Revelation – Chapter 3

Message to Sardis

Verse 1 – “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars; “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

The problem with the church in Sardis was not heresy, but spiritual. They looked good to others on the outside but corrupt on the inside. Sardis had become a church in name only, a pretend church, one that was just going through the motions.

We can place this church period when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. This began what is called the “Reformation.” The changes, however, did not dislodge the old leadership. In a short time the Reformation stalled and complacency set in.

Verse 2 – “Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.

Verse 3 – “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

It was time for this church to have a spiritual overhaul. They were urged to obey the Christian truth they had heard when they first believed in Christ. They needed to repent.

Verse 4 – “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

Verse 5 – “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Some believe that he “Book of life” and the “Lamb’s Book of life” are one in the same, but if they are, why is it we don’t find anyone in Scripture being blotted out of the “Lamb’s Book of life, only the “Book of life?” These are two different books.

Every single person that was and is born is in the “Book of life.” The “Lamb’s Book o life” are all those who have been truly born-again and follow Jesus until the end.

Verse 6 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘

Message to Philadelphia

Verse 7 – “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:

Verse 8 – “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

This church in Philadelphia was more like what he Church should be. It was a working, evangelistic, Bible-believing church.

In the mid 1800’s, people began to be converted at he rate of 10,000 a week in New York City. The movement spread throughout New England. The revival went up the Hudson and down the Mohawk. In one year (1857), more than one million people were converted. The revival crossed the Atlantic, broke out in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and England, South Africa, South India – anywhere there was an evangelist preaching people were being saved.

So what happened? People became complacent; allowed sin to run ram-pit in the church, and most importantly put other things first instead of putting Jesus high and lifted up! They forgot how to repent.

Verse 9 – “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie – indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

Many fail to live up to their spiritual claims. That was true of the Jews in Philadelphia, and it is still true of the Church today. Not everyone who claims to be a child of God truly is.

Verse 10 – “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

The “hour of trial” or “testing” is the Great Tribulation period. Right there, Jesus says He will keep the true believer from this time period. The believer will be raptured to “meet Him in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). God knows who truly belong to Him.

Verse 11 – “Behold I come quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

Verse 12 – “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God And I will write on him My new name.

Entering heaven, the Jew Jerusalem, never to leave again, will be blissfulness, no more doubt, no more temptations, no more disease, and we will never leave and that’s a promise.

Verse 13 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘

Message to Laodicea

Verse 14 – “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

Verse 15 – “I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

Church members in Laodicea were lukewarm. Any believer can find themselves in one of three stages: Cold – formal, without spiritual life, Lukewarm – indifferent, or straddling the fence; and Hot – passionate and zealous for the things of God.

These people were self-satisfied, had everything they needed, complacent. According to Jesus, this is the worse state to be in. Is this where the church is today?

Verse 16 – “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.

I could preach a couple of pages on this subject, but let me make this very plain and simple. A lukewarm Christian is not acceptable to Christ! And where do you think you will end up if He spews you out of His mouth?

Verse 17 – “Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked –

Verse 18 – “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

This rebuke is for all the fakers and pretenders who call themselves Christians in name only. Mined gold is placed into a red-hot furnace not to destroy it, but to purify it. Trials are meant to humble us and sins are drawn out (through repentance), and the residue is left – an improved Christian.

We buy from Jesus with a spiritual currency, a faith that grows stronger with every test. Without this spiritual currency, we are paupers. Apart from faith in Jesus Christ, we will leave this world with nothing.

The white garments are the righteousness of Christ, the only thing that will hide our spiritual nakedness.

Verse 19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Verse 20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Verse 21 – “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Over and over Jesus says, “To him who overcomes…” We all have things in this life to overcome, but He is always there with us to bring us to victory in Him.

Christ’s discipline to His children are for two reasons: (1) to cause people to be honest about their sins, and (2) to bring them to repentance. You do know that God’s goodness will bring us to repentance, don’t you?

I’m sure many of you have seen that famous painting by Holman Hunt of Jesus standing outside a door knocking. It was brought to the artist’s attention that he forgot to paint a door-knob on the outside. Holman replied, “The door is a picture of a human heart, and the handle is on the inside!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Revelation – Chapter 2

Message to Ephesus

Verse 1 – “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:

Ephesus was one of the largest and most powerful cities in the Roman Empire. It was devoted to the worship of Diana (Artemis), the fertility goddess, and the emperor of Rome, who was considered a god.

Verse 2 – “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;

Verse 3 – “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.

Ephesus refused to tolerate sin among its members, even in the midst of a city that worshiped a pagan god.

We are living in times of widespread sin and sexual immorality. Too many are open-minded in the church calling them “choices of alternative life-styles.” However, when a body of believers begins to tolerate sin in a church, it is lowering the standards and compromise in its witness for God.

Verse 4 – “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

Verse 5 – “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.

In spite of all the good works they did, there was a decline in their relationship with Jesus, by not loving Him the way they once did.

When this church first began, like many churches today, their highest priority is Jesus. As time went on they started backsliding. When sin starts to creep in, a little here, a little there, we tend to not rejoice in the grace and forgiveness we have been given. Do you love Christ as much today as when you first believed?

The lost will come into a body of believers with all kinds of hang-ups and mess. However, they are not to stay that way after being born-again. The life-styles that are contrary to God’s Word have to go.

Verse 6 – “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

There is not a lot written on the Nicolaitans, only what is written in Revelation 2:15. But it is supposed that their doctrine and practices held the same as the doctrine of Balaam. This passage relates to a class of people who were in the practice of seducing Christians to participate in the sacrificial feasts of the pagans.

Verse 7 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘

Message to Smyrna

Verse 8 – “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, “These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:

Verse 9 – “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Smyrna had a large population bitterly opposed to Christianity. When Domitian issued an edict declaring emperor worship mandatory for all inhabitants of the Roman Empire, he exempted the Jews from this requirement. The Jews did not want this religious freedom extended to Christians. Some of the Jews still had a bitterness against their own Jews who had become Christians.

Verse 10 – “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you in prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.

Verse 11 – “He who has ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ‘

You may have noticed that Jesus didn’t find any faults with this church, He only encouraged them to remain faithful unto death. If they remained faithful to Him unto death, they would receive a crown of life and be spared of the second death, which will come at the final judgment to all those who reject Christ! This will take place at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Message to Pergamos

Verse 12 – “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:

Verse 13 – “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

This particular church was located in a city run by heathen intellectuals – a city given over to idolatry and the temple worship of  Athena, Caesar Augustus, Dionysus, Asklepios, Hadrian, and Zeus. Satan had a lot of power there, but the Holy Spirit was stronger.

Verse 14 – “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.

Verse 15 – Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which things I hate.

To understand Balaam and Balak, you have to go back to the Old Testament. Balaam was a prophet and Balak was a king who gave Balaam money to curse the children of Israel.

Here’s the jest of it: Balaam was told by Balak to have the women of his country to intermarry with the Jewish men and entice them to worship idols and commit idolatry. The people of Pergamum had become liberal about sin and were enticing others to sin.

As best we can tell about what the thinking of the Nicolaitans was, a person’s spirit was good and the flesh was evil. They believed what was done in the flesh had no effect on the spirit.

Verse 16 – ‘Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

Jesus warned this church to stop following the doctrine of compromise. The body of believers were to follow the doctrine of the gospel not the Nicolaitans.

Verse 17 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ‘

Some of the manna that God fed the children of Israel which was placed in the Ark of the Covenant – thus hidden as a reminder for future generations.

Since we cannot see Jesus, He is our “hidden manna.” He promises that we will never hunger spiritually because He is always with us.

As far as the white stone: In John’s day a stone was used in the courts of justice in voting whether a person was guilty or innocent of a crime. The white stone was for innocent, black stone, guilty.

The new name, I believe is for the Christian, and that new name will be known by the person and Jesus only.

Message to Thyatira

Verse 18 – “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:

Jesus’ eyes depicts His penetrating insight. His eyes are blazing as He looks upon the wickedness of this church. His feet like fine brass is a reminder that He is the judge of His Church. Those who bring evil into the body of believers will be judged by the Son of God.

Verse 19 – “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

Verse 20 – “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

The original “Jezebel” was the wife of Ahab in the Old Testament and she was as evil as they come. This Jezebel had set herself up as a prophetess, but was nowhere near to God’s teachings. The church of Thyatira was allowing this woman to teach things such as sexual immorality to the believers.

Verse 21 – “and I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

Verse 22 – “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation,m unless they repent of their deeds.

Now, we all know that adultery between people is sin  and that in no uncertain terms should a person committing adultery be allowed in leadership in the church, but this is bigger than that.

Sin being allowed to run ram-pet in a church body, false teaching, and taking the focus off of Jesus in the church is all adultery. When a church turns itself into anything other than a place to worship the One True King, is playing with fire! These leaders in this church knew about her and what she was doing, and they allowed it!

Verse 23 – “And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Do you not see that it is just as wrong to allow sin to take hold in a church as it is to participate in it? People today will argue that “Jezebel” was entitled to her own beliefs, but those beliefs had consequences to God’s judgment. Those beliefs were passed on from generation to generation. All those who follow are led astray. All those who follow or tolerate this teaching and belief system will suffer the second death and be cast into the lake of fire unless they repent.

Verse 24 – “But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they call them, I will put on you no other burden.

Verse 25 – “But hold fast what you have till I come.

Beware Christians of any new teaching that takes you away from the true doctrine of the gospel. Scripture teaches there is only one way to God and Salvation, and it means exactly what it says – through Jesus Christ.

Verse 26 – “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations –

Verse 27 – ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces – as I also have received from My Father;

I’m going to say something that is going to sound harsh to a lot of people, but we all need to know and understand this: “If you were baptized as an infant, were told you were saved at 6, 7, 8 because you attended a “vacation Bible school and so on and have lived a life unto yourself or anyway contrary to God’s word, you are not a true Christian!” I’ve been to too many funerals where I know the person laying in the casket was meaner than a snake, never lived one day for the Lord, and the relatives say things like, “Well, their in heaven now watching over us and I”ll see them again.” No they are not in heaven! Just because you love someone and they die, they do not become a saint. after death. The Bible says you will know them, meaning Christians, by their fruit. No fruit no Christian.

Scripture says over and over, “If you continue in My word and do My commandments…” If you continue in His word and follow His commandments and continue in His works unto the end, meaning death. Jesus says right here again, “If you keep My works,” until the end.

Verse 28 – “and I will give him the morning star.

The bright and morning star is also one of the names of Jesus, so when He promises to give the morning start to the overcomers, the gift is Himself and eternal life. Believe and receive, doubt and go without.

Verse 29 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to he churches!” ‘

Jesus ends each letter with this exhortation. Take heed and pay attention to the Holy Spirit living on the inside of each believer of what He says. Many churches today are allowing the spirit of “Jezebel” int their congregations. This should not be tolerated.

The Book of Revelation – Chapter 1

Introduction: Most people won’t even attempt to read this part of the Bible, but Jesus promised a blessing to all those who read, hear, and keep those things written in this book. He also promised to curse all those who add to or take away from it.

This book is intense and very detailed and could take me weeks to get through each chapter. So be patient when it has been a while before another chapter shows up on the blog.

There is a rule of interpretation when reading Scripture: When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense. The Bible explains itself.

Revelation is God’s message to all of us who are concerned about what is going to happen in the “end times.” This world is not getting better and better, but worse and worse. However, for the Christian, this book reveals God’s total control. It will encourage the Christian to persevere and gain eternal life.

As we begin to study, keep in mind: Chapters 1-3 is the Church Age we are now living in. Chapters 4-19 is “From the Rapture to the Second Coming.” This age is drawing closer every day. Chapters 20-22 is called the “Millennium and Beyond.”

Author: John, one of the twelve disciples wrote Revelation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He had been imprisoned on the island of Patmos when he wrote this.

History: This book was originally written in Greek around 96 A.D. and by 250 A.D. the entire Bible had been translated into what is known as Old Lain, but the first officially recognized Latin translation (the Vulgale) did not appear until 382 A.D. The first officially recognized English translation (the King James Bible) was circulated in 1611 A.D.

Revelation is filled with symbols. There are certain symbols used throughout the Bible to mean… For instance the word “leaven” is usually meant for “sin.”

So many have different view points on when the church will be raptured, but I personally believe in pre-tribulation. I have my reasons, which will come out later on. Take your time when reading this precious book, it will help us all to be more compassionate towards the lost.

Chapter 1

The Church Age – The word “revelation” comes from the Greek word “apokalupsis.” It means uncovering, the unveiling, or disclosing. Revelation is the disclosing of Jesus Christ. The Church Age is the period of time that the “Church” is on the earth. The Church Age started fifty days after Jesus was raised from the dead on Pentecost (The Feast of Weeks). It will end when the Church is raptured.

Verse 1 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

Verse 2 – who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, and to all things that he saw.

God is not on our time-table, so when John says, “must shortly come to pass,” it could be a year or a thousand years, or even thousands of years, which it has been. But the time is closer now then ever before.

Verse 3 – Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it: for the time is near.

God’s intention is, for all Christians to know what is going to happen in the end times. So many won’t even attempt to read this book. Some say it is too difficult to understand, so they don’t bother. Some denominations have even removed it from their Bibles.

However, blessed are those who read, hear, and keep those things written in it and take it to heart. Do you want to be blessed? Then read it.

Verse 4 – John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

The greeting to the seven churches is “grace” and “peace.” Without the grace of God we would all perish and without the peace of God we would be unsure of our salvation.

The Holy Spirit has a seven-fold nature. This nature is made up of seven virtues which are called the “seven spirits.” The seven spirits are: the Spirit of the Lord – the nature of Jesus; the Spirit of wisdom – the ability to make the right decision; the Spirit of understanding – the ability to understand everything; the Spirit of counsel – the ability to give sound advice; the Spirit of might – the power to do what God wants; the Spirit of knowledge – the ability to know beyond human comprehension; and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord – the ability to respect God’s will.

Verse 5 – and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

Verse 6 – and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness – the first coming of Jesus was in the flesh – Scripture fulfilled. Ruler over the kings of the earth – the second coming. Even now people don’t realize God is in charge of how things will play out.

“Kings and priests” – Christians are a “royal priesthood.” Christians to the fact that they, in common with the Savior, will reign triumphant over all enemies; and that having gained a victory over sin and death and hell, they may be represented as reigning together.

Verse 7 – Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

John witnessed Jesus death and never forgot the horror of it. Christians will have nothing to fear at His coming, but those who have rejected His love and forgiveness, will basically wail in fear of His coming.

Verse 8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

There was no beginning to God’s existence, and there will be no end. He always was and always will be. Jesus is the Creator of all things and will be the final judge of all things!

Verse 9 – I, John, both, your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Verse 10 – I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

Verse 11 – saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

The Lord’s Day is Sunday and John was praying when the Holy Spirit came upon him and he heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. By this time there might have been thousand of churches, but Jesus picked seven. He placed them in order of the prophecies revealing the future history of the Church.

Verse 12 – Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. and having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

Verse 13 – and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

The seven lampstand represent the seven churches Jesus mentioned earlier. Next John turned and saw Jesus standing in the midst of the seven churches. He is the great High Priest, always with His Church down though the ages.

Verse 14 – His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire:

In Daniel 7:9, he describes God’s hair like wool. Now Jesus hair is as pure and white as the brightness of heaven. His eyes like a fire, a penetrating glare over the churches, seeing good deeds and bad deeds.

Verse 15 – His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;

Again, Daniel 10:6, “And His arms and His feet like in color to polished brass.” The word means “white brass.” A metal distinguished for its cleanness or whiteness.

“And His voice” – the voice that spoke everything into creation; the voice that can raise the dead; the voice that has all authority over all creation, and the voice over heaven and hell.

Verse 16 – He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shinning in its strength.

The seven stars are seven angels (1:20) watching after the seven churches. The Bible tells us that the two-edged sword represents the Word of God; it penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus deals with His church through His Word. We will be judged by His Word.

The Shekinah Glory – the Son of righteousness and the light of the world.

Verse 17 – And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.

Verse 18 – I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and Death.

There was none before Jesus there will be none after. There never was a time He did not exist. He is from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus conquered death and hell by His resurrection, so we Christians should not fear death.

Verse 19 – “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are and the things which will take place after this.

John’s vision in this chapter (1) is of past events. They will not be repeated. (Meaning, don’t let a false prophet tell you that they saw Jesus in this setting. It happened to John and John only, one time.)

The events in chapters 2 and 3 are present events. The future events, Chapters 4-22, will not take place until after the Church Age.

Verse 20 – “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven golden lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

The Bible interprets itself. Whether the stars are literal angels or spiritual leaders is debatable, but I tend to think when Jesus says angels He means angels! The lampstands signify the Churches and they foretell the history and the future of the church from Pentecost to the Rapture. Once a mystery is revealed, it becomes a revelation.

 

 

The Book of Jude

Jude

Verse 1 – Jude a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

(Jude was a brother of James, who was one of the great leaders in the early church. Both of these men were Jesus’ half brothers.)

Verse 2 – Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Verse 3 – Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which once for all delivered to the saints.

Verse 4 – For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who twist the Scriptures to match their own opinions, are playing with fire. They are counting on the congregation not knowing the Scriptures and fall for their way of thinking. Many of these teachers were teaching that people could do and live any way they wanted and never suffer the consequences or fear of God’s punishment. Even today, Christians minimize the sinfulness of their sin, believing that how they live has little to do with their faith. But what a person truly believes will show up in how he or she acts.

Verse 5 – But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Verse 6 – And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Verse 7 – as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Yes, Jude is talking about false teachers, but look who else he mentions in punishment. All unbelievers, all angels that fell with Satan, and all those that who have given over to sexual immorality – strange flesh.

Many people don’t believe that a loving God will sentence people to “eternal fire.” However, what they fail to realize is that it’s all through Scripture. If a person chooses to live ungodly, they have eternal darkness and fire to look forward to. Their choice!

Verse 8 – Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.

These false teachers “defiled the flesh,” meaning, they resembled the inhabitants of Sodom; they practiced the same things. Don’t ever let people try and convince you that God approves of homosexuality, becasue He doesn’t. Sin is sin in the Old Testament and the New, and we all know it goes agaisnt nature and God’s Word.

Verse 9 – Yet Michael, the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Verse 10 – But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

Beware of those who claim to have all the answers and belittle what they don’t understand.

Verse 11 – Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Cain murdered his brother Able out of jealousy; Balaam, prophesied out of greed, not obedience to God; and Korah, rebelled agaisnt God’s divinely appointed leaders, wanting the power himself. All three examples were illustrations of false teachers – pride, selfishness, jealousy, greed, lust for power, and disregard for God’s will.

Verse 12 – These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves; they are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;

Verse 13 – raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

Do you get the jest of how dangerous it is to teach doctrine that is in error for one’s own gain, or to preach one thing and live another way?

Verse 14 – Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousand of His saints,

Verse 15 – “To execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Verse 16 – These are murmurers, complainers, walking according to their own lust; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

Have you known people who complain about everything? When people complain they are showing us what they really think of God’s ability to satisfy their wants and needs. They have no contentment in life. This is not the characteristic of a true believer!

Verse 17 – But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Verse 18 – how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

Verse 19 – These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Causing divisions within the body of Christ, because of false teachings.

Verse 20 – But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Verse 21 – Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Verse 22 – And on some have compassion, making a distinction;

Verse 23 – but others save with fear, pulling them out of fire, hating even the garment defiled by flesh.

Some will be saved with tenderness and kind words, showing them, with compassion, how much they are loved. Others will have to be told the harsh realities of what they are believing and doing, is going to end them in hell. (As far as “hating their garments defiled by flesh, I have no clue what that means.)

Verse 24 – Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

Verse 25 – To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

The dangers of being tempted or led astray grow thinner and bleaker the more we know Christ. We are to stay in His word, watch, and pray!

 

 

 

 

 

3 John

Verse 1 – The elder, to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

Verse 2 – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Yes, God is concerned for both the physical body and our souls. We shouldn’t neglect either.

Verse 3 – For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you just as you walk in truth.

Verse 4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Verse 5 – Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,

Verse 6 – who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send forward on their journey in a matter worthy of God you will do well,

Verse 7 – because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.

Verse 8 – We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

These men that were sent out to preach, didn’t look for their needs to be met by the people they were sent to minister to. Christians took care of their needs and a place to stay.

Verse 9 – I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have preeminence among them, does not receive us.

Verse 10 – Therefore, if I come, I will cal to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

All we know about Diotrephes is that he wanted to control the church. He refused to have anything to do with other spiritual leaders; he slandered the leaders; he didn’t welcome visiting gospel teachers; and he attempted to excommunicate those who opposed him.

Verse 11 – Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

That’s pretty plain. Those who do evil, slander, are envious; who deceive, lie, cheat, control others, are not of God.

Verse 12 – Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.

Verse 13 – I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with ink;

Verse 14 – but I hope to see yo shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet friends by name.

 

2 John

Verse 1 – The elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth,

Verse 2 – because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:

Verse 3 – Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Verse 4 – I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.

I don’t believe John is talking to a congregation. I think this letter was written to a particular “lady” that possibly held church meetings in her house. Children could be her actual children, students of hers, or those Christians which went to her house for service.

Verse 5 – And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.

Some versions of the Bible say, “Beseech,” which is to “urge.” You wouldn’t think that we’d have to be reminded to “love one another.”  But, just as an effort has to be put forth in a marriage to love so does an effort have to be urged in a body of believers. Love among believers is a witness to the world.

Verse 6 – This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

John is not talking about personal attraction or preference, but an ethical expectation.

Verse 7 – For many deceivers have gone out unto the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

Deceivers were teaching that Jesus was divine but not fully human. Anyone who teaches or believes that Jesus was not fully divine and fully human and the Son of God, born of a virgin, is an antichrist.

Verse 8 – Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.

Christians should be on guard and secure their own hearts with the truth of what Scripture says.

Verse 9 – Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

John is referring to what Jesus taught which is what He taught about Himself. There are foundations of truth about the Christ all through Scripture. Don’t stray from that! This is only one reason why all other religions are wrong. What we believe has to depend on who we know Jesus Christ to be.

Verse 10 – If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;

Now do you understand why when someone knocks on your door peddling another gospel, you don’t invite them in? If you are not a mature Christian and don’t know God’s Word, you could be persuaded to believe un-truths about Christ.

Verse 11 – For he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

Verse 12 – Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

Verse 13 – The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

If you want to know how so many people can fall for these false religions, and there are many, it’s because they don’t know the God of divine Scripture for themselves. They rely on someone else to tell them what to believe. Know God’s Word and you won’t be led astray!

 

1 John – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

Verse 2 – By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.

Verse 3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments! And His commandments are not burdensome.

Meaning: God’s laws are not unreasonable; what He requires of us is not beyond our ability. It’s actually quit easy to obey God when our hearts are right.

Verse 4 – For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

Verse 5 – Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believers that Jesus is the Son of God?

Everyone that is a true Christian gains victory over the world. Christ overcame the darkness in the world, so now as believers in Christ, our faith in Him makes us victorious also. “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17.

Verse 6 – This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

If this verse is understood to be “water baptism,” there is no natural connection between water and the “blood.”

There remains one interpretation – “water and blood” which flowed from the side of the Savior when He was pierced by the spear of the Roman soldier. John had himself laid great stress on this occurrence, and on the fact that he himself had witnessed it. Together, they bore witness to the one fact that He actually died. There are three that bear witness; the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three agree in one. John makes it clear in this verse it was not by water only, but water and blood.

Verse 7 – For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

Verse 8 – And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

The Spirit of God has thus always borne witness to the fact that Jesus is the Christ, and He will continue to do it to the end of time, convincing countless millions that He was sent from God to redeem and save lost people.

Verse 9 – If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.

Verse 10 – He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

Verse 11 – And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

Plain and simple: You cannot have eternal life without Jesus Christ. There is only one way and that way is Jesus!!

Verse 12 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

This verse says “has” as in possessing. This is not talking about just believing “in” Jesus in our minds. Do we have Him living in our lives? You’ll know them by their fruit.

Verse 13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Eternal life is not based on “feelings.” We know for sure based on God’s promise and God’s truth. Ask yourself this: Have you committed your life to the Son of God? If so, you know by faith that you have eternal life!

Verse 14 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Verse 15 – And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

The sense is, that one of the effects of believing on the Lord Jesus is, having the assurance that our prayers will be answered – confidence.

It’s easy to know His will if we are listening to what the Spirit says and reading His word. For instance: forgiveness of sin; the sanctification of the soul; comfort in trials; supply of our needs; grace to do His good works; wisdom to direct and guide us; deliverance from evil; a broader influence of His Spirit; our salvation. There are many petitions we place before the Lord, but with confidence we know He hears us and answers.

Verse 16 – If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.

Verse 17 – All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

It is not easy to define the unpardonable sin, even though we know it is against the Holy Spirit and it is impossible for us to determine, with absolute certainty that a person has committed it. But the one sin I know for sure that will have no forgiveness after death, is the rejection of Jesus Christ.

Verse 18 – We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

Though a person may fall into sin, and grieve their fellow Christians, we are not to cease to pray for them. This “not sinning,” is not done in our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, divine assistance, we are able to not sin. We are to draw near to God, He draws near to us, and the evil one flees.

Verse 19 – We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

We are either with God or under the control and influence of Satan. There is no middle ground!

Verse 20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Verse 21 – Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

John presents a clear picture of Christ. What we think about Jesus is central to our teaching, preaching, and living a holy life. Jesus is fully God and fully man and came to earth to die for our sins. Through faith in Him, we are given eternal life and the power to do His will. Choose life!!