B i b l e S t u d y
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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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WATCH OUT FOR DECEIVERS
April 26, 2015
SCRIPTURE: 2 John 1-13
KEY VERSE: Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. (2 John 8)
INTRODUCTION: Even the strongest churches need warnings. Warnings help keep the saints alert and active in resisting error. The apostle John, referred to as the "elder", is the human author of this letter. He is writing to the "elect lady and her children.".
I. WALK IN THE TRUTH. (2 John 1-6)
A. The Apostle’s Salutation: Grace, Mercy, and Peace. (2 John 1-3)
1. John expresses his love in Verses 1-2.
(2 John 1-2) The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
“The Elder” is probably the apostle John. The title can refer either to an old man, an older person deserving respect, or a church leader. Here the word probably refers to the author’s authority in the church.
“The elect lady” may be a specific person, OR the phrase may be a figurative description of the local church.
John links truth and love; “I love in truth.” The second use of truth refers to the body of doctrine that is true. This is God’s revelation, the clear teachings and commands of Scripture.
2. John wishes them mercy and peace in Verse 3.
(2 John 3) Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
If we wish to experience God’s “grace, mercy, and peace,” we must commit ourselves to His truth and communicate His love.
Blessing comes from the “Father” and “Son” equally. John confirms the deity of Jesus Christ by affirming the Son’s equality with God the Father.
B. The Apostle’s Joy: Obedient Children. (2 John 4)
(2 John 4) I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
Note: He rejoiced when he heard that the church was "walking in truth" (Verse 4).
“Thy children” are either the physical children of this woman or the members of the local church. I think it could be either, and it probably refers to both. “I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth.”
“Walking in truth” refers to the manner of life, meaning walking in obedience to the commandments from the Father. It is wonderful to have children who are walking in truth.
“As we have received a commandment from the Father.” The commandment is that we walk in the light as He is in the light, that we order our lives by the Word of God.
C. The Apostle’s Charge: To Walk In Love. (2 John 5-6)
(2 John 5-6) And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 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.
1. We are to continue to love one another as God commanded..
Specifically, our walk with God is based on His “commandment” to “love one another” (see, John 13:34-35).
(John 13:34-35) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
2. We are to continue to walk in obedience to God’s commandments.
God’s love is the basis of His desire for our obedience and, it is the reason God has revealed His will through “His commandments” in His Word. We prove our obedience to Him by demonstrating love toward one another. Love is an unlimited resource readily available to us, and it is tremendously effective in furthering the work of Christ.
II. BE DISCERNING. (2 John 7-13)
A. The Apostle’s Concern: Antichrist Deceivers. (2 John 7-11)
1. Caution. (2 John 7, 9)
(2 John 7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
John said in his first epistle that already there were many “deceivers” and that there was the spirit of antichrist. How do we identify the spirit of antichrist? John gives us the answer: “Who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”
The spirit of antichrist is to deny the deity of Christ. It is to deny everything that is said about Him, everything that He said, and everything that He did for us in redemption by dying on the cross and by being raised bodily from the dead. That is antichrist, and that is the spirit of antichrist.
(2 John 9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Note: There are deceivers around who do not have the correct doctrine of Jesus Christ.
“Transgresseth” has the strong sense of running too far ahead, going too far. This is probably a reference to the people who considered themselves as having superior knowledge beyond basic Christianity.
Departure from Jesus Christ into doctrinal error indicates that a person “hath not God.” Love for God means (1) supporting the truth and (2) rejecting those who stand against it.
2. Conduct. (2 John 8, 10-11)
a. The church should hold to correct doctrine, for fear of losing reward. (2 John 8)
(2 John 8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
You do not lose your salvation when you have fellowship with the wrong people -- we need to understand that very clearly -- but you DO put yourself in a dangerous position. It does mean that the minute you and I identify ourselves with a cult or go off into this type of thing which denies the deity of Christ, we have lost our reward. There will be no reward for a believer who has done this!
Every believer ought to be working for a reward, to be able to hear the Lord someday say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (see Matthew 25:21).
At the end of his life, Paul was able to say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day …” (2 Timothy 4:7–8).
Paul didn’t want to be disapproved when he came into the presence of Christ. Therefore, it will befit us to be very careful NOT to be taken in by deceivers!
b. False teachers are not to be entertained as brothers or sisters in Christ. (2 John 10-11)
(2 John 10-11) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
I cannot think of a stronger statement than this. We need to recall the background of this letter again. John is writing to “the elect lady,” who may have been an outstanding woman in the church, noted for her hospitality. Apparently, she is a woman of means who can entertain guests lavishly. She is very generous.
Evidently, some of these false teachers came by, and she entertained them. Then she was under conviction about it, and she wrote to John. What should she do in a case like that? Should she entertain them? She would feel badly if she turned them away. What really should be her attitude (1) toward an apostate, (2) toward a heretic, (3) toward one who denies the deity of Christ but pretends to be a follower of Christ?
Should she entertain him in her home? (1) John says “NO”! (2) Don’t bring them into your home!
Note: This woman to whom John is writing is a woman of hospitality, and she has this question about entertaining false teachers. John lays it on the line here: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.”
(1) If you entertain a false teacher, (2) if you support him, (3) you are a partner with him in his deeds. This is the reason that you ought to investigate everything that you give to as a Christian, because if you are giving to the wrong thing, God considers you a partner in it!
B. The Apostle’s Hope: A Personal Visit. (2 John 12-13)
1. John hoped to visit soon. (2 John 12)
(2 John 12) Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
In other words, John says, “I can tell it better than I can write it.” David said the same thing, “… my tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Psalm 45:1). When David began to write that wonderful forty-fifth psalm, a psalm of praise to Christ, he simply said, “I wish I could tell it to you. I can say it better than I can write it.”
This is the reason I love a radio ministry. For a number of years I had a radio ministry on WPVL in Painesville, Ohio and for about ten years I had a radio ministry on WROI in Rochester, Indiana. I can say it better than I can write it.
2. John sent greetings from a sister. (2 John 13)
(2 John 13) The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.
Apparently, they were either children of a sister of this elect lady, OR it was a sister church sending greetings to this lady and to the local church there.
2 John is a tremendous little letter and its message ought to alert every believer today.
Hiking in the mountains of Utah, Coty Creighton spotted a goat that didn’t look like the rest of the herd. A closer look revealed that the unusual animal was actually a man dressed as a goat. When authorities contacted the man, he described his costume as a painter’s suit covered in fleece, and he said he was testing his disguise for a hunting trip.
The hunter’s deception reminds me of Jesus’ words: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). False teachers do not bear the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Rather, they “walk according to the flesh . . . and despise authority” (2 Peter 2:10). They are bold, egotistical, and given to greed (verses 10, 14). Ruled by their own desires, they exploit people by using “deceptive words” (verse 3). The Bible says these wayward spiritual leaders are headed for destruction and will take many unsuspecting and undiscerning people with them (verses.1-2).
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, rather than pursuing personal gain, laid down His life for His sheep. God does not want anyone to be misled by false teaching. He wants us to be aware of those who deceive, and follow Him instead -- the true Shepherd of our souls.
the name of Jesus
Every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess Him,
King of glory now. -- Noel
-- RBC Ministries, Our Daily Bread, March 9, 2014
CONCLUSION: There are specific steps you can take to act on the message of this book.
A. Examine yourself and look for practical evidence that you are actively “following God’s truth.”
Beware: The devil may add a few grains of truth to what is false.
“Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks, and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks.” -- Phillips Brooks
B. Seek to prepare yourself with as much of God’s truth as possible.
(Ephesians 6:14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
C. Be a student of God’s truth so that you can interpret and apply it accurately.
(2 Timothy 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
D. Guard against influences that would direct you to sell out.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Examine all teaching in the light of God's Word.”
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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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