Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider verses 7 through 13 of 2 John.
Verse 7 says, “Because many deceivers went out into the world, who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” The deceivers mentioned here were heretics, like the Cerinthians, the false prophets (1 John 4:1).
These deceivers do not confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. This means that they do not confess that Jesus is God incarnate. Thus, they deny the deity of Christ. Jesus was conceived of the Spirit (Matt. 1:18). To confess Jesus coming in the flesh is to confess that, as the Son of God, He was divinely conceived to be born in the flesh (Luke 1:31-35). The deceivers, the false prophets, would not make such a confession.
In verse 7 John says that those who do not confess Jesus coming in the flesh are not only deceivers but also antichrists. We have seen that an antichrist differs from a false Christ (Matt. 24:5, 24). A false Christ is one who pretends deceivingly to be the Christ, whereas an antichrist is one who denies Christ’s deity, denying that Jesus is the Christ, that is, denying the Father and the Son by denying that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 2:22), not confessing that He has come in the flesh through the divine conception of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:2-3). Whoever denies the Person of Christ is an antichrist.
In verse 8 John goes on to say, “Look to yourselves that you do not lose the things which we wrought, but that you may receive a full reward.” Here “look to yourselves” means watch yourselves, watch for yourselves, and “lose” means destroy, ruin.
In verse 8 John speaks of not losing the things which we wrought. The things which the apostles wrought are the things of the truth concerning Christ, which the apostles ministered and imparted to the believers. To be influenced by the heresies regarding the Person of Christ is to lose, destroy, and ruin the precious things concerning the Person of Christ which the apostles had wrought into the believers. Here the apostle warns the believers to watch for themselves lest they be influenced by the heresies and lose the things of the truth.
In verse 8 John also indicates that the believers “may receive a full reward.” According to the context, especially verse 9, the full reward must be the Father and the Son as the full enjoyment to the faithful believers, who abide in the truth concerning the Person of Christ and do not deviate from it by the influence of the heresies regarding Christ. This interpretation is justified by the fact that there is no indication this reward will be given in the future, as the rewards mentioned in Matthew 5:12; 16:27; 1 Corinthians 3:8, 13-14; Hebrews 10:35-36; Revelation 11:18; and 22:12. If we are not led astray by the heresies, but abide faithfully in the truth concerning the wonderful and all-inclusive Christ who is both God and man, both our Creator and Redeemer, we shall enjoy in Him the Triune God to the fullest extent as our full reward, even today on earth.
If we lose the precious things wrought into us by the apostles, this means that we do not abide in the truth. Then we shall miss the enjoyment of the Father and the Son. But if we stay in the truth, we shall receive a full reward, a reward that is actually the enjoyment of the Father and the Son. Praise the Lord that such a reward is in view waiting to be enjoyed by us! To enjoy this reward, we need to remain, abide, in the divine truth concerning Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Those, like today’s modernists, who do not abide in this truth certainly do not have this enjoyment. For them, there is no reward of the Father and the Son as their enjoyment. If you contact them, you will find them spiritually starved and dry.
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