John's Letter to the Chosen Lady

John's Letter to the Chosen Lady

Scripture: 2 John 1:1-13
Date: 09/19/2009  Lesson: 12
2 John parallels 1 John in many ways, and many themes are repeated and reinforced.

Formula 4 Faith by Doug Batchelor

Formula 4 Faith by Doug Batchelor
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Good morning and a very Happy Sabbath to those of you this morning who are tuning in and watching and being a part of our family here at central church, our Sabbath school family. I want to welcome those of you who are watching this morning on our website at saccentral.org, listening on the radio and watching on the various television networks. We welcome you again to another central study hour. It's time for us to sing. And I'm sure you have sent in your favorites.

And this is one of them. The first one is "faith of our fathers," 304 in your hymnals, "faith of our fathers." This is from shervon in bahamas, eben in California, jonas in Canada, buski in england, theodore in Illinois, francis in italy, Karen and heron in jamaica, Joel in Maryland, joy and Philip in nigeria, diane in saint lucia, frank in Texas, kerri in Washington and prince in zambia. We are going to sing first, second and fourth verse. [Music] Were you paying attention to those words as you were singing those? You know I've been looking on the news and things on the internet, you know, about current events. And it's scary, but it's also exciting at the same time.

And you think about the people who've given their lives and are in other countries that don't have the freedoms that we have. And we have so much to be thankful for, but it's also kind of a bad thing because when you don't feel, you know, persecution, you can tend to think, "oh well, everything is okay." But it's not. And there were people that have gone before us, that have given their lives for their love for Christ. And one day sooner I think than we realize it's gonna happen in this country. And I hope that we will each be ready, that no matter what we have to go through, that we will stay faithful to the faith of our fathers.

Our next song this morning, "blessed assurance, Jesus is mine," so no matter what you're going through, you have that blessed assurance. Jesus will take you all the way home, 462. This is from ralph in Alaska, jessica and bliss in australia, James and barbara in California, elizabeth in dominica, preye in england, Samson in germany, John, stacy, lindsey and tommy in Idaho. Danielle in jamaica, nancy in malaysia, kelvyn, myriam, janice and aureli in mauritius, wayne in Minnesota, Michael in Missouri, elisabeth in New York, thomas in nigeria, sam in norway, andre in saint lucia, coreen in saint vincent and the grenadines, shirley in Vermont, myra and larry in Washington and bryson in zambia. This is a favorite, so you guys sing extra loud this morning.

We are going to do all three verses, 462. [Music] If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, go to our website at saccentral.org, and click on the "contact us" link. And we will sing your favorite sometime hopefully very soon. So keep watching and singing with us every week. Our next event is prayer.

So let's bow our heads. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for the blessed assurance that we have in you, that you love us and you protect us. And sometimes you do allow us to go through experiences, but you know that they will draw us closer to you. And so we thank you, even though sometimes we can't see the sunshine, that you love us and you know what's best. And I pray that you will be with each one this morning who is in that situation, that you will just give them extra special peace and calm in their hearts.

And I pray that we will one day all be faithful and we can meet on the sea of glass, around your throne when we can sing praises to you forever and ever. And we thank you so much for the hope that we have as Christians. I pray you'll be with our speaker this morning, that you will give him the words from--straight from you, that you will be with his ministry. And I know that you've already blessed Pastor Doug in so many ways, but I pray that you will just continue to use him to reach more people for you. In Jesus' Name, amen.

At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you jessica and debbie, our musicians. Good morning, friends. Those here at central church, welcome. Glad to have any that might be visiting today.

And always want to extend a special hello and welcome to our friends that are watching on tv or listening on the radio or watching on the internet. And I want to send a special greetings to our friends that are down under in australia. We're going to be with you folks the end of October, beginning of November doing some evangelistic meetings in sydney. And I'm looking forward to seeing a number of our friends who have been writing in from australia or that area. And I hope to meet you face-to-face then.

For our class, we're continuing with our study on John's epistles. We'll get to that in just a moment. As always we like to share our free offer that we hope will help to compliment your study and what we're going through in our lesson. And today we're offering the book, "steps to Christ." And if you'd like a free copy of that, we'll give it to you just by calling. The number is 866--the phone number--866-788-3966.

And ask for offer number 736 when you call in. We'd be happy to send that to you. It's a classic book. Also, want to remind everybody, right now we're gonna be studying lesson 12 in the epistles of John. We've got one more lesson.

And then we get into our new quarter's lessons. And it's gonna be dealing with "people on the move: the book of Numbers." And this is what it'll look like. I got the extra-large version so they could pick it up here on our cameras. But the book of Numbers is not just about Numbers. It's about stories, people and some very interesting experiences.

I've looked through--that lesson is gonna be an exciting one. So I just wanted to tell you and get you prepped for that. Okay, let's get to our study today. And the study is lesson number 12. It's dealing with 2 John, John chapter, chapter.

That's because there's only one chapter, 2 John. And I think we can get through the whole book today. Now when you read through the second letter of John, it only has 311 words. That'll depend on, you know, if you're reading in some translations give or take a couple of words, depending on the translation and how they use the Greek. But about 311 words.

John never mentions his name in the book. It's very concise. But it really covers the essence of the Gospel. For example, if you break up John--you know, right in my Bible I use-- when I do evangelism I use the King James version. When I teach here at central, I use the new king James version.

I happen to use the open Bible, which has got special Bible study helps in it. And I like to read what they say about a book before I teach it. They've got a neat little chart that breaks down the book of John, or the second letter of John, into-- begins with a salutation, ends with a benediction. Goes from salutation to walking in the truth, walking in love. Then about the middle of the book it talks about the doctrine of false teachers, avoiding those false teachers.

And ten of course it ends with the benediction. The book is really divided up into walking in the commandments and watching for counterfeits. That's a great summary of what a message would be in an epistle. Starts out talking about practicing the truth, ends up talking about protecting the truth. And the letter, the essence of the letter is truth.

And so, you know, it's interesting when you see it broken down like that how inspired it really is. The message yet is so simple. Now what I wanted to do--i don't know if I'll be able to-- I'd like to read through it without comment. And then back up and make some comments. We'll go through it verse by verse.

And think I've given some of you different verses other places in the Bible that will help to enhance that. So let me try this. I'm gonna just read the 13 verses of 2 John. And then we'll back up and we'll look at each verse more closely. "The elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only i, but also all those who have known the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God The Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of The Father, in truth and love.

I rejoiced greatly that I found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from The Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. This is love: that you walk according to his commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.

This is a deceiver and an antiChrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both The Father and The Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you to speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen." Alright, let's back up now. And let's look at this verse by verse. And I'm gonna have some of you help me read a variety of Scriptures as we do.

First of all, we have a memory verse. That memory verse is 2 John 9. Why don't you say that with me, John 9? In your lesson if you read it out of your quarterly, it's from the new American standard Bible. And that's actually a good translation of the verse there. You ready? "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in this teaching of Christ does not have God.

The one who abides in the teaching, he has both The Father and The Son." So this book--and by the way, there's no question really as to the authorship of 2 John. All the way back to polycarp and eusebius and the early church fathers, there was some question whether they were going to add it into the canon of Scripture, because so much of it is identical to 1 John. But as time went by, they all recognized it was a letter to John and it was included in the canon of Scripture. Everything in it seemed to harmonize with all the other teachings in the Bible. There was no new or heretical doctrine in it.

It's all just very solid Bible theology. And so it was included as far back as like I said the second century of the church. And the language, when you look at the style and the language of John, I mean if ever you could say--if you got a handwriting expert that was to look at the style of this letter and compare it to the style of 1 John or the Gospel of John, they'd say either it's a perfect counterfeit or it's the same author. I mean because the language, the style, he never--doesn't refer to himself. The emphasis of love, the emphasis of commandments, the emphasis of truth, it's all the same emphasis that John has everywhere else.

So it's got the stamp of authenticity--of course I believe that about all the Bible. But since we're scrutinizing this book now, I just wanted to share it again. Now here's some things there's some disagreement on, not who's writing the book, but who's he writing to? You'll notice in the first verse: "the elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only i, but also all those who have known the truth." Who is this "elect lady?" Now there's a couple of views. And if you read through the various commentaries, some believe--well, there was a matron, probably some distinguished lady, probably a widow or he would have addressed the husband and the wife. That would have been appropriate during that time.

So this widow who maybe was a lady of means who was allowing the church to meet in her house, who had several children, and he's writing a letter to her, doesn't give her name. Part of the reason is because during this time when John wrote, and he's nearing 100 years of age, that Christianity was against the law. Remember he was in prison when he wrote Revelation because Christianity was religio illicita, forbidden religion. And judaism was also in great scorn. They had rebelled.

The jews had rebelled against rome. Jerusalem had been destroyed. And so in order to, you know, sort of protect her identity, she says, "to the elect lady." That's one view. Another view is that that was her name. You know, there are people who you might say, "brother," as a general term.

And there are people who actually have the name, "brother." How many of you remember brother typewriters? Some people actually have the name brother. And you know, in this hippie age, people name their kids fountain and rainbow and summer. And I mean all kinds of things. And it's really something when people name their daughter may and she's born in April. And then some people are born April and they're born in may.

I mean we have all kinds of strange names that we name. And so some say well that was the name of the person, "lady." Because again in the letter he says, in verse 5, "and now I plead with you, lady." Well--and you know, by the way, the word "Martha," the word "Martha" is a derivative of the Hebrew word for lady also. And so that's the argument there. I take the third position which is John often writes in metaphors and symbolic terms. He is writing a letter from ephesus, the church in ephesus to the church in Jerusalem that was under a lot of scrutiny at the time.

And he says, "to the lady and her children." And by the way, the word "children" there is sons and daughters. It's a letter written from one church where he is in asia to another church. And he uses that terminology. Now I'll show you a few reasons why I believe that. Now somebody read for me Peter 5:13.

I think we gave a slip out that has that. Hold your hand up, we'll get you a microphone. Peter--and someone else Revelation 12:1. Who has Revelation 12? We got a hand right here. Let's get a microphone, brian.

Hold your hand up so that you can find that. Are you ready with what did I say, 1 Peter 5:13? Go ahead. "She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son." Alright so now Peter is closing a letter and he's saying, "she in Babylon." Well, what's he talking about? There's no history that the Christian church had established a group way over in Babylon during this time. But in the new testament, Babylon was a term that the jews used to refer to rome. We know Peter eventually was executed in rome.

There was a church in rome. And did the church in rome have to go underground? Have you heard of the catacombs before? And so they often spoke in these symbolic terms when writing from one church to another church to sort of protect the anonymity of the people. And they used the word, or the feminine term, to identify the church. Another example would be the verse we're gonna read now. Who has--i gave Revelation 12:1.

And why don't we go ahead and have you read that to us now. "Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars." Alright, thank you. Who wrote the book of Revelation? Same one who wrote 2 John, the second letter of John. What does that woman represent standing on the moon, clothed with the sun, stars above her head? It's the church. Clothed with the sun, moon and stars, that's all the forms of light, natural light that are mentioned in Genesis that God made, God's light.

"Clothed with the light of God." Doesn't John talk a lot about the light? You are the light of the world. I mean--so he's using these metaphors. By the way, when he begins his letter by saying, "the elder," who's he talking about? That's a term he uses to talk about himself. By the way, he was the elderest of the elders at that time. He was the only surviving apostle when he wrote that.

So he's writing from the elder to the lady. In my mind it's very clear he's talking about the church. And he closes the letter by saying, "the children of your elect sister." Well, so we believe that he's in ephesus and the sister of the lady that he's writing to happens to be--he doesn't use any names of anybody in the book. See what I'm saying? Now in the 3 John, he does address names. But this letter is written.

It's to be a little secure. He's giving simple principles that are for the whole church. I think the elect lady is, it's a church. He's just writing to the church and he uses these symbolic terms, okay? "Whom I love in the truth," another very general term. "Not I also, but all those that have known the truth.

" He's saying, "you're not alone, but all through the ages and all the other believers love what you love. And you'll also notice that it says, "I found some of your children walking in truth." I've jumped down to verse 4. I'll go back up. Evidently, not all were. But if you've got a king James, a new king James version, you'll find that word, "some" is italicized, meaning it's an added word.

So it could have read, I've found of your children walking in truth. And so they believe and most agree that it's saying some, not all. But he's rejoicing that some are. Is it typically true when you go to a church that not all are walking in truth? And so they had the same issues then that we have today. Notice the emphasis here on truth.

Now I've circled it in my Bible here in verse 1. TRuth--verse--two times, truth, truth. Verse 2, truth. Verse 3, truth. Verse 4, truth.

And so especially in the first letter, what is his emphasis? Why is he emphasizing the truth so much? Well, if you're writing a letter, and you're trying to encourage something, you want to highlight the positive because there's a problem with the negative. Before you get to the end of the letter, doesn't he say that there are false teachers that are coming in? So he is blowing the trumpet of truth. He's waving the flag of truth. He's saying, "walk in truth. Cling to truth.

Stand for truth." TRuth, truth, truth, truth. That's so important. And why is this so important? Who is it that said--? Jesus said, "I am the truth. The truth will set you free. You'll know the truth and truth--" who wrote that? John in his Gospel.

And so it shouldn't surprise us that he has a big emphasis on truth. Now, I did a little study. And actually, this is--it's an old survey but I dug it out. Some of you have heard of the barna research group. And they did a number of surveys finding out do people still believe in absolute truth? Now when I say absolute truth--matter of fact, I might ask that question before I give the answer here.

Show of hands. Haven't asked the question yet. You don't know what you're raising your hand for. Could be looking for volunteers. Show of hands, how many of you believe that there is such a thing as absolute truth? That's most.

Good. Appreciate that. I would agree with you. How many of you do not believe there is such a thing as absolute truth. There may be some out there, but you don't want to raise your hand.

And I respect that. I believe there is absolute truth. In other words, why do I think that's important? No--first I'm gonna tell you what America believes. Then I'll tell you why I believe it's important. Okay.

"In the los angeles times, the barna research group released a study," and this is way back in 2002, "only 44% of born-again adults are certain that there is absolute moral truth, that it exists." Now that's a grave concern. "Only 9% of born-again teenagers believe in absolute moral truth." That tells you that of the people that believe it, it's a dying belief. "The only group that has more than 50% that believes in absolute truth is evangelical Christians." In the first group it was including protestants and orthodox and all people who say, "yeah, I've been born again." The number for that group is, "70% of evangelicals is the only group believe in absolute truth, % of non-evangelical Christians believe in absolute truth, 27% of those who identified themselves as agnostic or atheist believe in absolute truth, 16% of followers of non-Christian religions believe in absolute truth." And let me see if I can give you some more. Oh, "13% of those born in 1965 or after believe in absolute truth, 28% of those born between and 1964," so about twice as many believe. What that says--let me simplify all these Numbers for you.

We have an ever decreasing number of people in our society who believe in absolute truth. That is really scary. Let me tell you why. You remember a few years ago there was a group of people belonged to a cult called heaven's gate, led by a fellow named, I believe it was, marshall apple white. I think that's right.

And they're religion, their cult, was built around, in my opinion, a lot of squirrely beliefs. They were absolutely sincere about what they believed. I mean they kind of lived in this "star trek" alter life. And they believed that their leader was, you know, kind of a reincarnation of some person-- I don't remember name-- from another planet. And the crescendo of their belief was that a spaceship was coming to pick them all up that was hiding in the tail of the hale-bopp comet.

And they were so absolutely sure this was truth that they all dressed up, took a concoction of alcohol and drugs and committed suicide all wearing new nike sneakers. The males in the organizations had themselves turned into eunuchs, because they believed that was their teaching of truth to be free. And they died. Now here's my question for you: was it true? Well, it was for them. "So what's true for them must be true, for them.

And what's true for you is true for you." And you know how many people say that in our society today? You talk to young people on the street and you say, "is there absolute truth?" They'll say, "well, you know, no. What's true for you, that's your truth. And what's true for me, that's my truth. And it's absolutely true for me. And your truth is absolutely true for you.

And I respect your truth. And you respect my truth. And everybody's got their own truth and we can all love each other that way." Right? Isn't that the attitude? That is deadly! How many of you want to fly in an airplane with a pilot who does not believe in absolute truth? He's gonna fly that plane based upon, "well, let's see how I feel today. And you know, I might believe that if I go this way I'll get to cincinnati. But I might get to Hawaii.

And as long as I believe it and I'm sincere--" would you want to get on that plane? Or do you want that pilot to believe there are certain absolute laws of aviation, that you can't pull back the power and worry about stalling? As long as he's sincere, he doesn't need to worry about it, right? Anyone here want brain surgery done by a brain surgeon that does not believe in certain absolute biological truths? So how can we think we're gonna find our way to heaven when it comes to spiritual things if there are not certain absolute spiritual truths? It is really insanity. And our culture is becoming more and more insane with the idea that there is no absolute truth as long as you're sincere, you can believe whatever you want. Now, I am not saying I know absolute truth. That's the difference. And I doubt you know absolute truth.

But I believe there is an absolute truth, and we ought to pursue that. I get scared when I meet people who say, "I believe in absolute truth, and I happen to know absolute truth." I think Christ is the only thing that is absolute truth. I believe God's Word is absolutely true. That doesn't mean I don't think there might be a punctuate problem in the translation. You know what I'm saying? But I believe the Word of God is the truth, and that it is the defining touchstone, so to speak, for all other truths or supposed truths.

And so this is so important. And this is what John is saying. He says you need to know what the truth is. You need to walk in the truth. How can you walk in the truth if there's no absolute truth? You've gotta find out what it is.

And can it be discovered? Yeah. I mean look at all the discoveries of truth we've made in the last 100 years that we assume to be absolute. When the science of dna first came out, I think everybody was a little bit dubious about, you know, this new, we thought it kind of hypothetical theory that, you know, you could do this research and find out from this blood sample exactly who it came from and what their relatives are and who they're related to. And we all said, "oh yeah, yeah. Scientists and another theory.

" But you know, as time goes by and it stands a number of tests, and it withstands a lot of scrutiny, it becomes more and more dependable until it's pretty well considered in court to be an absolute truth. The same thing with the Word of God. It has survived scrutiny for ,500 years, that it is truth. And so you've gotta know what that is and take a stand for it. Christ says, "I am the truth.

" It's the truth that "sets you free." We need to know what is truth. And so he's emphasizing that because the devil is constantly trying to water down truth and say, "it doesn't really matter. You don't have to worry about what is truth, as long as you're sincere." Now, having said that, will there be people in heaven that did not know all the truth? We all agree with that? Does that mean there isn't absolute truth? If there are people in heaven that maybe believed it's okay to have more than one wife, first of all, is that true? How many men think that's true? How many women think that's true? Nobody thinks that's true. Well, it depends on what state you're in. There are some states where you might have saw a few hands go up.

But will there be people in heaven that had too many wives at one time? Does that mean it's okay? Because they were mixed up on that truth, does it mean that it stops being truth? It means God winks at our ignorance. But we are to always be striving to know what is truth. And, you know, there are people who believed it was the truth that if you cut a person with a fever and bled them, you'd reduce their fever. They really believed that was truth. And many people were killed by that because it wasn't truth, it was a lie.

And I could go right down a long list of things that people believed that were true that were just terrible. Doctors used to recommend lucky strikes is good for your lungs. I actually saw an ad like that. It's hard to believe today, right? Was it true? So through comparing Scripture with Scripture, through looking at the evidence, our faith grows that we can know what is truth. And I think as a Christian, you always ought to be searching for what truth is.

TRuth frees us. Alright, I've said enough about that. Better move on here. "Grace--" I'm in verse 3. I'm backing up a little bit--oh, by the way, verse 2, "because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever.

" How long do we have truth in us? When John talks about truth being in us, who is the truth? Is Christ in us through the Spirit? Will he abide with us forever? Every particle of truth that we discover changes you for the better. TRuth really does set you free. Alright, verse 3, "grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God The Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of The Father, in truth and love." Now he's going back to that word "love" again. Notice in verse 1, "to her children, whom I love, in truth." And then again you say, "in truth and love." Is there a risk of separating truth and love for a Christian? Are there some that have love but don't have truth? Yeah. I'm thinking about that now.

Yeah, there are some people that have the love of Christ, but they may be wrong about certain points of truth. And then there are those who have doctrinal truth, but they don't have love. In Christ's time, were there some pharisees that had true doctrine but were lacking in love? That's really dangerous when you get those folks, 'cause they know how to beat a person up with the truth when not presented in love, and it can actually do more harm than good. You can actually overdose on certain vitamins. Did you know that? And it can hurt you.

Too much vitamin a, you can start to peel. That's true. I read about these sailors on this ship one day, a little amazing fact, out in the ocean, fishing. And all of the sudden a number of 'em came down with this very strange malady where they turn red and their skin began to peel and they had this terrible sickness, everybody on the boat but one. And he managed to get the ship to some safety where they were able to get treated.

And they trying to find out what was this strange plague that swept over the ship? Well, it turns out that they had all eaten the liver of this shark that they had caught, except one. And it was so much vitamin a was in that liver, they all had a reaction to the vitamins. Too much vitamin a--and don't eat shark liver anyway-- but too much vitamin a--and for one thing, you start smelling like that diaper lotion. You ever--you know, a&d ointment? That's what it is you smell. It's that vitamin a that they put in there for the skin.

Alright, so sometimes people have got the truth and they don't have love. And you can beat a person up with it. But then you got those who have what is referred to as the sloppy agape. They say, "well, I don't need to worry about the law, because I love." Well, that's the wrong kind of love, because John says that if you really do love, you'll walk in his commandments. And so I'm not talking about the love, the sloppy agape where a person says, "oh, you know, I love, so I don't worry about the letter of the law.

I don't worry about obedience because I've just got this love in my heart." And they like to sing Jesus' Name over and over again, say, "Lord, Lord," but they're not doing his will. And the real love is the love that does and not only hears. He talks about that here. Verse 4, "I rejoice greatly when I found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from The Father." Notice there, the connection: love, truth, commandment. They all go together.

God's commandments are truth and they are love. Now think about this for a minute. What is the great commandment? Great commandments, "love the Lord with," Jesus said all the commandment is summed up in, I "shall love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." And "love your neighbor as yourself." And one time Jesus said, "a new commandment I give you." It's interesting that Jesus said, "new commandment." A lot of people like to take that and say, "we don't need to keep the Ten Commandments anymore, 'cause Jesus gave us a new commandment." And usually they're biblically illiterate, and they don't realize that Jesus is quoting Moses when he said that. So it's not that new. The concepts are very old.

When Jesus said it was a new commandment, he meant here's a new concept for you because you never did get it the first time. But it always has been God's will that we love the Lord with all our heart, and that we love our neighbor as our self. That's the summary of what the law is all about. Tell you what, I want someone to look up for me Revelation 14:12. I think I gave that to somebody.

Who's got that? Over here? You got that actual verse? Revelation 14:12. While they're getting the camera focused, I'm gonna read Romans 13:8, Romans 13:8. Listen. "Owe no one anything but to love one another, for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. For this, 'thou shall not commit adultery.

'" Now where does that come from? Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not kill." What about that? Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not steal," Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not bear false witness," Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not covet.

" Now, think about this. The Ten Commandments are written on two stones. We all agree? Bible says that. And we can be safe to assume that the commandments dealing with man's relationship with his fellow man, they're all on one tablet. Our relationship between man and God is on the first tablet.

What table of the testimony is Paul quoting from? Those commandments I just mentioned: commit adultery, kill, steal, false witness, covet. That is five out of six of the commandments that are on the second table. Why isn't he mentioning anything on the first table? I'm gonna leave that question hanging for just a second. "If there's any other commandment," well that sort of sums it up, doesn't it? "It's briefly comprehended in this saying--" now when he says comprehended, he doesn't mean done away with. He means summarized.

A summary of the Ten Commandments is "thou shall love your neighbor as thyself." Now you notice why he says "neighbor," he's not mentioning the commandment, "love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." That's the first four commandments. He's talking about the commandments that deal with loving your neighbor on the second table are summarized in "thou shalt love your neighbor." "Don't kill." "Don't commit adultery." "Don't bear false witness." "Don't steal." "Honor your father and mother." All of that is summarized in that commandment of loving your neighbor. Alright, Revelation 14:12. You thought I forgot. "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

" Notice the beautiful connection there between patience, commandments, faith. That is an identifying characteristic of God's church in the last days. By the way, that's also written by the apostle John, keeping the commandments of God and having the testimony of Jesus, keeping the commandments of God and faith--and the faith of Jesus. And so obedience is the expression of genuine love. If we really love the Lord, Christ said--and you've heard it quoted millions of times, "if you love me," demonstrate it, "keep my commandments.

" So he goes into that here. Peter 4:8, maybe someone will read that for me. Who has--gotta--birdie has that right here, 1 Peter 4:8. We're talking about the essence of love. And he says again, "you've heard from the beginning," I'm in verse 5, "that we love one another.

" Alright, go ahead. "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Well, I tell ya, I don't know about you, but I need all the covering I can get. And if he says, "love fervently," "love deeply." And he especially emphasizes, "among yourselves have fervent charity." Now what is--where is God's primary interest here, that we love him or love each other? If we have fervent love for each other, will we love God? Didn't Christ say, "in as much as you've done it to the least of these, you've done it to me"? And he said, "how can you say you love God and you don't-- who you can't see, and you don't love your brother who you can see?" A basic message all through the new testament is: don't tell everybody how much you love God when you're mean to each other. Because the way you're gonna show God that you really love 'em is by loving each other. So if you get the second part down, loving each other fervently, you'll be doing the first part.

That's why Paul there in Romans, he emphasized all of those commandments that were on the second table, loving your neighbor. Because if we really love our neighbor, the Bible says love your enemies. And in the church we got folks who can't even love their spouses, right? And so, you know, we're being told "love your enemies." Bible says, "love your neighbor." I had someone point out to me one time, Bible says, "love your enemy." And then it says, "love your neighbor." And it could be because it's often that our neighbors end up being our enemies. And the word "neighbor" means "nigh brother," or "one who is nigh to you." And who is more nigh than your spouse? So the best place to start loving your neighbor is by loving your spouse. And then you can talk about the guy that lives next door and the noise coming from his garage.

Learn to love him. And then you can talk about people from other states who don't know how to drive in our state. And then you can start talking about people who speak a different language in other countries. And those--you know, we think about loving our neighbor. We always think about people out there, but it really starts with those who are nighest to you, are nearest to you.

A nigh brother, that's what a neighbor is. So he says we should have "fervent love" among one another. Now how many of you believe it's good to give charity and to support outside causes. And Christians should be generous. And you know, bless your hearts.

If you're feeding children overseas, that's wonderful. If you're supporting the American Bible society or the gideons, that's wonderful. But where should charity begin? Charity should begin--and when we say "home," first of all, if you're not feeding your kids and you're supporting foreign missions, you need to start by feeding your kids. Ya know? How can you say you love the Lord and these people in foreign countries and your kids are hungry. And you're sending your money off to the mission field.

That doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. You'd be surprised. And then it's important to not only take care of needs in the community, but we have for instance a good samaritan fund at our church here. And we've got a policy that that fund is for emergencies, it's for an occasional assistance with emergencies in our family, in our church family. Because it says that that charity must begin in the household of faith.

And so, and then it goes out from there. We're to care about each other. And the offerings that Christ took when he walked the earth, and when the apostles took offerings in the book of acts, who did they distribute to? It started with the widows in their midst that didn't have food and the basics, right? And so that's how the charity and that love ought to begin. We ought to love each other, and then it goes out from beyond there. So have fervent love among yourselves.

Now if we look at verse 7, just got a few seconds here left, he warns us, "for many deceivers have gone out into the world that do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antiChrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose the things that we worked for, that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both The Father and The Son.

" Even before the apostle John died, there were false teachings that were gonin' out. And among the false teaching was the teaching that, "well, you know, there really was no person named Jesus. You know, Christ only lived /2 years." And after a generation went by, they're already beginning to deny he was actually was a real person. They're saying, "well, really the disciples sort of concocted it. And the things Jesus was supposed to have said, they really assembled these teachings.

And they were impressed by the Spirit." Or "he did appear occasionally," but they had such a hard time with the resurrection. They said, "he wasn't a real person. He was an apparition." And so knowing the false teaching that John is dealing with helps you understand his book--books. Why do you think John is always emphasizing, "I leaned on him at the last supper." You don't lean on an apparition. When he says, "our hands have handled.

" "We have seen with our eyes the word of life. It wasn't just a teaching that came to us through some divine nebulous apparition. He was a real person." So this false idea that Jesus really didn't live, if anybody is a champion that Christ is a real human-- was Christ 100% human? Don't be afraid that if you say Jesus was 100% human you are taking away the other percentage of divinity. I can't explain how he could be % human and 100% God, but he was all 200%. Jesus got tired, he got hungry, he felt alone.

He got sleepy. His body operated like your body. He just probably took better care of it than you do. Well, he actually almost worked himself to death sometimes, because he could sleep through a storm. But he was real.

And John is emphasizing that in his teachings. And then there are even those in the church today who say, "well Christ, because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, he wasn't tempted like we're tempted." Have you heard that one before? "And so God doesn't expect you to be an overcomer, because Christ overcame so you don't have to. Because he was divine." Now while Jesus was divine, he was very much human. So much so that his contemporaries doubted he was the Messiah. They said, "this is Joseph's son.

" Right? They were very impressed with his humanity. When he went to his hometown they said, "who does he think he is? This is a carpenter's son." They were gonna throw him off a cliff. He was very human. He was tempted in all points the way that we're tempted. So even today we got some of the same kind of heresy that goes around that says, "you can't really relate to Jesus because, you know, he wasn't really human.

He wasn't tempted like you're tempted." See what I'm saying? That is a type of antiChrist teaching, 'cause it basically says that you aren't expected to overcome using the same tools that Jesus used. Jesus prayed to The Father. He overcame with the word. He gave us an example to overcome. He was very human.

And he showed us by his example how we can live victorious lives. And so these teachings that put Jesus up on the supernatural pedestal where he wasn't tempted like we're tempted. That's falling into the same kind of category that John is warning about. Now, it gives us some verses here. Matthew 7:15.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Somebody read acts 20:29, I think we still have that left. Who has that? I gave that out. Who has that verse? Acts 20:29-30. Andrew, go ahead. "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." What did Jesus warn us about in the last days, a few false teachers or many? And John warns us that there are many deceivers. Jesus said, "many--" Matthew 24:11, "many false prophets will arise and deceive many." And it says, "from your own selves they will come up." And so why do they do it? To draw away disciples after themselves. As soon as someone says they've, "got special light from heaven, and by the way, I've got a new website where you can make a donation online," I start becoming suspicious, because I don't see anywhere in the Bible where the prophets had websites. No, I'm just kidding. No really, do you anywhere in the Bible do you find them saying, "I got a message from God and I'll share it with you, get your credit card out.

" And so you got to be very suspicious when people say, "I've got new light." And they start to draw away disciples after themselves. They're trying to make a name for themselves. And instead of point people to Christ, instead of building up the church, they build up their own cultish group. And what we ought to be doing of course is building up the work of God. And this is what John was warning against.

Well, we've run out of-- oh, one last thought. I know I'm out of time. Verse 10 and 11, "if anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." He's not saying that you can't invite anybody into your house that doesn't agree on every point of truth with you. He's saying if someone is bringing in one of these doctrines of devils, are they coming into the church like wolves? We've got folks that do this even in central church. They come and they act like they're here to just worship God with us, but really they're prowling like wolves.

They're looking for usually new believers, and they say, "I've got some new light on the trinity. You don't really want to believe that anymore." And every time--and you know when the pastors spot them, we say, "if you're here and you want to worship and learn, we're glad you're here. But if you're here because you're on the prowl, don't come back." Amen. And otherwise you become an accomplice in supporting them. Don't bid them God's speed.

Don't encourage them in any way by word, deed or act, because they're working for the enemy. And you're gonna have--the devil's got plenty out there that are prowling through our churches with all of their doctrines. Their groups don't grow unless they feed on--they're parasites. They feed on the churches that are really doing evangelism and winning people out of the world, and then they just come to the church and try and get people out of the church. And so you've gotta be especially careful about that.

Alright, free offer one more time. We'll send it to you, the book, "steps to Christ." Just call the number -788-3966. And ask for offer number 736. God bless you, friends. Thank you for studying with us.

Next week is our last study dealing with the 3rd letter of John and we hope to see you then. In the same way all of the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun, everything we do here at Amazing Facts revolves around the nucleus of God's Word, the Scriptures. That's why we're very excited to tell you about the release of a new resource that will bless you in your personal study. It's the Amazing Facts prophecy study Bible. And this Bible is like no other.

It is filled with wonderful resources. Of course it has a concordance. It has the maps, red-letter edition, new king James version, "how to understand the history of the Bible," and best of all, all 27 of the popular Amazing Facts study guides are in this Bible. Answering questions like "how will Jesus come?" "Who is the beast?" "What is the Mark of the beast?" "What does the Bible say about death and hell and heaven?" And much more. If you'd like to know how you can obtain a copy of this incredible Bible study resource, then simply call the toll-free number on your screen, or go to amazingfacts.org. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents." One location, so many possibilities, amazingfacts.org.

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