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Commentary On The Book of 2 John
Introduction to the Book of 2 John
I will do the Second John Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment, it is NOT Scripture.
At the start of the letter, the writer calls himself the ‘elder’. There are three ways that we can use the word ‘elder’. It could mean #1. that the person was old. #2 it could mean that the people respected him as a mature man. #3. it could mean a leader in the church. Each local church had its leaders who were the ‘elders’. I think the apostle John may have been an elder over all the churches in that area.
Much of this letter is like John’s first letter. I feel certain that the same author wrote both letters. Most people believe that the apostle John wrote all three of John’s letters. He lived, and was a leader in the church, in the city called Ephesus.
John wrote to the lady whom God has chosen and to her children. There are two opinions as to who the ‘lady’ was.
- #1. Some people say that she was a real person, possibly a widow. John does not refer to her husband. She had children, and some of them lived as Christians (verse 4) and some did not. Perhaps John called her ‘lady’ because she was a person of honor and prominence.
- #2. Some Bible commentators say that the ‘lady’ was NOT a person, but in the local church.
The style of John’s letter seems to show that he was writing to a church. It was normal to speak about cities or towns as if they were female. So, the lady whom God has chosen COULD mean the local church, with her children being the church members. John also writes about her sister whom God has chosen (verse 13). That could mean the church where John was. The house (verse 10) would be the place where the church met. This is because they did not have a separate church building. We cannot be sure whether the ‘lady’ was a person or the church. But what the letter teaches is good for us all.
In the early days of the church, there were teachers who traveled from place to place. As they went, they taught the people about Jesus. It was the duty of the church members to receive these teachers into their homes. The church members gave the teacher whatever he needed. They looked after the teacher until he went to the next place. They blessed him with much kindness and love.
The problem was that some of the teachers taught false things. Many of them had wrong ideas about Jesus. They did not agree that Christ was a real Man. They taught that the Christ did not really die for us. They said that Jesus died as a man and not as Christ. They denied the Truth that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God.
John said that such teachers were NOT real Christians. He said that they were against Christ. What they taught about Jesus was NOT true. They were damaging the church by what they taught.
John's letter warned the church about the false teachers. He told the church members not to accept these men into their homes. The church should not allow them to teach. If the church members greeted and accepted the false teachers, the church members were helping the false teachers. John said that the church must be careful to obey the Truth of Jesus. They must love each other and live in the Truth. The Word Truth means the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ that they had received. They believed in Jesus and what He has done. They must separate themselves from everyone who denied the truth about Jesus.
Love Expressed In The Boundary Of Truth (1:1-6)
2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; (KJV)
The Second Letter of John is a personal letter from "the elder unto the elect lady and her children." "Elder" can have two meanings; #1. a senior citizen, referring to age, or #2. it can be a title, referring to an office in the church, a minister or a teacher. I think John is calling himself an elder, because of his office in the church. I think he also infers the fact that he is now an old man.
"Unto the elect lady and her children." The word "lady" could mean a prominent woman in the church, OR it could be the local church itself that John has in mind. "Her children" could be either the physical children of the woman or the spiritual children of the church. This verse could be interpreted either way. I really think that John was writing to the church, instead of an individual, applying it to the then church at large, AND the church today. When I say the church, I do NOT mean denomination, but the total body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Whom I love in the truth." The word Truth is emphasized in this epistle, and it is the key word to the letter (vs.1,3,4). Christian love can be expressed, ONLY in the bounds of the family of God, those who have the Truth. "The Truth" is the Word of God and also the One who is revealed in the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. (John 1:14,17; 7:18; 8:14,40,45; 14:6; 18:37; 2 Cor.11:10; Eph.4:21; 1 John 5:20; Rev.3:7,14; 19:11). And I believe it is the Holy Spirit Who abides in us, that makes us love like we should, and obey like we should.
"Whom I love in truth" . . . John loved that church and its members, TRUE believers! He told them that he loved them in the truth. Jesus is the Truth. All who know Jesus are in the Truth. John loved them because they believed in Christ. They were to John as spiritual brothers and sisters. All who knew the Truth of the Gospel loved them as well.
2 John 1:2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. (KJV)
"For the truth's sake" . . . means a defense of the Truth. We need to recognize that the Truth needs to be defended. We need to stand up for the Truth of God and for the Word of God and Jesus!
The reason for their love was that the Truth lived in them. What is the Truth? WHO is the Truth? Isn't it the Holy Spirit who is given to us when God adopts us into His family? John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (KJV)
The Holy Spirit gives people an inner desire to love. TRUE Christians love each other because of the Truth that they share . . . the Word of God, and Jesus. Truth is much more than what we know. Truth in the form of the Holy Spirit lives within us and changes us. Truth becomes part of us when we believe God and accept Jesus as our Saviour. Truth will be in TRUE believers always . . . for ever, as Jesus says above!
John says that the Truth is that they knew the Lord Jesus Christ and they trusted in Him. They shared the life that only the Lord Jesus Christ gives. He gives it to those who believe the Gospel. This Truth becomes part of them and it lives in them. Those who accept the Lord Jesus have eternal life, because He IS eternal life! (1 John 5:20).
Many of today's modern churches have adopted a very sophisticated and casual method in an attempt to be clever and sly in what they teach and preach, trying to get more names on the roll, more pews filled and more donations.
Many will NOT come right out and state the Truth of God's Word, because SO many people do NOT want to hear the Truth. People do NOT want to hear they are sinners, They do NOT want to hear judgment shall face them one day. They do NOT want to hear of Hell and its horrors! . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_is_there_really_a_hell.htm
The point is that the TRUTH needs to be stated clearly, and it is NOT done in most of these modern, seeker friendly churches!
Isaiah 30:9-10 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV)
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (KJV)
2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV)
"For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever." Thank God, we will have the TRUTH forever. In today's world, we cannot believe politicians, teachers, preachers, college professors, scientists, etc. It is SO great to have Someone in Whom we can believe . . . the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 John 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (KJV)
This greeting is a little different from that of Paul and Peter and James and even John himself. There are three words here that need to be clear in our thinking. They differ . . . but without really being a great difference, because they all apply to the same thing. Love, mercy and grace.
What is the difference between the love, the mercy, and the grace of God?
We read: Eph.2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (KJV) . . . This is a wonderful Scripture because it combines all three: love, mercy and grace!
Paul says that God is rich in mercy, and because of His great love for us, He saves us by grace. SO . . . what is the love of God? My friend, God is LOVE. Before anything was created, God was love. Someone might say, "Whom did He love?" Well, the Trinity existed, and we know the love which existed between God the Father and God the Son. Love is that, which was in God, which existed before He extended mercy or grace. Love is simply the nature of God! It is an attribute, characteristic, quality of God. God is love, YES! But the interesting thing is that the love of God never saved a sinner. The love of God caused God to move in the direction of mercy and grace. Love caused Him to exercise and extend mercy and grace to us.
Now . . . What is the difference between mercy and grace? Mercy is what God duly provided for the need of sinful man. God is rich in mercy. Why is He rich in mercy? Because He is love. And because God is love, He mercifully provided for the need of sinful man. But mercy did not save man, either.
Now, we come to grace. Grace is that in God which acts freely to save . . . when all the demands of holiness have been satisfied. God is free to act in grace. You and I are sinners who CANNOT provide anything for God. We do not have anything to offer to Him. But, grace means that God can come to you, a lost sinner, and say, "I am love, and I am rich in mercy. I love you, and I have provided for you by My mercy a Saviour for you." SO . . . now, when we believe God (John 3:15-18, 36; 1 John 5:10-13), and accept His Provision of Salvation, JESUS (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), we are saved! Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (KJV)
Love, mercy and grace . . . salvation stems from the love of God, but God does not save by His love or His mercy. God is a holy God, and the Bible says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son..." (John 3:16). God did NOT so love the world that He saved the world! He did NOT do that. BUT . . . God so loved the world that by His mercy He DID provide a Saviour for the world, and He can now save by grace . . . any and all who believe and accept His Provision, Jesus. The great sadness in this is, only a FEW will ever believe and accept Jesus! Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV)
There is something else important here. Salvation is not only the expression of the love of God, but it is also an expression of the justice and righteousness of God. Rom.3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (KJV)
In order to justify you when you trust Christ, God has to be righteous and holy and just. We are alienated from Him. Without Christ, we have NO fellowship with Him. Communication with God was broken down in the Garden of Eden. But, because God must be just and righteous, His mercy provided a Saviour, and it was because He loves you. He can be righteous and do this . . . because He is the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. We are justified by faith in Jesus (Acts 13:39; Rom.3:22, 24-25, 28; 4:5,11; 5:1,9,18; 8:30,33; 9:30; 10:3; 1 Cor.4:4; 6:11; 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.2:16,21; 3:6,11;24; 5:5; Phil.3:9; Tit.3:7; Heb;11:7; Jam.2:23).
Because of this, John can now write, "Grace be with you" . . . that is the way God saves you. "Mercy" . . . mercy provided a Savior. "And peace" . . . when you have all this, then the peace of God that passeth all understanding (Phil.4:7) is going to keep your heart. As John said, "For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever." You will know that these great truths are not something which God is going to change. He is not going to change His mind tomorrow and say, "I changed my mind. Public opinion is going in another direction, so I'll change and go with public opinion." God does NOT change; He is not a weather vane. I am reminded of the farmer who had on his barn a weather vane which said on it, "God is love" (1 Jn.4:8). Our God is love, and because He is love, He has provided salvation for you. He will never change (Mal.3:6; 2 Tim.2:19; Heb.1:12; 13:8; Jam.1:17).
"Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." The Lord Jesus Christ is the One who died for you. He is "the Son of the Father" . . . that is His position in the Trinity. This is John's style. In all his writing and teaching, he never forsakes the FACT that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God and the great importance of that fact in order to possess salvation (John 3:15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; 1 Jn.2:22-23; 4:15; 5:1-2,10-13,20).
2 John 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. (KJV)
"Thy children" . . . these are either the physical children of this woman or the members of the local church. I think it could be either, and it probably refers to both, if John was writing to a 'person'.
"I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth". . . walking in Truth refers to the manner of life, it means obeying the commandments from the Father. TRUE children of God MUST walk in Truth.
Walking in the truth . . . in Christ, the Truth (John 14:6), by faith, as they had received Him; and in the Truth of the Gospel, which they had embraced and professed; and abode in it, which is seen by the lifestyle. Walking is a progressive action! John encourages walking in the Truth of Gospel and love (vs2), worship, discipline, meaning obedience.
"As we have received a commandment from the Father" . . . the commandment is that we walk in the light as He is in the light, that we live our lives by the Word of God. When children of God walk in the paths of faith, love, light, Truth and holiness, it gives them deep inward pleasure and joy.
2 John 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. (KJV)
"The beginning" . . . refers to the beginning of the ministry of Christ in His incarnation. What John is saying is what Jesus said. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. (KJV) John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (KJV) . . . John says that this is the commandment that we have had from the beginning, that we are to love one another.
The object of the Christian faith and the Christian life is Truth and love. John emphasized love in his first letter, but he also said that that love is for the brethren, for believers, for those who are in Christ.
God loves the world. We are not worth loving, but God still loves us all. The important thing is that He tells believers to take the Gospel to the world (Mat.28:19-20). That is the way that you and I show our concern and love. We are to take the Gospel to the lost (unbelievers) because God loves them. IF we take it to them, a love will be born in our hearts for those who are actually our enemies. God is love . . . it is His attribute . . . and His love has provided a Saviour for us. But, do not forsake Truth, for it is also extremely important. This is John's emphasis in this second letter.
2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (KJV)
What is love? It is to walk after His commandments. The Lord said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). The Lord's commandments are MORE than the Ten Commandments (Mat.22:36-40). The Ten Commandments are basic to government and basic to civilization, but the TRUE Christian is called to a higher plane where we are to produce in our life, the fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
Galatians 5:14-20 For all the law 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 the Spirit, and the Spirit 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 the Spirit, 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, (KJV) . . . TRUE Christians are to cast off all these things. Will we ever DO some of them, as God's children? Oh, my yes! We certainly will! BUT, when the Holy Spirit of Almighty God abides within us, and we walk in the Spirit, we no longer WANT to do any of the above abominations. And when we do anything wrong, the Holy Spirit will make us SO miserable, we simply have to make it right with God! 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV)
The Holy Spirit is God, and God CANNOT stand ANY sin, no matter what kind or how big or how small! The Holy Spirit will convict us! And God will take us to the woodshed IF we do not get rid of it! We must walk in love! (John 15:2; 1 Cor.11:32; Rev.3:19). Hebrews 12:5-8 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (KJV) . . . Quote from: Pro.3:11-12.
If a child of God claims he is being chastened by God, then he must admit he has repeatedly refused to listen to God or obey Him. He must acknowledge his sins, for God does not send plagues upon obedient children. Only those who obey God will reap blessings and only those who rebel will be cursed (Gal. 6:7-8; Lev. 26; Deut. 28).
BUT, we must consider that Christians are subject just as much as unbelievers to contagious diseases or certain physical ailments, through improper nutrition, exercise and improper care of the body. They also are subject to satanic attacks, and if they do not learn to claim the Promises and resist Satan they may become physically afflicted like other men (Jam. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:7-9; Eph. 4:27; 6:10-18).
And one other thing, I do NOT believe that God heals everyone. 2 Cor.12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (KJV)
One thing is certain, God is NOT to blame for sicknesses upon His obedient children and to claim such is to cooperate with Satan, not God (Jn. 10:10; Lk. 13:16; Acts 10:38). BUT, God does allow sickness and infirmities in TRUE Christians. James 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (KJV)
Would any earthly father chasten or train a child by giving them cancers, tumors, or any sickness and disease? I think you know the answer to that! That would NOT demonstrate true fatherhood, as Jesus taught of God in Mt. 7:7-11; Lk. 11:9-13? What earthly parent would allow a child to suffer physically IF he could help it? Do you think that God is the Father who loves to see His children sick? How could God love them more than earthly parents if He were this kind of being?
Reasons when and why God chastises:
When they commit iniquity (2Sam. 7:14)
When people provoke God (Ps. 6:1; 38:1)
When they forsake God (Ps. 89:30-32)
When people refuse to judge and correct themselves (1Cor. 11:32)
When they stubbornly rebel (Dt. 11:2-6; Lev. 26:14-31; Num. 14)
When people sow to the flesh (Gal. 6:7-8)
When God's children need instruction and correction (Heb. 12:5-10; Rev. 3:19)
Ways that God Chastens and Judges:
1. Wars (2Sam. 7:14; Lev. 26:28-40; Hos. 10:10; Jer. 30:14)
2. Whipping (Deut. 8:5-6; 21:18; Prov. 13:24; 19:18)
3. Persecutions (2Cor. 6:9; 11:23-30)
4. Famine (Lev. 26:28-29)
5. Captivity (Hos. 7:12-13)
6. Scourging (Lk. 23:16,22; 1Ki. 12:11,14; 2Chr. 10:11,14)
7. Judgments (Dt. 11:1-2; Rev.6-18)
8. Sickness on sinners (Book of Job)
Let's go back to: 2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (KJV)
We MUST walk after His commandments. If LOVE is NOT in you and abide in you, you are NOT walking after His commandments. "And this is love" . . . You must care about and have concern for others. Love is the 3 C's: care, concern, compassion. You cannot say that you are loving someone unless you have a concern for him, ESPECIALLY a concern for his spiritual welfare.
"This is the commandment, That as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it." In other words, John is saying, "This thing is not something you put in the freezer for future use." You have heard it from the beginning. The Lord Jesus taught this over and over again (Mat.5:43-44,46; 22:36-40; Mk. 12:28-32; Luke 6:27-28,32,35; 10:25-28; Jn.14:15,21,23; 13:35; 15:9-10,12). John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (KJV)
Life Is An Expression Of The Doctrine Of Christ (1:7-11)
Love is on one side, Truth is on the other. John now issues his warning.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (KJV)
John said in his first letter that already there were many antichrists and that there was the spirit of antichrist. 1 John 2:18 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. (KJV)
HOW do we identify the spirit of antichrist? John gives us the answer: "Who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." The spirit of antichrist is to DENY the deity of Jesus Christ. It is to DENY everything that is said about Him, everything that He said, and everything that He did for us in redemption by dying on the cross and by being raised bodily from the dead. That is antichrist, and that is the spirit of antichrist.
The spirit of antichrist eventually will be headed up one day in the not too distant future. I believe that there shall be two men, because two men are described in Revelation 13. One of these is a great political ruler, an enemy of Christ . . . he is AGAINST Christ. The other is a religious ruler who will IMITATE Christ, causing the world to worship the first beast, that is, to worship the political one-world ruler.
Everything today, is preparing the way for the coming of "that Wicked" (2 Thes.2:8) . . . so much so, that when the political ruler and the religious ruler finally appear, the world will be ready for them. With each day that passes, it looks to me like the world is almost ready for them right NOW! The political ruler will promise peace in the world . . . and for three and one-half years (Dan.9:27), he will SEEM to do a good job of it . . . BU my friend, it is NOT permanent (Rev.6). The peace will end with a horrendous abomination (Rev.13:14-15) followed by the WAR of Armageddon which will last for about 3 1/2 years until the Coming of Christ to the earth to establish His Kingdom (Zec.14:1-4; Rev.19:11-21). Check out some of our articles: . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_ec_ecumenism.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_sf_satanic_foundation.htm.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_one_world_order.htm
At that time also, there will be a one-world religion, and we are definitely moving in that direction today! It will be a WORLD religion where all cults and religions will all pool their doctrines. It will be a religion that in my honest opinion, does NOT really believe any TRUTH of God and His Holy Word, BUT instead shall be empowered by Satan!
Today, churches urge us to get rid of that which separates us. JESUS came to bring division! Luke 12:51-53 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (KJV) . . . When a person receives Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he is immediately separated from ALL unbelievers around him. This is true, be they kin folk or friends. When a person is really sincere about salvation, they are given the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18; 2 Jn.1:2), and we have Him FOREVER!!! Once saved, always saved! We are a TRUE Christian. We are a child of Almighty God in Heaven! Once we are saved, we are always saved, we are saved FOR EVER!
If we get rid of all that separates us, there will NOT be anything left to hold us together, because JESUS is the MAIN cause of separation! We CANNOT get rid of JESUS!!!
"For many deceivers are entered into the world." Gnosticism was running riot in John's day. Everywhere the Gospel of Jesus Christ has gone, the cults have always followed. . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_false_doctrines_gnosticism.1.htm
There were at that time quite a few of what was known as the Gnostic sect which was actually divided into many groups. There was the Cerinthian Gnostics who followed a teacher in Ephesus whose name was Cerinthus. That group is similar to several of the cults today in that they taught that Jesus and Christ were two completely different entities; and that the divine came upon Jesus at His baptism and left Him at the Cross. There were also the Docetic Gnostics who denied the reality of the physical body of Christ. They said that the apostles thought they saw Jesus, but that He was not actually a real person; He was just an appearance. We have a few cults which have picked up that heresy also. That is why John said: 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (KJV) . . . John KNEW what he was talking about, and he said that Jesus WAS a real Man.
"A Gnostic Christian Church, that believes in reincarnation, the duality of God as both masculine and feminine, and in tenets that explain how we can best advance our souls for God -- while living with the negativity here on Earth. Founded by psychic Sylvia Browne on 1986-APR-14, Novus Spiritus is based on a long line of Gnostic churches that have existed for over 7,200 years. The first church service was conducted on 1986-JUL-12. Gnostics believe in finding their own truth, and don’t believe in “hell,” “sin,” or that Jesus came to die for our sins -– but was a human messiah who served as a living example of how we should think and behave. Church members believe in an all-loving, all-merciful and benevolent God, in the power of prayer, and that we write a 'chart' for each life, to learn the life lessons we have chosen to learn through experience – to reach our own desired level of perfection for God, who loves us unconditionally and equally." . . . Quote from: http://www.religioustolerance.org/gnostic.htm
Many then, and today, have twisted, distorted and warped conceptions of the TRUE Person of Christ. The thing that John is saying here and which is extremely important today is that there are many deceivers who have entered into the world. Unless someone thinks correctly of Christ Jesus, everything he says is false and that person is a false teacher. . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_1_false_teachers.1.htm
John emphasizes that you are to walk according to the commandments of Christ, and the proof that you are a child of God is that you walk in love for the brethren. Now here, John has utters a warning that many deceivers have come into the world. Oh! He is right! The believer today walks a very dangerous pathway through the world. There are many dangerous beasts which are ready to devour us (Tit.1:10-12; 2 Pet.2:12; Jude 1:10). For many deceivers, . . . of these John had spoken before (1 Jn.4:1).
John says that the way you are going to tell if one is not a child of God is: "Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" (1John 3:10). Love and righteousness are the two clear characteristics of a TRUE child of God. We must be ever so careful of those who are not TRUE believers, those deceivers who DENY the deity of Christ. John is saying that if you deny the deity of Christ, you are not a Christian. You may be religious, but you are not a Christian! A Christian is one who is a follower of Christ, one who believes in Him. You CANNOT be a follower of Christ unless you believe in His virgin birth, His deity, His miraculous life, His work of redemption upon the Cross and His resurrection!
2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. (KJV)
"That ye lose not those things which ye have wrought" . . . embracing the Gospel, making a profession of it, walking in it, being zealous about it, and standing up for it, defending it, expressing a love both by words and actions in your life, and suffering much reproach on the account of it. All which would be lost and in vain, should you at cast away the Gospel of Jesus Christ for "another gospel" (2 Cor.11:4), and embrace the errors of the wicked (Gal.3:4). And for certain, you do NOT want to cast away the TRUE Jesus for "another Jesus" who could NEVER save you!
Take heed upon WHAT you build your life upon, since, though you yourself may be scarcely saved, your works may be utterly destroyed, so as to suffer great loss (1 Cor.3:11-15). 1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (KJV) . . . PLEASE take John's words seriously!
But that we receive a full reward . . . in Heaven, and which itself is called the recompense of reward, and the reward of the inheritance (1 Pet.1:4-5). Please do not ever think any "reward" for God is a reward of debt due to any works of men. A person is rewarded by God for our love for Him, our believing what He tells us, and our obedience to Him! In other words "that we walk after his commandments."
God has of His own grace promised a reward (Mat.5:12; 16:27; Luke 6:23,35; 1 Cor.3:14; Col.3:24; Rev.22:12) to those who love and serve Him. Rewards will be given to us of His grace, AFTER our work is over. Christians are warned to meet required conditions in order not to lose rewards (1Cor. 3:11-15).
"But that we receive a full reward" . . . there is NO half reward to any saint! Your reward is either lost completely, burnt up in the judgment fire (1 Cor.3:15) . . . OR received in FULL! There shall be NO service of pastor or people that shall fail to receive its reward. 1 Cor.15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. (KJV) . . . Personally, I do not think any two people shall receive the same exact reward. God loves diversity! Look at people! No two alike. Consider the ocean . . . from the tiniest shrimp, to the vast whales! What awesome diversity!
A TRUE Christian does NOT lose their salvation when you have fellowship with the wrong people . . . BUT . . . you certainly DO put yourself in a very dangerous situation! It does mean that the minute you identify yourself with a cult or listen to those who deny the deity of Christ, you have lost your salvation. IF you are a TRUE child of God, ALL your works shall be burned! You shall lose your reward! 1 Cor. 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (KJV) . . . You will make it, by the "skin of your teeth" as the old saying goes, but there will be NO reward for a believer who has done this. . . . NO reward for disobedience! . . . Once saved, always saved! http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Basics/if_saved_always_saved.htm www.jesus-is-savior.com/Believer%27s%20Corner/eternal_security.htm
Every believer should be working for a reward. I don't know about you, but the words I want to hear Him say to me someday, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" (Mat. 25:21,23). At the end of his life, Paul was able to say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day..." (2 Tim. 4:7-8). During his life, he was not sure of it (Rom.7:14-25). But, he did not want to be disapproved when he came into the Presence of Christ. Therefore, it should really make us consider eternity and to be very careful not to be taken in by deceivers.
2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (KJV)
"Whosoever transgresseth" . . . I do not think that John means the law of God, of which everyone is a daily transgressor, in thought, word and deed. I think John means someone who passes over the rule and standard of Gospel, the Word of God, and refuses to adhere to that, nor walk according to it, but rejects and despises it.
"And abideth not in the doctrine of Christ" . . . this doctrine is that which Christ received from His Father, and delivered to His apostles . . . of which He (Jesus) is the Sum and Substance! The doctrine which concerns His Person as the only begotten Son of God, and as TRULY God. The union of His two natures, divine and human, in One Person, concerns His offices: as the Mediator, Surety, Messenger of the covenant, and as the Prophet, Priest, and King of His church . . . the TRUE church!
The DOCTRINE includes: His incarnation (Isa.7:14; Mat.1:23; Lu.1:26-27), His obedience (Isa.50:5-6; John 4:34; 6:38; 14:31; 15:10; Ro.5:19), His horrendous sufferings (Isa.53:5,10; Zec.13:6; Mat.26:31; 26:38; 27:26,29, 46; John 19:2; 19:37; Acts 3:18; Heb.5:8; 13:12; 1 Pet.1:11; 2:21; 3:18), His death (Acts 2:22-24), His resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:39-40; John 20:20; Acts 1:3; 10:39-41; 13:30; Rev.1:18), His ascension to Heaven (Ac.1:9), where He sits at God's right hand (Mk.16:19; Luke 22:69; Ac.7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 pet.3:22), He makes intercession for His people (1 John 2:1), His peace and pardon by His Blood (Jn.14:27; 1 Pet.1:18-19), atonement by His Sacrifice (Phil.4:18), justification by His righteousness (Rom.3:24; 5:1; 1 Cor.1:30), and complete and eternal salvation by Him alone (John 3:16; 5:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12); His Second Coming as judge (Ps.98:9; Zec. 14:1-5; Mat.26:64; Mark 13:35; Luke 9:26; Heb.9:28).
Whoever has erred in this doctrine, and rejects it, and abides not in it, are as Satan, who abides NOT in the Truth! (John 8:44). The word transgresseth means "to go before or to go ahead." The meaning is to go farther than is right, going to some extreme. This is what the Gnostics claimed for themselves. The word gnosis means "knowledge." The Gnostics claimed to have a little more knowledge than anyone else, something that made them super-duper saints. There are quite a few professing Christians in that category today. They think that they have something the rest of us don't have. . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_false_doctrines_gnosticism.1.htm
Whosoever goes farther than is right, whoever becomes an extremist "and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God."
"He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." . . . If you are abiding in the doctrine of Christ, you have BOTH God the Father, and God the Son, and you have access to the Father through the Son, and you have the Holy Spirit abiding within you (Rom.8:9). We have access to God through Christ, by His marvelous, infinite grace IF we abide in the doctrine of Christ. The word abide means "to remain" . . . and my friend, this is a permanent arrangement. John is saying here that he who abides in the doctrine of Christ, who remains in it and does not change, has both the Father and the Son.
2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. (KJV)
Good for you, John!!! What a bold, strong and true WARNING!
We need to remember that John is writing to "the elect lady," who may have been an outstanding woman in the church, noted for her hospitality. If she was a person instead of the church, she is a woman of means who can entertain guests lavishly. She is very generous. Maybe some of these Gnostics came by, and she entertained them. Maybe the Holy Spirit convicted about it. What should she (or we) do in a case like that? What should her attitude be toward an apostate, a heretic, or one who denies the deity of Christ but PRETENDS to be a follower of Christ? Should she entertain him in her home? John is strictly against false teachers. John just lays it out here: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed." . . . Do NOTlisten to false teachers! . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_1_false_teachers.1.htm
Now John says something else that should really concern every one of us today.
2 John 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (KJV)
If you entertain a false teacher, if you support him financially, if you do not tell people he is wrong according to the Bible, YOU are a partner with him in his damnable deeds. Please people . . . you MUST check preachers and teachers out!!! Including me! Does my teaching agree with the Holy Word of God?
SO many false preachers out there trying to make a fast buck today . . . and using the Holy Name of Christ Jesus. BLASPHEMY!!! Beware, my friend! Do NOT be a " partaker of his evil deeds."
Personal Greeting (1:12-13)
2 John 1:12-13 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen. (KJV)
"Having many things" . . . though many more things had happened that he wanted to write about, John hopes soon to see her and speak face to face. I think what John is saying is, "I want to come and visit you, and I can tell it better in person than I can write it." David felt the same way, "...my tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Ps. 45:1). When David began to write that wonderful 45th Psalm, a Psalm praising Christ, he simply said, "my tongue is the pen of a ready writer" . . . I wish I could tell it to you. I can say it better than I can write it.
"The children of thy elect sister". . . they were children of a sister of this elect lady, or it was a sister church sending greetings to this lady and to the local church there.
This is a tremendous little letter, and its message ought to alert every believer today.
Kinds of people for Christians to be wary of. They are everywhere!
#1. The ungodly (Ps. 1). #2. Scorners (Ps. 1). #3. Workers of iniquity (Ps. 6:8). #4. Vain persons (Ps. 26:4). #5. Evil workers (Ps. 26:5). #6. Wicked people (Prov. 1:10-15). #7. The foolish (Prov. 9:6; 14:17). #8. The furious man (Prov. 22:24). #9. Brethren causing divisions (Rom. 16:17).#10. Those who abideth not in the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn. 1:9-11). #11. False teachers (1Tim. 6:3-5; 2Jn. 1:10). #12. The disorderly (2 Thes. 3:6). #13. The disobedient (2 Thes. 3:14-15). #14. Unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14). #15. Infidels (2 Cor. 6:15). #16. Fornicators (1 Cor. 5:9). #17. Covetous people (1 Cor. 5:10). #18. Extortioners (1 Cor. 5:10). #19. Idolaters (1Cor. 5:10). #20. Railers (abusive) (1 Cor. 5:11). #21. Drunkards (1 Cor. 5:11). #22. Lovers of themselves (2 Tim. 3:2). #23. Boasters (2 Tim. 3:2). #24. Proud people (2 Tim. 3:2). #25. Blasphemers (2 Tim. 3:2). #26. Those who are disobedient to parents (2 Tim. 3:2). #27. Unthankful people (2 Tim. 3:2). #28. Unholy people (2.Tim. 3:2). #29. Those without natural affection (2 Tim. 3:3). #30. Trucebreakers (2Tim. 3:3). #31. False accusers (2 Tim. 3:3). #32. Incontinent (no self control) (2 Tim. 3:3). #33. Fierce people (2 Tim. 3:3). #34. Despisers of those who are good (2 Tim. 3:3). #35. Traitors (2 Tim. 3:4). #36. Headstrong people (2 Tim. 3:4). #37. Highminded people (2 Tim. 3:4). #38. Those who love pleasure more than God (2 Tim. 3:4). #39. Hypocrites -- those who have "a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof" (2 Tim. 3:5). #40. Those who practice witchcraft (Lev.19:31; 20:6).
False teaching is a very serious business. We must NOT overlook it. It is so serious that John wrote this letter to warn against it. There are so many false teachings in our world that we might be tempted to take many of them lightly. Please consider and realize the enormous dangers they pose to your eternal soul! Do NOT listen to these wolves in sheep's clothing. They will take you to HELL wit them! Reject and refuse to give any heresy a foothold in your mind and heart.