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Wednesday, November 2 2016

3 John 1: John's Letter To Gaius

"The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth"

The apostle John's third epistle is a short but powerful witness of how supposedly converted people, in this case a man named Diotrephes, can fall back into lustful attitudes and carnal behavior. John addressed the letter to a righteous man named Gaius, who may have been any one of a number of men by that name in the New Testament record:

The Theater At Ephesus

  • Gaius, a man of Macedonia, who accompanied the apostle Paul during part of a missionary journey (see also Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey):

    "19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 19:29 And the whole city [see also Ephesians: Put On The Whole Armour Of God] was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre." (Acts 19:28-29 KJV)

  • Gaius of Corinth, Paul's host when he wrote the epistle to the Romans (see Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast):

    "16:23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church [see Can You See The Church? and The Church In The End Time], saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Romans 16:23-24 KJV)

  • Gaius of Derbe, who was among those who accompanied Paul into "Asia" (i.e. Asia Minor, known today as Turkey):

    "20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea [see The Berean Lesson]; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus." (Acts 20:4 KJV)

Whichever it was, John regarded Gaius very highly "in the truth."

"1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth." (3 John 1:1 KJV)

John emphasized the word "truth," in Gaius ("of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth"), as well as the faithful ones, students of John, with him ("my children walk in truth").

"1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?]. 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:2-4 KJV)

People of the truth recognize and welcome other people of truth, "fellowhelpers to the truth."

"1:5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 1:7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth." (3 John 1:5-8 KJV)

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves"

John then addressed the abomination of Diotrephes who had grown ambitious for himself, lusting to lord it over his brothers and sisters ("who loveth to have the preeminence among them"), resorting to isolating "his" church ("neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church") and slandering even the apostle John while doing so ("prating against us with malicious words"). Diotrephes had become a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

Beware Of Wolves

"1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church." (3 John 1:9-10 KJV)

The Messiah's command to not behave in such an egotistical manner was very clear. True Christians are not to lust for rule over other Christians, but rather to strive to follow Christ - by obeying His teachings. Years earlier, John and his brother James had learned that lesson, by means of a rebuke from the LORD, from which they never again crossed the line from servant to master (or "mister" - the spelling of the English master and mister are based merely on different pronunciations of the same root word which meant master). "Minister" means servant, while "Mister" means master.

"20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:24-28 KJV)

The Messiah warned further that those who do as they please in Christ's name (i.e. "Christian") have a rebuke coming from Him on the Judgment day.

7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

7:21 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. 7:22 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? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:13-23 KJV)

What Diotrephes did was evil. As the letter was written, John was on the way to deal with him.

"1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. 1:12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. 1:13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 1:14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.

Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name." (3 John 1:11-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does a true leader do?
See Leaders And Pushers


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This Day In History, November 2

1164: Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury, began a 6-year self-imposed exile in France. Once a close friend of King Henry II, he found himself in difficulty after he became an outspoken opponent of the king's policies.

1570: Nearly a thousand people were killed when a tidal wave struck the coast of Holland.

1721: Peter I was proclaimed Tsar ("Tsar" or "Czar" is the Russian version of "Caesar") of all Russians.

Peter The Great

1785: The first lifeboat was patented by London coachbuilder Lionel Lukin.

1789: During the French Revolution, all property of the church was taken over by the state.

1841: Following the British occupation of Kabul, Afghans revolted and killed Sir Alexander Burnes and 23 others, starting the Second Afghan War.

Second Afghan War

1899: The Boers (white natives of Cape Province, the Afrikaans-speaking descendants of Dutch settlers; Afrikaans is closely related to Dutch and Flemish) began their 118 day siege of British held Ladysmith during the Second Boer War.

1914: Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire.

1917: During the First World War, British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour, prompted by "Zionist" emigres Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, wrote a letter to the 2nd Baron Rothschild, head of the British branch of the Jewish banking family, which contained the "Balfour Declaration" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration). The declaration, pledging British aid for efforts to establish a Jewish homeland in "Palestine," was a key event in the creation of the modern state of "Israel" (which is actually Judah; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah). The modern state of Israel was proclaimed just over 30 years later, in 1948.

Balfour

1930: Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.

1936: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was established.

1940: During the Second World War that was started by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion), the Luftwaffe bombed London for the 57th consecutive night of the "Blitz."

1964: King Saud of Saudi Arabia was deposed and replaced by Prince Fail.

1965: Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, set himself on fire in front of the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam War.

1967: During the Vietnam War, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and his advisors decided that the U.S. people should be given more "optimistic reports" on the progress of the war.

1984: Velma Barfield was executed in Raleigh, North Carolina after being convicted of six murders. She became the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1962, as well as the first woman to be executed by lethal injection.

1995: The Argentine Supreme Court ordered the extradition to Italy of former SS captain Erich Priebke to face trial for a World War Two massacre of prisoners in the Ardeatine Caves.





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