2 John 1:7-11

 

One thing that has to be observed is that John is his letters is just doing a continuation of his Synoptic Gospel to establish the doctrine of Christ, his divinity to Jews who had rejected Jesu. Its only in the Revelation that John tries to address the Gentiles and the whole world but still while you are reading the Book of Revelation, you can still feel his attachment to his people albeit to what we now call spiritual Israel. So in reading the letters of John, a keen mind can recognize there are lifted paraphrases of the Gospel of John and addressing the people who claimed to know Jesus but yet ended crucifying him. John is literally a Jewish writer concerned mostly with the professed Jews. With that in mind let us go through some verses of his letter.

 

2John 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.

 

Of these he had spoken before,

 

1John 2:22: Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

 

Modern spiritualism, resting upon the same foundation, is but a revival in a new form of the witchcraft and demon worship that God condemned and prohibited of old. It is foretold in the Scriptures, which declare that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1. Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, points to the special working of Satan in spiritualism as an event to take place immediately before the second advent of Christ. Speaking of Christ’s second coming, he declares that it is “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9. And Peter, describing the dangers to which the church was to be exposed in the last days, says that as there were false prophets who led Israel into sin, so there will be false teachers, “who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them. And many shall follow their pernicious ways.” 2 Peter 2:1, 2. Here the apostle has pointed out one of the marked characteristics of spiritualist teachers. They refuse to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God. Concerning such teachers the beloved John declares: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” 1 John 2:22, 23. Spiritualism, by denying Christ, denies both the Father and the Son, and the Bible pronounces it the manifestation of antichrist.  {PP 686.1}

 

Satan was determined to keep his hold on the land of Canaan, and when it was made the habitation of the children of Israel, and the law of God was made the law of the land, he hated Israel with a cruel and malignant hatred and plotted their destruction. Through the agency of evil spirits strange gods were introduced; and because of transgression, the chosen people were finally scattered from the Land of Promise. This history Satan is striving to repeat in our day. God is leading His people out from the abominations of the world, that they may keep His law; and because of this, the rage of “the accuser of our brethren” knows no bounds. “The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:10, 12. The antitypical land of promise is just before us, and Satan is determined to destroy the people of God and cut them off from their inheritance. The admonition, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38), was never more needed than now.  {PP 688.3} 

 

The word of the Lord to ancient Israel is addressed also to His people in this age: “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them;” “for all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.” Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:12.  {PP 689.1} 

 

1John 4:1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2: Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

 

For more on “Christ is come in flesh”, follow the link [https://web.facebook.com/notes/sami-lm-wilberforce/christ-is-come-in-flesh-and-who-died-at-the-cross-interesting-thoughts/10162774464940160/]

 

Reading keenly the above you notice it’s a recapitulation and enlargement of the same doctrine. Who are these who deny Christ is come in flesh and are antichrist?

 

1John 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. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

 

Did you catch that? These antichrists they went from among the Disciples and apostles of Christ. They were once with them but came to a point to deny the doctrine of Christ that he had came in flesh hence becoming deceiver and antichrists

 

Instead of εισηλθον are entered in, many excellent MSS. and versions have εξηλθον, are gone out. The sense is nearly the same. Gone out from where or who? John says in 1John 2:19, “went out from us” which means they were once with the present truth believers but fell of the way. He adds this is the sign of the last times. Many will fall off the truth they once rejoiced in.

 

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.  {GC 608.2}

 

The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.  {5T 81.1}

 

John goes on with his caution to those remaining

 

2John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. {wrought: or, gained, some copies read, ye have gained, but that ye, etc.}

 

In Galatians 3:4; Paul says [Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. {so many: or, so great}. Someone cannot lose that which he did have or something he had not gained. This further strengthens the point that John is speaking of people who had known the truth but some were in danger of becoming antichrists and deceivers losing what they had gained. Already some had gone out and so the apostle so the need of reminding and strengthening the church that was already suffering a fallout. Be on your guard against these seducers; watch, pray, love God and each other, and walk in newness of life.

 

2John 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.

 

Notice the word abideth here what in means

 

  1. men’-o

 

a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):–abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own.

 

So how can you “stay, continue, remain and tarry” in something you literally were not part of? Impossible. These people had received the doctrine of Christ but had let it go.Which is this doctrine of Christ

 

1John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

 

Whoever abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God vis whoever denieth the Son hath not the Father. Same thing different wording. This is why I said in the beginning that the whole burden of John is to continue setting forth the divinity of the sonship of Christ in his epistles, the project he had started in the Synoptic Gospel. The sonship of Christ was a really thorn not to the gentiles but the Jews. After some accepting it, here John is faced with a backsliding. He who passes over the sacred enclosure, or goes beyond the prescribed limits; and abideth not in the doctrine-does not remain within these holy limits, but indulges himself either in excesses of action or passion; hath not God for his Father, nor the love of God in his heart.

 

He who abideth in the doctrine of Christ, his body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and he has communion with the Father as his Father, and with the Son as his Saviour and Redeemer. You cannot have the Father if you deny the sonship of Christ. Why? Christ is the channel of the Holy Spirit that makes us have fellowship with the Father and the Son. Denying the channel is forfeiting the spirit of fellowship

 

1John 1:3: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

 

Acts 2:32: This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

 

Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6: Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

 

Isn’t it a wonder that apostates from the doctrine of Jesus Christ are missing the fellowship with the Father and the Son? Hence the church has been left without a comforter for there is another Third God apart from Christ

 

The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die, is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Christ has all power in heaven and in earth, and he can strengthen the wavering, and set right the erring. He can inspire with confidence, with hope in God; and confidence in God always results in creating confidence in one another.  {RH, August 26, 1890 par. 10} 

 

By destroying the doctrine of Christ which 1John 2:23 has proved is denying his sonship cuts you from eternal life because eternal life is in the Son

 

1John 5:10: He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

 

John gives a warning

 

1John 2:10 ¶ If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

 

This warning is reflected in

 

Romans 16:17;

I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them

 


 

1Corinthians 5:11;

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

 

1Corinthians 16:22;

If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

 

Galatians 1:8-9;

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

 

Titus 3:10

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

 

Among those who have apostatized, if any come to you under the character of an apostle or evangelist, to preach in your house; and bring not this doctrine, that Jesus is come in the flesh, Jesus is the Son of God, and has died for the redemption of the world and he is the dispenser of the Holy Spirit received as a gift from the Father, him reject. He has gone out from us and he is a deceiver and antichrist. He abideth not in the doctrine of Christ and hath not God. And he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son which means he does not have eternal life, the holy spirit in him. Receive him not unto your house; Give him no entertainment as an evangelical teacher.  Let him not preach under your roof. Neither bid him God speed Και χαιρειν αυτῳ μη λεγερε. Do not say health to him. Do not salute him with Peace be to thee! The usual salutation among friends and those of the same religion in the east is, [Arabic] Salam aleekum, “Peace be to you;” which those of the same religion will use among themselves, but never to strangers, except in very rare cases. This is the case to the present day; and, from what John says here, it was a very ancient custom. We have often seen that peace among the Hebrews comprehended every spiritual and temporal blessing.  The words mean, according to the eastern use of them, “Have no religious connection with him, nor act towards him so as to induce others to believe you acknowledge him as a brother.”

 

1John 2:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

He that acts towards him as if he considered him a Christian brother, and sound in the faith, puts it in his power to deceive others, by thus apparently accrediting his ministry.  No sound Christian should countenance any man as a Gospel minister, who holds and preaches erroneous doctrines; especially concerning the Lord Jesus.  Nor can any Christian attend the ministry of such teachers without being criminal in the sight of God.  He who attends their ministry is, in effect, bidding them God speed; no matter whether such belong to an established Church, or to any congregation of dissenters from it.  But what St. John says here does not mean that we should deny such the common offices of humanity, charity, and mercy.  No.  In these offices we are equally bound to all men; far less does it intimate that we should persecute such on account of their heretical or heterodox sentiments.  No.  This right has God given to no man, to no Church, to no state.  They who persecute others, even for the worst heretical opinions, may expect the heaviest judgments of Almighty God.

 

In Understanding 2John 1:7-11, this is how then I will conjoin everything together

 

1John 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. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 2John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered [gone out from us] into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. {wrought: or, gained, some copies read, ye have gained, but that ye, etc.} 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not [stays, continues, remains and tarries 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. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

EGW on 2John 7-11: Acts of Apostles Chapter 54 – A Faithful Witness

 

After the ascension of Christ, John stands forth as a faithful, earnest laborer for the Master. With the other disciples he enjoyed the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, and with fresh zeal and power he continued to speak to the people the words of life, seeking to lead their thoughts to the Unseen. He was a powerful preacher, fervent, and deeply in earnest. In beautiful language and with a musical voice he told of the words and works of Christ, speaking in a way that impressed the hearts of those who heard him. The simplicity of his words, the sublime power of the truths he uttered, and the fervor that characterized his teachings, gave him access to all classes.  {AA 546.1}

 

 

The apostle’s life was in harmony with his teachings. The love for Christ which glowed in his heart led him to put forth earnest, untiring labor for his fellow men, especially for his brethren in the Christian church.  {AA 546.2}

 

Christ had bidden the first disciples love one another as He had loved them. Thus they were to bear testimony to the world that Christ was formed within, the hope of glory. “A new commandment I give unto you,” He had said, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. At the time when these words were spoken, the disciples could not understand them; but after they had witnessed the sufferings of Christ, after His crucifixion and resurrection, and ascension to heaven, and after the Holy Spirit had rested on them at Pentecost, they had a clearer conception of the love of God and of the nature of that love which they must have for one another. Then John could say to his fellow disciples:  {AA 547.1}

 

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  {AA 547.2}

 

After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the disciples went forth to proclaim a living Saviour, their one desire was the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another, they revealed the love that Christ had enjoined upon them. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.  {AA 547.3}

 

Such a love the believers were ever to cherish. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment. So closely were they to be united with Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill all His requirements. Their lives were to magnify the power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness.  {AA 547.4}

 

But gradually a change came. The believers began to look for defects in others. Dwelling upon mistakes, giving place to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the Saviour and His love. They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory than the practice of the faith. In their zeal to condemn others, they overlooked their own errors. They lost the brotherly love that Christ had enjoined, and, saddest of all, they were unconscious of their loss. They did not realize that happiness and joy were going out of their lives and that, having shut the love of God out of their hearts, they would soon walk in darkness.  {AA 548.1}

 

John, realizing that brotherly love was waning in the church, urged upon believers the constant need of this love. His letters to the church are full of this thought. “Beloved, let us love one another,” he writes; “for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”  {AA 548.2}

 

Of the special sense in which this love should be manifested by believers, the apostle writes: “A new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” “This is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  {AA 548.3}

 

It is not the opposition of the world that most endangers the church of Christ. It is the evil cherished in the hearts of believers that works their most grievous disaster and most surely retards the progress of God’s cause. There is no surer way of weakening spirituality than by cherishing envy, suspicion, faultfinding, and evil surmising. On the other hand, the strongest witness that God has sent His Son into the world is the existence of harmony and union among men of varied dispositions who form His church. This witness it is the privilege of the followers of Christ to bear. But in order to do this, they must place themselves under Christ’s command. Their characters must be conformed to His character and their wills to His will. {AA 549.1}

 

Unity existing among the followers of Christ is an evidence that the Father has sent His Son to save sinners. It is a witness to His power; for nothing short of the miraculous power of God can bring human beings with their different temperaments together in harmonious action, their one aim being to speak the truth in love.  {9T 194.2} 

 

“A new commandment I give unto you,” Christ said, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. What a wonderful statement; but, oh, how poorly practiced! In the church of God today brotherly love is sadly lacking. Many who profess to love the Saviour do not love one another. Unbelievers are watching to see if the faith of professed Christians is exerting a sanctifying influence upon their lives; and they are quick to discern the defects in character, the inconsistencies in action. Let Christians not make it possible for the enemy to point to them and say, Behold how these people, standing under the banner of Christ, hate one another. Christians are all members of one family, all children of the same heavenly Father, with the same blessed hope of immortality. Very close and tender should be the tie that binds them together.  {AA 550.1}

 

Divine love makes its most touching appeals to the heart when it calls upon us to manifest the same tender compassion that Christ manifested. That man only who has unselfish love for his brother has true love for God. The true Christian will not willingly permit the soul in peril and need to go unwarned, uncared for. He will not hold himself aloof from the erring, leaving them to plunge farther into unhappiness and discouragement or to fall on Satan’s battleground.  {AA 550.2}

 

Those who have never experienced the tender, winning love of Christ cannot lead others to the fountain of life. His love in the heart is a constraining power, which leads men to reveal Him in the conversation, in the tender, pitiful spirit, in the uplifting of the lives of those with whom they associate. Christian workers who succeed in their efforts must know Christ; and in order to know Him, they must know His love. In heaven their fitness as workers is measured by their ability to love as Christ loved and to work as He worked.  {AA 550.3}

 

“Let us not love in word,” the apostle writes, “but in deed and in truth.” The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within. It is the atmosphere of this love surrounding the soul of the believer that makes him a savor of life unto life and enables God to bless his work.  {AA 551.1}

 

Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another–this is the best gift that our heavenly Father can bestow. This love is not an impulse, but a divine principle, a permanent power. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. Only in the heart where Jesus reigns is it found. “We love Him, because He first loved us.” In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the ruling principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around.  {AA 551.2}

 

John strove to lead the believers to understand the exalted privileges that would come to them through the exercise of the spirit of love. This redeeming power, filling the heart, would control every other motive and raise its possessors above the corrupting influences of the world. And as this love was allowed full sway and became the motive power in the life, their trust and confidence in God and His dealing with them would be complete. They could then come to Him in full confidence of faith, knowing that they would receive from Him everything needful for their present and eternal good. “Herein is our love made perfect,” he wrote, “that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”  {AA 551.3}

 

“And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The conditions of obtaining mercy from God are simple and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order to gain forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression. He that “confesseth and forsaketh” his sin “shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13.  {AA 552.1}

 

In the courts above, Christ is pleading for His church–pleading for those for whom He has paid the redemption price of His blood. Centuries, ages, can never lessen the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice. Neither life nor death, height nor depth, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus; not because we hold Him so firmly, but because He holds us so fast. If our salvation depended on our own efforts, we could not be saved; but it depends on the One who is behind all the promises. Our grasp on Him may seem feeble, but His love is that of an elder brother; so long as we maintain our union with Him, no one can pluck us out of His hand.  {AA 552.2}

 

As the years went by and the number of believers grew, John labored with increasing fidelity and earnestness for his brethren. The times were full of peril for the church. Satanic delusions existed everywhere. By misrepresentation and falsehood the emissaries of Satan sought to arouse opposition against the doctrines of Christ, and in consequence dissensions and heresies were imperiling the church. Some who professed Christ claimed that His love released them from obedience to the law of God. On the other hand, many taught that it was necessary to observe the Jewish customs and ceremonies; that a mere observance of the law, without faith in the blood of Christ, was sufficient for salvation. Some held that Christ was a good man, but denied His divinity. Some who pretended to be true to the cause of God were deceivers, and in practice they denied Christ and His gospel. Living themselves in transgression, they were bringing heresies into the church. Thus many were being led into the mazes of skepticism and delusion.  {AA 553.1}

 

John was filled with sadness as he saw these poisonous errors creeping into the church. He saw the dangers to which the church was exposed, and he met the emergency with promptness and decision. The epistles of John breathe the spirit of love. It seems as if he wrote with a pen dipped in love. But when he came in contact with those who were breaking the law of God, yet claiming that they were living without sin, he did not hesitate to warn them of their fearful deception.  {AA 554.1}

 

Writing to a helper in the gospel work, a woman of good repute and wide influence, he said: “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. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 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. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed: for he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds.”  {AA 554.2}

 

We are authorized to hold in the same estimation as did the beloved disciple those who claim to abide in Christ while living in transgression of God’s law. There exist in these last days evils similar to those that threatened the prosperity of the early church; and the teachings of the apostle John on these points should be carefully heeded. “You must have charity,” is the cry heard everywhere, especially from those who profess sanctification. But true charity is too pure to cover an unconfessed sin. While we are to love the souls for whom Christ died, we are to make no compromise with evil. We are not to unite with the rebellious and call this charity. God requires His people in this age of the world to stand for the right as unflinchingly as did John in opposition to soul-destroying errors.  {AA 554.3}

 

The apostle teaches that while we should manifest Christian courtesy we are authorized to deal in plain terms with sin and sinners; that this is not inconsistent with true charity. “Whosoever committeth sin,” he writes, “transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.”  {AA 555.1}

 

As a witness for Christ, John entered into no controversy, no wearisome contention. He declared what he knew, what he had seen and heard. He had been intimately associated with Christ, had listened to His teachings, had witnessed His mighty miracles. Few could see the beauties of Christ’s character as John saw them. For him the darkness had passed away; on him the true light was shining. His testimony in regard to the Saviour’s life and death was clear and forcible. Out of the abundance of a heart overflowing with love for the Saviour he spoke; and no power could stay his words.  {AA 555.2}

 

That which was from the beginning,” he declared, “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; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”  {AA 555.3}

 

So may every true believer be able, through his own experience, to “set to his seal that God is true.” John 3:33. He can bear witness to that which he has seen and heard and felt of the power of Christ.  {AA 556.1}

 

Summary

As the years went by and the number of believers grew, John labored with increasing fidelity and earnestness for his brethren. The times were full of peril for the church. Satanic delusions existed everywhere. By misrepresentation and falsehood the emissaries of Satan sought to arouse opposition against the doctrines of Christ, and in consequence dissensions and heresies were imperiling the church. Some who professed Christ claimed that His love released them from obedience to the law of God. On the other hand, many taught that it was necessary to observe the Jewish customs and ceremonies; that a mere observance of the law, without faith in the blood of Christ, was sufficient for salvation. Some held that Christ was a good man, but denied His divinity. Some who pretended to be true to the cause of God were deceivers, and in practice they denied Christ and His gospel. Living themselves in transgression, they were bringing heresies into the church. Thus many were being led into the mazes of skepticism and delusion.  {AA 553.1} 

 

In the passages we have read and EGW, the church faced troubles from

 

  1. Nicolaitans
  2. Judaizers
  3. Unitarians
  4. Gnostics
  5. Idolaters

 

These are the same things Christendom is facing and John assures us that it’s a sign of last times and such heresies will only divide the world into two; Christians and Antichrists. May we be found in the former group.

 

Blessings

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