2 John, 7-9, “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.”
2 John, 10-11, “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.”
2 John, 12-13, “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 and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.”
As we have seen from John’s writings within his first letter or Epistle, there were many false teachers in his day and he continues with that very theme of warning and being aware. The Gnostics believed that all matter is evil and only the spirit is good and so they reasoned that Jesus could not have been both God and man. They believed that the spirit of Christ came upon the man for just a short time and thus deny the deity of Jesus, Himself.
The beloved Apostle is very adamant against this teaching and sadly, and with the proliferation of social media sites, you can still see there are remnants of this teaching even in this day and age. This proves the prophetic word of the Bible and the fact that human nature and reasoning, apart from the Holy Spirit does NOT change no matter how much time passes!
It was only a couple of months ago, I ran across a man who joined my Facebook group and was trying to spread the very doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God, but is NOT equal with/or God. Of course since he had his mind made us, I had to block him. We as shepherds and teachers cannot afford to allow those young in the Lord, those just learning of His Glorious Nature to succumb to this false teaching when it is in our power to teach the truth! I may not be on par with a lot of well-known and skilled Pastors, but in this instance, I can utterly understand how the Beloved Apostle must have felt when facing this destructive and vile teaching. There are too many Scriptures that PROVE beyond doubt, the deity of Jesus Christ! Since God Almighty, our Heavenly Father is a Spirit, it is ONLY through Jesus Christ that we can know Him as He is! There is a reason why the Word of God tells us we were made in His likeness and carries that theme throughout the entire Counsel of the Word.
These false teachers are so extremely dangerous because they distort the truth and undermine the foundations of a Christian’s faith. Just like their father, the devil, they know Scripture, but they twist it and pervert it to make it fit their theories rather than making their theories line up with Scripture. For as bad as it must have been those 60 years approximately after Jesus’ Resurrection, you can understand how much more the true child of God needs to be discerning and aware today, and the ONLY source of truth is the Word of God, studied in proper context, with a spiritual heart. Remember, the Scriptures themselves state, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Corinthians 2:13-14.
If you don’t remember anything else, remember the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness where the devil himself tried to use the Word of God against Jesus, but twisted and perverted its meaning. Jesus knew who He was dealing with and since we have His Spirit abiding within us, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be aware as well.
If I can interject here; false teachers are so insidious, because they tend to cater to our carnal desires and wishes in such a way as to make it seem it is actually what God, our Heavenly Father wants for us. If anything is taught that is evenly slightly contrary to following after God’s perfect will or plan for His children, discard it as false. Remember, Christ Jesus came to SHOW us and to reinstate a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Salvation is a product of that, but it is the RELATIONSHIP with God that is the key. When we accept Christ’s gift, His sacrifice, we are telling Him in essence that we understand the sacrifice that He and the Father made AND we are willing to surrender our natural and failed wills for His perfect will. That puts our perspective, spiritually, in a whole new light and arena of thought. We start to think about and desire KINGDOM (of God) thoughts and desires. That is the true evidence of being spiritually reborn. We no longer put priority on what we want in the natural, but rather on what God wants in the spiritual realm for eternity.
This is also what the Apostle is referring too when he tells the readers to look to themselves that they do not lose all they have worked for. Falling into even a little false teaching is like the parable of the yeast and the loaves. A little yeast (false teaching) can spoil and ruin the whole act of service because that false teaching is a driving force and wedge to walking in truth. As a side note here, when John is speaking about full rewards, he IS not referring to your Salvation or Redemption but the rewards which will be tried by fire for loyal service to the Lord and His followers. Walking in false teaching is not just destructive to those who are listening to these perverted truths, but can also rob them of eternal rewards which our Father is willing and desirous to give to His children.
With John’s next sentence he sums up the truth of such falsehoods. If a false teacher, especially, transgresses or crosses the line, as it were, first, they are NOT abiding in Christ or in the doctrine, the teachings of Christ Jesus and thus, if they do not have Christ, they do not have God. John goes on to further state, as if to put an exclamation to the statement, that if you DO abide in the doctrine of Christ, then you have the Son AND the Father. As we stated in previous lessons, you cannot separate the two. Jesus stated emphatically, “I and the Father are One!” (John 10:30). In these two verses, the Beloved Apostle just dismantled the false gnostic teachings of many of the false teachers! Remember again what Jesus also stated in the Gospel of John, 14:6, “No one comes to the Father except through me!”
Now John continues on with our attitude and actions that we should have toward false teachers. Many today will say if you act this way you are not being loving or demonstrating the love of Christ, and yet, so dangerous is the heresy and false teaching that it cannot be tolerated.
When I was younger and had learned quite a bit from the Bible, (and I was feeling my oats, so to speak) I used to get a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on my door, and I used to invite them in. My motive wasn’t at the time, to give them hospitality but to hear what they had to say and “practice” what I had learned from the Bible on them. Of course, they wouldn’t agree to my King James Bible and so I never did get anywhere with them EXCEPT to have them mark my address! I did however get a couple of their booklets and I did get a Watchtower “Bible,” their so-called translation. Oh believe me, it opened my eyes, but since I also studied my Bible with a Strongs Concordance so I could check on the original words, it was a big surprise. BUT, the other surprise that I did not anticipate was that within their “bible” is the steps to Salvation in Jesus Christ!
The next time a couple of them came around, I invited them in and took out my Watchtower “Bible,” which at first impressed them, I might add, but then started asking them about Salvation in Jesus. Yes, it didn’t take them long to recognize they were set up, as it were. I will tell you that I was never able to bring any of them around to the truth and so I truly understood why John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit told us, in no uncertain terms, that we are NOT to demonstrate hospitality or encourage them in anyway. Today, if they come to my door, I let them know I am a fundamental, full-gospel preacher, and if they are willing to truly “study” the Word, they could come in. To no one’s surprise, I have never had one accept that invitation. Usually when I do that, my wife just looks at me and rolls her eyes. But the Beloved Apostle is right, you can not give way, even a little bit, to something that is so destructive with such ETERNAL consequences.
My advice to those that I have taught in the past and all along, and due largely in part to my experiences with cult religions, is do not waste your time UNLESS, and I have yet to see this, unless someone is truly asking serious questions and is looking for real answers. I as said, I have yet to experience this, for most are coming to your door to try and change you. They are looking for those who are hungry for truth but unaware of the SOURCE of Truth. They are indeed like what the Apostle Peter describes in his letter; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8.
The last two verses the Apostle let’s the reader know he has much more to say but would like to do it face to face and in his closing verse, it leads me even further to believe that he is writing to a church body rather than just an individual. Whether it is an individual or a group, the real strength of his letter is in the reiteration of the common themes with which he not only writes of in his Gospel, but predominately what he is trying to get across to the church of the day in which he was writing in his first Epistle.
In my mind, the importance of this particular letter is the fact that it sums up the 1st Epistle of John so perfectly. This is one of the reasons I love his writing so. You can see the fatherly influence in his writings, the reason behind the title given to him, “Beloved Apostle.” His writings reflect, at least in my mind, the Character and Nature of Christ Jesus and it is demonstrated in his character as well, that comes through so vividly in his writings.