1 John 5:1-6 - Conquering the world requires faith from the Spirit

Updated: Apr 16

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Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.


This is the Epistle selection to be read aloud on the sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B, according to the lectionary of the Episcopal Church. It will follow the mandatory reading from the Acts of the Apostles (chapter 10 today), which states, “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.” That will be followed by the singing of Psalm 98, with the lyric that praises, “With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy before the King, the Lord.” Then, a reading from John’s Gospel will tell of Jesus saying, “I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.”

The problem with reading all Epistles in the New Testament is they all are written in divine language, as the Word of Yahweh. Divine language is not how mere mortals read words on paper [or parchment]. In whatever languages human beings read [and this Epistle was not written in English], they always read in human syntax, missing the divinity that stares them in the face, but their brains simply will not allow them to see it. A perfect example of this is in verse 1, where reading “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ” makes all Christians run out the doors of the church proclaiming, “I believe Jesus is the Christ!” That is not the intent of what John wrote.

The Greek text written says, “Pas ho pisteuōn hoti Iēsous estin ho Christos”. In that segment of eight words [ended with a comma mark] there are three capitalized words. ALL capitalized words bear divine essence, which raises them well above the human plane of understanding.

For example, a human plane of understanding “Iēsous” thinks, “Wow! That is the name of “Jesus”!” That does not take into consideration that “Iēsous” is the name Yahweh sent Gabriel to tell Mary, “This will be his name,” with the reason being the name is purposefully chosen by God, intended on leading one to understand, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:32) The name “Jesus” means “Yah[weh] Will Save” or “Yah[weh] Saves.” It is rooted in the Hebrew word "yeshuah," meaning "salvation." Human brains simply cannot [and will not] read “Jesus” and interpret that as a statement saying, “Yahweh Saves.”

With that said, the first word is a capitalized “Pas,” which elevates the meaning of the lower case “pas,” which simply means “all, every, the whole, every kind of.” In a segment of words that are seen to include “Iēsous “and “Christos,” the elevation to a divine level of meaning must equate “All” or “Every” to those who are reborn as “Jesus,” thereby “Saved by Yahweh,” having become the “Christ,” meaning another “Anointed one” of God. By seeing that divine link between capitalized words set together in one group of words, one is seeing a divine principle being stated, as a Holy Law that effects “All” equally.

Now, the operative word that links to “Every” and “All” is “pisteuōn,” which Strong’s defines as the participle of “pisteuó,” meaning “believing, having faith in, or trusting in.” Because “Pas” is divinely elevated, one should choose the higher meaning of the choices available, such that faith is greater than belief or trust [although all are valued]. When “ho” is translated as “that,” then “Pas ho pisteuōn” says, “All that having faith in.”

That initial assessment then places focus on the word “hoti,” which means “that” or “because.” That word then connects to the word “Iēsous,” which is clearly seen as the name of Yahweh’s Son, whose name means “Yahweh Saves,” meaning “that” is a weak translation connecting “having faith in” and “Jesus.” The better choice would be to give reason to “having faith in” Yahweh, such that “because” is an elevation of meaning that connects the divine “All” to the divine “Yah[weh] Saves.” Realizing that makes the segment now say, “All that having faith in because Jesus.” That means Jesus is the cause of faith, not the direction of where one’s belief is placed.

It is most important to realize that prophecy given to Mary about her pregnancy, where Jesus was foretold to be “the Son of the Most High.” In that, Luke wrote the two capitalized words “Huios Hypsistou,” which translates as “Son of the Highest” or “Most High.” He who is “Highest” is Yahweh, meaning “Jesus” would be called the “Son” of God. To put one’s faith in anything lower than the “Highest” is a travesty, as a rejection of the name that means “Yah[weh] Will Save.” If one claims to put one’s belief in Jesus, then one has wiped clean all faith in Yahweh. Thus, the meaning of what is written by John here states, “All that having faith in [YAHWEH] because Jesus” is a profession of true faith, where faith in Yahweh is based on the Son who saves.

This is where the most important connector word comes in – “estin” – as that word is the “third-person singular present active indicative unstressed enclitic of εἰμί (eimí)” [Wiktionary], which is a clear statement of “existence” or “being.” It is at the root of the weasel Bill Clinton making famous the answer to a legal question, “It depends on what the definition of “is” is.” By being a snake in the grass, one reads this word as linking “Iēsous” only to “Christos.” That ignores the fact that faith can only be a statement about one’s own being, such that “estin” connects to “Pas“ and “Iēsous,” meaning “All that having faith in because Jesus is.” One’s elevation of belief to faith means one IS Jesus; and, that is how one knows "Yahweh Saves," “because” one has been reborn as His Son.

When one “Jesus is,” “that” [from “ho”] state of “being” is what also designates one as the “Christ,” as an “Anointed one” of Yahweh. While it is also true that "Jesus is the Christ," it is impossible to do more than profess belief in something that is impossible to know for oneself. Belief is thinking something happens to others as one has personally experienced something to happen to oneself. Faith, however, is knowing oneself; so when one knows oneself is Jesus reborn, then one also knows being reborn as Jesus makes one equally an "Anointed one" by Yahweh. Being that one ["Jesus"] brings about that other ["Christ"].

That segment of words is separated from the rest of verse 1 by a comma mark, which is not shown in the NRSV translation. They make it a run-on that says, “has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child.” That gives the impression that “Jesus Christ” [not a proper name] “has been born of God.” While it is true that Jesus was the creation of Yahweh in the human woman Mary, that further misleads “All” who would likewise be “born of God,” making mere human beings be incapable of anything more than believing “Jesus Christ has been born of God.”

In reality, the second, third, and fourth segments of words in verse 1 say, “ek tou Theou gegennētai , kai pas ho agapōn ton gennēsanta , agapa <kai> ton gegennēmenon ex autou” . These translate to state: “from out of who of God has been born , kai all that loving this having been born , loves <kai> having been born from out of oneself”. By seeing this literal translation, there is nothing that directly states “parent” and there is nothing that directly states “child.” That is paraphrase for the repetition that states, “has been born [of God],” “having been born [indirectly implying of God]”, and “[oneself] having been born [again indirectly implying of God].”

The only ‘parent’ can then only be “God,” and the only “child” is “all” “from out of who of God has been born” … “kai loving this” birth." This means verse 1 states first “All” who have been reborn as “Jesus,” as a duplication as the “Christ,” they “all” have been also “born of God.” This birth brings a state of “love” that encompasses them “all,” which is relative to “having been born” as Sons of God [all human genders the same].

When verse 2 is then translated to say, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments,” here the word “tekna” does state “children,” which is now a statement of those “born of God,” as “Jesus,” as the Christ,” from which true faith comes. The words “en toutō ginōskomen” [“in this we know”] says that “all” who are “in” Yahweh and Yahweh “in” them – “from birth of God” – they receive the knowledge “of God,” from which “love” flows [from “agapōmen” meaning “we love”]. Therefore, “love of God” is what relates “all” as His “children.”

The aspect of “when we love God” actually means, “when this of God we love,” which says “love” is not a touchy-feeling emotion built from physical limits, but “God’s love.” That was explained by John in the fourth chapter of his first epistle. Thus, after a comma mark and the presence of the word “kai,” the importance that comes from God’s love is “the commandments of him are kept.”

There is nothing stating obedience, as if an external projection of a human being displays love of God by complying with an external written Law [Mosaic “Commandments”]. Instead, this says when one [or “All”] are born of God and filled with His love, then one loves to do whatever Yahweh suggests. So, whatever He orders [from “entolas”] one gladly does.

In verse 3, the NRSV translates: “For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” This gives a false impression of that which is written. The verse simply repeats that one’s “love of God,” which is the presence of God’s love” within, is so overwhelmingly powerful that one will do nothing to love that state of being. Doing what Yahweh says to do is then easily done, out of “love” and fear of loving “God’s love.”

When the verse then adds [following a semi-colon and a “kia”] importance is noted as this: doing what Yahweh asks one to do is not a burden. There, the Greek word “barus” means “heavy, weighty, burdensome,” implying “oppressive.” John says none of that is present when Yahweh is married to one’s soul and Jesus is living within, as a new body of flesh that has been Anointed by God.

Verse 4 is then where John stated, “for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.” Again, the separating of that into one and a half sentences makes what John wrote more difficult to fully grasp.

The translation that says “whatever” is completely wrong, as it demonstrates a laziness to express the truth told. The Greek text says, “hoti pan to gegennēmenon ek to Theou nika ton kosmon”. That literally states: “because all this having been born from out of that them of God overcomes this world”. To reduce “all this [stated prior in verses 1-3] having been born from out of that them” as “whatever” is an abject failure to serve Scripture well.

To say those “born of God conquers the world,” this must be recognized as a statement that the sins of “the world” will be “overcome.” That sense of victory is then relative to one’s having let Yahweh lead their lives, as Jesus reborn, also Anointed ones. The lures and entrapments of “the world” cease having an effect on the lives of saved souls.

After a semi-colon and another “kai” is importantly stated, “hautē estin hē nikē hē nikēsasa ton kosmon : hē pistis hēmōn”. In that, the word “estin” should again be read as a state of “being” or “existence,” which is relative to “here,” where human beings live – in “the world” that is the material plane. It is then that spiritual “being that victory” is found, as “this [state of “is”]” is that “having overcome this world.”

That then makes the whole of this segment of words be leading to exemplify that “existence,” by the presence of a colon then found. The clarification of “here is” is then stated to be “that faith of us.” That state of being is what elevates a soul from simple belief to knowing Yahweh directly, as His children, which brings on true faith.

Verse 5 then follows that direct statement of “faith” [NRSV translating “our faith”] by then reverting back to the watered down translation of “pisteuōn” as “believing.” They have verse 5 translated as asking the question, “Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” This becomes a flashback to verse 1, where the mistranslation proclaimed “believing Jesus Christ has been born of God” will do anything towards one being capable of “overcoming the world.” That weak translation is yet another that demands one look at the Greek text written.

First of all, the word beginning verse 5 is capitalized, showing it must be read with a divine elevation. The word capitalized is “Tis,” which has been translated as “Who.” This refers one back to the capitalized first word in verse 1, which was “Pas.” The divine essence of “All” being relative to the capitalization of “Jesus” and to “Christ” means “All” is only relative to those married to Yahweh. Likewise, the word “Tis” must be seen in the same light, as any and all “Who” are also married Spiritually to God's Spirit. With that understood, the Greek text of verse 5 is as follows:

Tis de estin ho nikōn ton kosmon , ei mē ho pisteuōn hoti Iēsous estin ho Huios tou Theou ?” In those two segments of words are two uses of “estin,” which once more must be read as a statement of “being” or “existence,” not simply as a Bill Clinton “is.” The question raised is “Who now exists that overcoming the world , forasmuch as not that having faith in because Jesus exists that Son who of God ?

The same statement as in verse 1 is repeated by John as a question asking “Who without faith born as one new Jesus existing as a new Son of God?” John is not asking if belief that Jesus was the Son of God can overcome the lures of Satan in the world. If it were that simple, Satan would have left the building and presidents like Bill Clinton would never rise in power in the world.

The NRSV then translates verse 6 as saying, “This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.” Because they make it fairly simple-minded to follow their train of thought, that belief that Jesus was the Son of God, it is now quite easy to see Jesus as being “the one who came by water and blood,” presumably with the first and last names “Jesus Christ.”

Well, by golly, guess what? That is yet another terrible translation that forces one to yet again review the Greek text.

In verse 6, John wrote the Greek that states: “houtos estin ho elthōn di’ hydatos kai haimatos , Iēsous Christos ; ouk en tō hydati monon ¸ all’ en tō hydati kai en tō haimati . kai to Pneuma estin to martyroun , hoti to Pneuma estin hē alētheia .” That is six segments of words, not the five shown by the NRSV translation. Included are three more uses of the word “estin,” where again all must be read as a personal statement of “being” [if one is one of those with faith “having been born of God”]. Additionally, there are three uses of “kai,” with two between the words translating as “water” and “blood” and the last introducing the next to last segment where it and the one to follow speak of “Pneuma” or “Spirit.” Those two capitalized spellings of “Pneuma” are half of the capitalized words in this complex verse, with the other two found together in one two-word segment, as “Iēsous Christos.”

Each of the six segments needs to be discussed individually:

houtos estin ho elthōn di’ hydatos kai haimatos” translate literally to say, “this existence that having come through then water kai blood”.

Because verse 5 asked “Who has the faith to overcome the world?” verse six beginning with words that say “this existence” or “this state of being Who” is “that having come” of the world. It is that which is “through then water.” Here, “water” can be seen as metaphor for childbirth, where a mother is ready to deliver her baby after her “water” breaks. That makes “water” become one of the four element of “the world” [along with fire, air, and earth], which reflects the flow of changing states of being. That becomes symbolic of the emotions of one’s “being.” Therefore, the metaphor of John says one of faith is born of the ups and downs of “the world,” its highs and lows, which are usually unpredictable and uncontrollable. Therefore, belief is led by the waters that change, according to what “the world” dictates.

These words must be seen as John stating the truth of mortal existence, where even Jesus was born of a woman and had physical emotions that made it difficult for him to control. When John then inserted the word “kai” after “water,” before “blood,” this brings out the importance of understanding the metaphor of “blood” separately.

Here, “blood” must be seen as that within a human body that flows “life” throughout, as the internal fluids [like and made up of “water”] that replenishes all branches of one’s flesh. Water is necessary for life, but without blood one's life cannot continue. Symbolically, “blood” becomes a statement of relationship, such that all Jews were deemed to be of the same “blood.” The two together, as “water and blood,” then speak of what humans must have to remain alive on the earthly plane.

When this first segment is read as what cannot possibly make a mortal being have true “faith,” because being born a human makes one born to die. The “water” dries up and the “blood” becomes weak. That realization then leads to the two capitalized words together in one segment, “Iēsous Christos.”

While this appears to make “water and blood” be some statement about baptism and sipping wine at a church rail, the first capitalized word must be read separately. It says “Jesus,” where as a word alone means the man of Nazareth, who was born of a woman, sent to “the world” by Yahweh as a mortal. Then, after that word is understood, the fact that “Christos” is capitalized says Yahweh sent “Salvation” to the world through His Son whose name means “Yah[weh] Saves,” such that Jesus was an “Anointed one” of Yahweh. While he was born mortal and known to die, that soul would become the “water and blood” that would forever “Anoint” others in his name.

The third segment of words literally states, “not in that water only,” where this says emotions are not the whole way to faith. While there are Christians denominations that place great value on “trusting” God [snake handlers immediately come to mind], where "emotions" are artificially raised out of fear of death, such belief systems are fueled by the fluidity of human emotions. Faith is greater than that, although emotions in a physical body cannot help but be affected by the presence of Yahweh, after having been born as His Son. Being able to call Yahweh Father, as His Son, means there is a "blood" link to God. The soul of Jesus merged with one's soul puts his "blood" throughout one's body of flesh, just like human "blood" does physically. Therefore, the “Christ state of being” [“Christos”] is not obtainable simply from emotions “alone.”

The fourth segment of words say, “on the other hand in that water kai in that blood” . This then states that both “water and blood” must be spiritually part of one’s “being,” where “in that water” means one must be baptized by the Spirit of Yahweh AND that puts “in” one’s soul the “blood” of relationship with Yahweh, which makes one a Son of God. Having both “the water and the blood in one’s being” makes one become “Jesus” reborn. Having both within means one is an “Anointed one,” just as was “Jesus.”

The fifth segment of words then importantly says [introduced by the word “kai”], “that Spirit state of existence that witnessing.” Here, the root Greek word “martureó” becomes a statement of one personally experiencing Yahweh, which can only come from marrying one’s soul with His “Spirit.”

The simple meaning of the word is “I witness, bear witness, give evidence, testify, give a good report,” such that the NRSV translates it as “one that testifies.” The only way one can “testify” as to the “Spirit” and to “faith” is from knowing it firsthand. While belief can come from hearsay evidence and not personally experienced, the Greek word “matureo” is at the root of the English word "martyr," where sacrifice is implied for a higher good. That sacrifice comes from marriage to Yahweh and submission of one's soul to His “Spirit,” so one will gladly do what He commands, out of true faith.

Finally, the sixth segment of words say, “because that Spirit state of being this truth.” Here, the last word is “alētheia,” which means “truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness.” (Strong’s Usage) Rather than being a nebulous statement that leads people, like Pontius Pilate who asked Jesus, “What is truth?” [like someone like Bill Clinton would ask], the word stated by John means being a “witness” to the “Spirit” is the “truth,” not some made up lie. The whole basis of faith is summed up as knowing Yahweh’s “Spirit” personally, deeply, and totally, so everything that comes out of one’s mouth [just like Jesus] is the “truth,” because it all comes from God “being” one with one’s soul.

As an Epistle reading selection for the sixth Sunday of Easter, a season when one should be preparing for ministry by practicing being Jesus reborn, it is clear that John says an Apostle must be “born of God.” An Apostle must be “Jesus having been born of God” within one’s flesh. Everything about the Easter season is about Jesus rising within Saints, who Yahweh then sends out into ministry. The NRSV did not do anyone any favors in translating these six verses; but the reason an Epistle reading is selected each week is it is the voice of God speaking through a Saint, which is what "All" true believers are made from. Being able to understand divine text is one of the important talents one must be practicing during this time.