Good evening and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the book of 2nd John. Tonight is study number 17, and we will be reading from 2 John 1:10:
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
We are curious about this expression, “God speed.” God tells us not to bid the individual that would come to our home without the doctrine of Christ (with another doctrine or really, it is saying, another gospel), that we should not receive that person or persons, into our house and neither bid him God speed. What does it mean to bid someone God speed? That is not an expression we use today. You may hear it here or there but, for the most part, it is very unfamiliar to us.
Once again, we are helped when we just turn to our concordance, and we look up the word, and we find that it is translated as “God speed” in verses 10 and 11 here, but for the most part, it is translated other ways, such as “rejoice” and “glad” and things of that nature.
Actually, this particular Greek word has already been used in 2 John 1:4, where it says:
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth,…
The word “rejoiced,” the Greek word underlying that English word, is the same Greek word as “God speed.” Oh, now that changes things. That begins to give us a fairly good understanding of what “God speed” means. But let us look at a couple of other verses. Back in the Gospel of Matthew 2:10, it says:
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
There again, is the word “rejoiced.” Or, in Matthew 5:12, we read:
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
And, in another place, in the Gospel of Luke, the same Greek word is translated as “glad,” in Luke 15:32. In Luke 15:32, it says:
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
From these verses (and we could go to others, but we will not), we see that this word has to do with God’s salvation plan. When they were rejoicing over the star with great joy, it was because the star led them to Christ. In Matthew 5, when the command was, “Rejoice and be exceeding glad,” that was said as a result of the child of God, who was giving evidence, since he was following in the footsteps of the prophets that had come before him, in experiencing the reviling of the world—he was giving evidence of being a true believer, and therefore, rejoice. And in Luke 15, “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found,” and this is rejoicing over someone who was spiritually dead (the brother was not physically dead), and when he returned to his father, it was the evidence of coming to spiritual life. That is, rejoice or be glad, because of the salvation of your brother.
And so, these words are all related to the Gospel, and they are related to God’s program of salvation, and to His Word. That is why the LORD is saying in 2 John 1:10, that “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed,” that is, do not rejoice with him.
The child of God is glad when the Gospel goes out into the world. Yes; we do rejoice because we know that through the Word of God, God saved and blessed a great number of people from the various nations of the world, and it was all through the sharing of His Word. However, we do not rejoice, and we are commanded not to, here, with messengers of other kinds of gospels, who bring not the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should not be glad with them, and wish them well at all.
The LORD gives a very serious reason why we should not “bid them God speed” or “rejoice” with them, in the next verse in 2 John 1:11:
For he that biddeth him God speed…
And again, remember that “God speed” means “rejoice” or “be glad,” and the word “biddeth” is the Greek word “legō,” which could be, “say” or “says,” so basically, what it is saying is, “for he that says to him, “rejoice,” or whoever says to him, “I am glad for you, brother. I hope you have success with your gospel, and as you go forth, may others respond to the message that you are bringing.” Whoever bids such a one God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds.
We should have no doubt about it, that when someone teaches things, that are contrary to the truth of the Word of God, it is an evil deed, although in their presentation of their particular doctrine, they may be very nice and very kind people, very gentle and seemingly loving. They might be very friendly, and they probably will be. They will speak good words and flattering words perhaps, and so, it would just be kind of us in return, and polite of us, to wish them well in their endeavor, and to say something like, “The LORD be with you, as you go forth.”
We had better watch out. God does not play around with false teaching, false doctrine and false gospels. He has absolutely nothing good to say about it. He does not mix truth and lie. He does not harbor deceit, in any way. God does not speak well of anyone who is bringing another kind of a gospel.
Rather, the LORD has words of wrath and judgment, towards anyone that would teach something contrary to the truth of His Word. And, God would have the child of God, to adopt His mindset, and not to have any kind of communion, any relationship, and partake of anything, that is coming from that direction, and that direction would be the direction, that is against God, and that is opposed to the Bible and to the teaching of the Bible. We are not to be partaker of their evil deeds.
Let me just give an example, because I have been a little surprised at this and kind of amazed. I am not an expert on facebook or groups like that. I have only really been on there, I suppose, a relatively short while, and I definitely, do not want to judge anyone, but it is just something I noticed, and it could be, due to the nature of facebook, and so forth. But, I have noticed that there are some people who are friendly. They have a lot of friends, on facebook, and they teach wrong doctrine. They teach quite a lot of wrong doctrine. And yet, from time to time, they may say something correct, or they may post a Bible verse, and out of, just I think, wanting to be nice and kindly, and just to treat someone well, many other individuals, who know full well that what this person teaches, for the most part, is contrary to the Word of God, will like something on that individual’s page.
I am not saying that we should not have friends, but this has to do with the Gospel, when someone is using their facebook page as a means and as an outreach, of sharing the Word of God, primarily. That is not on the same level as just being friends. That is someone, who is coming, just like we are told here in 2nd John, as a messenger of his particular gospel. And, when we like something on an individual’s page, who on that same page, you might find 75% of what he is saying is just false, then we are directing other people to that person’s page, and they may take our like, of this individual’s quote or statement, as an endorsement of some kind.
We have to be careful. We do not like, other kinds of gospels. We do not pay them any attention whatsoever, and that is really what God is saying here. We close the door on them, kindly and gently. But, we sternly shut the door and say, “I am sorry, I cannot talk with you. I cannot have fellowship with you, in any way, because you are not bringing the truth of the Bible. I cannot even bid you greeting, and God speed. I cannot be glad at anything you are involved in, and nor will I, because if I were, I would be going against what the Bible says.”
The word “partaker” here, and we cannot imagine that this is the case, just for wishing someone well, that we would actually be a partaker of his evil deeds, but that is what God says. That Greek word which is translated as “partaker” is “koinōneō,” which is Strong’s #G2841. It is found, for instance, in 1 Timothy 5:22:
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.
The word “partaker” is “koinōneō.” Now that might sound a little familiar to you. If you are familiar with the Greek word for “fellowship,” it is “koinōnia.” “koinōnia” is the Greek word for “fellowship.” And, that word “koinōnia,” which is very related to the word “partaker,” is found in Galatians 2:9, and I will read that:
And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
The word “fellowship” is “koinōnia.” Here, we see that James, Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, (of course Christ is Himself the pillar and ground of the truth), they gave unto the Apostle Paul and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that is, they agreed on the Gospel truths, and they began to walk together in the same Gospel, in the same understanding of the Word of God, of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were partakers of the same Word, and they were in fellowship.
The Bible says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Or if they are not in agreement, really the question is, can two walk together? And, some try to do that, and they call others “brother and sister,” and they act as though there is tremendous agreement. Why? Because someone is a professed Christian? So are about two billion in this world. And yet, the evidence is that there are about two billion that are not true believers, that are not true Christians. They are Christian in name only, but in doctrine, they deny the Lord Jesus Christ. In the gospel that they adhere to, and that they would share with others, they deny the Lord Jesus Christ, on point after point. We have no agreement with them and we cannot walk with them.
It is why God called His people to come out of the churches. Just because someone is out of the church, does that make someone a brother or a sister? No, no. Are we so desperate for fellowship that we would call anyone a brother or a sister? We cannot be so quick to extend the right hand of fellowship, especially when someone is not believing or understanding the doctrines of the Bible that we have been taught, and especially, if they are acting as some sort of missionary or messenger of their particular gospel, whether it is in the church (no matter what church), or outside of the church, we are not to be partakers of this doctrinal sin, that they are involved with.
The word “fellowship” (koinōnia), is also translated as “communion,” and we find this translation of that word in 2 Corinthians, chapter 6, and I am going to read a few verses, beginning in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion (that is the word that we are looking at) hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Here, God is, of course, giving the instruction to us that we are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and this would relate to marriage. A true believer should not marry someone who is not a true believer. By the way, that is just asking for tremendous grief, because after a while, the physical attraction will wane, and you are going to be left with a person who has quite a number of beliefs, understandings and ways of living that are very different from a true believer, and the true believer just would have no ability to fellowship with someone who is not a true believer himself or herself.
Also consider that we are living in a time when the church age is over, and so for a true believer, who understands that the church age has come to an end, that God has finished using the churches and congregations—for someone of that understanding, to marry someone who says that they are a Christian, yet, who is deeply involved in the church, or someone who just thinks that they just ought to go to church, is also asking for tremendous grief, and may be even more grief, than marrying someone who has no understanding and no relationship to Christ whatsoever, because someone who thinks they know the Gospel and who thinks that God is still using the churches, will probably be even more contentious than a woman who might allow her husband to worship the LORD outside of the congregations because she could care less.
Being unequally yoked is not just someone who says they are a Christian, marrying someone who does not confess to being a Christian. It could be two individuals who say that they are Christians, but in doctrine, in understanding the doctrine of Christ, they are not equally yoked at all.
This verse regarding, to be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, would also have application for business. We should not get into a business relationship with someone who is an unbeliever. And why not? Someone who is an unbeliever might think it is fine to cheat, and fine to do unethical things in the business. The true believer, of course, would want to do things in an upright way, as God would have him to do, and so there could be contention in that kind of a relationship.
We are never to get involved in any sort of spiritual coming together, with others, for the very same reason. They have their gospel with its particular doctrines, and we have the Gospel of the Bible with the Bible’s doctrines, and there can be no agreement. There will only be discord. There will only be a contentious relationship.
God is letting us know there is to be a distinct separation, made between the true Gospel and the false. We are not to be polite with false teaching and invite it into our homes in any way, not through the front door, not through the television, not through the computer, not in electronic groups, like facebook. We are not to have fellowship, and we are not to partake in other kinds of doctrine and gospels.
We are not to bid them God speed and rejoice, in the things they are doing. We are not to wish them well with their task. But rather, we sternly, and yet kindly say, “no, thank you,” and shut the door. We are not to entertain them at all, even for the slightest moment.