Week #154; Wed, Dec 09: 1 John 3, 2 John, 3 John, Jude and Revelation 3:22


1 John 3, I. Children of God; II. Love One Another

I. KEY TEXT (Children of God): “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (2:28-29; 3:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” (3:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (3:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (3:9-10)
3. CONDITION: “Why God should have made us His children is incomprehensible, except to show forth the riches of His grace. See Eph_2:7. That such we are is certain, but how marvelous! Yet even greater wonders await us, for we are to be like Jesus our Lord. He is the type to which we are being conformed, and on the other side we shall awake in His likeness.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The sons of God know that their Lord is of purer eyes than to allow any thing unholy and impure to dwell with him. It is the hope of hypocrites, not of the sons of God, that makes allowance for gratifying impure desires and lusts. May we be followers of him as his dear children, thus show our sense of his unspeakable mercy, and express that obedient, grateful, humble mind which becomes us.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Renouncing sin is the great proof of spiritual union with, continuance in, and saving knowledge of the Lord Christ. Beware of self-deceit.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “But a man cannot act like the devil, and at the same time be a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us not serve or indulge what the Son of God came to destroy. To be born of God is to be inwardly renewed by the power of the Spirit of God. Renewing grace is an abiding principle. Religion is not an art, a matter of dexterity and skill, but a new nature. And the regenerate person cannot sin as he did before he was born of God, and as others do who are not born again.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Love One Another): “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.” (3:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” (3:13-14)
1. FINDINGS: “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (3:15)
2. CRITERIA: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (3:16)
3. CONDITION: “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (3:17-18)
4. CAUSE: “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” (3:19-20)
5. EFFECT: “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” (3:21-24)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another.” (3:23)

1 John 4, I. Test the Spirits; II. God is Love

I. KEY TEXT (Test the Spirits): “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” (4:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Little children you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.” (4:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “We are from God.” (4:6)
2. CRITERIA: “Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us.” (4:6)
3. CONDITION: “By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (4:6)
4. CAUSE: “Christians who are well acquainted with the Scriptures, may, in humble dependence on Divine teaching, discern those who set forth doctrines according to the apostles, and those who contradict them. The sum of revealed religion is in the doctrine concerning Christ, his person and office.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The false teachers spake of the world according to its maxims and tastes, so as not to offend carnal men. The world approved them, they made rapid progress, and had many followers such as themselves; the world will love its own, and its own will love it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The true doctrine as to the Savior’s person, as leading men from the world to God, is a mark of the spirit of truth in opposition to the spirit of error. The more pure and holy any doctrine is, the more likely to be of God; nor can we by any other rules try the spirits whether they are of God or not.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (God is Love): “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (4:7)
A. INFERENCE: “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (4:8)
1. FINDINGS: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” (4:9)
2. CRITERIA: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (4:10-12)
3. CONDITION: “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (4:13-16)
4. CAUSE: “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.” (4:17)
5. EFFECT: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (4:18-21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “If we are willing to be channels through which God’s love flows to others, there need be no limit to the fullness of that holy current. In humility, selflessness, and gentleness, it will become perfected. The vessel placed beneath the waterfall is filled to overflowing.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

1 John 5, I. Overcoming the World; II. Testimony Concerning the Son of God; III. That You May Know

I. KEY TEXT (Overcoming the World): “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been of him.” (5:1)
A. INFERENCE: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” (5:2)
1. FINDINGS: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (5:3)
2. CRITERIA: “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” (5:4)
3. CONDITION: “And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” (5:4)
4. CAUSE: “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (5:5)
5. EFFECT: Peter, James, and John witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Trust the witnesses.

II. KEY TEXT (Testimony Concerning the Son of God): “This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” (5:6)
A. INFERENCE: “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.” (5:7-8)
1. FINDINGS: “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.” (5:9-10)
2. CRITERIA: “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (5:11)
3. CONDITION: “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (5:12)
4. CAUSE: “It is in vain for a man to plead that he believes the testimony of God in other things, while he rejects it in this. He that refuses to trust and honor Christ as the Son of God, who disdains to submit to his teaching as Prophet, to rely on his atonement and intercession as High Priest, or to obey him as King, is dead in sin, under condemnation; nor will any outward morality, learning, forms, notions, or confidences avail him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “God’s life in the soul also manifests itself in our faith; and as faith is the substance of the unseen and eternal world, it overcomes the fascination and glamour of this transient scene.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let your faith entwine around the risen Lord and you will be weaned from all else. Jesus must become all-in-all to you, else you will miss the crown!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (That You May Know): “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (5:13)
A. INFERENCE: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (5:14)
1. FINDINGS: “And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” (5:15)
2. CRITERIA: “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.” (5:16-17)
3. CONDITION: “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” (5:18)
4. CAUSE: “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (5:19)
5. EFFECT: “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (5:20)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (5:21)

2 John 1, I. Greeting and Walking in Truth and Love; II. Final Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Walking in Truth and Love): “The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.” (1:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.” (1:4)
1. FINDINGS: “And now I ask you, dear lady–not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning–that we love on another.” (1:5)
2. CRITERIA: “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” (1:6)
3. CONDITION: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (1:7)
4. CAUSE: “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God.” (1:8-9)
5. EFFECT: “Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (1:9-11)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The deceiver and his deceit are described: he brings some error concerning the person or office of the Lord Jesus. Such a one is a deceiver and an antichrist; he deludes souls, and undermines the glory and kingdom of the Lord Christ. Let us not think it strange, that there are deceivers and opposers of the Lord Christ’s name and dignity now, for there were such, even in the apostles’ times.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Final Greeting): “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink.” (1:12)
A. INFERENCE: “Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, . . .” (1:12)
1. FINDINGS: “. . . so that our joy may be complete.” (1:12)
2. CRITERIA: “The letter is to a noble Christian matron, and her children; it is well that the gospel should get among such: some noble persons are called.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Families are to be encouraged and directed in their love and duties at home. Those who love truth and piety in themselves, should love it in others; and the Christians loved this lady, not for her rank, but for her holiness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “And where religion truly dwells, it will abide for ever. From the Divine Persons of the Godhead, the apostle craves grace, Divine favor, and goodwill, the spring of all good things. It is grace indeed that any spiritual blessing should be given to sinful mortals. Mercy, free pardon, and forgiveness; for those already rich in grace, need continual forgiveness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Peace, quietness of spirit, and a clear conscience, in assured reconciliation with God, together with all outward prosperity that is really for good: these are desired in truth and love.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Love one another.

3 John 1, I. Greeting, Support and Opposition, and Final Greeting

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting, Support and Opposition, and Final Greeting): “The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (1:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” (1:5-8)
1. FINDINGS: “I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.” (1:9-10)
2. CRITERIA: “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” (1:11)
3. CONDITION: “Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.” (1:12)
4. CAUSE: “I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.” (1:13-14)
5. EFFECT: “Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, every one of them.” (1:15)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Christians should consider not only what they must do, but what they may do; and should do even the common actions of life, and of goodwill, after a godly sort, serving God therein, and designing his glory. Those who freely make known Christ’s gospel, should be helped by others to whom God gives the means. Those who cannot themselves proclaim it, may yet receive, help, and countenance those who do so.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Jude:1, I. Greeting and Judgment on False Teachers; II. A Call to Persevere

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Judgment on False Teachers): “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you abut our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (1:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day–just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Yet in a like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.’ But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.” (1:5-10)
2. CRITERIA: “Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.” (1:11)
3. CONDITION: “These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.” (1:12-13)
4. CAUSE: “It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousand of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’” (1:14-16)
5. EFFECT: “The apostle exhorts to steadfastness in the faith. (1:1-4) The danger of being infected by false professors, and the dreadful punishment which shall be inflicted on them and their followers. (1:5-7)” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Many evil doctrines and practices were intruding into the Church. Certain persons had crept in, who quoted the mercy of God as an excuse for immorality and practically disowned the teachings of the Lord Jesus. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us not trust in ourselves, nor in our stock of grace already received, but in him, and in him alone. The mercy of God is the spring and fountain of all the good we have or hope for; mercy, not only to the miserable, but to the guilty.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Let us also keep ourselves in the love of God, Jud_1:21. It is much easier to live consistently in hours of storm than in hours of ease. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (A Call to Persevere and Doxology): “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’” (1:17-18)
A. INFERENCE: “It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.” (1:19)
1. FINDINGS: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” (1:20-21)
2. CRITERIA: “And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (1:22-25)
3. CONDITION: “Sensual men separate from Christ, and his church, and join themselves to the devil, the world, and the flesh, by ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to separate from any branch of the visible church on account of opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or worship. Sensual men have not the spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, does not belong to Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Let us be warned against drifting back from our first faith. Let us take heed from the fate of fallen angels, of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Cain and Balaam, of Korah and others. Let us watch and pray and earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, Jude 1:3, bearing it through the world as the pilgrim host bore the sacred vessels in the days of Ezra. See: Ezr. 8:28.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The four exquisite admonitions of Jude 1:20-21 are worth pondering. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Keep yourselves in the main current of God’s love. Build your character after the likeness of Christ. Pray in the Holy Spirit; keep at the oriel window of hope. Christ is able to keep, and when at last we are presented by Him to the Father, we shall realize how much we owe Him.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Revelation:1:1, I. Prologue, II. Greeting to the Seven Churches, III. Vision of the Son of Man

I. KEY TEXT (Prologue): “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known my sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, . . .” (1:3)
1. FINDINGS: “. . . for the time is near.” (1:3)
2. CRITERIA: “The Bible begins with Paradise LOST, and closes with Paradise REGAINED.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
3. CONDITION: “We should expect this last prophecy to give us the final word as to: 1. the church; 2. Israel; and 3. the Nations.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
4. CAUSE: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
5. EFFECT: “The Author was the Lord Jesus Himself; the Apostle was only a scribe recording what was revealed to him by an angel. See: Rev. 1:1; 22:8.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Do not add unto or take from it.” (Rev. 22:8-9) No one can understand the Book of Revelation who does not understand the Book of Daniel. (Dan. 12:4, 9) Here the writer of the Book of Revelation was told to ‘seal not’ the sayings of the Book of Revelation. (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

II. KEY TEXT (Greeting to the Seven Churches): “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” (1:4-5)
A. INFERENCE: “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1:5-6)
1. FINDINGS: “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” (1:7)
2. CRITERIA: “’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (1:8)
3. CONDITION: “To him we owe the knowledge of what we are to expect from God, and what he expects from us. The subject of this revelation was, the things that must shortly come to pass.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Even the mysteries and difficulties of this book are united with discoveries of God, suited to impress the mind with awe, and to purify the soul of the reader, though he may not discern the prophetic meaning. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “No part of Scripture more fully states the gospel, and warns against the evil of sin.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Know that the book begins and ends by stressing Christ’s return for his servants (1:1, 3; 22:3, 6–7, 10, 12, 20). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Vision of the Son of Man): “I John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” (1:9)
A. INFERENCE: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’” (1:10-11)
1. FINDINGS: “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.” (1:12-16)
2. CRITERIA: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (1:17-18)
3. CONDITION: “’Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.” (1:19)
4. CAUSE: “As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.’” (1:20)
5. EFFECT: “The churches receive their light from Christ and the gospel, and hold it forth to others. They are golden candlesticks; they should be precious and pure; not only the ministers, but the members of the churches; their light should so shine before men, as to engage others to give glory to God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us listen to the voice of Christ, and receive the tokens of his love, for what can he withhold from those for whose sins he has died? May we then obey his word, and give up ourselves wholly to him who directs all things aright.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Revelation 2:1, I. To the Church in Ephesus; II. To the Church in Smyrna; III. To the Church in Pergamum; IV. To the Church in Thyatira

I. KEY TEXT (To the Church in Ephesus): “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.” (2:1)
A. INFERENCE: “’I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.” (2:2)
1. FINDINGS: “I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (2:3-5)
2. CRITERIA: “Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (2:6-7)
3. CONDITION: “To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’” (2:7)
4. CAUSE: “These churches were in such different states as to purity of doctrine and the power of godliness, that the words of Christ to them will always suit the cases of other churches, and professors.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ knows and observes their state; though in heaven, yet he walks in the midst of his churches on earth, observing what is wrong in them, and what they want. The church of Ephesus is commended for diligence in duty. Christ keeps an account of every hour’s work his servants do for him, and their labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Surely this mention in Scripture, of Christians forsaking their first love, reproves those who speak of it with carelessness, and thus try to excuse indifference and sloth in themselves and others; our Savior considers this indifference as sinful. They must repent: they must be grieved and ashamed for their sinful declining, and humbly confess it in the sight of God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (To the Church in Smyrna): “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.” (2:8)
A. INFERENCE: “’I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” (2:9)
1. FINDINGS: “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (2:10)
2. CRITERIA: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (2:11)
3. CONDITION: “The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’” (2:11)
4. CAUSE: “Observe, the sureness of the reward; “I will give thee:” they shall have the reward from Christ’s own hand. Also, how suitable it is; “a crown of life:” the life worn out in his service, or laid down in his cause, shall be rewarded with a much better life, which shall be eternal.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The second death is unspeakably worse than the first death, both in the agonies of it, and as it is eternal death: it is indeed awful to die, and to be always dying. If a man is kept from the second death and wrath to come, he may patiently endure whatever he meets with in this world.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The tribulation and patience of Jesus are essential conditions of His Kingdom. We cannot exert the divine energies of the latter, unless we are willing to take our share of the former.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (To the Church in Pergamum): “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.” (2:12)
A. INFERENCE: “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” (2:13)
1. FINDINGS: “But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.” (2:14-15)
2. CRITERIA: “Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.” (2:16)
3. CONDITION: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’” (2:17)
4. CAUSE: “Christ commends their steadfastness, but reproves their sinful failures. A wrong view of gospel doctrine and Christian liberty, was a root of bitterness from which evil practices grew.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The church became rich and powerful where a condition of affairs would develop that would usher in the Millennium without the return of Christ.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Repent, return to sound doctrine.” (2:16)

II. KEY TEXT (To the Church in Thyatira): “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.” (2:18)
A. INFERENCE: “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.” (2:19)
1. FINDINGS: “But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrifice to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.” (2:20-21)
2. CRITERIA: “Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead.” (2:22-23)
3. CONDITION: “And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.” (2:23)
4. CAUSE: “But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come.” (2:24-25)
5. EFFECT: “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen post are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (2:26-29)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Abolish false doctrine, return to sound doctrine.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

Revelation 3:1, I. To the Church in Sardis; II. To the Church in Philadelphia; III. To the Church in Laodicea

I. KEY TEXT (To the Church in Sardis): “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has seven spirits of God and the seven stars.” (3:1)
A. INFERENCE: “’I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” (3:1)
1. FINDINGS: “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” (3:2)
2. CRITERIA: “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.” (3:3)
3. CONDITION: “Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.” (3:4)
4. CAUSE: “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” (3:5)
5. EFFECT: “I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (3:6)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Our Lord called upon them (and us) to be watchful against their enemies, and to be active and earnest in their duties; and to endeavor, in dependence on the grace of the Holy Spirit, to revive and strengthen the faith and spiritual affections of those yet alive to God, though in a declining state.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (To the Church in Philadelphia): “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.” (3:7)
A. INFERENCE: “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (3:8)
1. FINDINGS: “Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–behold, I will make them come and bow down before our feet and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” (3:9-10)
2. CRITERIA: “I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the names of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (3:11-13)
3. CONDITION: “A favored church. It had a little strength. It had set before it an open door that no man could shut. It was to be kept from the Hour of Temptation (Tribulation).” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
4. CAUSE: “It was the church of brotherly love and well describes their charity and brotherly fellowship.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
5. EFFECT: “The promise is that the ‘Philadelphia Church’ will not pass through the Tribulation. Is not this additional proof that the Church shall be ‘caught out’ before the Tribulation?” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In seeking a revival in our own souls, or the souls of others, it is needful to compare what we profess with the manner in which we go on, that we may be humbled and quickened to hold fast that which remains.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (To the Church in Laodicea): “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.” (3:14)
A. INFERENCE: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (3:15-16)
1. FINDINGS: “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” (3:17-18)
2. CRITERIA: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (3:19)
3. CONDITION: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (3:20)
4. CAUSE: “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (3:21)
5. EFFECT: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (3:22)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “How careful should we be not to cheat our owns souls! There are many in hell, who once thought themselves far in the way to heaven. Let us beg of God that we may not be left to flatter and deceive ourselves.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

3 thoughts on “Week #154; Wed, Dec 09: 1 John 3, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation 3:22

  1. I am challenged by John’s admonition to love, energized by Jude’s warning to beware of false teachers but most of all I am comforted by Jesus’ continual pursuit of each one of us, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” In the context of the letter to the church at Laodicea, for which He no commendation at all, He still beckons, “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”. And if this were not enough, He promises “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” An offer that is already secured as Paul writes, “…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Thank You Lord!

  2. The Book of Revelation by Rev. Clarence Larkin includes maps, charts and illustrations that help clarify this study. It is included in the “References” page of this blog.

    Larkin explains that the “key” to the Book is its “THREE-FOLD DIVISION.” (Rev. 1:10)
    I. The things which thou hast “seen.” The vision of the Son of Man in the midst of the “Seven Lamp-stands.” (Rev. 1:10-20)
    II. The things which “are.” The messages to the Seven Churches (Modern day Turkey). (Rev. 2:1-3; 22)
    III. The things which “shall be hereafter.” The things which shall come to pass after the “Church Period” ends. (Seven Sevens)
    1. The seven churches (Rev. 2:14:22)
    2. The seven seals (Rev. 6:1-8:5)
    3. The seven trumpets (Rev. 8:7-11:19)
    4. The seven personages (Rev. 12:1-13:18)
    5. The seven vials (Rev. 15:1-16:21)
    6. The seven dooms (Rev. 17:1-20:15)
    7. The seven new things (Rev. 21:1-22:5)

    See paragraph 3.III at Blog homepage for a data flow diagram of the Book of Revelation with Scripture references that pertain. Adjustments are welcome.

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