This letter is addressed personally to Gaius who is living by the truth, which is the whole Word of God, and this Epistle is by extension for all the faithful who live by every Word of God. John first blesses all those faithful called out who live by every Word of God, This blessing of prosperity is first of all a blessing of spiritual growth and second a blessing of the physical necessities.
3 John 1:1 The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 1:2 Beloved, I would above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul [pneuma spirit] prospers. 3:3 For I rejoice greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the [spiritual truth of the Word of God] truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
God’s Word is truth and this Epistle is for all the faithful who live by every Word of God.
1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth,
The term “my children” refers to the brethren in the faith. John’s chief joy lies in knowing that others also live by every Word of God.
Gaius was faithful to God’s Word and was a generous man, helping and furthering the brethren in their travels.
1:5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 1:6 which have borne witness of thy charity, thy generosity before the church [brethren of the Ekklesia]: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shall do well:
It appears that Gaius allowed traveling brethren including messengers from John to rest and be refreshed in his home on their journeys.
1:7 Because that for his name’s [to teach Christ and the Word of God] sake they went forth [these traveling brethren are traveling for the sake of the gospel and Gaius is setting an example for all], taking nothing of the Gentiles.
We ought to help the true laborers in the faith. Even if we have nothing to give, we can provide a bed or a place to sleep on the couch for God’s servants.
1:8 We, therefore, ought to receive such [faithful workers of the Word of God], that we [that each one of us may help forward the preaching of the gospel by our prayers and hospitality] might be fellow helpers to the truth.
Even in John’s time there were false elders and teachers in the Ekklesia who maligned any zeal for the truth of God; trying to deceive the brethren into following themselves and even casting the zealous for the whole Word of God out of the assemblies as is done in the Ekklesia today.
Today the assemblies are full of such false men and Jesus Christ will cast them out into a great correction of tribulation in the hope that by afflicting the flesh he might save the spirit (Rev 3:14-22).
1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receive us not. 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he receive the brethren, and forbids them that would, and cast them out of the church.
Sometimes certain men become known as elders, or prophets, or apostles (Rev 2:2); who are not worthy of that distinction. Diotrephes was not filled with the love of God and was self-willed, desiring pre-eminence and neglecting the Word of God; like very many elders today.
Many teachers and elders today do not teach any zeal for the whole Word and Will of God and reject all those who are zealous for God’s Word, while teaching men to idolatrously follow themselves and their false traditions: From such false teachers turn away.
It is a great heartbreak that very many in today’s called out Ekklesia are like Diotrephes, compromising with God’s Word and rejecting those who are zealous; labeling them Pharisaic and self-righteous; and mocking and pressuring them to also compromise with the Father’s Word or be cast out of their group.
1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good [Always be consistent with and zealous for God’s Word and Will: For only God is good.]. He that doeth good [all those who keep the Word and Will of God] is of God: but he that doeth evil [Those who live contrary to any part of God’s Word or Will and are not zealously living by every Word and the Will of God; are evil and not of God.] has not seen God.
1:12 Demetrius has a good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true,
John’s information was that Demetrius was a godly person of good reputation, and the brethren should support him and those like him then and today. Do NOT support those who exalt themselves above all that is called god as supposed moral authorities in place of God’s Word; like Diotrephes did.
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.
John encourages and exhorts those people who are godly to do good and to help the faithful on their journeys to preach the gospel and visit the brethren, because they are journeying for the sake of God in Christ.
John writes in so many words; “You have demonstrated your faith by your works and you have demonstrated your love by your actions, thus revealing that God is dwelling in you.”
If we are of God and God is dwelling in us by the Holy Spirit, we will engage in godly behavior. We will love God and we will live by every Word of God; we will be living like Jesus Christ lives!
When we blindly follow corporate idols and idols of men to keep their words without proving them by the whole Word of God and we follow them instead of zealously keeping the whole Word and Will of God, we are being disloyal to God: We have become idolaters!
If such deceitful men say “we are God’s servants and you must follow us” they LIE! For a man is the servant of those he obeys; and if any person does not obey God, they are NOT God’s servants!
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Brethren, obeying anyone contrary to God the Father and Jesus Christ is spiritual idolatry against God our Father and against Jesus Christ: It is allowing persons or things to come between us and our God.
How many of us will run along with our friends and compromise on any zeal for God’s Word.
How many of us do things that we know are not right just because we want to keep our friends, or we want to be part of some group, or we want to enjoy social club religion, [which is what many congregations have become]; while we have no zeal to seriously study into the whole Word of God or to question what we are told, and we are afraid to keep God’s Word with zeal lest we stand out?
That is wrong, brethren; We must sincerely repent of our idolatry and our lack of zeal for God and start putting the whole Word and the Will of God first: Relying on God’s Word regardless of what anybody else says or does.
It is because we have gotten so far from our God and we have quenched his Spirit by not putting God and zeal for God’s Word first, that our prayers are not answered and we are not being healed and there are so many divisions and so much confusion and frustration and competition in the assemblies.
We lack the love of God [lacking any zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God] and we lack the Spirit of God. We have quenched the Spirit of God because we are not proving all things and zealously keeping the whole Word and Will of God, and we are allowing idols of men and corporate idols to come between us and God.
Matthew 15:9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
When we call the Sabbaths of God holy and then we openly pollute God’s Sabbaths and Holy Days we become an appalling abomination before Almighty God. Today we even feel justified in observing our own High Days on our own dates for our own supposed convenience, and in our own ways; as counterfeits of God’s true Holy Days!
It is time that we started looking at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word and it is time we started understanding what God thinks of us.
It is very natural and worldly to want to think the best about ourselves, but it is really time that we woke up and started examining ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word and we started realizing what God really thinks of us. It is time to wake up and straighten up and sincerely repent and turn to God with a whole heart; before he gets out the rod of HIS correction.
Jesus Christ has told us plainly through John that if we do not keep the whole Word and Will of God the Father like Jesus Christ did and does; if we do not follow the example of Jesus Christ and live as he lived, by every Word of God: WE ARE NOT OF GOD!
Let us turn back to God our Father with deep respect, to love him just as Christ loved him; loving God the Father enough to keep His Word; and then to go that extra mile and wholeheartedly seek to please our revered Father and to do all His Will with passionate enthusiastic zeal!.
Luke 17:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
If we keep the commandments with zeal and we are still unprofitable servants; what is the end of those who willfully compromise with and rebel against any zeal for keeping the whole Word of God?
Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
It is past time that we turned to our espoused Husband Jesus Christ, with the passion of a new bride for her bridegroom, to exalt him in our eyes and to hold him in great esteem above any other man, or organization; to give ourselves FULLY to him, as he gave his very life for us.
We are to not only keep the whole Word of God with passionate love and zeal; we are to go far beyond that and do all in our power to PLEASE and assist our Espoused Husband and our beloved Father God in the fulfillment of their will in ALL things.
When we start out on this path we may make mistakes and inadvertently or ignorantly sin, being a child growing in godliness; but if we quickly repent and diligently follow God’s Spirit, wholeheartedly desiring to do the will of God; then we will be led into more and more truth and we will grow in maturity in the keeping of the Word and the doing of the will of God.
However, when we begin to compromise with God’s Word and to justify spiritual laxity; we are burying our talent and quenching the Holy Spirit.
The Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 25:21 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.
25:22 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. 23 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.
25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Brethren, we have been deceived and distracted into doing a business model work to bring in new folks our own way; instead of preaching a Gospel of Warning and Repentance so that God could use that message to call men to himself.
We have destroyed the quality of our message to reap a harvest of tares into our organizations who understand little and are willing to DO less. We are calling people TO US, instead of being a means for God to call people to HIMSELF!
This has resulted in a watered down, sin tolerating, man exalting system of idolatry and physical focus; which had quenched the oil of God’s Spirit in us, so that our light is flickering out.
We are to diligently consider the law of God day and night and to always be focused on God and his whole Word. We are to FOLLOW God’s Spirit as it leads us into further understanding, and we are to diligently seek more spiritual understanding through study and the active DOING of the Word of God.
We are NOT to get into a “I know it all spiritually and have need of nothing” attitude that is Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22): We are to grow through the use of the measure of the Holy Spirit and the talents [gifts of the Spirit] that God has given us.
Burying Our Talent
25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
When Christ comes he shall judge between those who are faithful and productive servants and those who are complacent and self-satisfied, relying on their own false traditions and idols of men, having no zeal to live by every Word of God.
Jesus Christ will require an accounting from every person as to what they did with the measure of God’s Spirit that was given to each of us.
A blessing on the faithful and zealous for God and his Word
25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world [God’s plan was made before the world was formed]: 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
25:40 And the King [the Messiah the Christ] shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
This is speaking in metaphors and is talking about BOTH physical and spiritual service to God the Father, Jesus Christ and the flock of God.
You elders, Do you feed the flock with the spiritual meat of sound doctrine in due season? Do you teach the way to peace, harmony and unity with God? Do you teach the way INTO God’s Kingdom and eternal life?
Or do you keep the sheep OUT of the Kingdom by teaching them to commit idolatry and put men first? Do you teach men to tolerate sin? Or teach people to allow and actually teach to compromise with God’s Word? Do you keep people OUT of God’s Kingdom by teaching rejection of parts of scripture, spiritual complacency and lukewarmness for God’s Word?
Do you teach repentance and rebuke sin, or do you tolerate sin to play politics to be popular and look like a nice guy?
If you rebuke sin, you may offend some, yet you may also save a life if the sinner repents! Which is more important to God?
When he comes; Jesus who many falsely claim will tolerate sin, will reject these wicked men, today’s religious leaders, elders and brethren who persecute those zealous to live by every Word of God: and Jesus Christ will cast the wicked into damnation unless they sincerely repent.
25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
25:46 And these [the unrepentant wicked who are not zealous to learn and to live by every Word of God] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.