Updated: Apr 1
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See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
This is the Epistle reading selection for the third Sunday of Easter, Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This reading will follow the mandatory Acts reading, which says, “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus.” That will be followed by a Psalm 4 reading, which sings, “Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see better times!” Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.” All of these will accompany the Gospel reading from Luke, which has Jesus ask, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?”
This reading begins with the capitalized Greek word “Idete.” The root verb is “horaó,” but this word is transformed into the aorist active imperative, 2nd person, where it becomes more than “See.” On the most basic terms, the word demands its own exclamation point, as “Behold!” The word also means, “Observe, Perceive, Recognize; [intransitive] Make sure, See to; [passive] and Appear,” all of which can be equally translated, as: “Perceive!; Observe!; Recognize!; Make sure!; or See to! The capitalization elevates the meaning of this word to a divine level of “Seeing,” where John was not speaking about physical eyes, but Spiritual perception. It is imperative to grasp this urgency, in order to understand what follows, as the second person means is John directly addressing “you,” individually and personally.
From that one introductory word, it is that enhanced element of Spiritual vision that becomes “what love the Father has given us.” When “love” [from “agapēn”] is understood to be “love, goodwill, benevolence, esteem” (Strong’s Usage), that is something impossible to see with human eyes, as it is an experience that is all-encompassing one. John then said this state of “love” is a gift from the “Father,” which cannot be thought to mean Yahweh is the Father of the whole wide world. Yahweh can only become the “Father” when one has become His Son [Jesus resurrected within one’s flesh]; and, having Yahweh as one’s “Father” means one’s soul has married Yahweh, such that the gift of His Holy Spirit becomes how one defines “love.” That "love" cannot be known by anyone who has not reached that state of commitment to Yahweh.
This marriage relationship with Yahweh is then stated by John to be recognized that “we should be called children of God.” Written in the aorist passive subjunctive (1st person plural), John was saying more than him (“we”) had met the conditions necessary to bring about something wanted or expected. By stating “we should be called,” this says a relationship with the “Father” and His gift of relationship came about by actions in the past. That means one must desire to marry Yahweh and do everything necessary to bring about that union, in order that one can truly claim to be a child of God.
The Greek word “klēthōmen” is that stated in the aorist passive subjunctive (1st person plural) form, which stems from “kaleó.” That root means, “(a) I call, summon, invite, (b) I call, name.” This becomes a double-edged statement, where the expectation is for a “name” to be “given,” by which one can be “called.” Yahweh “calls” one to be married [His proposal that is one’s “call”] and once married one takes on the “name” of that marriage. Both the “call” and the “name” become synonymous at that point; so, John wrote, “that is what we are.”
That affirmation is begun by the word “kai,” which always denotes importance to be found in the words following that marker word. In reality, there is only one Greek word following the word “kai,” which is “esmen.” That word is the present active indicative form of “eimi,” which states, “I am, I exist.” Thus, John wrote, importantly, “we are” those who truly exist as children of Yahweh; and, it was so important that one word is followed by an exclamation point [that beginning verse 1, with “Idete”].
The presentation by the NRSV that begins a new sentence, saying “The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him” is wrong. Instead of beginning a new sentence, the word following the exclamation point is “dia,” which addresses this state of being as the “children of Yahweh.” That is not a “reason” but “by the instrumentality of” (Strong’s Usage), which is not observable outwardly. This means the two word segment beginning an explanation that clearly avows “we are!” that cannot be proved through a DNA test proving parentage. Therefore, “dia touto” says, “by the instrumentality of this” or “through this” that “we know!” It says no one else knows “this.”
This is why John then wrote, “the world does not know us.” There, the Greek word “kosmos” becomes a declaration of the “ordered system” (HELPS Word-studies) by which “names” are catalogued and listed. There is no registry where one goes in order to apply for relationship with Yahweh. One can only take on His “name” through marriage or rebirth.
John then stated why this was not something possible for those unmarried Spiritually, stating it as “because [the world] did not know him.” This is both a statement that Yahweh had been the One God of the children of Israel, with the “world” being those Gentiles who believed in other gods; while also being a statement that says the children of Israel, who profess belief in Yahweh, cannot make this claim of knowing Yahweh, nor affirm the claims of others, as they never merged their souls with God’s Holy Spirit and became His wives … in His name. This statement then becomes the “why” one needs to see the capitalization of “Idete” as a divine ability to know Yahweh Spiritually, in intimate relationship.
After having stated, “what love the Father has given us,” John begins his second verse with the single word, separated by a comma mark, “Agapētoi.” Again, this simply appears as if John is pandering to a reading audience, by being extra friendly and calling everyone blanketly “Beloved.” The capitalization has to be seen as a statement of divine meaning, which relates back, directly, to those who are children of Yahweh, who have been given His love. As a one-word statement of divine power, John is not addressing anyone in the world who does not know true children of Yahweh; he is making a statement about all who are His children. They are “Beloved.”
In the usage of the Greek word “agapétos,” from which “Agapētoi” comes [plural number], HELPS Word-studies writes this about the root verb: “properly, divinely-loved; beloved ("loved by God"), i.e. personally experiencing God's "agapē-love."’ This confirms that John was speaking as one of those who were all related through a Spiritual marriage to Yahweh.
John then followed the comma mark by writing, “we are God's children now.” Here, John has repeated use of the word “tekna,” which has been translated as “children.” The singular “teknon” means “child,” but can also be used to denote “descendant, inhabitant.” Here, the repetition becomes worthwhile to see how “inhabitant” becomes a statement where those like John have become temples unto the Lord, such that “God inhabits” them. Again, “Theou” and ”esmen” are repeated also, such that one’s [the collective individually] soul [the natural inhabitant of a body of flesh] has become united with “God,” so that state of being [“we exist”] is as a temple unto Yahweh.
Where the NRSV has John translated as saying next: “what we will be has not yet been revealed,” this series of words is begun by the word “kai,” marking this as an important statement to grasp. Here, the literal translation of the Greek written says, “not yet has been revealed what we will be.” In that, the “kai” marks “not yet” as an important timing, where the future tense of “esometha” says the future is more important than the present. As a statement of future “being” or “existence,” being a “child of God” is then “a manifestation, a knowing,” or something “made clear” as a “revelation” that is not possible in “the world.” So, God cannot be known and seen by anyone other than those to whom He is married. This is important to realize as the work that must be done first, before one can manifest as one with God outside one’s flesh.
Because this talk of being “children of God” has been reduced to the third person singular, as “he” or “him,” it becomes easy for one to hear the words of John be read aloud in a Christian church setting and drift into visions of “he” and “him” being the appearance of Jesus. This becomes a clear possibility when John is then shown to have written, “What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” Instead of one seeing this as the presence of Yahweh within one’s being, in the Easter season it becomes easy to expect that John was then talking about Jesus returning.
To see the flaw of that, the word translated as “he is revealed” is “phanerōthē.” This is the aorist subjunctive passive (3rd person singular), where the expectation makes this be a statement saying, “he should be made manifest.” Still, the use of “he,” when seen now as the Holy Spirit of Yahweh as the expectation of marriage to Him, this makes more sense as “it should be made manifest.” “When” that manifestation takes place [“ean” as “the condition of “if”], the expectation as a result will be “like him we will be.” There is the place where Jesus comes in, where the word translated as “like” needs closer inspection.
The Greek word “homoioi” [from “homoios”] means, “the same as” (Strong’s definition), but implies “like, similar to, resembling, of equal rank” in usage. This then says one does not “act like Jesus” [“like him we will be”] but one “will be of equal rank to him,” as the same Holy Spirit of Yahweh will lead all His children to act “similar to him.” This then means, “we will see him as he is” is a statement of “witnessing,” which all the Apostles speak of, where “seeing” [from “opsometha”] is (again) not a physical sense from eyes seeing, but a Spiritual presence that allows one to know, experience, perceive everything about “being” Jesus in the flesh. That knowledge is because the same rank will have come over one’s flesh, through marriage to Yahweh. All will be His Son reborn.
This then leads John’s letter to state, “And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” In this new verse , there is importance noted by it beginning with the word “kai.” That importance directly attaches to “all who have this” [literally “all this having,” from “pas ho echōn”], with the word “echōn” necessary to see as a two-way meaning, where “this” [“ho”] is the Holy Spirit. There, “possession” is a better way to read this meaning. While one’s flesh will “have” this presence within, it is the inner presence that really “possesses” one’s flesh, as one in submission of self-will to Yahweh. It is that complete commitment to Yahweh that makes one act “similar to” Jesus.
The word “hope” is less about promise, as the word written, “elpida,” is repeating the “should” subjunctive of “expectation” that comes with “trust” and “confidence” [all viable translations]. It is element of “hope” that is regularly misunderstood, as it is commonly used as an expression of a wish and desire, as a “what if” one would love to come true. John is talking about the “hope” Yahweh has in His servants, who like Jesus, take “hope” into the world for those lost to cling to.
This then brings about the element of “purity,” such that the presence of the Holy Spirit is what “purifies” [“hagnizei”] the soul [stated as “himself” – “heauton”]. This marriage to Yahweh is then how one’s past sins are erased, through the marriage vows of righteousness, willingly in submission to God. It is that “purification” that then duplicates Jesus in the flesh, as one will have been made “just as he is pure.”
John then wrote in verse 4: “Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” In this run-on translation, the capitalization of the word “pas” is overlooked. This word was stated prior, in the lower case, as “all who have this hope.” The capitalization brings about the divine meaning that “All” or “Whole” or “Every kind of” is relative to humanity, or human beings of flesh and bones. “All” are born of mortality and death, so “All” are born with it known they will be tempted to “sin,” and “sin” will make “All” feel the guilt of God's judgment in their souls. Thus, the Greek text written leads to a comma mark, after stating “All this [those saved] committing that sin,” saying all who marry Yahweh will have a debt to wipe clean through marriage.
Following the comma mark is the word “kai,” which is not translated by the NRSV. This word then denotes the importance of realizing “that” [“sin” means “lawlessness”]. In that, the word “anomian” means “lawlessness,” but also “inequity, disobedience, and sin.” This must then be realized as a statement about Jews [or Israelites], as those are the only ones committed by birth to memorize [without instruction how to follow] Mosaic Laws. There can be no “lawlessness” for Gentiles who are never made to commit to the Law of God. Still, “All” of “Every kind” will acts naturally in a “lawless” manner, because none will have their souls married to Yahweh and thus led by the Holy Spirit to purity.
Verse 5 also begins with the word “kai,” but that is ignored in the NRSV translation that states, “You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” The importance marked is what “you know” [from “oidate”]. There, the second person plural speaks for what “All” who have married Yahweh “know, perceive, or appreciate." As sinners, no matter what walk of life one comes from, the presence of the Holy Spirit is “known” to have the effect of “taking away sins”
In that designation “that he was revealed” the Greek word “ekeinos” is written, which has been translated as “he.” In reality, that word means “that, that one there, yonder,” which better suits a presence that becomes “manifested” or “made known” [“ephanerōthē” translated as “revealed”], rather than a “he.” In this presence, one’s knowledge of “sin” becomes “apparent,” felt as guilt, such that the manifestation of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit lets one realize a need for one’s soul to be “raised” or “lifted up” so desires that lead to one’s sins “might be removed.”
Following a semi-colon at that point of realization, John again wrote the word “kai,” which shows the importance necessary to be grasped in his writing, “sin in him not there is” (which the NRSV translates as “in him there is no sin”). In both translations (literal or paraphrased), focus must be placed on the preposition “en,” which means “in.” Everything written prior is leading one to see the marriage of a soul to Yahweh brings about the presence IN one’s being that is the Holy Spirit. It is the purity that comes from that presence that allows Yahweh to take up residence in one’s heart, so one’s brain (a fleshy organ) is guided by the Christ Mind, so a soul-body being becomes “in him” as Jesus reborn in the flesh. Thus, there cannot be any “sin in” Father, Son, or the Holy Spirit.
In verse 6, John again wrote the lower case spelling of “pas,” which means “all, whole, every kind of.” This means the paraphrase that says, “No one who abides in him sins” is wrong. The truth stated says, “all who abide in the Trinity [where “he” is the masculinity of the Spiritual, which overtakes the sinners of the physical]” finds that he or she [a body of physical flesh whose soul has married Yahweh] “not sins.” This defines “sin” as “not” being filled with the Holy Spirit, while also defining one who is so filled as one who will “not sin.”
That is then stated by John in the following, which says, “no one who sins has either seen him or known him.” In that, the Greek word “heōraken” must not [once more] be read as something visible to physical eyes. The word more applicable in translation becomes “experiences, perceives, or discerns.” The word “egnōken” is translated as “known,” which must be understood to be less about having been educated and be read as “come to know,” through a presence “realized” and “ascertained” personally. This becomes the basic difference between “belief” and “faith” [both possible from the same word “pistis”], where “knowing” is weakly relative to brain power, while strongly relative to soul experience.
In the final verse of this reading, John capitalized the word “Teknia,” which is translated as “Little children.” While this makes John appear fatherly as he wrote, the elevation of that word to a divine level of understanding comes from knowing that address was a term of “Endearment.” This makes “Teknia” be parallel to the earlier stated word, “Agapētoi” or “Beloved.” While the word “Teknia” indeed means “Children,” it is stated on a level of love, as the “Children” of the “Father.” This one-word statement [separated by a comma mark] must be read in that manner.
When the NRSV follows this address with the words, “let no one deceive you,” this presents some sense of insecurity, as a warning, which is not stated. Instead, John wrote, “planatō,” which is the present active imperative, becoming a bold statement that says, “no one leads you astray.”
Once that assured state of being is recognized, the semi-colon that follows then introduces one to John affirming, “this practicing that righteousness , righteous is.” Here, the word “poiōn,” is written, which has been translated as “practicing.” The word would best be translated as “acting,” since this reading is presented during the third Sunday of Easter, when mandatory readings of ACTS are read. John affirmed those “acting righteous” are just that, because “acting righteous” can only come through the power of the Holy Spirit.
John then ended this selection of verses by making the comparison to those who “act righteous” as being “just as he righteous is.” This becomes a statement of being [“estin”], such that one can only “act righteous” when one “is” the resurrection of Jesus in the flesh. One becomes “righteous” by being Jesus reborn.
As a reading selection for the third Sunday in Easter, the whole season of Easter must be realized as the time to “practice being righteous.” The Acts of the Apostles will be the expectation once Pentecost has passed. One needs to be submitting oneself to Yahweh as a suitable bride-to-be, with prayers to lead one to do righteous acts that forego sin. The Easter season becomes like the commissions assigned by Jesus, during his ministry. That becomes when one was sent out alone or in pairs to practice ministry [internship].