The subject of fellowship is really a very deep one. In fact, until recently it was not known exactly how deep it really is. The more we study it, the deeper it becomes and the more all-encompassing it is. For quite a number of months we have been offering a daily excerpt from the book entitled, "Search Me O God", by Bro. Rene Growcott. We have been sending it out to everyone on our list and will shortly be coming to an end (June 9th). What is very impressive about every excerpt that was sent out is that they have all been covering the hostile and open war that exists between the camp of the flesh and the camp of the Spirit. In this warfare there are no compromises and no prisoners taken. The only thing that can happen is that a member will either be killed by the camp of the flesh or be killed by the camp of the Spirit. So that it might be understood, we are only speaking in a figurative way and not in a literal way. We don't expect anyone to be picking up a sword literally and hacking someone to death, but we do anticipate that the language of the Bible is true figuratively. For the Bible talks about the sword of the Spirit in Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and Spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
In this passage we can see an unscabered sword being wielded in the hand of an excellent soldier doing his work in a very skillful manner. It pictures someone who is very much the expert in the use of the sword and bringing a battle to successful fruition
We are always confronted with such a soldier in the Scriptures such as that in Eph. 6:11-20:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against Spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Note here that our Spiritual soldier must have on ALL of the armour and battle equipment in fighting the wiles of the devil, or sin in the flesh, whenever and wherever it is dealt with. Note that everything we see is weaponry associated with a soldier on the offensive. He is taking the battle to the enemy, or sin in the flesh, in its various manifestations. He knows that a good defense is a good offense and is constantly on the attack. Anyone who studies warfare knows that a good and fast offensive is the way that battles and wars are won.
The Bible clearly, therefore, acknowledges this in the way in which the soldier is described in this chapter. Furthermore, it is clearly showing in this passage, and the one previously mentioned, that the Spirit and the flesh are indeed involved in a very harsh struggle to the finish. There will be no compromise in the battle and there will be no prisoners. It is most interesting to note that he describes our readiness as a soldier very accurately through Paul when he says in 2 Tim. 2:3-4:
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Here we see that the Bible teaches that the lifestyle we lead is not one of comfort and self-satisfaction, but of hardness. He is not telling us that it will be an easy road. He is telling us that it will be an all-consuming task. He is making no room for being entangled with the affairs of this life. He is not permitting the cares of this life to choke us.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
. . . He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (Matt. 13:7, 22).
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. . . . And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mark 4:7, 18-19).
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
. . . And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. (Luke 8:7, 14).
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. . . For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. . . Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:34-36).
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (Matt. 24:37-38).
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26-27).
(In these passages we have the parable of the sower in one application being tied to the Mount Olivet prophecy. Furthermore, the conditions that will exist at the return of the Lord is also compared to the days of Noah and the days of Lot. As an overview of these ideas we have a fit warning about the conditions of the world, or the camp of the flesh, at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. From a consideration of these listings, we can readily see that it is the every-day-type-of-things that everyone can be so easily involved in that will destroy those that are so involved at the judgement seat when the Lord returns. Therefore, what we need to do is take full stock of all of our activities. We have to see whether the Kingdom of Yahweh and His Righetousness is first on the list, or whether it is hard to be found at all. Are the every-day-activities totally consuming all of our attention? Are we following the warning exhortation of 2 Tim. 2:3-4 above? If we are faithfully following this exhortation, then we will not be entangled with the cares of this world or the affairs of this life. We will truly be a good soldier of Yahweh and the Lord Jesus Christ.)
We are to be a good soldier and a good soldier is not a dead soldier. A good soldier is a soldier who follows the regiment of his Commander-In-Chief, which is clearly stated in His Word.
What is very interesting is that all of the soldiers of Yahweh and of the Lord Jesus Christ are hand-picked. They are chosen for the task because they are capable of meeting the enemy head-on because of their training and their way of life. They have been outfitted by the Spirit and are therefore very qualified for this no-holds-barred battle to the death with sin-in-the-flesh.
Bro. Rene in the excerpts that we have been reading makes it very clear that in all the cares and concerns of this life, we are in battle with them. They are in the camp of the flesh and therefore are worthy of outright battle to the death. Furthermore, we can add to this list all of the errorists and false teachers that are existent wherever they may be found. (Consider 1 John 4:1-6:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Here we can clearly see a matter where doctrinal errorists or false prophets occur in the brotherhood. It requires every member of the camp of the Spirit to watch and be alert so that these false prophets, or errorists, can be attacked and forced out of the camp of the Spirit to be back amongst those of the camp of the flesh that they are in constant combat with.)
It doesn't matter whether the one who is in this condition also bears the name "Christadelphian." By being a false teacher, or in essence, an enemy of the Truth on these issues, he can not be found anywhere but in the camp of the flesh where we must do battle with him and leave him. This is the importance of withdrawing from anyone who acts and behaves in harmony with the flesh, and in fact, is nothing but a fifth columnist or traitor where he might exist unfound, unknown, or obscure to our Spiritual eyesight.
We find that the Bible repeatedly indicates that we are in a fight to the death in a battle with the world or sin-in-the-flesh wherever it is found. Consider this passage in 2 Cor. 10:1-6:
Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
In this passage Paul makes us aware that he does not walk according to the flesh even though he is a man that is made of flesh. He warns the Corinthians that he is an able-soldier to tear down ALL that is put up against him by the flesh. Thus, they can expect no better treatment if they are determined to continue walking in the way of the flesh. They had a doctrinal problem and he expected it to be resolved in a Spiritual manner. In other words, he is letting them know that they won't want to see him if he has to come to deal with this problem of the flesh. This is an attitude that we should be displaying. All people should know who are in the camp of the flesh, that they won't want us showing up to deal with them because there won't be any prisoners or compromises but only death to them (spiritually now; physically at the Judgment Seat).
This war between the flesh and the Spirit is dealt with in other places in the Scriptures, such as Romans 8:1-27:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded [margin: Grk: minding of the flesh] is death; but to be Spiritually minded [margin: Grk: the minding of the Spirit] is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind [margin: Grk: minding of the flesh] is enmity* against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
In the above passage the Spirit makes it very clear that there is enmity between these two mutually exclusive camps. The word "enmity" is explained in the passages below from both Strongs and Bullinger.
*Greek: echthra; feminine of echthros, Strongs #2189; hostility; by implication a reason for opposition; #2190 echthros: from a primitive root echtho (to hate); hateful; (passive voice: odious, or active voice: hostile (usually as a noun an adversary (especially satan -- really for all students of the Bible it is referring to an adversary as the word literally means))
echthra (fem. of echthros, see "enemy,") enmity or hatred -- Bullinger
echthros passively: hated, odious, object of enmity, (opposite of agapetos, beloved); actively: opposite to, hating another and adverse to him; as substantive an enemy, adversary -- Bullinger
The explanation of these terms by Strongs and Bullinger strongly impresses one with hostile and hostility, an adversary, hatred, hated, odious, object of enmity, and actively opposite to or hating another or adverse to him. One cannot express more total and open warfare against another individual than what has been stated in these definitions. In fact, other Greek lexicons say exactly the same things. It really brings home how hostile sin-in-the-flesh as is found in ourselves or in someone else or the world in general. There is no discussion of peace other than by complete capitulation to the flesh and the ultimate stroke of death. It must always be remembered that Yahweh will administer this after having judged anyone as a member of the camp of the flesh. They will then be found being cast into outer darkness and into the lake of fire where the flesh will be totally destroyed or annihilated.
Note the passage talks about one being "carnally minded" or the "minding of the flesh" and Spiritually, or the "minding of the Spirit" and points out that the one leads to death and the other leads to life and peace. But the very fact that the words in both the camp of the flesh and the camp of the Spirit is talked about "minding" shows that we are totally involved with the mind and not with the exchanging of physical blows. Again, we can look at Gal. 5:13-26:
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use notliberty for an occasion to the flesh, but bylove serve one another.
14 For all thelaw is fulfilled in one word, even in this;Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then,Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against theSpirit, and theSpirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of theSpirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But thefruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If welive in the Spirit, let us alsowalk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Note that the following works are associated with the flesh:
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
In these two verses what we really notice is how destructive and hostile the flesh really is. It is not only the Spirit that is under attack, but the flesh is busily consuming and destroying one another. Of course, this is readily visible in all of the wars that have occurred, which is Yahweh's way of punishing the wicked. He utilizes the sword of the wicked to punish the wicked. Of course, this is why he states in Revelation 9:20-21 the following:
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
Here we see how the wicked are punished. (In the above passage we see that the errorists, or sinners, or the camp of the flesh were punished for their wickedness. Many of these people were killed as a result. However, amongst those who survived, even though punished, they continued to carry on all of their wickedness for which they had been punished.) What must be realized is that this hostility is that which is exactly utilized against the Spirit. In the book of Revelation we see the history of how the camp of the flesh is fighting against the camp of the Spirit and see that finally the camp of the Spirit wins. We also notice that the ultimate is that the camp of the flesh will be totally destroyed.
Again, we notice that in the list of the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21, above) we find all of those characteristics that actually leads to all this hatred and violence. This list by itself establishes the reason that the flesh is so hostile against the Spirit. It clearly shows why the Lord Jesus Christ was killed by all those Jewish religious leaders, the fickle multitude, and the Gentiles who joined their forces to actually kill him. Even though his death was predetermined by Yahweh, it was clearly carried out by the will of the camp of the flesh. Acts 2:23:
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Thus, in the words of Galatians 5:13, 16, 17, we can see clearly the hostile nature of these two camps which are at enmity with one another, as is stated in Romans 8:7 above. The words in these passages which stands out are "lust" and "lusteth". Here we have the Greek verb and related noun forms which are "epithumeo" and "epithumia". Their meanings are clearly agreed upon by the lexicons which state:
epithumeo: "To fix the desire upon, desire earnestly, long for; denoting the inward affection of the mind rather than the external object; to have the affections directed towards any thing, (of unlawful desires). It denotes the affection of the mind..." E.W. Bullinger, Pages 193, 218, 271 and 472.
"...to set one's heart upon, desire, lust after, covet..." Abbott-Smith, Page 170
epithumia: "lusts" what is directed upon its object, to covet. A desire, yearning, longing, denoting the inward passion of the mind in a good or bad sense. The mental desire, which corresponds to man's depraved nature. The inward passion of concupiscence" E.W. Bullinger.
"Desire, craving, longing; specifically with reference, to forbidden things, desire, lust, passionate longing." Abbott-Smith
"An inclination towards." Liddell-Scott
"denotes strong desire of any kind, the various kinds being frequently specified by some adjective. The word is used of a good desire in Luke 22:15; Phil. 1:23 and 1 Thess. 2:17 only, everywhere else it has a bad sense." Vine
In these passages we can clearly see the war that is taking place in the mind when we are talking about the combative nature between the flesh and the Spirit. This is what is exactly defined in Romans 8:5-8 above. In Romans 5:6, 8, 9, and 10 it clearly establishes that people on the outside of Christ are ungodly, sinners, and enemies. Please note these details in this passage:
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Thus, Yahweh clearly teaches that we can only be saved through the death of Christ, whereby sin was destroyed in his flesh on the stake. (We must emphasize that sin was destroyed mentally throughout Christ's life and physically upon the stake.) This fact of death to the flesh is brought out again in 1 Cor. 15:50:
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (this clearly establishes that our mortal, sinful nature can not inherit eternal life); neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
And this equates with Heb. 2:14-16:
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same (the Lord Jesus Christ shared in the exact same sinful nature which he was in open warfare against); that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (sin-in-the-flesh);
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily *he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham (the sinful flesh and blood nature that all the seed of Abraham bore). (*margin: Greek: he taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold.)
By way of summary, we can clearly see in all of the above that the Bible is teaching that we have an open battle in dealing with our flesh (which unfortunately is either forgotten or not known how serious this battle is) and we have an open battle with the camp of the flesh wherever and however we run into it. Throughout the Bible there are clearly ONLY two camps, variously identified, and below is only an incomplete listing of these descriptions:
|ecclesia of God
children of light
children of day
seed of the woman
the law of the Spirit of Life
the things of the Spirit
the minding of the Spirit
friend of Yahweh
paths of the righteous
love of the Father
children of God
Spirit of truth
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|synagogue of satan
children of darkness
children of night
seed of the serpent
the law of sin and death
the things of the flesh
the mindings of the flesh
friendship of the world
paths unto the dead
love of the world
children of the devil
Spirit of error
What is worthwhile considering at this point is, which camp are we in? We have the whole of the Bible as a guide book to clearly establish which camp it is. Look around you, identify the individuals who are clearly in the same camp as you. Are these individuals in the camp of the flesh or the camp of the Spirit? If what you see are many individuals in doctrinal error (and doctrinal error can only be found with the camp of the flesh and not of the Spirit -- whoever heard of doctrinal error being held in the camp of the Spirit, which represents the mind of Christ or of Yahweh?) then you must be in the camp of the flesh as well. (Please see "Raising Serious Issues" -- a Letter to the Editor of the Christadelphian Magazine, 1981, and "A Time To Be Honest" by Harry Tennent, The Christadelphian Magazine, 1984.) There are many people who feel that they are Spiritually safe because of all the activities that they are involved in. Consider the following: Matt. 7:21-23:
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
and Luke 6:46:
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
and Rev. 3:1, 14-18:
1 And unto the angel of the ecclesia in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
14 And unto the angel of the ecclesia of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Note the great supposed Spiritual activity that is involved in all of the above, but the judgment of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus of Yahweh, is that He never knew them, and that though they have a name that they live, they were dead. And, that though they were quite well off physically, they were totally destitute Spiritually. Unfortunately for many who think that they are in the camp of the Spirit, they are going to have a rude awakening when they actually find out that they are in the camp of the flesh, which can not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Lastly, we come to consider the fact that if we are found in darkness or the camp of the flesh, then we do not have the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all sin -- which means death. This is taught in 1 John 1:7:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
This passage is the climax of the reasoning of all the verses that precede it. Furthermore, it demonstrates quite clearly that forgiveness can only be achieved if one is doctrinally sound, that is, if one is walking in the light as He is in the light. If one is in doctrinal error, there can be no forgiveness of sins as long as they are in this state. (Please see Point 3, section (i) of "A Matter of Fellowship".) 1 John chapter 2 is the utilization of this passage in a practical application. For example, 1 John 2:9:
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
Thus, since this brother is in darkness, the consequence is that he cannot have forgiveness of sins which ultimately ends in the guarantee that he is in the camp of the flesh and will be destroyed with the flesh upon judgment day.
Again, we find this thought with the same end continued in 1 John 2:11:
But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Likewise, he identifies these brethren that he is writing to as walking in the light and therefore the blood of Christ is cleansing them of all sins, or they are forgiven: (1 John 2:12)
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
In this manner, the whole of chapter 2 should be considered as it relates to 1 John 1:7. Thus, in connection with this understanding, one has to examine himself to see if he is in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5):
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
After having done this examination, if he is in the camp of the flesh, then there is no forgiveness. At this point, he must ask the question as to what he must do to rectify his position. Having done so, he then MUST take action. There will only be found forgiveness in the camp of the Spirit. It is here where we truly have the light. It does not exist in the camp of the flesh, even though they might think they have light, but as far as the Spirit is concerned -- they are in darkness. We must remember that when Elohim spoke there was light and it divided the light from the darkness and the day from the night. Gen. 1:3-5:
3 And Elohim SAID, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And Elohim saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
It is from this passage that we understand that God's speaking produces the light and that the natural state of the world is darkness. From this point on, throughout Scriptures this imagine is always used. For example, we have the following in 1 Thess. 5:5-10:
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Here we must also add that doctrinal error is absolutely covered in all of the above. Therefore, we must ask the question again, "Are we in the light, or are we in the darkness?"