Apostle John’s relationship with Jesus Christ

  • John had a unique relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • John referred to Jesus as the Word of God.
  • He was known as one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He was known as “John the Elder and Pastor.”
  • He was ordained in his youth, wherein he learned from Jesus.
  • John was part of “The Inner Circle” (which was Peter, James, and John with Jesus).
  • John refers to himself as the “one whom Jesus loves.”
  • Commissioned to write about many topics, including “The Divinity of Love,” “Real Christianity,” “God’s Will,” etc.
  • He lived through the time of Jesus’ teachings, Transfiguration, Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension.
  • He also lived through the forming of the first Church, as well as the persecution of the Christians.
  • He witnessed his brother James’ martyrdom.
  • He pastored the great Church at Ephesus.
  • He was eventually banished to the Isle of Patmos, wherein he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • He had a flashing temper, which was why he was called one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He became known as the “Apostle of Love.”

John’s declaration of Jesus was that “He is full of Truth and Glory, He is the Only Begotten of the Father.” This was found in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John had knowledge of foundational truths of Jesus and the Gospel; therefore, he was entrusted to such writings. John bore record of the Word of God, and had a testimony of Jesus Christ and the things, in which, he had seen. John was singled out by God to deliver to us the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

John the Beloved has a unique relationship with Jesus Christ, which was similar to the other Johns. But, what distinguished John the Beloved was that he was filled with the love of Christ. Mark 3:14-19: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

The Inner Circle means to me that it was a small group of people who held a more intimate connection with each other. Although Jesus worked with all His Disciples, He liked also to work with individual things, so having a small group was what He had done. The Inner Circle seemed to be Peter, James, and John, because these three were the most common to be seen with Jesus in a more intimate setting. Some of the examples include being with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37-41), when Jesus raised a ruler’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:35-38), at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28-29), and during a private consultation about the end times and false christs (Mark 13:3-7). James and John are also noted as being partnered with Simon (Peter) in Luke 5:10, and they followed Christ (Luke 5:10-11).

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The first Truth that we see in this lesson is “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous” (1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. 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.”). We confess our sins and He only has the power to forgive and cleanse from sin!

Then, in 1 John 2:3-5, we see evidence that He dwells in us and this is how we know Him. It is a way He perfects us. The Word accompanied by the Holy Ghost gives life. So, if He is perfecting us, it’s because of the Word in us working, which is evidence we’re in Him. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

In 1 John 2:6, we see that we shall abide in Him, walk with Him, and Trust Him in every circumstance in our life – if done, is evidence that He abides in us and that we’re in fellowship with Him. Also, abiding in His Word gives us endurance for every season of our lives. We must portray His footsteps in our life, and that as Jesus is obedience to the Father, we shall be also! “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Next, we see in 1 John 2:7-11 the evidence of knowing Him is found in our love. When we try to witness or evangelize, the world can sense the true spirit of Love inside us. “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, 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.”

In 1 John 2:12-14, we see that Jesus Christ has overcome satan, which is evidence that we’re in a relationship with the Lord. We, then, are overcomers also, being children of God. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

For 1 John 2:15-17, we see another evidence that we know God, for our relationship is better for lacking love for the things of the world. We are not to love anything of the world, for the result of such is that the love of the Father isn’t in us. We see issues to avoid that are in the world, which involve the lust of the flesh and of the eyes, and the pride of life. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

More truths we see in 1 John 2:18-23, as this is a Prophetical Word regarding the End-Time. Unity of the Spirit will be the evidence that we know God, and that we’ll not be led astray by the antichrist. We need to let His love surpass our self-will that we can all walk together in the faith of Jesus Christ. “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. 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. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 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: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

Christ in us is apparent when the fragrance of His presence is in our lives. Exodus 29:7 says, “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.” Exodus 30:23-25 says, “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.” David writes that Jesus is the Anointed One as we see in Psalm 45:7, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

John confirms such truths that he writes and warns us against deception, as we see in 1 John 2:26, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.” Even more truths are revealed to us in 1 John 2:24-29, as we see that we will remain in the Father and the Son as long as we walk in the light, be honest with ourselves, confess our troubles & deal with sin, speak the truth, walk in integrity, and being an example overall of Jesus Christ. We fulfil such desire for relationship with the Lord if we hide His Word in our heart. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

In 1 John 2:25, we see a promise that occurs when we abide in Him: “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” Then, we see in 1 John 2:26-27 that John has told us that he writes such things concerning them that seduce you or try to lead one into error – but, we have an anointing that abides in us, that is Jesus the Anointed One, who will teach us – so that we don’t have to worry of new doctrines or false teachers. “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

As we finish out the chapter in the last two verses, 1 John 2:28-29, we see the result of abiding in Him: that we may have confidence and be unashamed before Him at His coming. If we know He’s righteous, then those that do righteousness are born of Him! Abide in Him through everything, because He will bring to us peace and confidence. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The anointing that we’ve received from the Lord abides in us, therefore, no one else needs to teach us of the anointing but the Anointed One, who is Jesus that lives in us. The anointing, I will say, teaches us to abide in Christ. It also keeps us drawn in to Him!

It’s also to note that many false teachers have a “special anointing” as claimed, so we’re admonished here that God anoints us, and that with Jesus being within us, He teaches us of the anointing so that we don’t have to worry about false teachers coming along and telling us of some “special” ungodly anointing they have (and how we can obtain it). All believers already have the true and correct anointing when they trust and abide in the Anointed One. Last thing to note: we receive this anointing as a gift, which is a graceful gift from the Lord. We don’t squander this gift, because it is part of our salvation. Therefore, we must also realize that we don’t need to “get God” in our lives, for we already have Him. We don’t need to try to get His anointing…we already have it!

We know God by His Word, because His Word is Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:20 says, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” The Son has revealed the Father unto us by helping us understand Him!

The proof of Divine Life as we see in this study is love. God bestowed His love upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Now we are the sons of God, and when He appears, we shall be like Him and see Him as He is! (1 John 3:1-2)

The Manner of Love that the Father bestowed upon us is that we should be called the sons of God. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

Those who abide in Him will not sin, for them that have sin has not seen Him or known Him. In addition, that no man should deceive you, for he that does righteousness is righteous. Therefore, whoever is born of God does not commit sin.

We have two natures; those are “spiritual” and “carnal.” These natures are at war within us. We who have an understanding of the law, spiritually, we know in our experience that the law is spiritual, but that our inner man is carnal. Being carnal, a man is fleshly and incapable of being obedient unto the law – for this is where spiritual and carnal war, because our spiritual man is leading us into things of the law, but the carnal man is leading us away (– because it is incapable of being obedient). We see in Romans 7:5, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Sadly, we cannot escape this carnal way while in our flesh, as we see in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” The flesh naturally does not know how to be obedient or perform good so it therefore wars against the spiritual. It’s a dilemma.

There will be many ways that a person accepts and applies the Word unto their life. Some are by the way side, which are those that hear – and then come the devil that takes it away from their hearts. Those that are on the rock hear and receive the Word with joy, but they have no root – so in the time of temptation, they fall away/sin. Those that are among thorns are they that hear and receive the Word, but go forth and are choked with the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life – to which they bear no fruit. However, those that are on good ground hear and receive the Word in an honest and good heart – keep it and bring forth fruit with patience. Overall, you have most people who are not on good ground, and need shepherded back to the Lord’s ways.

Jesus’ love was His laying down of His life for us, therefore, we should be the same way in our relationships with others. We should be willing to sacrifice. We don’t necessarily have to sacrifice our life, but general sacrifice is what brings love’s true nature. Therefore, if our brother has need, we need to sacrifice our time and help. If our friend calls on us, we should have patience and see to what he/she needs. For Jesus did the greatest sacrifice so that we would not have to deal with the sacrificial system anymore, therefore, we need to apply the principle of sacrifice unto our lives in our relationships with others. The example of family he gives us is that of Cain and Abel. His heart is burdensome for people not to repeat the sin of murder like in the situation of Cain and Abel.

Nonetheless, the Assurance of Jesus’ Love is found in 1 John 3:19-24, “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

God’s commandments are not grievous – this means burdensome in that His Commandments, rather, are an expression of His Love and protection for us. They are not burdensome, especially when they are kept. We receive the love of God when we keep His Commandments (1 John 5:3). The test of our love is loving as Jesus loved! He loved us first while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). When we walk in the love of Jesus, there is love for the saints!

What is required in the Prosperous Road is that we walk in the Truth overall. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 4:1-2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”

Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Colossians 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 2:6-7, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 2 John 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

Taking the Gospel to the World – From Jerusalem to the End (Journey the Word 10)

Pentecost and the Beginning of Ministry

Book of Acts

Acts was a book written by Luke around 63 A.D., addressed to a man named Theophilus. Acts appears to cover a lot of the history of the first church. Much of it is about the spread of the gospel throughout Jerusalem over to Rome. Luke also notes a lot about the Holy Spirit’s involvement and role in the early church. That is where Luke starts to note on in the beginning of Acts, that through the Holy Ghost, Jesus gave commandments to the chosen apostles. The believers, especially those addressed by Jesus in 1:8 are promised to receive power after the Holy Ghost comes upon them. The Holy Ghost shall come upon believers by baptism in the Holy Ghost, as stated in 1:5.

Soon, Luke writes about the disciples going into the upper room, in when the day of Pentecost comes, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (2:4). They were all amazed (as in shocked) when this happened and thought each other was drunk with new wine. However, Peter corrected them and then noted a prophecy that God will pour out His Spirit upon man in the last days, bringing gifts of the Spirit.

Next, Peter begins the first sermon for the church. Peter proclaimed in his sermon that Jesus is the Messiah, attributed to His resurrection from the cross. Peter brought a message of repentance (as he does with most of his teachings we see) to three-thousand people who were saved on the day of Pentecost. He blamed the people for crucifying Christ. When they questioned him about this, Peter answered them telling them to repent and be baptized. This could be so their sins are remitted, and then he fills them with the Holy Ghost. What was amazing is that the Lord added people to the church daily, the church had regular attendees, and the people gave regularly to support the church. The church’s mission was being actively fulfilled.

Soon (in chapter 3), Luke notes Peter healing a crippled man, who was apparently incurable. Jewish leaders were then outraged and started opposing the ministerial work they had done. Those that witnessed the healing were in awe and gathered around Peter. Peter then administered his second sermon, by telling them too that they crucified Christ and need to repent and be baptized. Jesus was the long-promised Messiah, which Peter claimed frequently. At about five-thousand total now preached to, John and Peter were arrested for their preaching about Jesus.

After Peter and John were released from their arrest, they came and spoke to the people. Soon, everyone there was filled with the Holy Ghost. They had many signs and wonders among the people, from healing the sick, casting out unclean spirits, etc. Soon, the apostles were arrested and put in the common prison. The angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and instructed them to speak in the temple. So, they did. Someone reported they were in the temple, so they were bound again. They claim to obey God, not men. The apostles were then beaten and warned. However, they did not cease to teach/preach.

Soon, they recruited seven men (of honest report). Stephen and Philip were appointed as the first two deacons. Over time, Stephen was arrested and then stoned, and then the disciples were witnessing in Judaea and Samaria – baptizing and filling people with the Holy Ghost. Philip converted an Ethiopian man and baptized him. After that, Paul (aka Saul) was found to be quite a persecutor toward the disciples. The Lord blinded Paul and questioned him. He told Paul to go meet Ananias, who would then restore his sight, after filling him with the Holy Ghost. Soon, Paul would begin preaching at Damascus before heading to Jerusalem. The Jews wanted him killed.

Peter did a few other miracles, such as healing Aeneas and raising Tabitha from the dead. Later, foreign missions would begin for Paul and Barnabas, who departed from Antioch to first Seleucia and then to Cyprus. Soon, they moved to preach in other areas, such as Perga and back to Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and once again back to Antioch. Paul was stoned, but not killed.

Next, Judas (aka Barsabas) and Silas were sent to help Paul and Barnabas. Barnabas soon requested that John (aka Mark) would come along, but Paul thought otherwise. Therefore, Paul and Barnabas separated. John went with Barnabas to Cyrpus, while Silas went with Paul to Cyprus. Then, eventually, Paul selected Timotheus for work. Later, Paul and Silas were imprisoned, where they converted a fearful, suicidal guard. Soon, the magistrates let the two of them go.

Now, Paul and Silas went on another missionary journey to Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, and back to Antioch. A Jew named Apollos began preaching at Ephesus and then to Corinth, before John’s disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost. Miracles were done in Ephesus by Paul, before an uproar broke out. This caused Paul to have to break up this uproar, before he went to Caesarea and then to Jerusalem. Once he went there, he was arrested again. The Jews plotted to kill Paul, and he was tried before a few rulers before it was decided he done nothing wrong.

Paul would then sail for Rome. While on his journey, he came upon stormy seas and a shipwreck before he was finally able to reach Rome. Once there, he continued to preach, heal, and rebuke unclean spirits as he had always done. This ends the book of Acts by Luke, where Luke ends it without conclusion.

Timeline of events in the Book of Acts

  • Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:1-11).

  • Matthias was chosen to be an apostle in place of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:12-26). Peter cited Psalms 69:25 and 109:8 as the reasons for selecting this apostle.

  • Pentecost: The Holy Spirit filled disciples and 3,000 were saved (Acts 2). Jesus promised the Comforter would come and be with His People forever, in that the Disciples would be baptized with the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; Acts 1:5). This also fulfilled Joel’s prophecy that God would pour out His Spirit on all people (Joel 2:28-32).

  • Peter and John performed miracles and faced persecution (Acts 3-5).

  • 32 AD – First Christian Martyr: Stephen is killed in Jerusalem (Acts 6-7).

  • Persecution caused believers to disperse (Acts 8:1-4). The disciples become witnesses in Judea and Samaria just as Jesus said (Acts 1:8).

  • Philip preaches in Samaria and baptized an Ethiopian man (Acts 8:5-40).

  • 37 AD – Conversion of Saul (Paul)(Acts 9:1-19).

  • Saul’s early travels (Acts 9:20-31; Galatians 1:15-18).

  • Peter took the Gospel to Cornelius; Gentiles are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10-11). Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be a light for the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6; Luke 2:32).

  • Herod Agrippa had James put to death and imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:1-19).

  • 44 AD – Herod Agrippa died (Acts 12:20-24).

  • 47-49 AD – First Missionary Journey: Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13-14).

  • James wrote his epistle.

  • Jerusalem council: Gentiles are not required to obey Jewish religious laws (Acts 15). During the Council, James cited Amos 9:11-12 about the Gentiles being included in God’s Plan. Paul wrote Galatians.

  • 49-51 AD – Second Missionary Journey: Paul, Silas, and a few others (Acts 16-18). Paul wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

  • 52-57 AD – Third Missionary Journey: Paul, Timothy, and a few others (Acts 19-21). Paul wrote 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans.

  • Paul is arrested and appeared before Felix. He was sentenced to two years in prison for preaching the Gospel (Acts 21-24).

  • 59-60 AD – Journey to Rome: Paul was sent to Rome to stand trial (Acts 27-28). While imprisoned, Paul received Word from the Lord that Paul would testify about Christ Jesus in Rome (Acts 23:11).

  • 60-62 AD – Paul spent two years under house arrest in Rome and shared the Gospel (Acts 28:30-31). Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.

1 & 2 Timothy

1st Timothy

Paul begins the letter by addressing Timothy, his own son in the faith (meaning Paul was his spiritual father and leader). Right away, Paul warns against false doctrine, telling Timothy to “teach no other doctrine.” We find out that the O.T. Law is for the lawless and unrighteous people (unsaved, probably), rather than the righteous man (saved, probably). Too many times, Jewish leaders, false teachers, Pharisees – for example – tried to push the Old Testament Law onto believers, causing them to be led astray. Paul then instructs that prayer, thanksgiving, etc. be made for all men, including kings and those in authority, and for ourselves to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Next, Paul talks about how women should conduct themselves in the church. Women should have modesty, especially in apparel, and sober. Women should also not have braided hair with gold or pearls, or other costly things in it. Additionally, women should not interrupt in the church while the teacher is talking, and should let the church leader be a leader over her. She should not take authority over the church (unless she is appointed to do so).

Now, Paul beings in chapter three by talking about the qualifications for overseers in the church. A bishop, Paul states, should be blameless, married to one wife, vigilant, sober, well behaved, hospitable, and able to teach. They should also not be given to wine, nor greedy, but rather patient, not a brawler or covetous. Bishops should rule well their own home, with children in subjection. The bishop should not be a novice and have a good report among men of being righteous. A deacon, as Paul writes, should be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy, be able to hold revelations of faith or God in their mind, blameless, have grave wives, not slanderous, sober, and faithful in all things. Additionally, deacons should be married to one wife, rule their children and house well, and be bold in the faith of Jesus Christ. Overall, the standards listed for both bishops and deacons ensure they live good moral and spiritual lives.

Next, Paul gives more warnings about false teachers and those that will depart from the faith. Many teachers are liars and fakes, he warns. Timothy is instructed to teach the Word of God. After that, Paul gives advice about widows, and how they should be treated. Elders should be treated with double-honor, especially if they work hard in the Word. He also notes on respect to be given to servants. Soon, Paul writes about false teachers again, talking about their personality before warning about the love of money. Paul then encourages Timothy to fight the good fight of faith, following after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. In addition, those that are rich should not be high-minded or trustful in uncertain riches, but that they give freely. Paul finishes the letter with final words to Timothy.

2nd Timothy

Paul begins the letter with the usual greeting before telling about desiring to see Timothy. Paul begs Timothy to stay faithful and continue the good work, encouraging him to have no fear, but power, love, and a sound mind. He then instructs Timothy to guard the gospel, holding fast to the original writings and teachings of it. Timothy must keep faithful to legitimate doctrine, and stay away from false teachers. Timothy should stay close to faithful men, endure hardness, and remember that Jesus is the seed of David – raised from the dead, so he shall endure all things for Christ’s sake.

Next, Timothy is instructed to study to show himself approved unto God, as a worker who rightly divides the Word of Truth without shame. Then, Paul warns him of the coming departing of the faith by men, and that men will take part in many unrighteous acts as a result. Paul then instructs Timothy that all Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. This is given so that the man of God may be perfect and throughly furnished unto all good works.

Then, Paul commands Timothy again to preach the Word of God. He writes to let Timothy know that men will not endure sound doctrine, so the word needs preached in season, out of season, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort. Finally, Paul claims he has fought the good fight of faith and finished his course. He knows of his crown of righteousness that the Lord shall give himself and to all them that love his appearing. After his final greetings, Paul states that the Lord shall deliver him from every evil work, so that he will be preserved unto His Heavenly kingdom. He then does his farewell to end the letter.

Paul had many thoughts overall in prison, and this letter was no different. Paul knew that in his own suffering, he would benefit one day no matter what in the kingdom of God. However, Paul was very intent on the destruction of false teachers and their fake doctrines. This letter serves as just one of them that warn strictly against false teachings. Seems like Paul wanted to encourage his spiritual son Timothy to persevere in the faith, to stay true to God’s Word, to have good diligence in his work, and to avoid confusing doctrines. Paul’s sufferings made his own will stronger to tell Timothy to be strong in the faith and guard against false teachings. Paul was getting ready for execution soon, it seems, so he was intent on letting his companion Timothy know his last feelings and instructions.

Jesus spoke that Scripture is the inspired Word of God, which means that it should be taught with all accuracy and detail to the text. When someone perverts the text and causes confusion, they are insulting the wisdom and knowledge of God. We must (as Christians) safeguard the good and true Word of God to full accuracy.

Titus

Starting the letter, Paul greets Titus, before talking about the qualifications of elders. Therefore, Titus was to appoint elders in every city. The elders needed to be blameless, married to one wife, and have faithful children who are not unruly. For bishops, they had to be blameless, not self-willed, meek, not given to wine, not a brawler (or striker like other texts), and not given to lucre (money). In addition, bishops should be hospitable, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate, steadfast in the faithful Word, and a teacher.

Next, Paul instructs how to deal with false teachers. Paul wants their mouths to be stopped, and that they should be sharply rebuked. After that, Paul teaches that Titus should speak sound doctrine. Also, that the aged men and women (elders probably), should be sober, grave, temperate, and sound in faith and love and patience. Aged women should especially behave in holiness, not accuse falsely, not given to much wine, and teach good things. They should also teach young women to be sober, to love their husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, and obedient to their own husbands. Young men should be like the young women in the same way. All should have a pattern of good works, as well as other things. Paul also instructs concerning servants, which usually centers on the topic of respect.

Next, Paul teaches Titus to make the people obedient to higher authority, to be good overall, and without sin and unrighteous acts. Paul finishes the letter emphasizing good works that the members of the church should learn to maintain good works for necessary uses. After that, Paul does his quick farewell to end the letter to Titus.

The pastoral letters to Titus and Timothy emphasize good, sound doctrine, without false teaching. Both pastors were very much warned against false teachers and Paul made it very clear to watch out for them. Titus was left in Crete to set elders in order, so Paul wanted things to be done right. With an emphasis commonly in Paul’s letters of faith, hope, and love – we see the same type of teachings here. Seemed like a lot of Paul’s ministry work centered on faith, hope, and love. This brought a good, solid foundation for the church – that sadly, has rarely been adopted. Even with the foundation in place, people still planted churches in future generations centered on legalism and Old Testament Law, rather than God’s grace and love through Jesus Christ and the beautiful blessings that each of His people acquire. God plants His grace on people, because He loves them.

1, 2, & 3 John

1 John

John begins the letter by talking about the Word of Life being made to manifest eternal life into God’s people. He also explains, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” He first addresses an issue in verse 8, where he says, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” He goes on to say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Next, John declares that Jesus Christ is our advocate, and that we should keep His commandments. That is, we should love one another, but not the world. We should not love the world, because the spirit of the antichrist dwells in the world. John warns the audience of those who deny the Son, Jesus Christ, and for His people to not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Now, in chapter three, John puts out a couple ways Christians can classify themselves as children. To be children of God, it is important to be saved, as His people are under the “Spirit of adoption,” according to Romans 8:15. Also, in Romans 8:16, it says “the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” After this, John identifies the children of Satan as those who disobey or transgress the law. It says in verse 8 that those who commit sin are of the devil, since the devil sinned from the beginning. The Father sent the Son to destroy the works of the devil. Now, John speaks again of the children of God and who they are. They are ones who practice righteousness, do not commit sin, and that they love one another.

Next, we learn several valuable things from John. One of them is that if you hate your brother, you’re a murderer – and no murderer has eternal life. In addition, whatever we ask, we shall receive from Him, because of keeping His commandments. We learn in the next chapter that “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Next, John instructs that love be of God, because God is love. If we love on another, God dwells in us. We learn several other things about love. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear” (4:18a). We learn throughout 1 John that God loved us before we loved Him. Also, that it’s because God loved us that we love Him.

In chapter five, John instructs about faith being so important, that the victory we have being born of God, we use to overcome the world by faith. It is because of our faith in Jesus Christ that we overcome the world. John acknowledges the trinity in verse 7 and 8, before stating that we have life through God’s Son. John then declares why he wrote this letter in verse 13, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” He then gives his audience assurance that “if we ask anything according to His Will, He heareth us.” John then gives his final testimonies and instructions. We can be sure that we are of God, and we know the Son of God is come and given us understanding that we are in Him. He testifies in 5:20b, “this is the true God, and eternal life.” His final warning is to “keep yourselves from idols.” A lot of what John was hitting at is that the world is a slave to evil and wickedness, and that we must remain in Him, if we have hopes of surviving spiritually and being children of God.

2 John

John once again warns against false teaching as he did in 1 John. We learn also in this letter that truth and love are inseparable. We should walk in truth, not just admire it. We should also love one another, a genuine love. Therefore, John starts the letter with his greeting before talking about walking in truth, and that we had a commandment from the beginning to love one another. The love we have, we should walk in it. Next, John talks about the deceivers who have entered the world who do not confess Jesus as Christ. These deceivers are an antichrist. John warns next that those who transgress and abide not in the doctrine of Christ do not have God. However, those that do abide in His doctrine do have both the Father and the Son. The warning right after that is if these deceivers come to your house with this kind of (false) doctrine, do not receive him or help him out. That is how this second letter ended.

False teaching is a major problem in the body of Christ today, because people are focused on their own will, instead of humbling to God’s Will. John points out that even in his day, false teaching is prevalent. He also speaks to keep an eye out for those that practice unrighteousness and do not hold true to the apostolic truth. This can be reflected to a contemporary principle of watching out for false teachers (and prophets), especially in the last days before the Lord’s coming. John seemed to have some kind of apostolic love toward the “elect lady,” as he spoke that he loved in truth. John seemed to end the letter early, because he expected to see the “elect lady” soon. So, John’s letter, in a quick summary, went like this: He encourages the people to persevere in love and belief in God, to have nothing to do with false teachers – not even to support or give them hospitality, and then a hope to see them soon.

It also seems that John has a strong will against those who deny Christ, as in verse 9, we also see this in 1 John 2:23. This is to be expected by someone who loves Christ so much. John was a very faithful disciple, so seeing his love manifest into feelings of discontentment against those who do evil, speak falsely, and deny Christ. John is a good example of a disciple who was well trained in the beautiful teachings of Jesus Christ. John teaches this audience these things, because he is setting the example that the Lord crafted in him to make other people more like disciples of Jesus.

3 John

John starts the letter addressing Gaius and wishing him prosperity. He praises Gaius’ faithfulness and charity unto the church. This is because he helps missionaries faithfully. This sets a good example of other Christians, which is why John praises it. It also allows other audiences to realize the importance of helping missionaries. Now, missionaries are not beggars, they are simple people doing God’s work by carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Therefore, it is important to support their endeavors. Next, John comments on another leader, Diotrephes, who is like an opposite of Gaius. Diotrephes was someone who did not receive John well, thus firing malicious words, and not being content with himself enough to help people in the church. Lastly, he comments on Demetrius, another leader, who had good reports from all men. People loved Demetrius. John claimed that Demetrius does well. John ends the letter letting Gaius know he would see him face-to-face soon (which is probably why the letter was short).

When it comes to walking in the truth, as John wrote in verse 3, this literally means to be good in your faith so much that people observe and testify of you. Gaius was a man that John thought mentionable as walking in the truth. Of course, Diotrephes was rebuked, mainly for undermining an office in the church and preventing people from being hospitable. Moreover, it is only right to not imitate evil (but rather to do good of God). Demetrius was another good example just like Gaius, which is why he was also mentioned.

It is important in the body of Christ, that God’s people do not mock the example of Diotrephes, but rather take on a better approach like Gaius and Demetrius. Therefore, we, as Christians, should support missionaries and help those who are in need. While doing this, we heed John’s warning in 2 John, where he warns about false teachers. If we heed those warnings, and give faithfully – then we will also walk in the truth, prosper, and be in good health. By supporting the Great Commission, we are doing the Will of God for all His people. We can expect to be blessed in this degree as stated, if we do God’s Will.

As such, we can put labels on these three men. Then, we can know what people would follow as an example. Gaius was a dependable leader in the church, who helped people. Diotrephes was the dominating or controlling official. Last, Demetrius is the kind messenger, who seems to have a good heart like Gaius. These are great examples.

Revelation

Jesus speaks unto John initially telling him that He is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the ending. The Lord directs John to a vision and tells him to write down all he sees and then to send it to the seven churches in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. When John saw the glory of the Lord Jesus before him so magnificent, he fell at His feet. The Lord told him not to fear. The Lord had seven stars and seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars represent angels who were assigned to each church, while the seven golden candlesticks are the actual churches. Next, Jesus addresses each church, telling of what good or bad things they have done, how they can improve, and the rewards and consequences of their further action. This seems to be in hopes to improve the churches and strengthen believers to prepare them for the end times.

Soon, John sees a door open in Heaven, to which a voice calling him in. He saw God on His throne, with a rainbow surrounding it. Twenty-four elders were sitting around the throne with white robes and crowns of gold worshiping the Lord. There were also four beasts surrounding the throne as well, worshiping the Lord God at all times. Next, God is seen holding the book with the seven seals and asks who is worthy to open it. The only one found to be able to open it was the lamb that was slain. The Lamb (Jesus presumably), came and took the book. The Lamb was then worshiped.

Then, the Lamb began opening the seals, the first six actually. The first revealed a white horse ready to conquer, the second a red horse that was to rake peace from the earth (and was armed with a sword), the third a black horse that had scales in his hand, the fourth a pale horse that was Death sent to kill the fourth part of the earth, the fifth were martyrs crying out for vengeance to the killers of themselves; which they were given rest and told to wait, and the sixth revealed a great earthquake, black sun, blood red moon, starts falling from the sky, and mountains moved. High-ranking men, such as kings and wealthy people hid themselves. These men requested that mountains and rocks fall on them so they did not have to see the face of God or partake in the wrath of the Lamb.

Before the seventh seal was opened, 144,000 people were sealed on their foreheads declaring ownership from God, which was done by four angels at the four corners of the earth. Then, a great multitude of people came to salvation in Christ. Soon, an event begins called the great tribulation. Next, the Lamb opens the seventh seal, and silence was in Heaven for half an hour. Seven angels with seven trumpets lined before God. Each began blowing their trumpet. After the first trumpet blew, hail, fire, and blood rained on the earth. After the second blew, the sea turned to blood. After the third blew, the waters were polluted by a great star from Heaven (star was called Wormwood). Then, the fourth blew, the sun, moon, and stars were darkened. Now, after the fifth trumpet was blown, a bottomless pit of locusts was opened in the earth, and swarms of locusts came out to torment non-believers. The locusts were instructed to not bother believers in the faith.

After the sixth trumpet blew, four angels were released to kill one-third of the population of earth. In addition, 200 million horsemen were released to kill one-third of the earth as well. Still people would not repent and come to believe in the Lord. An angel then came giving John a scroll to eat, so that he may prophesy before people. People were still in unbelief and unrepentant. Two witnesses were sent to preach, which were two candlesticks. A beast that came up from the bottomless pit destroyed them. The two candlesticks arose a few days later and flew up to the heavens, and an earthquake was released upon the earth killing 7,000 men. The seventh trumpet finally sounded that the world has become the kingdom of Christ to which he reigns forever.

Next, a story began about the woman (people of Israel) and the dragon, who was Satan. This tells of Satan’s fall from Heaven probably, which included taking a third of the angels with him, after warring with Michael and his angels. The dragon was cast out of Heaven, and then became an accuser of the believers. Soon, the dragon begins war on earth, persecuting Israel (for the woman brought forth the child, who was Jesus). A beast then rose up out of the sea, which was wounded eventually then brought back to life, thus mocking the power of Christ (probably the beast is the antichrist). He seeks, after regenerating, to make war with the saints. The beast then commands worship. Another beast soon appeared which would direct people to worship the first beast. They would then mark those of worshipers with the number 666 on their right hand or forehead.

Now, the next two chapters, 14-15, introduce judgments that will occur in chapters 16-18. In chapter 14, 144,000 outstanding believers in Heaven are shown next to the Lamb. The last half of the tribulation, an angel proclaims the gospel of Jesus, to call people to fear God. Those are warned if they worship the beast, they will meet their doom, which was permanent. The angel also warns the saints to stay faithful, as they will probably die. Next, in chapter 15, seven angels had the seven last plagues. These were final judgments. Many believers were noticed to have had victor over the beast, and so they worshiped.

In chapter 16, the seven vials of the wrath of God were set to be unleashed. The first one poured out was sores upon men, the second was that the sea became blood, the third poured out blood becoming of rivers and fountains, the fourth activated fierce hear from the sun that would scorch men, the fifth poured out darkness upon the seat of the beast, the sixth poured out over the river Euphrates would dry the waters to prepare for kings to come. This prepare for them to come to Armageddon, before the seventh poured out a great earthquake – to which also hail and stones the weight of talents fell upon them.

Next, a great whore appears, which represents Babylon (a kingdom of false religions). The whore was then explained, before it was to be destroyed. This brought the doom of Babylon, and those who loved Babylon mourned over its death, while heaven rejoices. Praise was brought before God for His judgment, before a marriage supper was held for the Lamb. Soon, Heaven opened to bring forth Christ, Faithful and True He was called, to which He came to make war. The war will end swiftly as the beast and the ungodly are destroyed.

An angel then came from Heaven with the key to the bottomless pit. He took the dragon, and bound him for a thousand years. He was to be there, without deceiving the nations, for one-thousand years before being released for a while. Meanwhile, those who stayed faithful to Christ will reign with Christ for a thousand years. When the thousand years finish, Satan is loosed, and goes and deceives the nations – Gog and Magog – to gather them for battle. Fire came down from Heaven and devoured them. Satan, along with the beast and the false prophet, are cast into the lake for fire to be tormented night and day forever.

Next came the great white throne judgment, where people were judged according to their works. Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, which was second death. Those not found in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire, as well. In chapter 21, John notes the new Heaven and new earth, as the first heaven and earth are passed away. There is no sea. Soon, a New Jerusalem descended out of Heaven, which was magnificent in every way. The Lord and the Lamb was the temple of the New Jerusalem, and there was no need for the sun or the moon, because God’s glory was so bright to have lit up the city completely. There were more glorious things about it, as well.

The Lord declares that He shall come quickly. John then fell down in worship before the feet of the angel that showed him these things. The Lord spoke more declaring who He is, what He will do, etc. An invite to come to the Lord was after this, which mentions that the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Then, a warning is given for those who modify anything in the book. The book then concludes with the assurance that the Lord Jesus will surely come quickly.

Timeline from the Pastoral Epistles to Revelation

  • 62 AD – James the brother of Jesus was martyred. Paul was released from house arrest in Rome. Paul then travels through the Mediterranean visiting churches. Paul wrote 1 Timothy and Titus, and Peter wrote 1 and 2 Peter.

  • 64 AD – Emperor Nero began persecuting Christians. Paul and Peter are soon imprisoned in Rome. Paul wrote his last epistle, 2 Timothy.

  • 66 AD – Jewish uprising began in Jerusalem against the Romans.

  • 66-68 AD – Paul and Peter were martyred in Rome. The books of Hebrews and Jude were written.

  • 70 AD – Romans plundered and fired the Temple in Jerusalem causing great destruction.

  • 80 AD – Domitian was made emperor and carried on persecuting Christians.

  • John wrote the Gospel of John, and 1, 2, and 3 John.

  • 92-94 AD – John is exiled to the Island of Patmos. John also wrote the Book of Revelation.

  • 100 AD – John died in Ephesus.

Walk in truth and lead people well | 3 John commentary

This is another short letter by the apostle John, written between 85-95 A.D. John addresses this letter to a loyal believer called Gaius. The second letter of John spoke of not helping missionaries who speak falsely. Well Gaius was a gracious helper of missionaries. Therefore, John had a few things to say, and some comparisons to make to other leaders, Diotrephes and Demetrius.

John starts the letter addressing Gaius and wishing him prosperity. He praises Gaius’ faithfulness and charity unto the church. This is because he helps missionaries faithfully. This sets a good example of other Christians, which is why John praises it. It also allows other audiences to realize the importance of helping missionaries. Now, missionaries are not beggars, they are simple people doing God’s work by carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Therefore, it is important to support their endeavors.

Next, John comments on another leader, Diotrephes, who is like an opposite of Gaius. Diotrephes was someone who did not receive John well, thus firing malicious words, and not being content with himself enough to help people in the church. Lastly, he comments on Demetrius, another leader, who had good reports from all men. People loved Demetrius. John claimed that Demetrius does well. John ends the letter letting Gaius know he would see him face-to-face soon (which is probably why the letter was short).

When it comes to walking in the truth, as John wrote in verse 3, this literally means to be good in your faith so much that people observe and testify of you. Gaius was a man that John thought mentionable as walking in the truth. Of course, Diotrephes was rebuked, mainly for undermining an office in the church and preventing people from being hospitable. Moreover, it is only right to not imitate evil (but rather to do good of God). Demetrius was another good example just like Gaius, which is why he was also mentioned.

It is important in the body of Christ, that God’s people do not mock the example of Diotrephes, but rather take on a better approach like Gaius and Demetrius. Therefore, we, as Christians, should support missionaries and help those who are in need. While doing this, we heed John’s warning in 2 John, where he warns about false teachers. If we heed those warnings, and give faithfully – then we will also walk in the truth, prosper, and be in good health. By supporting the Great Commission, we are doing the Will of God for all His people. We can expect to be blessed in this degree as stated, if we do God’s Will.

As such, we can put labels on these three men. Then, we can know what people would follow as an example. Gaius was a dependable leader in the church, who helped people. Diotrephes was the dominating or controlling official. Last, Demetrius is the kind messenger, who seems to have a good heart like Gaius. These are great examples.

Lessons and other notes from John here

PEOPLE: Gaius is a helpful man who provides hospitality to traveling preachers. He supports these people and wishes them well. He is warm, especially in welcoming people to preach into the Church, and helps strangers as well. He also helps preserve God’s truth.

Diotrephes is a man who acts out of selfish ambition – kind of a counter to Gaius, as this man was simply one who opposed the authority of John; refusing to pass on his instruction to the Church. He made false accusations about John and was very domineering. He didn’t welcome traveling preachers, and would be subject to John’s punishment if he had to come.

Demetrius was a man with a good report among men, and was to be a reliable helper in the difficult time of preserving the Gospel in the time of great false teaching.

Dangers of the defiled road:

  • Romans 13:13 identifies: Rioting, drunkenness, chambering, wantonness, strife, envying
  • 2 Peter 2:10 identified: Walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, Despising of government, Presumptuous are they, Self-willed are they, They speak evil of dignities
  • 1 John 1:6, “If we say we have fellowship with Him, but walk in darkness, we lie and don’t know the truth.”

Instructions to remain of the prosperous road:

  • We should walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10)
  • Walk in Christ Jesus, be rooted and grounded in Him and stablished in the faith – abounding with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7)
  • If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other (1 John 1:7)

Conclusion of the matter

The teaching on the Characteristics of Diotrephes was good, because he was inhospitable, and therefore, this was not Christlike. It’s good to learn what not to do, because it helps you do what you’re supposed to do. This was a prideful man that did not receive others, was selfish, and forbade others to receive the brethren. He did not care much for people, and had an attitude of arrogance among them. These are different ways that authority can devour a person’s personality and intentions. Give a person a good amount of power, and you may have a problem on your hands if that person misuses the power they’re given. John was so angry at this man that his old self was starting to boil, because he could not believe the insolence stemming from him. He was just one example of someone who isn’t Christlike.

John, once again, is amazed at the hospitality of those under his care and those that are his friends. He is so happy that Gaius is a hospitable person and glad that he is prospering. He is so excited when his people walk in truth, and he hopes that he will continue. He is not happy at Diotrephes, who is a near mere polar opposite of Gaius. He warns about Diotrephes and talks about him quite a bit for the issues that he has brought to the Church, and hopes he can stop the nonsense. Other than all that, he is still against the false teachings of the day, and hopes that they can continually be dealt with, so he appoints people to help (namely Demetrius) to preserve the truth of the Gospel.

We could learn from these examples. We could learn the great hospitality of Gaius and put it into practice immediately, and we could learn how not to be in our hospitality through the example of Diotrephes. Being a hospitable person requires selflessness, self-control, compassion, showing mercy, and other virtues – and therefore, selfishness, arrogance, pride, mean-spirited attitudes, and other evil or negative things should not be welcome in a hospitable place.

Some have said the Church is a hospital for sinners. Whether that’s true or not is of no concern, but what is of concern, is that we do treat people in our everyday lives with hospitality, whether they are a Christian or non-Christian (for John told Gaius to not just treat Christians, but also strangers). We should follow suit on the admonitions given to Gaius, for it can help us improve our ministry and methodology of helping people in our everyday lives.

Even John warned against false teachings and heresy | 2 John commentary

In 2 John, John puts a similar focus on truth as he does in the first letter. This letter was written between 85-95 A.D. This is a very quick but important letter from John. It is best to decide upon whom John is addressing. John speaks of “the elect lady and her children.” This could mean a local church and its congregation, or it could mean an unknown widowed woman. Nevertheless, John places a warning on the “elect lady” about giving hospitality and support to traveling ministers (missionaries) who have departed from the apostolic truth and have migrated toward false teachings.

John once again warns against false teaching as he did in 1 John. We learn also in this letter that truth and love are inseparable. We should walk in truth, not just admire it. We should also love one another, a genuine love. Therefore, John starts the letter with his greeting before talking about walking in truth, and that we had a commandment from the beginning to love one another. The love we have, we should walk in it.

Next, John talks about the deceivers who have entered the world who do not confess Jesus as Christ. These deceivers are an antichrist. John warns next that those who transgress and abide not in the doctrine of Christ do not have God. However, those that do abide in His doctrine do have both the Father and the Son. The warning right after that is if these deceivers come to your house with this kind of (false) doctrine, do not receive him or help him out. That is how this second letter ended.

False teaching is a major problem in the body of Christ today, because people are focused on their own will, instead of humbling to God’s Will. John points out that even in his day, false teaching is prevalent. He also speaks to keep an eye out for those that practice unrighteousness and do not hold true to the apostolic truth. This can be reflected to a contemporary principle of watching out for false teachers (and prophets), especially in the last days before the Lord’s coming.

John seemed to have some kind of apostolic love toward the “elect lady,” as he spoke that he loved in truth. John seemed to end the letter early, because he expected to see the “elect lady” soon. So, John’s letter, in a quick summary, went like this: He encourages the people to persevere in love and belief in God, to have nothing to do with false teachers – not even to support or give them hospitality, and then a hope to see them soon.

It also seems that John has a strong will against those who deny Christ, as in verse 9, we also see this in 1 John 2:23. This is to be expected by someone who loves Christ so much. John was a very faithful disciple, so seeing his love manifest into feelings of discontentment against those who do evil, speak falsely, and deny Christ. John is a good example of a disciple who was well trained in the beautiful teachings of Jesus Christ. John teaches this audience these things, because he is setting the example that the Lord crafted in him to make other people more like disciples of Jesus.

Lessons & other notes from John

This epistle is unique, because it is the only book in the New Testament that is addressed to a lady. Some believe the elect lady is a title for a woman in the higher social realm or official/dignitary – or married to such. Many traditions teach that the person addressed is Martha of Bethany. Others believe that it is the Church he is referring to, but nonetheless, there are many beliefs on who it might be.

Trinity: As for the personage of the Trinity, it seems that each member of the Godhead has a particular personality. The Father is the creator and Law Giver, Jesus the Son of God is the Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Soon Coming King, and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Truth, the Convictor, the Comforter, and the Illuminator. However, each possesses all these things.

They are always working together no matter what, for Jesus was Baptized by John, a Spirit like a dove descended upon Him – and then a voice came from Heaven (from God) that said “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus, as we see in John 17, wants the same unity for the believers that exists between the Father and the Son, so that through them, others would believe as well. He hopes that they share in the love that the Father has for the Son. He desires that they give themselves to God for the task of spreading the Gospel. Overall, He is telling them to have unity just as the Father and the Son have unity.

Being unified: Being in unity in the Body of Christ is highly important, and it tells us to love one another, walk in truth, and follow His commands – for He is looking after us and hopes that we keep our joy and peace. Practicing love and unity on a normal basis is the key to living more successfully with others.

What he appears to mention the most is that we love one another (we see in 2 John 5, John 13:34, John 15:12, 1 John 2:7, 1 John 3:23, and 1 John 4:21). He speaks of the Great Commandment in many verses, because Jesus had spoken of it, and then John repeats Jesus and keeps reassuring the people that if they love one another, they are doing the Will of the Father.

John is so glad to be united with this lady and her children, and hopes that they continue doing the good work they have done, especially in hospitality – for hospitality is important in the Body of Christ, because this world does not show mercy, so His People must show mercy to give people hope. The hope we have is of the Lord, and He hopes that we all will love each other and be in unity just as the Father is to the Son, because we need to spread around His Message much! False teachers have come, but we need to spread around the actual truth to hopefully blot those false ones out.

John rejoices when his teachings have done well to success, and is thankful that the people he is addressing have maintained their loyalty to the Gospel, and hopes for them to continue. We must look to ourselves and know what we have and have not done – make the change – and then we will receive a full reward, as he encourages. Truth and love are inseparable from the Gospel, and we are saved by this Gospel.

What he wishes most though is the love that we must share and in unity. He is glad that so many are united in love, and he is trying to be tolerant of the false teachers and false teachings of the day – so he gives us warnings and hopes that we will understand how to identify those who are false. We can also look back at the other tips, which are helpful to identify false teachers and doctrines. He loves those whom he teaches, and hopes that they will always be united!

Peter & John released: Provision is here! | Acts 4:15-37

“But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

Commentary: The apostles were not taught in law schools of the Jews; rather, Jesus taught them. Members of the Sanhedrin were aware that Peter and John were ignorant of the Jewish standards, and were not aware that they were not allowed to speak about Christ in the temple. Information of Jesus had always been viral since He began ministry; therefore, to keep that viral information from spreading further, gag orders were given. Nonetheless, the healed man is proof that Jesus is still alive and at work making miracles.

The Jewish leaders did not want to punish the apostles; instead, they were given the usual gag order to keep them from speaking of Christ. The apostles, however, refused to obey, but this did not fume the leaders any further. The opposition continued just as people of the Old Testament had done, such as David opposing the adversity of his day. The apostles are to be leaders of change; therefore, some sacrifices are being made to achieve God’s Will. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, the apostles continue their ministry of Jesus’ Messianic Work.

Other notes: Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah, because there are a few prophecies that are unfulfilled, in which case Jesus promised to fulfill in the future. Nonetheless, the Jews do not have faith that Jesus was the Messiah, and He will complete the work (as they were expecting Him to already have done it). The prophecies of note are in Isaiah 2:4 (because let’s face it, the world is still at war), the lack of evidence that Jesus came from Judah and directly descended from David and Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10), ingathering of the Jewish exiles (see Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 30:3, 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17, 36:24), etc.

Peter and John arrested and questioned | Acts 4:1-14

“And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”

Commentary: After hearing of Peter’s speech by witness of the people in the temple, the priests, the temple captain, and the Sadducees took Peter and John in for arrest and questioning. This group of temple leaders were concerned with why the people marveled so much at their healing of the lame man, and what made that moment so special. Anyone causing a stir in the temple was already to be questioned, because unusual activity can be seriously detrimental to temple life, especially if there are many people praying or doing spiritual things (interruptions during prayer can be angering).

The Jews failed to accept Jesus as the Messiah (Psalm 118:22 => Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7). In addition, the failings of the temple service-members shows their immaturity spiritually. Around 5,000 were saved during this experience, and that means the temple will likely lose many attendees. This was the appointed time for this occurrence. Peter left them speechless, for they could not deny Jesus’ healing of the lame man.

When asked by the priests what name the miracle was done, Peter unashamedly testified that it was Jesus Christ (of Nazareth) whom the Jews killed, and He is the One who is risen and made His People whole (healthy, well). Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone (a cornerstone is the main foundation stone, in that it is set first, and then all the other foundation is measured based on it). Therefore, Jesus is the prime example of Salvation, and He is our foundation – He sets the standard for how our lives are lived. He is the only One by which man can be saved.

Historical notes: The Pharisees had derived from the common people who attempted the preservation of the Jewish way of life, to keep it from foreign or political plans and other forms of corruption (today, we call these “activists”). The Sadducees derived from wealthy classes of people, and were more focused on exercising power and control in the Jewish society. The core difference in beliefs between the two was that the Pharisees actually believed in a physical resurrection of the dead; however, the Sadducees did not believe it (see Matthew 22:23; Acts 23:8). Overall, the Pharisees were quite fond of luring political leaders into their web of deceit.

Apostles pray for lame man – soon the fight ensues | Acts 3:1-11

“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.”

Commentary: Peter and John went together to the temple for prayer, and they saw a man born lame (he was weakened in his lower extremity where he was unable to walk), who was at the gate to ask for alms (getting something from people for free because of being poor). Peter and John were asked for alms, to which Peter said to search the two of them – only to find nothing.

Instead of money or valuables, Peter commanded healing in the name of Christ Jesus, and the lame man was helped up and began to gain strength in his lower limbs so much to begin leaping. The formerly lame man went into the temple with Peter and John, and the people there were staring in amazement at the lame man walking again. Questions began, because such healing causing the stir.

Jesus reveals through Transfiguration (Journey 34)

In this special edition of the Journey with Christ series, the Transfiguration is presented, which was an unusual event and one of the most important events as Jesus revealed His Deity to a few Disciples. We are reading in Mark 9:2-8; Matthew 17:1-8; Luke 9:28-36, as Jesus journeyed from Caesarea Philippi to a “high mountain” (probably Mount Hermon)

A week after His rebuke to Peter, Jesus went up a “high mountain” to pray, and there He was transfigured (metamorphosed). Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Him about His death. Peter and the others fight sleep as the hours drag on, when suddenly a bright cloud comes down over them and out of it, God’s voice commanding obedience to His Son. Jesus dispelled their fear by touching them as they lay on their faces on the ground. When they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone and Jesus was alone. Peter wants to build three tabernacles.

Here’s the story: Jesus transfigures Himself to His Disciples on a high mountain, which was not far from Caesarea Philippi. It was the revelation of Christ’s Glory, and was witnessed by three chosen Disciples, to which, they saw a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.

In coming into the world in the Incarnation, Jesus put His Divine Glory aside; however, it now reappeared through His body. It was an indication of the glory He would receive after finishing the Work He came to do.

Through the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus, who talked with Jesus about His coming death, and confirming what Jesus recently told the Disciples. The Messiah would have to die before entering Glory. This confused the Disciples; however, the Father’s voice told them that it was an expression of His Satisfaction of Jesus’ entire Ministry.

God declared this Kingly Messiah as the One who would lay down His Life as the Suffering Servant.

He is God’s Prophet, to whom they needed to listen to and acknowledge. Once Jesus returned to normal, He again told the Disciples that they should not tell of what has been revealed.

This is our Beloved Savior, the One in whom the Glory resides as King and Messiah! We must honor Him all our days, trust Him, and allow His Will for our lives all our days!

Historical Data

There are no facts of the exact location of this place, as the Bible mentions “High Mountain”, to which we see possibilities of Mount Tabor or Mount Hermon, since they had traveled to Caesarea Philippi. Mount Hermon has a connection to Moses and Elijah, who are associated with the concept of Transjordan (see Mark 9:4). This was a thoroughly Gentile area, which might lay claim to possible connections of Salvation coming to the Gentiles.

The return of Elijah was a strong connection to the Coming Day of the Lord in the prophecy noted in Malachi 4:5-6. Of course, in the Bible, we see multiple instances of high mountains and prophetic revelation being linked closely (Exodus 19:10-20:21; Deuteronomy 34:1-4; 1 Kings 18:20-40; 2 Peter 1:16-19 are all examples).

The Twelve Disciples are Chosen (Journey 18)

Part 1: Jesus prays, and the Twelve Disciples are chosen

We begin in Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16, and Jesus journeyed from Capernaum around the shore of the Sea of Galilee to “The Mountain,” about 5 miles.

It was expedient that the Lord Jesus appoint helpers immediately (as He was in prayer for many hours overnight), twelve of them that is, to which, they would be commissioned to heal diseases and cast out devils.

They were known as “Apostles,” ones whom are sent out. He would continue to train them further until His Appointed Time had come (for His death and Resurrection of course), and then they would need to continue the work. This was all similar to the Twelve Tribes that formed the basis of the People of God.

The ones whom were called were Simon Peter (or Cephas), Andrew the brother of Peter, James the son of Zebedee, John the brother of James, Philip, Bartholomew (or Nathanael), Thomas the Twin (Didymus), Matthew (or Levi), James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus (or Lebbaeus, or Judas the son of James), Simon the Zealot (or the Patriot, or the Canaanite, or the Cananaean), and Judas Iscariot (or the traitor, the betrayer, or the one who betrays).

What can we learn from this?

When the Lord calls us to do something, we should do it to our best ability, with excellence, as we are specially called from Him directly! No matter what the Lord calls us to do, we must do it best as we can, which means we should be continually attending to His Calling for us! Just as a doctor is on call all the time, this is similar to our calling from the Lord that we should be ready anytime for apt in ministry.

Jesus’ Capernaum Miracles (Journey 13)

Part 1: New Headquarters at Capernaum

Jesus journeys from Nazareth to Capernaum, which enables Him to begin increasingly miraculous ministry. We read the passages of Matthew 4:13-16; Luke 4:31-32. Jesus makes Capernaum His headquarters, which fulfills the Prophecy of Isaiah (9:1-2). Now, we learn that Peter lives in Capernaum (Mark 1:29-35).

What was so significant about this was that in Capernaum, news could travel as far as 20 miles on this route in both directions (one led to Egypt and the other to the coast of Israel). That was quite significant for news during Jesus’ era. In addition, the Sea of Galilee was nearby, which enabled a rich amount of fishing; therefore, it was a great place to live and work.

Coming upon Capernaum, which is one of Jesus’ main places (His headquarters), to which, He preached the Word with power as John the Baptist once did. Repentance would be preached to come, as it would bring light into darkness, so that the shadow of death would be overwhelmed with light so much that life would come!

Ruins of Capernaum

What can we learn from this experience?

When the Gospel comes, light also comes—for when it comes to any place or any soul, day comes as well. The beautiful light is what illuminates our heart in Jesus Christ, for He will stay where there is light. He does not appreciate darkness and will root out any darkness and trouble of any kind, because He is righteous enough to do so with God’s Power!

Part 2: Jesus calls four fishermen

We continue in the passages of Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11.

Peter and Andrew, fishing brothers no doubt, had met Jesus earlier and accepted Him as the Messiah. Another pair of fishing brothers would come night unto Jesus, whose names are James and John. Jesus asked all four of these good men to leave their work so that they could follow Him in bringing people into the Kingdom of God (becoming “fishers of men”).

Peter already knew what was to be expected since Jesus told him to let down his nets again after not catching anything, to which, fish flooded in nearly breaking their nets. This impressed Peter that Jesus is the Lord, and soon, Peter confesses his sinfulness by falling at the feet of Jesus.

What can we learn about this?

Whenever one is in doubt, trust upon the Lord, for He will show you great things as He did to these fishermen. What was impressive was that Jesus told Peter to drop his net again, to which, much more fish overcame their nets.

What was even more impressive is that Peter broke his guard (which he was a prideful and arrogant person), and fell at the feet of Jesus in humility. We should not be afraid to fall at the feet of Jesus and place our troubles in His Hands so that He may help us in any time of need.

Part 3: The demoniac healed in the Synagogue on the Sabbath

This story from Scripture can be found in Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:33-37.

While in Capernaum, Jesus preached in the local Synagogue, to which, people noticed His teaching was quite different from other Jewish teachers (heretical). However, Jesus was unconcerned about the small points of the Law, but rather, involved truth about God plainly and honestly. Although, those who heard had no doubt that this was God’s Message taught with Authority!

Nonetheless, on this occasion, Jesus’ teaching was violently opposed by an evil and satanic power that controlled a man in the audience—to which, Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and exorcised it from the man, which amazed many people in the audience. They could not believe what power He had, and therefore, His fame spread quickly overall in Galilee.

What can we learn about this story?

People will continue to oppose the message of Jesus, mainly if their hearts are not opened. However, we must pray that people’s hearts and minds be open to the Gospel, so that we may preach unto them, to let them receive the Lord’s Eternal Blessing. Jesus has the ability to deliver us from the hand of the enemy, just as He did with this man that had an unclean spirit.

Part 4: Jesus heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law

This healing event can be found in Mark 1:29-34; Matthew 8:14-17; Luke 4:38-41.

Jesus leaves the Synagogue and goes to Simon’s house. He heals Simon Peter’s Mother-in-Law. That evening, all that were brought to Him that were sick were healed, and the demon possessed was delivered. This fulfills Prophecy given by Isaiah (53:4).

More examples of Jesus’ Ministry are seen, as the Presence and Power of God are evident of those healed from the affliction by satan. One example was in healing Peter’s mother-in-law, to which, when Jesus touched her, the fever had left. Later on, He healed and exorcised many more.

Have you noticed? Peter was married… But to whom? A mystery. Think you might have a clue? Comment below.

What can we glean from this?

Even the littlest of illnesses and afflictions are not too small or too much for the Lord Jesus, for He is able to heal and deliver anyone at any time under any circumstance.