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Scriptures concerning Christ Himself. This can be seen by turning to I John 2: 22, 23
and 4: 3.
The evil in I John 4: 3 is defined as a denial that "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh,"
whereas the evil of II John 7 is that "many deceivers are entered into the world, who
confess not that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
The doctrine of Christ, therefore, has reference not to His teaching, but to the teaching of
the Scriptures concerning Himself, both in relation to His first and second advent. How
solemn the warning of verse 9, "Whoso leadeth forward." Think of the "forward
movements" of to-day. The modern "Gospels," the "Humanism," as well as its kindred
"Spiritism," every one of them seeking to degrade the Lord Jesus Christ to the level of a
mere human teacher and example.
Dispensational truth, as compared with the teaching of the times, may be truthfully
called, "a leading forward," but the hall-mark upon the final revelation of God (the
revelation which the apostles were not able to bear while our Lord was on earth), is
indicated in the words, "He shall glorify Me" (John 16:). In no part of the Scriptures do
we find the glory of Christ so prominent a theme, and so transcendently magnificent in its
heavenly majesty, as in the epistles of the mystery, the truth for the present time. Not
only does the Epistle of John speak concerning Christ's Person in the 4th chapter, but we
read in the 5th chapter:--
"This is He Who came through water and blood, and it is the Spirit Who beareth
witness, because the Spirit is the truth; for three there are that bear witness, the Spirit, and
the water and the blood. And these three are with a view to the unity" (I John 5: 6-8).
This passage, like the rest of Scripture, has suffered at the hand of believer and
unbeliever alike. A mistaken zeal, which sees the "Church" everywhere, robs the Saviour
of this three-fold witness, in order to bolster up self-devised systems of Church
Fellowship. The Spirit is supposed to represent the "gifts" as in I Cor. 12: The water, to
represent Believer's Baptism, and the blood, the Lord's Supper. This is supposed to be
the "threefold cord" of Church Unity. There is certainly plenty to do and see, ordinances
to be performed, and "gifts" to be hoped for, but these are not the "bond of peace" of the
only unity worthy the name (Eph. 4:).
Simon's baptism (Acts 8:), the Lord's table of I Cor. 11: 18-34, the Spirit's gifts of
Heb. 6: 4, 5, witness to the divisions of the flesh, rather than "the unity of the Spirit."
This passage, however, has nothing to do with the Church--it is essentially the "the
doctrine of Christ." In verse 9 we have the Scriptural interpretation of the passage, it is
"the witness of God concerning His Son."
John was bearing testimony against the blasphemy of the Gnostics. They taught that
upon a man, Jesus, there came the "anointing," the "Christ," at His baptism, but that this
"anointing," or "Christ," left Him before His death on the cross, leaving a man, Jesus, to
die, thereby denying the Scriptures, which not only emphasise the manhood of the
Redeemer, but which also say, "The church of God which He hath purchased with His
own blood." We may now understand why John so definitely says that Jesus was the