Saturday, June 8, 2024

Morning Message: Warn Them!

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "Warn Them!"
Written by:
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Our reading today introduces us to a man named Simon, a sorcerer who had bewitched many in Samaria with his “special knowledge” and insights into the mind of God. Simon’s special teachings were not because he was unfamiliar with the teachings of the Prophets, but his success was because they were so closely aligned with them! Because of his long history of teaching in Samaria, they held Simon is high regard, believing his words. When Philip the Apostle came into Samaria spreading the Gospel, many were saved, and then Peter and John went also to check on those which were saved through Philip’s ministry (see Galatians 2:7-9 – Peter and John, along with James, were considered to be the pillars of the church in Jerusalem.).

Except to reveal Himself to a Samaritan woman at a well, even Jesus is not reported to have ventured into Samaria. The Jews avoided Samaria as a general rule because of false doctrines that were prevalent there. But when Peter and John went there, Simon the Sorcerer offered them money in order to receive the power of the Holy Ghost. He had witnessed the Apostles’ laying-on of hands, and people receiving the Holy Ghost, and Simon thought he could buy this power. Peter and John would have none of this man and refused his money.

Because of Simon being steeped in sorcery, the two Apostles saw him as a source of false doctrines coming into the church. And it is because of these verses in Acts that many consider this Simon to be none other than Simon Magus (Simon Magnus) the oldest known Gnostic Heretic from the 1st Century.

In Galatians 1:6-9 we learn how to test the teachings of others. It is a test to the authenticity of any “new” doctrine. If it is not already in the Bible, believers are to be suspicious of it, and search the scriptures like a Berean (Acts 17:10-11).

The Apostles were faithful to spread the Gospel in Jerusalem, to all Judea, and in Samaria, and
"unto the uttermost part of the Earth," as directed by Jesus in Acts, immediately prior to His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:8-9).

The Holy Ghost inspired Paul and Peter to write, that every believer should test every teaching they hear in 2 Timothy 3:16, and 2 Peter 1:17-21. John writes this under the inspiration of God:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." - 1 John 4:1 

Bobservations Column:  Audio Version

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
2 John 1-13 - "Warn Them!"

Summary/Additional Commentary and Definitions:

This week we are in the second epistle of John, sort of a continuation of the overall theme of 1 John, a "recall to the fundamentals of the faith," adherence to the truth (v. 4), love (v. 5), and obedience (v. 6).

John continues to remind believers of the fundamental truths of Christianity, while warning them of the dangers of deception.  In his second epistle, John is writing to a lady and her children, someone he seems to be very familiar with.  He is giving her the biblical guidelines of the gracious hospitality that Christians are commanded to (Romans 12:13).

Remember, John is still warning these believers of the false prophets and teachers threatening the church.  Their false doctrine was the beginnings of Gnostic thought and had been making its way into the ears of naive Christians, gaining influence over them, and destroying the foundation of the Church.  False teachers seek to make converts who will follow after them, and they will take advantage Christian hospitality in order to advance their cause. The apostle warns his readers against showing hospitality to such deceivers.  True believers must walk in truth, and love within the limits that truth allows.  Love must be discerning.

It is extremely important that we check everything we see, hear, and read that claims to be “Christian” with the Scriptures. This cannot be too strongly emphasized because one of Satan’s greatest weapons is deceit. It is very easy to be taken in by a new and exciting doctrine that appears to be based on Scripture but which, if examined closely, is in fact a departure from the Word of God. If what appears to be happening does not line up explicitly with Scripture, then this is false and not of the Spirit, and we should have nothing to do with it.

Sunday Morning Audio Message

Key Words and Definitions with Reference:

The Elder (v. 1) - John uses this title to emphasize his advance age, his spiritual authority over the congregations in Asia Minor, and the strength of his own personal eyewitness testimony to the life of Jesus and all that He taught. The vocabulary, tone, and content of this short epistle clearly prove that it was written by the same author as John's gospel and his first epistle. 

Elect Lady and Her Children (v. 1) - Modern writers believe that John was writing to a particular woman leader of one of the churches, it is not.  John was writing to a particular woman and her children (offspring) who were well known to John.  

For the Truth's Sake (v. 2) - The basis of Christian hospitality is the truth (v. 1-3).  John repeats the term for truth five times in the opening four verses.  Truth refers to the basics of fundamentals of the faith that John has discussed in 1 John as well as the truths expressed in 2 John.  Truth is the necessary condition of unity and, as a result, the basis of hospitality.  One of the great themes in all of John's writings is truth. It is the cognitive truth of God's Word. (Colossians 3:16).

Walking in Truth (v. 4) - This is one of only three references in Scripture to "walking in truth," but should always characterize our daily "walk."  Here, the behavior of hospitality involves obedience to the truth (v. 5, 6).  The word Walking has reference to continual walking in the truth, or making obedience to the truth a habit in one's life.

New Commandment - (v. 5) - John ties the commandment of truth to the commandment of love (1 John 2:7-11; 4:7-12).  

This is Love...Walk According to His Commandments (v. 6) - John defines love, not as a sentiment or an emotion, but as obedience to God's commands.  Those who are obedient to the truth as contained in God's commandments, the fundamentals of the faith (1 John 2:3-11), are identified as walking in love. (John 14:15, 21; 15:10).

Many Deceivers (v. 7) - (Mark 13:22, 23; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1).  In verses 7-11, John gives limits for Christian hospitality.  This is the centerpiece of John's thought in this epistle and expands the basis of hospitality and the behavior of Chistian hospitality.  Since Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), believers must be on guard against error by having an intimate acquaintance with the truth.  The habitual denial of the undiminished deity and humanity of Christ is the distinguishing mark of an unbeliever, and a deceiver and an antichrist. Such a denial is the doctrine of Satan.

Entered (v. 7) - This means, Literally, "gone forth" into the world, evidently from the domain of Satan, seeking to undermine and destroy any true church. 

Lose Not Those Things (v. 8) - A loss of reward may occur to any believer who does not discriminate fellowship on the basis of adherence to the truth.  This seems to be a really strong warning.  We should not be going along to get along.  We should never aid those promoting false teaching.  

Transgresseth (v. 9) - This means "goes beyond," trying to put esoteric meanings of a pseudo-spiritual nature on the plain teachings of Christ and His Word.

Doctrine (v. 9) - The "doctrine" of Christ (which word actually is "teachings" in the Greek) must include ALL the teachings of Christ, everything that He said and did, covering ALL the Scripture and ALL His purposes.

Receive Him Not Into Your House (v. 10) - John's prohibition is not a case of entertaining people who disagree on minor matters.  These are FALSE TEACHERS who are intent on destroying the basic, fundamental truths of Christianity.  Complete disassociation from such heretics is the only appropriate course of action for genuine believers.  No benefit or aid of any type (not even a greeting) is permissible.  Believers should aid only those who proclaim the truth (v. 5-8).  

Your House (v. 10) - The "house" is the church, probably still meeting in houses.  No false teacher is to be allowed to teach in the church... or your home.

Partaker of His Evil Deeds (v. 11) - Hospitality to such leaders aids in the spread of their heresy and inevitably leave the impression of sanctioning the teachings of these antichrists (1 John 2:22).  Supreme loyalty to God and His Word alone must characterize the actions of EVERY TRUE BELIEVER.

WhitestoneCF Media - Web TV

WhitestoneCF Media - Web TV