Jude Part II
Jude: son of Joseph, brother of James, and half-brother of Jesus. Jude, which is rendered "Judah" in Hebrew and "Judas" in Greek. No date or location is suggested in this letter. It is speculated that it was perhaps written about A.D. 65. It is one of the few books in the New Testament addressed to all believers everywhere and at any time, as most of the other books are addressed specifically to a certain audience in that day. Some think Jude was writing to the same audience for whom 2 Peter was intended, because of the heresy addressed by both letters. But there is no evidence for this.
It seems that the "faith" was being attacked and jude wrote to address the attacks, and the attackers, themselves. These men had crept in and while they professed to hold the Christian doctrine, were really undermining its faith and spreading corruption throughout the church. The purpose, therefore, of the epistle was to put the believers on guard against the corrupt teachings of these men, and to encourage them to stand up for the principles of Christian truth. Jude contrasts their spirit with the archangel Michael and declares that Enoch referred or prophesied of these types.
The responsibility of the believers was to study the Word, preach the Word, and fight for its preservation.
2 John 1
There were some serious doubts about who authorized these 2nd and 3rd epistles. Each were written to a single individual and not for general circulation at that time, thus they were not frequently referred to in the early church by others. Because of their brevity the external and internal proofs are less full and clear than in other books. Then we have the fact that the writer did not affix his name to these letters. However, they really sound Johnish. The fact that the writer did not identify himself is very typical of John to by-pass self-identification. Of the time and place these epistles were written nothing is known.
2 John purports to be addressed to "the elect lady." There has been great diversity of opinion in regards to the person here referred to, and there are questions respecting it, which makes it impossible to determine with absolute certainty. It seems the letter was addressed to an individual, and not a church. If it had been to a particular church it would have been specified, for this is the uniform mode in the New Testament.
Though brief, and though addressed to individuals, 2nd and 3rd John are admitted to the canon of Scripture with the same propriety as the espistles of Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, for those were addressed also to individuals. Like those epistles, these contain things of general interest to the church.
1 John 5:7-15
Verses 7 and 8 are known as the Johannine Comma, which is clear evidence the Word has been MANipulated in the course of scriptural history. These verses are in direct reference to the Trinity, but do not appear in any Greek manuscripts before the tenth century A.D.
Just as the Word was made flesh, we have today been gifted with the Word made ... paper. Spiritually perfect but physically marred. Imperfections in the Word are minimal. Like Jesus' physical body, the Word made paper remains sufficient and able to represent to us all that God wants us to know.
If we ought to be willing to lay down our lives for others, we ought to be willing to make those comparatively smaller sacrifices which are necessary to relieve them in their distresses. Unless we are willing to do this, we can have no evidence that the love of God dwells in us. We can show love through our words, but John seems to be saying this is an inferior form of love. He doesn't say to love in word AND deed - he suggests we don't even express our love through words IF it means we are going to fail to love in deed, through our actions.
We can't accomplish this without being saved - true salvation bears fruits of love. In the world, love does exist - but without God it has its limits. It is the Spirit of Christ within us that allows us to die to self and then learn to love as He loved. So while love and loving actions are very much part of essential Christian living, Jesus made it clear that without Him leading the way the love and wonderful works are empty. The Spirit is constantly calling to all who believe on Jesus Christ to live as He lived, to love as He loved, to be Him to all we see and hear. When this occurs, we can be confident in our hearts that God is with us, and we are with Him.
While it's true we have false prophets run amok today, who are more false teachers than those claiming to actually be prophets, John's advice in these verses was to them who were surrounded with divisions and threats to the faith. What John was really warning them about was people who claimed to be speaking for God. The claim at hand was that Christ was not a man of flesh and blood. John was there to tell them otherwise. He says here that every spirit that admits Jesus Christ came in the flesh is of God. He doesn't say this confession makes them a Christian or a saved individual. This is a starting point for us as believers when talking with people - do they believe that Jesus came in the flesh?