Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary On

written by
Kraig J. Rice

This web page best viewed with an internet explorer browser


 1) An Introduction to this Bible book of Second John
 2) The Elect Lady
 3) The Deity of Jesus Christ
 4) The heresies of Gnosticism and Arianism

NLT stands for New Living Translation.   MKJV stands for Modern King James Version.
Many words on this web page are color coded:

The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
The words of Scripture are in purple that symbolize royalty.
A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.

An Introduction

Who wrote this book?
Church tradition ascribes the authorship of this bible book to the Apostle John.

What are some things that we know about the Apostle John?
John was one of the 12 apostles. He was known as the apostle of love.

When and where was this book written?
This bible book was written probably around 96 A.D. when John was in Ephesus.

Why was this book written?
The early church was growing in the Roman Empire and was experiencing some problems that Satan was sending her way. It is a letter of concern. Concern about what? They were exhorted not to believe the false teachings of heretics nor to extend hospitality to them when they personally met them. The same message is for each of us today.

What was the historical setting in those days when this book was written?
The one world government in the first century was one that the Romans had established. This helped to spread the gospel in many ways. How? The "Pax Romana" meant that, generally speaking, there was world wide peace, there was also great roads that were built, and there was a commonly understood language.

This bible book only has one chapter containing 13 verses of scripture.
Greetings to the Elect Lady and her children (verses 1-3)
John's message (verses 4-11)
John's concluding remarks (verses 12-13)

The theme of this book:  Jesus Christ is our Truth

A Look At A Few Verses

Who was this letter from John addressed to? It is not clear. Why did John write in code or symbolism? Possibly he wrote that way due to fear of persecution by the hostile Roman government. Why? Because government agents would interfere with church matters when they wanted to. The Romans martyred Christians by the thousands from time to time. John may not have wanted to give away the identity of "the lady" in case his letter was betrayed by false brethren or undercover agents. There are several ideas as to who this letter could be addressed to:

1). This is a personal letter addressed to a christian lady: "To the dear lady and her children whom I love." She might have been a female church leader at the time who needed an exhortation to beware of false teachers and their false doctrine.

The word "lady" in the Greek language is the word Kuria. It can be translated as a proper name, Cyria. This could mean that this letter was addressed to a lady by the name of Cyria. However, Kuria is the feminine form of Greek word Kurios, meaning "controller or supreme in authority." If used in this context then it could refer to the pastor of each church that this letter is destined to go to.

2). It may be a double reference verse addressed at the same time specifically to a female church leader while addressed generally to all in the Christian church. Why? Because, many times, letters were supposed to be shared from one church to another in those days. And each church was supposed to make a copy of it before it turned it loose. "To the dear lady" could refer to the church (because the church is the Bride of Christ) and "her children" could refer to the new converts daily coming into the church
(2 Corinthians 11:2).

One naturally thinks that the lady in verse 1 has a sister as mentioned in verse 13. This would seem to indicate that this letter was addressed to an individual. Verse 13 reads: "Greetings from the children of your sister" can be translated "Greetings from the members of your sister church." Why? Because the word "sister" in Greek is the word adelphe. This word is translated as "sister," however, adelphe is the femine form of the Greek word adelphos meaning "as coming from the same womb." In other words, many of the local churches each came out of the same spiritual womb as given birth to by God the Holy Spirit. And the head of each church is Jesus Christ.

So, I guess that verse 1 could be addressed to an individual. Or, if you prefer, it could be addressed to the church universal as a letter of instruction and warning.

3). Could this elect lady be Mary, the mother of Jesus? Is there any justification for this belief? Yes, she was elected by God to give birth to Jesus. Jesus gave a verbal message from the cross for John to take her into his house as his "adopted mother"
(John 19:27).

Are there any problems with Mary being this "elect lady" in this writing? Yes. If John was about the same age as Jesus then Mary would be about 15 years older than John. John was about 80-90 years old at the time he wrote this letter. Therefore, Mary would have been well up in years at this time if she were still alive. Because of the persecution of the Christians in Jerusalem, John and his adopted mother moved to Asia Minor where they lived for the rest of their lives. Because she lived in John's house, it was not necessary for him to write to her any letter since they lived under the same roof and fellowshipped continually in person with one another. One exception to this is when John was put in prison on the Island of Patmos. And why would he write to his adopted mother about church problems unless she was the symbolic head of the universal church along with her own son, James, who was the physical head of the church. The Roman Catholics have her on a high pedestal to this day, however, I don't think this elect lady, to whom this letter was addressed, was Mary, the mother of Jesus because of these reasons.

2 John verse 7:

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist"
(2 John verse 7).

What does it mean when the scripture states that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? It means that God, Who is spirit, dressed Himself in a robe of flesh and was born as a human baby. It means that Jesus Christ is God. When did this happen? This event is called the Incarnation of Christ- and this teaching is rejected by all false teachers to this day. In other words, the false teachers were denying the deity of Jesus Christ. They also denied the humanity of Jesus Christ. They said that the incarnation of Jesus was a lie and that His future coming is a lie. John warned us in another letter he had written that we better be on our guard against false teachers:

"Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is the way to find out if they have the Spirit of God: If a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ became a human being, that person has the Spirit of God. If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here"
(1 John 4:1-3). NLT

The problem of gnosticism.
If I had to define gnosticism today (in a broad modern context) I believe that it is a religion that incorporates some of the mystical occult beliefs of the higher degrees of freemasonry (the Satanic degrees) mixed with some of the beliefs of modern spiritualism mixed with some of the beliefs of the modern theosophy cult. If one introduces this kind of leaven (false teaching) into a healthy body (true Christianity) one is going to wind up with a very sick body- a body that is going to die. Satan made sure that his false teachers introduced gnosticism into early Christianity. That is why there is such a strong reaction in the bible from God the Holy Spirit who inspired such authors as John, Peter, Paul, Jude and others. And those warnings were not just for those true Christians back then but are for us today.

Then Jesus said to them, "take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees..."
(Matthew 16:6).

Another heresy that was going around was Arianism that denied the deity of Jesus Christ. This Satanic lie was spread by a man named Arius and made its way into Christianity through false teachers. In my opinion, I believe that it finds its expression today in the Jehovahs Witnesses false cult.

Just what is the doctrine of devils? In a nut-shell it is false belief. Is that dangerous? Yes, very much so. Why? Because false belief denies the deity of Jesus Christ and the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven
(John 14:6).

2 John verse 8:

"Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward"
(2 John verse 8).

What are those things that you and I work for while we are here on this earth? We work to perpetuate God's kingdom and attack Satan's strongholds.

And what happened to those folks back then who believed false doctrine? Eventually they wilfully sinned and their sin broke fellowship with God. Serving the devil would cause those responsible to miss out on God's blessings. Sometimes one never knows what he or she has until one loses it. They would lose the peace they have in their heart, their joy (as coming from God the Holy Spirit), their wisdom (as God gives it), and their mental stability (being now emotionally unstable and possibly demon possessed). They may lose their reward in Heaven and much more...

"But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
(Matthew 6:23).

2 John verse 9:

"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son"
(2 John verse 9).

You have to be on one side or the other. You either believe the truth or believe a lie. You belong to either God or to Satan- there is no middle ground.

So what was the character of the false teachers? It included but was not limited to:
A lack of integrity in a personal relationship with God
Being spiritually bankrupt
Compromising the truth
Having no genuine Christian love
Being full of dangerous spiritual pride

Are there any modern day heresies that deny the doctrine of Christ? Yes, they are called cults and one can purchase a good anti-cults book at your local Christian bookstore.

In my opinion, some modern day heresies are taught by these groups but are not limited to only these groups:
Christian Science
Jehovah's Witnesses
These all teach the false doctrine that the Apostle John warns us about here.

2 John verse 10:

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him"
(2 John verse 10).

5 times John uses the word truth and 4 times the word love.
Why? Because God is the source of truth and love, not Satan. Good things come from God and evil comes from the Evil One. True doctrine, true fellowship is combined with love for God and love for one's fellow man to create and maintain a healthy and thriving church.

If you offer the devil a ride in your car then he will want to drive. Don't be guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemy who wants to destroy you and all you have worked for.

Some false teachers did not teach the truth about the Law of God. They wanted to place Christians under the Law. The true Christian is not "under the Old Testament law," in that his or her salvation does not depend on our obedience to the law. But the true New Testament Christian does have an obligation to keep the law as a love service to the Lord. The freedom we have in the cross is not freedom to to break God's law, but freedom to keep it.

2 John verse 11:

"...for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds"
(2 John verse 11).

The false teachers did not deceive due to mental ignorance but by deliberate choice with the motive to deceive. Some talk the talk but they do not walk the walk. The one who gets ahead of God walks in his or her own shadow. John taught that Christ is God in bodily form, that the readers of this letter should continue in God's love and reject false doctrine, and that one is to use discernment in supporting traveling teachers so heresy is not taught.

But are not we supposed to show general Christian hospitality to others in this day and age? Yes, to a degree. What does that mean? That means that we can love another as ourself, we can love our neighbors, and we can love our enemies. We have to understand that we are yoked to our fellow Christians with love based upon specific doctrinal truths. These truths are the common demoninator for that love. This injunction mentioned here by the Apostle John is not against just any common sinner that we wish to love into Christ's kingdom. Rather, it is against the religious leaders and rulers who set out to deliberately do Satan's will- to deceive you and I and lead us into spiritual bankruptcy. Those are the ones you and I have to watch out for. They are satanic and they are dangerous- wolves dressed up like sheep to destroy God's elect. We are to have no toleration for the devil or his workers.

Who says Christians should be hospitable to one another today? Did the early Christians set an example for us? Yes. Christian hospitality was a known virtue in those days and it should be one in our day, too. Let us take a look at a few scriptures:
Paul received hospitality by Lydia in Philippi (Acts 16:15).
Jason rendered hospitality in Thessalonica (Acts 17:7).
Paul received hospitality by Philip the Evangelist in Caesarea (Acts 21:8).
Paul received hospitality by Mnason in Jerusalem (Acts 21:16).
Paul received hospitality by Gaius in Corinth (Romans 16:23).

Some additional Scriptures that deal with doctrine:
1 Timothy 1:3-5
1 Timothy 2:4
2 Corinthians 11:4
1 Corinthians 2:14-15
Colossians 2:8-10
Jude verse 3
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
Matthew 5:17-20
2 Corinthians 6:16
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Some scriptures on love:
Romans 13:10
1 John 3:10

Some scriptures on the divinity of Jesus Christ:
Matthew 16:16
John 6:57

64. Third John Commentary

Celebrate Christ's Resurrection

First John Commentary
under construction

Bible Commentary Index

Click here to go to the master index page


The Christian Counter
As of August 27, 2011