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Volume 8 - Page 49 of 141 Index | Zoom | |
speak of that dreadful period when Antichrist and evil spirits will make a belief in Jesus
as the Son of God a very real, personal, hated testimony.
Too readily have many taken to themselves the words of assurance in I John 5: 11-13,
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us aionian life. . . . that ye may know
that ye have aionian life". Shorn of its context, it is easy to "prove" that a believer
HATH everlasting life, and that he is not justified in questioning his possession of it, for
is not the Word written, "that ye may know?" Reading the passage in its context we ask,
What things were written that we may know?, and among them we must include the
statement of 3: 15. A believer, therefore, who hated his brother would "know" that
aionian life did NOT abide in him by "these things that were written". The epistle does
not propose to prove that every one who believes has aionian life, but does set before us
the walk and character of those who truly "abide in Him". Such and such only may take
the assurance of 5: 11. All the confusion comes about through the use made of one or
two verses in John's Gospel by evangelists, whereby an unscriptural conception has been
entertained as God's truth. Many fight for the retention of aionian life to every believer
under the mistaken assumption that such life is equivalent to justification and salvation.
We have pointed out that aionian life has no place in the four prison epistles, the
epistles of the Mystery. The parallel to aionian life in these epistles is to be found in
Phil. 3: where the apostle desires to "know Him and the power of His resurrection".
During the dispensation of miracle, the powers of the coming age, believers received the
age-life. Let not the members of the One Body imagine that because they have not this
life that they are losers thereby. The One Body has no place in the Millennial kingdom, it
is not the loser thereby: so with regard to this question. Of the members of the One Body
it is written, "Your life is hid with Christ in God". "Hid", not yet manifested; we walk by
faith now, the hidden risen life at the right hand of God is our only hope and support. No
powers of the coming age are ours, no anointing that endows us with supernatural powers
of discernment, yet would we exchange? No member of that One Body who has realized
his calling contemplate the thought.
Coming to the last reference in the epistle to aionian life, we must make another
comparison with the apostle's words in the Gospel:--
"I have overcome the world. These words spake Jesus and lifted up His eyes to
heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, in order that Thy Son also
may glorify Thee; as Thou didst give Him authority over all flesh, that He should give
aionian life to as many as Thou hast given Him, and this is aionian life, in order that
they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent"
(John 16: 33 - 17: 3).
"We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us discernment, in order that
we might know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus
Christ. This is the true God and aionian life" (I John 5: 20).
The Gospel teaches that aionian life is given in order to a knowledge of the only true
God, and the One He has sent. The epistle re-affirms this, declaring that they know the
Son of God has come, and has taught them concerning the true One; in this One those