Good evening and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of 2nd John. Tonight, is study number 19, and we will be reading from 2 John 1:12, which says:
Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
We saw in our last study how this verse fits in with the Lord Jesus Christ’s statement in the Gospel of John, in chapter 16, that he had many things to say unto the disciples, but they could not bear them now, just as the Apostle John has many things to write, but will not with paper and ink, write to them, but he trusted he would come and speak face to face, that their joy might be full.
We saw how this relates to God’s end time plan to open up the Scriptures. He had sealed them up until the time of the end. But in the time of the end, He loosed the seals from off the Bible and began to reveal very important and great truths to His people.
We have been privileged to witness the unveiling of the Bible over the course of the great tribulation period, as the LORD opened up doctrines, such as the end of the church age, the fact that Jesus paid for sins before the world began, or annihilation as the actual penalty for the sinner that he must pay—he must be destroyed forever more, and not suffer in a place called hell. And of course, the LORD opened up the date of judgment, May 21, 2011, and other teachings too, came forth from the Bible that were never previously known, and that was because it was not the time, until we reached the time of the end.
And now that we are there, God loosed the seals and we began to see in the Bible, very plainly and very clearly, these teachings, and that is the idea actually, behind “speaking face to face.” No; John says that even though he has many things to write, he will not write with paper and ink, but rather, the things he has to communicate, he will wait until he is able to “speak face to face.”
Now we are interested in this phrase, “face to face.” It is not the typical word for “face.” This word is a Greek word, “stoma,” that is Strong’s #G4750, and it is most often translated as “mouth.” It is not translated as “face,” except in 2nd John and in 3rd John, where there is a very similar verse. Otherwise, it is translated as “mouth.”
There is another Greek word that is translated as “face,” that God did not use. Now that is true, but we should also realize that if someone speaks to another mouth to mouth, as this Greek word indicates, then that would be practically the same thing as speaking face to face, because a person’s mouth is on the face, and if you are speaking “mouth to mouth,” for all intents and purposes, you are speaking face to face. So they are very similar ideas, and we can see why the Kings James translators would translate it as “face to face,” rather than “mouth to mouth.”
But, nonetheless, the Greek word means “mouth,” and we are going to go with that. We are going to look at this word as it is, literally, the “mouth.” As we do so, we will find that there is a very interesting account where the LORD uses this kind of language, “mouth to mouth,” in the Old Testament in the book of Numbers. In Numbers chapter 12, we find, really a dispute between Miriam, Aaron and Moses. We are going to read, beginning in verse 1. It is a short chapter, but we will just read, a few of the verses here. In Numbers 12:1-8, we read:
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath JEHOVAH indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And JEHOVAH heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And JEHOVAH spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And JEHOVAH came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I JEHOVAH will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth,…
And, there is the phrase that we are looking for. And, it goes on to say:
…even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of JEHOVAH shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
In this account, we find that Miriam and Aaron were attempting to lay claim that they also could receive revelation from God in the same way as Moses. They were on equal footing with Moses. And yet, God reveals Himself and says, “Now hold it. Hold it. With you and with others, I will speak in a vision and in a dream, but Moses is not so.” The LORD is saying, “no; not with Moses.” But, He says in verse 8, “With him will I speak mouth to mouth,….”
What is very helpful about this verse is that the LORD goes on to clarify exactly what He means by that: “even apparently, and not in dark speeches.” So, the LORD will talk to Moses in plain language, in other words. He will speak to him mouth to mouth, or face to face.
When an individual talks to another and is looking him in the eye, and mouth to mouth, in that kind of a way, the communication is very open and there is a mutual understanding. God is not talking to Moses in dark speeches, and that is very helpful to us to understand what 2 John 1:12, is saying, when the elder, speaking to the elect lady, and we know that is God speaking to His people, and the elder has many things to write, or to communicate, but will not communicate them with paper and ink, that is, once the Bible is completed and the Word is sealed up, yes, God has much more to say. He has a great deal of information He wants us to know, but He has now obligated Himself, when He finished the Bible and He wrote the Book of Revelation, the last Book, and in the last chapter of that last Book in Revelation 22, the LORD said that no longer will He add to His Word, and no one else is to dare to do so. That means that God’s letter, God’s communication, to mankind was completed.
And how can the LORD communicate further? He could only do this by coming at the end of time and unsealing the very same Book that had been sealed up, and it was completely written. There was nothing to add to the written Word, but there was something to add to the understanding of that written Word. The understanding of the Bible greatly lacked, but the fault was not with the Bible itself. The Bible is perfect, without error. Yet, there was fault. We read in Hebrews 8:7:
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
That would mean, that God is talking about the Old and New Testaments, the whole Bible.
For finding fault with them,…
Plural, both the first and the second covenant: the Old and the New Testament. God found fault. What fault could it have been? It cannot be a fault in the actual Word, in any of God’s commandments: they are Pure and Holy and Perfect, and completely faultless.
No; the fault was, that in the Old Testament, God used all kinds of figures and types. The whole Old Testament sacrificial system was a dark saying, really. It was very mysterious and hard to be understood, because the LORD was using all these sacrifices to point to Christ.
Then comes the New Testament, and right from the beginning, when John the Baptist cries out, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” there was more light and more understanding. Now, it became evident that Christ was not a literal lamb, but He was the one that the lamb typified, and so He could be called the Lamb of God. He was the sacrifice that all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, that God had laid down in His Law, were pointing to.
And so, it did clear up, but there were still many mysteries, many dark things that God’s people did not know, and could not know, due to their limitations, their finite nature and their inability to understand spiritual things. It takes God opening up the eyes, the spiritual understanding of His people.
And so, the LORD determined, “I will come at the end of time, at the time, really, when my people most need me, because it would be a great comfort to the ones that are already saved at that point, and it would be a great cause of blessing to all that were not saved,” as the LORD would open up information concerning the timing of the great tribulation and the judgment upon the churches. It would be necessary to inform His people so they could depart out of the congregations and not be caught in that place, once the day of judgment came about, because they would then be like a tare, and the LORD could not let that happen. His people had to come out. Therefore, it was necessary to reveal that, at the time of the end.
Further, God determined to reveal the day of judgment itself, in order that His people could blow the trumpet and warn the world. This also was necessary because it was according to God’s perfect will that He would use this in order to broadcast the Gospel to all the world and all the nations where the elect were. They would hear this warning, and God would finally save them, which had to happen before He would shut the door to Heaven, on the day of judgment, on May 21, 2011.
And so, God had His reasons. He had His purpose for doing this, and it was all part of His plan that He sealed the Word till the time of the end, and then He would open it and increase understanding. And that is what Daniel 12 declared, as it says in Daniel 12:4:
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
It is this “knowledge” that gives understanding, that leads the LORD to say this, in Daniel 12:9-10:
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Why would the wise “understand”? Because the LORD is in control of what a man can know, and not know, when it comes to His Word. And He would make a point that all of the elect, all the sheep, that He as the Good Shepherd must seek out and find, they would be drawn to His voice and they would respond to the call, that was broadcast to all the earth of the approaching day of judgment, and the Bible does say, “as ye see the day approaching.” And so, God fulfilled that Scripture, and we did see the day approaching.
And now, we are living in the day of judgment, and as the day of judgment is actually an elongated period of time, and we are now learning that it is a good probability that this day of judgment, these days after that tribulation, may last for about 1,600 days. The filling up of God’s wrath, as the great tribulation lasted for 8,400 days, and now, following the great tribulation, immediately after, when the sun is darkened, and the moon is not giving its light and the stars are falling from heaven, these days, apparantely, there is a very good possibility, will continue for 1,600 days, and then, it will be a full 10,000 days of judgment that God will have poured out upon mankind. It will be the completeness of the wrath of God, and then again, there is a good possibility that the LORD will bring the end.
But God, is the one who opened up these things, and in order to do it, He had to speak face to face. He could not write with paper and ink. No, He had to wait and send forth His Spirit, and His Spirit would begin to declare things through the methodology of comparing spiritual with spiritual (Scripture with Scripture), and therefore, the Holy Ghost would speak in these last days. He would speak face to face, not in dark speeches, as it says in Numbers 12:8.
Now, let us look at this word “speeches.” The same Hebrew word, which is Strong’s #H2420, is translated as “riddle” eight times in the book of Judges chapter 14, concerning Samson. Remember when he was getting married, there was a riddle that he posed to the guests, and they had a certain amount of time to solve the riddle. And so, the “dark speech” is a riddle.
It is also translated as “proverb,” in Habakkuk 2:6:
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him,…
So we see this word “proverb” is synonymous with “parable” in this same verse. Again, the “proverb” is the “riddle” or the “dark speech.” And, this same Hebrew word is translated as “dark saying” in Psalm 49:4:
I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
Once again, this is a Hebrew parallelism, and what that is, is God will make a statement in the first part of a verse or a sentence, and then He will restate it slightly differently in the second part, but they both are saying the same thing; it is an emphasis upon the point that was made in the first part. And so, “I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.” The “dark saying” would be like a parable.
Why “upon the harp?” If you remember in Chronicles the LORD speaks of, prophesying upon the harp. It is a musical instrument that the Bible uses as a figure of declaring the Word of God. So the Word of God is written as a parable, the whole Bible really. We really should stop playing around with the idea: we have no need to satisfy the churches or their theologians or any, that insist that the Bible must be understood in a plain and literal way. That understanding has led the church right into fire and brimstone. That plain and literal method has led them away from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, they are sitting comfortably in their understanding, and they have a good deal of agreement amongst themselves within the churches that we are not to look at the Bible in the way the Bible insists we are to look at it for the spiritual meaning. “No, you just look for the plain and literal meaning and seek no other.” That is a common saying taught in seminary. It commonly teaches the pastors, as they enter into their pulpits, to lead their congregations in a way that will lead them into the pit of hell, hell being the grave and death, to destruction.
The Bible is written by God, and it is full of hidden truth, from beginning to end. God has done everything imaginable to teach us that fact. He has had the Lord Jesus Christ speak in parables, and without a parable He did not speak. He has had Abraham marry Sara and Agar and the LORD explain in Galatians, that those marriages and their children picture two covenants. The LORD says that. He calls them an allegory. It was, of course, true history, but they painted spiritual pictures. We could just go on and on, of all the attempts that God makes to teach us how we must, and it is not, how me might, as though there are other possibilities, but how we must understand the Bible. When they drank from that rock in the wilderness, God says in 1 Corinthians 10, “and that Rock was Christ.” He makes a matter of fact statement. We must look for the deeper spiritual meaning.
It is why there is a book of Proverbs that the LORD moved Solomon to write. That is a Book of parables. It is why, in the Book of Job, that we read, “Moreover Job continued his parable,” and that is stated a couple of times. It is just dripping, dripping everywhere, that the way to understand the Bible is to look for the hidden truth. What is the Gospel meaning that God has hidden in this verse, in this passage, and so on?
It is also why God was able to hide these things in plain sight. He hid the word of God on the pages of the Bible. By allowing the church to develop their hermeneutic of “plain and literal meaning, and seek no other,” He allowed the Bible to remain in a hidden form, and in a pure form, untouched, like a deep mine of gold and silver, that man had never found, until the time of the end, and then the LORD just had His people use the methods that the LORD Himself laid out, that we must dig into the Scriptures.
Psalm 49:4 uses that word, and so does Psalm 78:2, which says:
I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
And again, we find the joining together of opening mouth in a parable and uttering dark sayings of old, and that is the word that the LORD used in Numbers 12, so we know, without question, what God is saying to Moses. He is saying that with him (with Moses), will I speak mouth to mouth (so speaking mouth to mouth is set against, it is opposite to), even apparently, and not in dark speeches (not in parables).
Let us go back to our verse in 2nd John. Clearly, we find God’s plan, and again, I will read 2 John 1:12:
Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
That is, the LORD will come and speak plainly. He will make Himself known. His Word will come very clearly to our eyes and understanding. This is what we read in John 16. Earlier we read verses 12 and 13, but let us read a little further on, in John 16:24-25:
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
Is that not incredible that this statement in verse 25 is set in the context of verse 24 “that your joy may be full,” and the identical statement, we find in 2nd John, and it is the identical idea, that “I will no longer speak in proverbs, but I will speak plainly.” We see that we are correctly understanding what God is teaching us, spiritually, in 2 John 1:12, that He will not write with paper and ink.
This actually is a verification and it is a proof that we have understood things right, and the LORD did have a plan to open the Scriptures at the time of the end, and to complete His covenant by granting us much greater understanding of the written Word, and He did this through His Spirit which led us to follow the methodology found written in the Bible.