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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF JOHN

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with these our eyes, which we have looked upon, and these hands of ours have handled of that Word of life, (For that life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was made manifest unto us) that, I say, which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye may also have fellowship with us, and that our fellowship also may be with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not truly: 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. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, & to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not: and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Just. And he is the reconciliation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we are sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But he that keepeth his word, in him is the love of God perfect in deed: hereby we know that ye are in him. He that saith he remaineth in him, ought even so to walk, as he hath walked. Brethren, I write no new commencement unto you: but an old commandment, which ye have had from the beginning: this old commandment is that word, which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, that which is true in him, and also in you: for the darkness is past, & that true light now shineth. He that saith that he is in that light and hateth his brother is in darkness until this time. He that loveth his brother abideth in that light, & there is none occasion of evil in him. 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. Little children, I write unto you, because your sins are forgiven you for his Names sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome that wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him, that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome that wicked one. Love not this world, neither the things that are in this world. If any man love this world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in this world (as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life) is not of the Fatherm but is of this world. And this world passeth away, & the lust thereof: but he that fulfilleth the will of God abideth ever. Little children, it is the last time, and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they should have continued with us. But this cometh to pass, that it might appear, that they are not all of us. But ye have an ointment from that Holy one, and know all things. I have not written unto you, because ye know not the truth: but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is that Christ? the same is that Antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. Let therefore abide in you that same which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning, shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even that eternal life. These things have I written unto you, concerning them that deceive you. But that anointing, which ye received of him, dwelleth in you: and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and it is true, and is not lying, and as it taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may be bold, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, know ye that he which doeth righteously, is borne of him.

Behold, what love the Father hath given to us, that we should be called the sons of God: for this cause this world knoweth you not, because it knoweth not him. Dearly beloved, now are we the sons of God, but yet it is not made manifest what we shall be: and we know that when he shall be made manifest, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purgeth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever commiteth sin, transgresseth also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law. And ye know that he was made manifest, that he might take away our sins, and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not: whosoever sinneth, hath not seen him, neither hath known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. He that commiteth sin, is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning: for this purpose was made manifest that Son of God, that he might loose the works of the devil. Whosoever is borne of God, sinneth not: for his seed remaineth in him, neither can he sin, because he is borne of God. In this are the children of God known, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness, is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message, that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain which was of that wicked one, and slew his brother: and wherefore slew he him? because his own works were evil, and his brothers good. Marvel not, my brethren, though this world hate you. We know that we are translated from death unto life, because we love the brethren: he that loveth not his brother, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a manslayer: and ye know that no manslayer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby have we perceived love that he laid down his life for us: therefore we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren. And whosoever hath this worlds good, and seeth his brother have need, & shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children let us not love in word, neither in tongue only, but in deed and in truth. For thereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall before him assure our hearts. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater then our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we boldness toward God. And whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight. This is then his commandment, That we believe in the Name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave commandment. For he that keepeth his commencements, dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, even by that Spirit which he hath given us.

Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: for many false prophets are gone out into this world. Hereby shall ye know the Spirit of God, Every spirit which 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: but this is the spirit of Antichrist, of whom ye have heard, how that he should come, and now already he is in this world. Little children, ye are of God, and have overcome them: for greater is he that is in you, then he that is in this world. They are of this world, therefore speak they of this world, and this world heareth them. We are of God, he that knoweth God, heareth us: he that is not of God, heareth us not. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love cometh of God, & every one that loveth, is borne of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is love. Herein was that love of God made manifest amongst us, because God sent that his only begotten son into this world, that we might live through him. Herein is that love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a reconciliation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfect in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, & he in us: because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen, & do testify, that the Father sent that Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever confesseth that Jesus is the Son of God, in him dwelleth God, & he in God. And we have known, & believed the love that God hath in us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, & God in him. Herein is that love perfect in us, that we should have boldness in the day of judgment: for as he is, even so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear: for fear hath painfulness: and he that feareth, is not perfect in love. We love him, because he loved us first. If any man say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar: for how can he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we of him, that he that loveth God, should love his brother also. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is that Christ, is borne of God: and every one that loveth him, which begat, loveth him also which is begotten of him. In this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdenous. For all that is borne of God, overcometh this world: and this is that victory that hath overcome this world, even our faith. Who is it that overcometh this world, but he which believeth that Jesus is that Son of God? This is that Jesus Christ that came by water and blood: not by water only, but by water and blood: and it is that Spirit that beareth witness: for that Spirit is truth. For there are three, which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three, which bear record in the earth, the spirit, and the water and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God, which he testified of his Son. He that believeth in that Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believed not the record, that God witnessed of that his Son. And this is that record, to wit, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in that his Son. He that hath that Son hath that life: and he that hath not that Son of God hath not that life. These things have I written unto you that believe in the Name of that Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe in the Name of that Son of God. And this is that assurance that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin that is not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I say not that thou shouldest pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin, but there is a sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is borne of God, sinneth not: but he that is begotten of God, keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. We know that we are of God, and this whole world lieth in wickedness. But we know that that Son of God is come, & hath given us a mind to know him, which is true: & we are in him that is true, that is, in that his Son Jesus Christ: this same is that very God, and that eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols, Amen.

1587 Geneva bible in paragraph format and modernized spelling.