THE NEW TESTAMENT
Chapter One hundred-twenty-seven
Second Epistle from John
This introduction is taken from the NJKV Personal Study Bible;
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990, 1995.
Second John is, in part a concise application of the message
of 1 John. According to 1 John we must believe that the Son of
God became man, and we must love one another. Second John deals
with these same themes in a much shorter way.
AUTHOR AND DATE
This book was probably written between A.D. 85 and 95 by the
apostle John, the same person who wrote 1 John. John does not
refer to himself as an apostle, but rather as "the elder" (verse
1). "Elder" was a term of respect used by both Jews and
Christians for venerating religious teachers, and was perhaps
used of John later in his life (see 1 Peter 5:1). Some scholars
have speculated that the elder John who wrote this letter may
have been a disciple of the apostle John.
Second John has the form and size of a normal personal
letter of the first century. It was addressed to "the elect lady
and her children." This may well have been a figurative way of
referring to a local church and its members, probably in Asia
Minor. The false teachers threatening this church held the same
error as those subtle deceivers who deny that Jesus Christ truly
became a human being. (The deception may have included that, but
there was a deeper, even more clandestine of a deception they
were teaching - Keith Hunt).....
OUTLINE OF 2 JOHN
(1). Salutation (1-4)
(2). Exhortation (5-11)
A. Continue in love (5,6)
B. Guard your faith (7-9)
C. Refuse error (10,11)
(3). Conclusion (12,13)
A. Further plans (12)
B. Exchange of greetings (13)
The purpose of this writing by John is an earnest plea to
continue in the LOVE of God and that includes loving one another.
It is also to guide and exhort true Christians to reject those
who were teaching false ideas, one being that Christ is not
coming and living inside people through the Holy Spirit. It was a
theology that taught we do not have to live as Christ lived,
which was a way of rejecting some practices that would put you
too close of an association with "Jews." By the end of the first
century A.D. there was a movement OUT of the Church of God, into
a "Christian" religion that was in many ways fundamentally
different from the original Christians who were regarded by the
Jews and the Roman power to be another "Jewish sect."
History records and shows the rise of a "Christian" religion
centered in Rome from the beginning of the second century A.D.
that was disregarding anything that could be called "Jewish" -
like the 7th Day Sabbath, and the Passover. It was well under way
in the first part of the second century to move towards observing
the First Day of the week, and Easter instead of the Passover.
This letter may have been to a personal "lady" and her
children, but it may have also been a way of addressing a church
congregation and its members. Possible that it was a letter that
could have been read in any Christian congregation, with a
message to any true Christian church.
Love is immediately the theme, as well as "the truth." Truth
will never to extinguished, it will always survive. It will be
with us forever, and shall be within us, through the Holy Spirit.
This is exactly what Jesus taught in the Gospel of John, chapter
John sends greeting, and tells them the grace, mercy, and
peace comes from the Father and the Son of the Father. Again no
mention of the Holy Spirit, if the Holy Spirit is a third
individual personal being sitting in heaven with the Father and
the Son. This would be highly indignant of John if such was the
case, that the Holy Spirit is a personal separate being, as are
the Father and the Son.
He rejoices that he knows they are walking "in the truth" as
came from the Father. He says he is not writing any new
commandments, but the old commandment, that we should love one
another. Obviously at this time of the first century, near its
completion, there was a problem with love among those who called
In verse 6, with connection to verse 4 and "the Father" John
plainly tells us that LOVE IS: THAT WE WALK AFTER HIS
It is the commandment that was from the BEGINNING. The TEN
commandments of God have been from the very beginning of the
creation of mankind. I have given you a study on this Website
called "The Ten Commandments before Moses."
Nothing could be more clear that at this time of the last
decade or so of the first century, the true apostles of God were
teaching Christians to obey the Ten Commandments, which still
included the fourth one, as found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.
John says MANY, not the few, many deceivers are out there in
the world, they will not confess or admit that Jesus Christ is
continuing to come into the human heart and mind. The Greek for
"is come" is in the PRESENT tense, and the present tense in Greek
means: "The present tense indicates PROGRESSIVE action at the
present time - 'he is loosing.'" (Essentials of New Testament
Greek by Ray Summers, 1950).
Jesus was doing exactly what He said He would do. He would
return to the Father and the Holy Spirit would be sent to His
followers, It would be that the Father and the Son, both of them,
would live WITHIN the believer (John 14:15-24). Jesus would come
into the flesh, come again via the Holy Spirit to live His life
within His disciples. This is precisely what Paul said about
himself and the faith of Christ in him (Galatians 2:20).
There can be NO ARGUING with living as Jesus lived in
conduct, words, actions, and practices.
We are to "look to yourselves" - be careful, be observant,
be willing to look at yourself in the mirror of Christ, in the
mirror of the commandments of God, which are broken down for us
by Christ Himself, as love towards God and love towards your
fellow man. We are to hold on to all that, so we will then
receive a full reward, when the time comes for rewards to be
handed out to the children of God.
Christ is the center. If we abide in the teachings -
doctrines of Christ we have both the Father and Son. All we need
to do is read the Gospels, KNOW what Jesus was like, what He
taught, how He thought, how He spoke, and FOLLOW AND IMITATE HIM!
If we do that we have Christ and the Father with us, inside of
us. If we DO NOT what Christ taught and how He lived, we simply
do not have Him in us, neither the Father in us.
It is not hard to understand HOW to live as a Christian.
Just read the Gospels, get to REALLY KNOW Christ, get the mind of
Christ in you (Phil.2:5). There are books and books and more
books constantly being published by "Christian religious"
writers. There are those with PhDs in Christianity. There are
preachers and teachers that have fame on TV and are looked to by
tens of thousands as "knowledgable theologians" - BUT unless they
teach and follow the Christ of the Gospels, they have no
credibility where it counts, with the Father. Many in John's time
were already deceiving people, already departing from the Jesus
of the Gospels.
So serious did John feel this deception away from Christ
was, that he here taught that if ANY should come to you, who was
not teaching the Jesus of the Gospels, and the teachings that
Jesus taught, then do NOT allow them into your house, and do not
even bid them God speed, "God be with you" type phrase as they
depart from you. If you do bid them God speed you are really
(according to John, who was inspired to say all this) a partaker
of their evil deeds. "Evil deeds" - that is strong language, I
didn't put it there, it's been there for nearly 2,000 years in
your New Testament. John goes as far as saying such deceivers are
The main thoughts and teachings from these three epistles of
John should be pretty clear to see by now. They are VERY STRONG
in telling you WHAT the LOVE of God IS. And it is not some tingle
up and down your spine. They are VERY STRONG in telling you about
false teachers, who take you away from following Christ and the
commandments of God.
John ends by telling us that he had many things to write,
but not with paper and ink, he wanted to come unto them and talk
face to face, and so their joy could be full. His final sentence:
"The children of thy elect sister greet you. Amen" (verses 1-13).
John was to write more, much more, about spiritual truth,
deception, and the last end time years of this age, in being
inspired to write the book of REVELATION, which I am now not far
away from expounding to you.
Written October 2007