Good evening and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of 2nd John. Tonight will be study number 2, and I am going to read the first two verses. It says in 2 John 1:1-2:
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.
Here, in this epistle, which is a very short, simple epistle, and because it is short (one chapter), and the chapter does not even fill the whole page, and because it is rather simple, it is very easy to overlook. It is very easy to really not spend hardly any time in this Book at all. So, I think that it is a good for us to go through this Book of the Bible, and possibly 3rd John also, verse by verse, carefully, to see what God has written to us here, as this, of course, part of the Scriptures and “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,” and so we can only profit by reading 2nd John or any part of the Bible at all.
In our last study, we saw that the elder, who is probably the Apostle John, historically, is a picture of God the Father and He is writing unto the elect lady and her children. And, we spent a little time looking at this word “elect,” (eklektos) and how God has used it in the Bible, and we have found that the Bible very clearly shows that God saved a people for Himself, and He did so by His own choice. It was all done in Heaven, that He has taken the action Himself, in looking out over all that would be born and God determined to save some, out of the whole of mankind.
And this is God’s privilege. It is His prerogative. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Supreme Ruler and it was His law that cast the sentence of death upon every human being. And, as the Governor and as the one with the power and authority to set one free and condemn the other, God determined to bring about the salvation of some. But, He could not just release them on a whim; He had to first satisfy the demands of His own law and His law demanded death for sin, for transgressing it (the law).
So the LORD developed a way of salvation by taking the sins of these certain ones and casting them on the Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal God Himself. Christ paid the penalty for their sin. He died for them and this took place, also before the world began. And thus, the law of God was satisfied and God could then legally and properly save these individuals. He could rescue them and deliver them from the penalty of the law because the law’s requirements was met in the person of Christ.
These people whose names were written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life (that is a figure God uses to indicate that He foreknew them), He predestinated each one of them to become saved. These people were then born over the course of human history in every generation and God obligated Himself to save them. These individuals, the elect, born into every generation, were those that God sent forth His word to reach them, they heard it and God used that word to create in them a new heart and a new spirit and, thereby, fulfill His obligation to save them, that obligation resulting from His choosing of them before the world was created and Christ taking their sins upon Himself, also before the world was even created.
Let us continue on, and look at the next word in 2 John 1:1:
The elder unto the elect lady and her children,…
This word “lady” is an interesting translation of the Greek word “Kuria.” “Kuria” is the feminine form of “kurios,” and that is the Greek word often translated as “Lord.” So the “elect lady,” or the “eklektos Kuria,” is a reference to the body of believers (bride of Christ). It is very revealing that she is called “lady” or “Kuria,” a feminine form of the Greek “Lord.” Certainly, this would be a fitting title for a royal wife since the bridegroom is Christ, King of Kings, the Prince and Saviour, and He has entered into a marriage relationship with all those He has saved, that they now become the elect lady (the bride of Christ).
Continuing on in 2 John 1:1:
…unto the elect lady and her children,…
This epistle is directed to the elect alive at that time and they would be those referred to as the “elect lady” and her children would be speaking of all the descendents of that elect lady, all the true believers that would come from her down through time, down through the centuries, as the Gospel was sent forth by Christ. And how did it go forth? Through the obedience of the people of God in sharing the truth of the Scriptures around the world. In doing so, this word “begat” these elect. In a picture that God is using, they came forth as a result of the work of the true believers, and so they are called “her children.” The children are, likewise, the elect, part of the bride of Christ.
In the next phrase, in 2 John 1:1, it says:
…whom I love in the truth;…
The elder (God the Father), loves the elect lady and her children. God loves His people, the whole company of these elect and He loves them in a very particular way. Of course, it is a great way (and this is not the only way that God loves His people), but it could be said that all of the love of God works itself out, through this “love in the truth,” towards these elect. So, the elder loves the children of God “in the truth.” Many of us know and are familiar with the verse in John 14:6:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Christ here is showing us the narrow way, the exclusive way of salvation, the exclusive way of eternal life of entering into the Kingdom of Heaven and that way is Him Himself. He is the way to Heaven. He is the truth. He is the life. There are not many ways. There are not many truths and there are not other lifes, as far as eternal life is concerned. There is only the life that is in Christ that He can give to those that He saves and this is the way of the Bible. As Christ is the Word of God personified, He is the essence. Everything we find in the Bible speaks of Christ. It is all describing Him, defining him, and letting us know the characteristics of Him. Everything we learn in the Scriptures, we are learning about Christ. All the truths that we learn are Jesus. He is that Truth Himself.
There are not 1,000 gods and there are not 1,000 truths. There is one God and one truth. So, we know (when we have so many different religions and these religions contradict one another and they say different things about the person of God) that they are full of lies. That is a guarantee, a certainty.
You cannot have a religion that says that God is everything, Pantheism, that God is in everyone and in everything, and have that religion agree with the religion of the Bible which says God is one God. There is no other. There is no other being and, of course, this creation and all the creatures are not God. They are created by Him. He is The Creator. The only Creator. There are not many creators.
The truth of the Bible constantly comes into conflict with the religions of the world because all of the other religions are false. They are in error. They are teaching erroneously when it comes to God, when it comes to entering into Heaven and so on. They are lies and they are not be believed and they are not to be trusted and they are not to be followed, nor are the many gospels of the Christian religion, as we have these numerous denominations, church after church after church: Catholic, Protestant, Independent, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian and on and on the list goes. These churches have different names because they teach different things.
The Baptist Church teaches a particular way of baptism, and the Catholic church teaches a particular way of church authority over the authority of the Bible. They teach many different things. They have confessions and creeds and church writings that they have elevated above the writing of the Scripture and they stand in contrast to the Scripture and are given greater respect, on occasion, and greater authority, on occasion, than the Scriptures. These things therefore, become another way, another truth, and there is no other way and there is no other truth than the Bible.
This identification of the Lord Jesus with the word of God we find in John 17:17 which says:
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
This is the Bible. All of the Scripture is true and faithful and trustworthy altogether. This is the nature of the Word of God. We cannot find truth or trust other things to be truth outside of the Bible. We therefore, do not trust confessions or creeds. We do not trust the writing of theologians or the writings of any man. We do not trust religious decrees. We do not trust the teachings of men. Only when it is checked out thoroughly against the Bible itself, may we accept it on the condition that if we learn something further that shows it to be in error, we would make correction to it. This is “the way” of God. “The way” is the Bible.
There is none other way. “The way” is Christ, but Christ is the Bible, in essence, so we follow the teaching, the leading of the Bible and we follow nothing else, only the Bible. This is the desire that God has placed within His people.
Let us return to 2nd John and finish reading the 2 John 1:1:
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;
Here, the LORD is saying “all they that have known the truth,” and “all they that have known the truth” would be referring to all of God’s elect themselves, the true believers, all that are truly saved. They also love the elect lady and they love the children of the elect lady. The true believers, in hearing the commands of God and obeying them and doing them for centuries up until God completed His salvation plan, and that command involved going forth into all the world and evangelizing individuals that they might become saved. God’s people continue to teach the truths of the Bible and we can send that Word forth into all the world, but we realize that the evangelization of mankind has ended because God has already found all the elect.
Anyway, these true believers love the truth, just as God loves the truth. The LORD loves His Word. True believers love His Word, because we have been given a heart after His own heart.
Notice the end of 2 John 1:1 where it says:
…also all they that have known the truth;
That is a very interesting way of putting it. It could be said that of the two billion professing Christians (that is an approximate number of those that profess to be children of God, who if you asked them, they would respond, “Yes, I am a Christian”), it could be said that they know the truth. They know, for instance, that the Bible comes from God. They have heard of Christ. They have heard certain teachings of the Bible that are true. Can we not say that they all have known the truth? Yes; on one level they know the truth, but on another level, they have never known the truth. This is what Jesus says to multitudes in Matthew 7:21-23:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Since Christ is the truth, and here He is saying to these people, and these are not the people of the world outside of Christianity, but these are people that say, “Lord, Lord,” and they are recognizing Him as Lord, as Christians do. These are the masses of Christianity, of professed Christians that have somehow found their way into the churches and congregations of the world, and somehow through erroneous teaching, through teaching that makes it so easy to join up. “If you believe on the Lord Jesus,” the church tells you that you are saved. Of course, that is not so. It is not true. The Bible nowhere says that. That is a church doctrine. That is a church teaching. It adds numbers to the church, but it adds numbers of unsaved individuals to the church. It fills the pews and the church has a large congregation, but it fills the pews with those that have had no change of heart. It is a “congregation of the dead,” the Bible says in one place.
This is why, in that day, in the Day of Judgment, of which we are presently in, many are saying, “Lord, Lord,” and the response of Christ is, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” He never knew these people (hundreds of millions of these people), in a saving way. He never knew them, and since He never knew them, it is certain they never knew Him. He is the embodiment of the truth and they do not know the truth.
This is why the churches have deaf ears and blind eyes to the teachings of the Bible. It is why they ignore and dismiss the teaching that the church age is over. It is why they fail to understand how God saves people—that it is God’s work and it is all by His grace and His action, and never the action of man. But, they do not know these things because they do not know Christ.
The LORD also tells us in John 16:1-3:
These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Here, this language of being put out of the synagogues applies to believers being driven out of the church, and that is the equivelent of killing, God says here. We have just gone through a time period when the true believers were driven from the churches and congregations of the world and they came out, the church wanting nothing to do with the true believers: “Glad to be rid of them! Good riddance! to the troublemakers” within their congregation that would constantly bring up this verse and that verse to present to the pastor and elders or priest concerning the teachings of the church and how it was not in sync with the teachings of the Bible. “Good riddance that these troublemakers are gone,” that they were put out in many different ways. In essence, since the church believes (and of course, it is no longer true) that it was a place where one would come to learn of God and by the teaching of the Bible enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, the putting out, outside of the church is just like being killed spiritually, and they have done these things because (and God tells us the reason) “they have not known the Father, nor me.”
They pray to the Father all the time. They pray to Christ all the time. How can it be said they do not know him? They preach about Him all the time. They read from the Bible all the time. It is when we realize Christ is the truth, that they do not know, intimately, and they do not have a love for the truth. It says in 2 Thessalonians 2 (in a chapter that is dealing with the time of the great tribulation and the end of the world, it says in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This is a perfect description of what is happening in the churches today. They do not have a love for the truth. They despise the truth. They hate the truth. They do not want to hear the truth of the Bible. People may ask, “What are you talking about the end of the church age?” And they may say, “How dare you even bring up that kind of idea!” Yes, but I am saying it only because the Bible teaches it and it can be proved from the Scriptures. Look, there is much evidence. They do not even want to look at it. They do not want to take the time to be a proper Berean, to search the Scriptures to see if it is so.
Why not? Because they do not love the truth. They love their version of the truth. They love their ideas of the truth and their church’s particular stance on the truth. That becomes their truth, their idol, their high place, their false god. That is who they serve. They do not serve the God of the Bible and the truth of the Bible itself and, therefore, Christ Himself.
God is not mocked. He is not fooled. He is fully aware of this and He says, “they have not known the Father, nor me.” And, the Lord Jesus, as a result, tells them to depart from Him because He never knew them. It is a very sorrowful fact, but it is the spiritual situation of the Christian world today, of professed Christians. There are just so many of them that have not known the truth.
But the elect, they have known the truth. They love God. They love Christ Himself and this love will be demonstrated and revealed in their lives through a tremendous love of the Bible. They will trust the Bible above all. They will cling to the Bible above all. They will follow the Bible above all. No matter what it says, they will follow the leading of the voice of the Scriptures because that voice is the voice of Christ Himself and His sheep know his voice.