III John

The Apostle John was the Pastor-Teacher of an unknown church most likely, Pergamas, in the Roman province of Asia. While away, he taught doctrine to the church through letters. But the 'head administrator' of the local church, Diotrephes, started tearing them up. So, this Epistle was written in circa 95 AD by John from Ephesus to his good friend Gaius.

The Epistle teaches that studying doctrine does not have to be face to face. This church does not currently have a Pastor-Teacher so the Apostle John is filling that role. Other Pastors came through but Diotrephes rejected them all and rejected the authority of John.

Diotrephes is full of arrogance. He does not want a Pastor-Teacher locally nor does he want to accept the authority of John as an Apostle. John will send Demetrius to teach them doctrine . . . and if that does not work he will come himself!

Chapter 1
1~~ The Commander
  {John is also the Pastor Teacher of this Church
  and this is his title as the one teaching doctrine}
to my dear friend Gaius,
whom I love by means of doctrine/truth
  {'truth' is doctrine resident in his soul}.

2~~ Beloved,
I pray above all things
that you might continue to be prosperous
and enjoy good health -
just as your soul continues to prosper.

{Note: John will want Gaius to take over administration of this church. To be a good executive, you need no money worries and good health}

3~~ For I was very happy
when the brethren {pulpit committee}
came and testified with reference to the doctrine in YOU . . .
even as you also walk by means of doctrine.

4~~ I have no greater happiness
than these things that I keep on hearing . . .
that my children {my congregation}
keep on walking by means of doctrine.

5-6a~~ Beloved {Gaius},
you are a reliable person
  {a person with a correct and accurate scale of values -
  based on Bible doctrine}
in whatever you have done for the brethren
and especially for strangers {to missionaries} 6a~~
who testified before the Churches {in Ephesus}
of your love.

6b~~ You will continue to perform honorably
when you help them on their journey
  {food, shelter, money, companionship and encouragement}
in a manner worthy of God.

7~~ For on behalf of The Name {Christ}
they went forth {as missionaries},
taking nothing of the pagans {unbelievers, heathen}.

{Note: missionaries are not to accept contributions from
unbelievers - it distracts from the only important issue for
unbelievers - What think thee of Christ?}

8~~ Therefore, we ought to be supporting such persons
  {as these missionaries}
in order that we might become fellow workers for the Truth.

9a~~ I have written categorical doctrine to the church.

9b~~ But since he loves to be first in authority in reference to them,
  {the local church}
Diotrephes, did not recognize our authority
  {John and other pastors passing through trying to
  teach true doctrines}.

10a~~ For this reason, if I come,
maybe I will, maybe I will not,
I will call attention to his activities:
slandering, maligning us with evil words.

10b~~ Furthermore, because he is not satisfied with the status quo,
neither does he himself recognize the authority of those brethren
  {communicators of doctrine passing through}
and he also prevents/ restrains those that have positive volition
and expels them from the church.

11a~~ Beloved, DO NOT IMITATE the evil {Satan's plan},
but the good {the plan of God}!

11b~~ If anyone does good, he is from God.

11c~~ But he that does evil does not understand God.

12a~~ Demetrius has been recommended by all
  {all the mature believers in Ephesus}
and by the doctrine he teaches.

12b~~ And also we add our deposition
  {John's recommendation on behalf of all the Apostles}.

12c~~ And, you have come to know that our deposition is true.

13~~Many things I have begun to write unto you,
but I do not wish to be writing them to you with ink and pen.

14a~~ But I hope {means to 'have strong faith', a promise}
to see you {Gaius} shortly.

14b~~ And, then we shall speak face to face socially.

14c ~~ Prosperity to you! Your friends salute you.

14d~~ Salute my friends by name!


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