Good evening and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of 2nd John. Tonight is study number 3, and we will begin by reading 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.
In our last study we saw how there is knowing intellectually, and then there is knowing intimately. God’s people know the truth, that is, they know Christ personally, on an intimate level. Those who are not God’s people may have familiarity with the truth. They may have even some intellectual understanding of it, but they do not truly know it or Him, and we looked at a few verses, where the LORD speaks to those who profess to be Christians and said, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
There is another verse in 1st John 3. We are going to look at three verses here, before moving on. In 1 John 3:4-6, where it says:
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
There again, is that word “known,” that we are looking at. The Bible says here, that the one who sins, has not seen him, nor known him (God, the Lord Jesus). What does this mean, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not”? That is referring to the person that Christ has saved. He has taken upon Himself their sins and they abide in him, and He has given them a new heart and a new spirit in which there is no sin. So even though they still have a body of flesh and still are sinners and still may sin from time to time in their bodily existence, from God’s point of view, and really, from the actual point of view of having a sinless spirit being in their new heart that they have received, they sin not. They abide in Christ.
But, then 1 John 3:6 says the next thing:
…whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
That would be the person not abiding in Christ, who has not received a new heart, who is still in their sin, even though they could be a Christian in profession, they could be a member of a church, they could be active in religious things. Yet, in truth, God views them as someone who is sinning in both body and soul, and therefore, they do not know Him. There is no intimate relationship between Christ and that person. Christ has not taken all of their sins upon Himself. He has taken none of their sins. And so, the Bible indicates that Jesus does not know that person.
Let us go back to 2nd John, and we will read 2 John 1:2:
For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
We saw earlier when we were looking up the word “truth,” because the elder, who is a picture of God the Father, loves the elect lady and her children in the truth. And so, we looked up that word and we saw that it identifies with Christ, because He is the way, the truth and the life, and it identifies with the Word of God, as John 17:17 declares, “thy word is truth.”
In 2 John 1:2, the phrase goes:
For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
That is, the truth dwells in the children of God and will be with the children of God forever. It is an eternal bonding, an eternal relationship between God, the Lord Jesus who is the truth, and His people. And so, that is wonderful, and LORD willing, we will look at that.
But first, let us look at the word “sake,” which is in 2 John 1:2, where we read, “For the truth’s sake.” This word that is translated as “sake,” is the Greek word “dia,” and in this context it is best understood as “for reason of” or “because of.” It is actually translated those ways in some places as “for reason of” or “because of.” That is, “because of the truth” or “For the reason of the truth, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.” “For the truth’s sake.”
You may find this phrase kind of familiar because the Bible is full of references where it might say, “for Christ’s sake.” Actually, that has become a common curse word with people, in at least our society, in English speaking societies. You may hear that, “For Christ’s sake.” But they are saying it as an expression of frustration, in the sense of a curse. But the Bible does use that kind of language: “for Christ’s sake,” “for the word’s sake,” “for righteousness’ sake,” “For the truth’s sake,” and also “for his name’s sake.”
Perhaps you are familiar with Psalm 23, which says in verse 3:
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
This is a very common phrase found often in the Bible, and basically, it is a phrase that is giving us the cause. It is telling us the reason why. Because of the truth, because of righteousness, because of Christ, and so on. We find in Matthew chapter 10, in verse 22, this same word used and translated as “sake” there, and it says in Matthew 10:22:
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
And this is repeated in Mark 13:13, which is the chapter dealing with the great tribulation and the end of the world, and it says in Mark 13:13:
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
This means that this has a great application to us today, because the LORD is indicating that His people (the elect), will be hated. But, we are not hated because of ourselves. I am not saying that there are not characteristics or traits that we might have that could be offensive to people. That is possible. But all people have negative characteristics and traits. Yet, the world tends to hate the people of God (those that closely identify with Christ), not because of their negative characteristics, because of offensive behavior, but because they do identify with Christ, and the world hates the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is not speculation. That is what the Bible says, that we should not be surprised. In 1 John 3:13, we read:
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Because it first hated Christ. We know from the Gospel of John that that this is true. And so, since we identify with Him. How do we identify with Him? Just because we call ourselves Christians? No; there are many Christians in name, who get along fine with the world. They fit right in. So it is not so much the name “Christian,” even though that may bring, at times, a bit of disdain. Yet it is more than that.
It is a contempt that is held particularly for those Christians who dare to stand along with the Word of God and uphold the Scriptures, who would proclaim what the Bible has to say, who would trust it and would share this information with others around them. This is what the world cannot stand because the truth of the Bible is the light that shines into the darkness of this world, and man hates the light, and anyone who is a light messenger, a carrier of that light, for Christ’s sake, will be hated along with it, and it is for God’s “name’s sake,” as that phrase, “my name’s sake” just identifies with the person of God Himself, and with all that God is.
We also find in Mark 4:14-17 where we find this word “sake,” in the parable of the sower. It says in Mark 4:14-17:
The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
I will stop reading there.
We see instead of “truth’s sake” or “my name’s sake,” it says, “for the word’s sake,” in Mark 4:17. All of these phrases are synonyms. They are interchangeable. It could say “for Christ’s sake,” or it could say “for God’s sake,” or “His name’s sake,” or His “word’s sake.” Christ is the Word made flesh and Christ is truth, and the Word is truth. They are all interchangeable. They are all synonomous. They all are saying the same thing, “for the sake of God” and all that identifies with God, which of course, His Word completely (perfectly) identifies with Him.
And so, here in this parable of the sower, the Gospel is sown and it falls on an individual’s heart and he or she receives it immediately with gladness. Let us put this in perspective, and so we have a very good view and understanding of what God is saying. Think back to the days and weeks and months leading up to May 21. Many heard this message of Judgment Day, of May 21, 2011, in that time. Maybe a few months or a few weeks before the date, they heard and they believed and they received it with gladness, and I have met some of these people. They were excited and thankful that they had heard and they thought that they had come to God in time, before the day of judgment. So they received it with gladness, yet the fact is (and I would not dare point the finger at anyone, but we know this. It is true in all circumstances) that “many are called, but few are chosen.”
So without thinking of any individual in particular, we can say of the many that heard this Gospel call to go to God while it was the day of salvation, before the door shut, of the many that received that information in a good way with gladness, that many of them had “no root in themselves.” They did not have true salvation.
They were responding out of fear on an intellectual level. They were trying to just cover their bases (as the expression goes), to make sure that they had some sort of relationship with God before this day came, since so many seemed so assured that it was coming, they just wanted to make sure that all was well between them and God. And so, they got involved for this short period of time, of a few months or a few weeks or even a few days, before the day came. It was a safe thing for them to do, and it really did not impact their lives too much, even a couple of years, possibly, because they did not spend too much time, in this regard, before the day of judgment.
But then, when May 21, 2011 came and went, and God did, in fact, bring about the day of judgment, but not in the way that anyone had thought, that anyone knew of. God brought about a spiritual Judgment Day, a day in which He shut the invisible door to Heaven. No one could ever see when it was open and no one can see when it was closed. It is an awful, it is a grievous, it is a horrible judgment upon the world, that the day of salvation came to a close and the door to Heaven shut, and the light of the Gospel was put out. But, all of this was in the spiritual realm. It was completely invisible to the naked eye. Man could not see any of it. And so, many of these people who heard and who responded on this outward physical level were also looking for an outward physical destruction of the world, and it did not come.
Since they have “no root in themselves,” and that “root” is a reference to Christ Himself, they do not have the spirit of God in them, as Jesus, in the Bible, is called the “root of Jesse,” then therefore, they do not have the ability to discern spiritual things, like a spiritual Judgment Day, and they look at it completely carnally, and earthly and physically, and if nothing happens in that area, then nothing happened at all, and they will not even consider the Biblical possibility that God has indeed, brought about a spiritual judgment, even though the first judgment upon man in the garden of Eden was spiritual, the judgment of God upon Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, was likewise spiritual, even though the judgment on the churches and congregations (which began the judgment process) was also spiritual, despite that, they insist, “No, God would not bring a spiritual judgment,” and they give no consideration whatsoever to the many Scriptures that confirm that God did bring Judgment Day, as He said.
And at any rate, what happens is, now after this date has passed (the date May 21, 2011 Judgment Day), after it has come and gone, now the world rises up and the church rises up, because they had been intimidated, they had been forced to see the message of Judgment Day in an unprecedented manner. It was placed in the forefront of their eyes where they could not turn left or right. They had to see it, and in the case of the world, this was the first time ever, that the world was ever confronted with such an intense and ongoing declaration of the Bible’s judgment, and that there is a Judge who will judge them for their sins. And therefore, the world was very angry and the people who were made to fear, because many did fear deep down, that this would happen in a physical way, but when nothing happened physically (and that again, is the only level that the world can understand), they began to mock, to ridicule and revile those who carried the message of Judgment Day.
This all fit perfectly into God’s plan. He is the one who was in complete control of what His people would know or not know. He is the one who allowed them to have the correct information of the timeline, to have the day correct, to have the information correct that it was Judgment Day, that the door to Heaven would shut, that the light of the Gospel would go out. There was much correct.
But God also permitted incorrect understanding concerning a great earthquake, concerning the raising of physical bodies to litter the earth over a five month period, and concerning the end following that five months, and these errors in that area caused many who have again, no spiritual understanding, they have no ability to discern spiritual truths, they cause them to think that nothing happened, and when this persecution arose for the Word’s sake, and yes, it was for the Word’s sake. God’s people held onto the information that the Bible revealed.
We did not share anything from a dream, or from a tongue, or from any extra Biblical source. Everything came forth from the Bible: the timeline of history is from the Bible, the 7,000 years from the flood to May 21, is derived from the Bible, the information concerning the judgment on the churches and the final judgment of mankind is from the Bible. This information came forth from the Scriptures and God’s people therefore, shared it with the world.
Believe me, if it were as an error or a false gospel, there would not nearly be as much persecution, if any, as a result. Just think of some of the books that individuals have written that have put forth dates, and those dates came and those dates went, and no one was disturbed, no one was bothered by any of that, because they were not serious declarations from the Scripture. They were not anything near this. This came from the Bible and it is the Bible that offended man. It is Judgment Day that comes from the Word of God that was the great offense and that brought about the persecution and the disdain of mankind towards those who dared to present this information. It was for the Word’s sake.
But, then it says here, in Mark 4:17, when someone has no root in themselves:
…afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
And so, we find people angry, that once believed these things. We find them striking out and quickly turning to the other side.
It is amazing that through the many years, there have been some that have campaigned. They have made it their actual gospel. It seems to be all they are interested in, and all they talk about is to speak against those that teach the end of the church age or who teach the truths of the Bible that God has opened up in these end times. They have websites that they designed just for that.
And yet now, in these days after that tribulation, in these days of living in Judgment Day itself, we find individuals who are so offended that they join hand-in-hand with these people, in making the same statements, in saying the same things. In some cases, even more intensely. They are so angry and so furious that they have been made a laughing stock (they think), they have been made a fool. It is a fool for Christ’s sake, it is a fool for the Bible’s sake. The believer is not offended for the Word’s sake. We just continue to trust the Bible, and if persecution or affliction arises, because we have trusted the Bible, because we have waited on God, so be it. Let them mock. Let them say what they will say. We will continue to trust the Word of God, and this is the nature of the true believer, of the child of God.
Let us just go to one last verse. In 1 Peter 3:13-14, it says:
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
And again, here we see that the child of God, followers of that which is good, and who is good but God? And, what is good but His Word? Again, God and His Word is all that we can identify as being good, and we follow God. We follow the teachings of His Word. He directs our path,, through the leading of the Word of God. And what follows? In 1 Peter 3:14, we read:
…But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake,…
Christ is righteousness. The Word of God is righteousness. So, if we suffer for the Word’s sake, which is the same thing as suffering for Christ’s sake, “happy are ye.” We have nothing to sorrow about. We can be thankful. We can be glad that we have been permitted and privileged, to experience a little mocking, a little reviling, and much of that is even past now. And yet, we continue to maintain our integrity because God holds us to it, and causes us to maintain that integrity, to His Word.
In 1 Peter 3:14, we read:
…happy are ye:…
The word “happy” is the word “blessed.” Blessed are ye, and this we do thank God for, that we might suffer for His sake, His Word’s sake.