Good evening and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of 2nd John. Tonight is study number 20, and we will be reading 2 John 1:12-13:
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. The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.
That is the end of the chapter and the end of the book of 2nd John. In our last study we were looking at verse 12, and how our LORD says here, that as He is using the elder, really, as a type and figure of Himself, that He has “many things to write unto you,” speaking to the elect lady, who would be a representation of all of the elect that God is talking to through His word, and yet, “I would not write with paper and ink.”
So we understood this had to mean that it is God’s plan to communicate more truth to His people, but He would not do so through the method of revelation that He used to compile the Bible, down through the centuries, as He moved holy men of old to write the things that we find in our Bible, the entire 66 books. God would not do that when He would come at the end of time (and we went through this, so we will not go through it again), but God’s plan was, at the end of time, to open the Scriptures and reveal a greater depth of truth from His Word, the Bible.
In this one verse that is seemingly hidden away in 2nd John, and it is one of those Epistles that too many people do not turn to that often, and here it is, God’s end time plan laid down in one Scripture, where He indicates that He will not add to His Word. There will be no more Books of the Bible, but when the Holy Spirit opens up those things that were already written, it would be as though He was communicating more things to His people, because the things that the Lord Jesus wanted to say that He spoke about in John 16 and the things that the elder wishes to communicate to the elect lady here in 2nd John, are hidden in the Bible. They are hidden in plain sight.
And so, the LORD trusts that He will come, “and speak face to face,” and we saw also, that that phrase means that God’s plan is to make plain. Numbers 12 was very helpful to us, where the LORD said that He would speak face to face with Moses, and not in dark sayings, or not in parables, or He would speak “mouth to mouth,” as actually, the Greek word here means, “mouth to mouth.”
That is exactly what He has done over the course of the entire great tribulation period, and even in these days after, He has continued to show His people many things from His Word, the Bible.
But notice what it says at the end of 2 John 1:12:
…I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
That is, this is stated as a reason, or a purpose, why God has this end time plan, and why it is He did not communicate the additional things just by adding to the book of 2nd John, for instance. 2nd John is a very short little Epistle. Certainly, there was room to write more, if God wanted to do that. He could have expanded the Bible to any limit. There are no boundaries.
We do know, and the Bible itself tells us, that if all the things that the Lord Jesus Christ had done and said (we read at the end of John 20), that the world could not contain the very books that should be written, if God had wanted to do that, but He did not want to add further written revelation to His Word. He did not want all sorts of other additional things written down.
Everything that God wanted to communicate in the written form, He has communicated and given to us in the Bibles we possess today, from Genesis through Revelation, the entire 66 books. There is nothing further that God wanted to write down, and failed to do. No, we have it all, and we do not lack any part of the written Word of God. We have the complete communication from God to man.
But, it was God’s plan to reveal the things that He had written, and He wanted this to take place at the end of time. Why? Why at the end of time? Why did He just not open up truths throughout the centuries and to each generation? For one thing, it was at the end of time, in our day, when the world’s population exploded and we have, leading up to May 21, about seven billion people in the world. And so, since there was an enormous population of people, this also meant that the number of God’s elect multiplied to incredible numbers, and so it was God’s plan to save the vast majority of those whose names were written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, before the foundation of the world. God, in His wisdom, decreed that He would bring the greatest number of those elect to salvation, at the time of the end.
And so, He timed these things perfectly. He would open His word and reveal tremendous truths concerning the end of the church age and even the timing of Judgment Day. He would share these things with the tremendous population of about seven billion human beings, and He would use this information, now unsealed, as a means to draw His people, to give them interest in His Word, so that the Word would work upon their hearts, and God would save them through the Bible.
This was God’s end time plan, so we can see, as He says, that “I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.” Joy, in the Bible has a lot to do with salvation. But first, let us think about the statement that we just read. We just read that “our joy.” The elder is not saying to the elect lady, not “your joy,” but He is including himself, “that our joy may be full.” This means, spiritually, as the elder typifies God Himself, and the elect lady typifies the body of believers, that it is the joy of both. It is a mutual joy, a joy of the people of God, and the joy of the LORD Himself.
It says in Matthew 25:21-23:
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Whose joy are these faithful servants entering into? To the Lord’s joy. It is His joy, and this parable of the talents has everything to do with sharing the Gospel, sharing the truth of the Bible, and the multiplication of that Word that was entrusted to this person and that person, to this believer and that believer, and what they did with that Word. Did they share the truth that God had revealed to them with others? And so, this was all part of their joy, and then they entered into the joy of their Lord. That is language that is really picturing salvation: entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, entering into the condition of eternal life, and forever being with the Lord. This is all part of the joy of God’s salvation.
It says in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 15, and again, the Lord is giving some parables, and I will start reading in Luke 15:3-7:
And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
And then, there is another little parable that follows, that basically teaches the same thing. It says in Luke 15:8-10:
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Joy, goes hand in hand with salvation. As the sheep and the coin represent the sinners who are lost in sin, and yet, they are found. And so, when God finds His elect, when He finds those that are lost in the darkness of this world, and when He translates them out of darkness and into the Light of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is joy in Heaven. There is rejoicing.
It really is a beautiful picture to see, that God is typified as the one, Himself, who is doing the rejoicing, and that He is happy, and He is pleased. Remember, salvation is a result of God’s good pleasure. That is the only reason He chose anyone to salvation. It had nothing to do with the people themselves. That is, there was nothing in Jacob over Esau that would make God choose Jacob and not chose Esau. God made the determination. He decided to save Jacob. Why? According to His good pleasure. It pleased Him well, and once Jacob came to the point in his life when God applied that salvation that Christ had purchased for Him and that Christ had wrought before the foundation of the world, in paying for Jacob’s sins, and the sins of all the elect, once it was applied and Jacob was redeemed, at some point in his life, there was joy in Heaven, because God had obligated Himself to save the sinner Jacob.
And after hundreds and thousands of years, as history played out, there was always the assaults of Satan and the attempts of Satan to interfere, to delay, and to stop God from applying that saving work to Jacob, and yet God was triumphant and victorious, with individual after individual that He had determined to save. And, always it was a cause of rejoicing in the Kingdom of Heaven. God was faithful, once again. God had guaranteed this one’s salvation and God brought it to pass.
What a wonderful God, God is, and what a wonderful thing His salvation plan is! So, it was as though a lost sinner had been found, as the last parable in Luke 15 that speaks of the prodigal son, who left his father and then, returned to him at a later point. The father’s elder son was disturbed by all the rejoicing that was taking place, because the younger rebel had come home. The father was celebrating and the older son was offended by this, and the father said to him in Luke 15:31-32:
And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 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.
Certainly, this is a great cause of rejoicing for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven, and for the people of God upon earth, that the LORD has saved His people, and we have a tremendous reason to rejoice in our day, because God not only has found sinners and saved them, as He said He would, but He has found all the sinners.
It is often said with some disdain, during the days we are presently living in, by some, who are very critical of the idea that Judgment Day came in a spiritual way on May 21, by God shutting the door of Heaven, and they say this for a good reason because they know how this sounds. They say, “oh, that is a no salvation gospel.” They continually say that and, “there is no salvation there!”
They could not be further from the truth. The salvation that God’s people are witnesses to, in our time, is the greatest salvation. It is salvation to the utmost, because God sent forth His Word in an unparalleled and unprecedented way. The world had never witnessed such a declaration to all the earth, in the manner that May 21, 2011 was broadcast to all nations in the final days.
God used that Word to find His elect in every nation and from every land. That great multitude that Revelation 7 spoke of, coming of great tribulation, was found by the unsealed Word of God, as God made things plain, so His people could declare these things publicly and very straight forwardly: Judgment Day will be on May 21 of 2011!
And God used that information in order that “our joy might be full,” complete, finished, fulfilled, and salvation in the highest possible way, to the utmost. You cannot get more salvation than all those becoming saved whose names were recorded, before the foundation of the world in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We cannot save anyone in addition. There is no possibility of that. It can only be, that those whose names were written down, become saved. And so, the LORD accomplished that, and He fulfilled this obligation that he had obligated Himself to perform. He guaranteed it and He brought it to pass, and so the people of God, and each child of God now rejoices. We rejoice and our joy is full, and the joy of the Father and the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ is full, because He has opened up His Word, and He has sent it out, and it has found all of the lost sheep, and as a Shepherd, He has gathered them together in His one flock, where he protects them and guides them, and spiritually nourishes and feeds them.
And so, for a short time, He commands His people to “Feed my sheep.” Feed them. There is no need to find them any longer, because that is done. That work is complete. But now, after you have come in from the field, you have one task remaining, and that is to feed sheep. And so, that is what we are to be busy doing.
Let us go back to 2nd John and we will read again, 2 John 1:13:
The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.
Now here, this is the same word “elect” that is used in verse 1, “The elder unto the elect lady and her children,” but this is talking about “The children of thy elect sister.” We could look at this a couple of different ways. One is looking at it naturally and historically, and it could be, that there were sisters that were true believers, and one was with the elder, and she had children, and the other sister was in another town or village or city somewhere, also with children. And so, the elder, the Apostle John, was writing to the sister who lived elsewhere. And as he was writing this little Epistle, the children of the elect sister that was in the location where John was, greeted the elect lady and her children. So, that would just be how it would work out naturally.
Of course, spiritually, it could just be that this is referring to true believing women, and just like today, a true believer can call another true believer, who are not physically related, and they are not part of their earthly family, but they can call them “brother” or “sister.” Either of those are possible. We do know that, for instance, the LORD does save, on occasion, more than one in a family. It says in John 11:5:
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
So we could picture, and I am not saying that this is Martha and Mary, but just to use that example: it could be that, Martha is over in the other town, and Mary is with John, and so, as John is writing Martha, the children of Mary greet them, and that would be the idea.
But, in anyway, let us look at the word “greet” before we finish the study of this Book of 2nd John. It is kind of unusual for us, because we think of greeting people in the beginning, but actually, in the Epistles, oftentimes, the greeting is withheld until the end. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 16:20, it says:
All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
And then, the Epistle is about to come to a close. Or, it says in Philippians 4:21:
Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
By the way, the word “salute” is often, if not always, the same word as “greet.” The Greek word translated as “greet” is also, often translated as “salute.” Let us just go to 1 Peter 5:13-14:
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you;…
That would be the same word, translated as “greet.” It continues:
…and so doth Marcus my son. Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Here, we have the “church,” which is italicized. It is really “the ones at Babylon, elected together with you.” So again, this is the elect that are saluting other elect, as an epistle comes to a close. It is really a little comforting when we read these greetings (salutations), that come at the end of the Epistles, and especially, say like the Book of Romans, where it says that, this one salutes you, and that one salutes you, and I will just read a couple of them. It really goes on for a few verses. But, it says in Romans 16:22-23:
I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
And so on. Actually, in the previous verses, it mentions saluting various people, and this is greeting the elect. God uses language like “elect lady” and “elect sister,” and they are nameless, and we just look at it as the whole. But, often it is individuals that are mentioned too.
It is almost as if these elect people, that are long gone and they had already finished their course, quite a long time ago. But, as we read the pages of the Bible, and we read these Epistles and writings of God, they are saluting us and greeting us anew each time. There is a brotherhood of the saints, the “children of the elect sister” are greeting “the children of the elect lady,” and so it is as if God’s people, down through time, are greeting us today.