to us: But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. …As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him.[27] And what does the anointing of the Holy One teach us? That God is seeking glory for Himself, which is why the Holy One who Jesus sent us, is Himself seeking to glorify God. For Jesus said concerning the Holy Spirit, “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.”[28]

If the Holy Spirit Himself, the Holy One, seeks to glorify the One who sent Him, then what should His anointing teach us? Is it not to seek glory for Him who sent us as well? This is then how you will know what is real and what is counterfeit. “He who speaks on his own does so to gain honour for himself, but he who works for the honour of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” So watch, watch for those who seek to edify themselves, glorify themselves, who are quick to praise but even faster to complain and desert when things are slow. Watch for those who, as John warned, “love to be first.”[29]

The authentic anointing will always teach you to seek to honour and glorify He who sent you, whereas the counterfeit will always tempt you to seek honour and glory for yourself. As John said, it will teach you to remain in Him, and what better way to remain in Him than to have eaten His flesh and be found practising His words, being in a state of constant repentance in expectation of His soon arrival. For He who is the Alpha and the Omega, declared firstly, “Repent and believe…” and lastly, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

So, be mature and stand firm. Do not expect those who are fearful and watch not to be able to discern between the real and the counterfeit, but see that for Jesus’ sake, you must be those who fear not and watch, destroying that which is counterfeit and saving that which is real until He arrives over Jerusalem on the day that the Father has chosen for Him. If we endure patiently, then He is faithful to keep us from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world to test those who live on the Earth – The test of authenticity.

Here is a sure saying: The power of God always delivers those who trust in Him, but it is delivered only through those who are trusted by Him.

You trust God, good; but can God trust you like He trusts Jesus and the Holy Spirit? What and where is your testimony? Are you prepared to lose your head for it or will you prove yourself a liar and deny Christ?


 

[1] 1 John 1:1

[2] Romans 1:16

[3] John 3:16-18

[4] Matthew 16:17

[5] the seven signs of an apostle, as given by Paul – Galatians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 12:12

[6] Matthew 16:16

[7] 1 John 4:8

[8] John 20:18; (Mark 16:10-11)

[9] Ephesians 2:8

[10] John 20:27

[11] Jude 1:14

[12] Matthew 24:10

[13] John 17:3

[14] 1 John 2:22

[15] John 7:18

[16] Mark 13:37

[17] Daniel 11:34

[18] Revelation 3:10

[19] 2 Corinthians 12:12

[20] 1 Corinthians 13:4

[21] Luke 12:4-5

[22] 1 Corinthians 13:7

[23] 1 Corinthians 11:31-32

[24] Hebrews 12:5-7

[25] 1 Samuel 2:30

[26] John 8:50

[27] 1 John 2:20-21,27

[28] John 16:14

[29] 3 John 1:9

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