3 JOHN –Love and Truth In action

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

February 5, 2019, The Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Third John is love and truth in action.   The beloved Gaius was in the realm of supernatural love which we can only receive from God.  Only by abandonment to Christ’s love can the soul come at last into its true habitat-the great loving heart of our Lord and Savior.


Only in the depths of the realm of supernatural love is the Truth of God which sets us free from all pain of the soul. 


3 Jo. 1:1-2:  The Elder, to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:  Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.


The power of the truth of this verse was revealed to Oral Roberts by revelation.  Through that revelation, a move of God was released on the earth, now known as the Word of Faith Movement. God wants us to prosper not only physically, but to succeed in all things and that our soul will prosper.  This Greek translation means to be brought along to a smooth and prosperous journey or to be continually prospered (unto success) in every way.  John is praying that Gaius’s physical health would match his spiritual health.  


The Church of the 21st Century accepts this verse as the blessing of God to Believers.  This has not always been true.  I was delivered from a spirit of poverty by this teaching.  I truly believed in “God helps those who help themselves.”  I never considered that the LORD GOD loved me so much that He would supernaturally supply all my needs according to his riches in glory.  I thought it would be irreverent to ask God for a financial need.  I was just supposed to work hard for that.  


Today I live in that realm of blessing, where all my needs are supplied supernaturally.   As I go about my Father’s business, he supplies all my needs and takes care of my family and my business.

God desires to do this for all His beloved.  He may supply it through a job, a business, or investments; but He is the source of our supply.


Gaius was a convert of John’s and a close friend who was a leader in the Church (location not given).  Church tradition states that Gaius was one of the seventy whom Jesus sent out and was later ordained by John as the bishop of Pergamum.  However, there was also a Gaius who became the bishop of Ephesus.  There are four mentions of Gaius in the New Testament.  It is unlikely they are the same person.  (Acts. 19:29; Ro. 16:23; 1 Co. 1:14).


3 Jo. 1: 3-4: I was filled with joy and delight when the brothers arrived and informed me of your faithfulness to the truth.  They told me how you live continually in the truth of Christ.  It is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth!”  (Passion Translation)


3 Jo. 3-4:  I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (N.K.J.V.)


What is truth?  Of truth you are the Son of God.” (Mt. 14:33)


In the Old Testament, the Priesthood is charged with truth.


Mal. 2: 6-7: The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.  The priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.


(Truth: (1) What is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth in the greatest latitude; in the true notions of God.  (2)  Truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles; and the corrupt opinion and precepts of false teachers even among Christians.  Truth is a personal excellence – that candor of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, and deceit.)


John 16:13:  When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come.


3 Jo. 5-8: Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church.  If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.  We, therefore, ought to receive such that we may become fellow workers for the truth. (K.J.V.)


In becoming Christians, and more particularly preachers, these “fellow workers” surrendered rights of ownership and of inheritance in their heathen families.  They might have insisted upon their own rights, but for the sake of the NAME they did not. ----a renunciation still called for today in non-Christian countries.


Phil 2: 9-10: God has highly esteemed Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.


The testimony of Eastgate Ministries Church before God and man is we are faithful to bless itinerate preachers and missionaries on their way with a generous offering, hotel room and food when they are here in our care.  Many who have not read this scripture, have found fault with me for this, but their judgment could not stand, because the Word of God vindicates us and we receive of the blessing given to Gaius as well as partner with the blessing of all the ministries who we have been graced through our love for Jesus Christ and His NAME to offer financial support.


For thirty years Eastgate Church has a faithful testimony of this love for our fellow co-laborers.  It is sealed that this blessing is “sure” upon each one of us personally and corporately.


True hospitality is a lost art by some Christians today and must be valued.


3 Jo. 5-8: My beloved friend I commend you for your demonstration of faithful love by all that you have done for the brothers on their journey, even though they were strangers at the time.  They have shared publicly with the congregation about the beautiful acts of love you have shown them.  Now if you would be so kind, send them on their way with a generous gift, in a manner that would honor God.  You see it was their passion for the glory of the name of Christ that launched them out, and they’ve not accepted financial support from unbelievers.  They are deserving of all the support we can give them, because through our giving we can partner with them for the truth.


In verse 9, John tells us he has written Gaius once about Diotrephes.  This tells us there is a lost letter #3, which was not saved.   We could translate Verse 9 like this, “I wrote a short note to the church of which I attach a copy, but Diotrephes will have none of it.”


3 Jo. 1: 9: I have already written you once about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be in charge and recognized as first among you, does not acknowledge our authority.


I have met Old Diotrephes.  He is a demon spirit who is still around trying to harass the Church in the humble saints, in our government, or wherever people gather together. Diotrephes tries to seize and usurp power.  He (the demon) is a usurper.


Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.  Therefore, if I come I will call to mind his deed which he does, prating against us with malicious words.  And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.


 C. R. Oliver in his book, Sealed Unto His Glory, describes this spirit as follows:


“Diotrephes is in those who seek to seize power over those who are “fellowshipping in the seal.”  In this case, Diotrephes rejected not only the word of John, but those who were in fellowship with John.  He spoke against the “fellowship of the seal,” which originated by the Holy Spirit.  He cast out of the church those who opposed him and who sought to enter into John’s fellowship.  The issue in 3 John was a “power grab” by one who was once entrusted with the truth.  Unfortunately, today, among more and more congregations, denominations and fellowships, the tribe of Diotrephes has become the norm while Gaius and Demetrius are drive away!  God help the congregations when those in the “fellowship of the seal” must assemble outside the church!” 


“It is all too possible to allow an outlaw spirit to rule one’s self, and so drive ourselves away from the legitimate protection of Kingdom government which God established for the blessing of His own people.” (H.A.Goss)


We are sealed by God the Father when we receive the testimony of Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:33); when we heard the word of truth the gospel of our salvation, we were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13); we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).  He which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God (Theos); who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Co. 1: 21-22)  We are also sealed in Baptism by water.


Leaders must view other leaders not as threats, but as coworkers.  Love is not controlling or tyrannical.  It is clear in the New Covenant that the local church must have God-appointed ministry in the congregation from pastors, prophets, teachers, evangelists, and apostles.  Additionally there are itinerant ministries—that if proved authentic---are to be received by the local church authorities and given both opportunities to minister and generous gifts to send them on their way.


3 John 11:  Delightfully loved ones, don’t imitate what is evil, but imitate that which is good.  Whoever does good is of God; whoever does evil has not seen God.


Next John speaks very highly of Demetrius.  It would appear he is recommending to Gaius that he replace Diotrephes with Demetrius in the leadership of the church.


3 Jo. 1: 12-14: Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself.  We also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.


A good testimony is not by effort or pushing, not by self-praise or electioneering, (campaigning), but because men everywhere find the word of wisdom in the testimony of a man or woman of God; as well as the prayer of faith, or teaching, evangelism, or some other of the Spirit’s gifts.  Water will find its level and so will men and women of God.  A man’s gifts make room for him.


When John says “We also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true,” he is speaking of the gift of discernment and prophecy whereby the Holy Spirit of Truth has revealed to them the evil intent of Diotrephes and the good testimony of Demetrius.


3 Jo. 1:13-15:  Although I have many more subjects I’d like to discuss with you, I’d rather not include them in this letter.  Instead, I hope to visit you and speak with you face-to-face.  Peace to you, my friend.  Your friends here send their loving greetings to you.  Please greet each one of our friends there by name.


If we have love for others in our hearts, love will teach us.  Love is one of the greatest unrecognized teachers on earth.  It can reduce even the wildest humanity to gentleness; it is a potent civilizing influence to everyone.  Love never fails to teach, to uplift, to humanize and to bring the Deity closer to the human heart.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church