Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation


The First Epistle of John


The First Epistle of John has strong external evidence concerning John’s authorship. Polycarp and Papias gave strong evidence of his authorship. Internally, the author is seen to be an eyewitness (ch. 1: 01-04), with connections to the gospel of John (compare 1: 06 with 3: 21; 3: 08 with 8: 44; and 2: 16 with 8:23, etc.). First John was probably written from Ephesus in A.D. 80, probably to the churches in the area surrounding Ephesus. There were two factors in the writing of 1 John:


(1)   John wrote concerning the presence of false teachers and the spiritual carelessness of believers. He warned against the antichrists who deny the true humanity of Jesus.

(2)   John also wrote concerning the spiritual condition of the believers. Some were careless in their way of life, involving themselves with the world (2: 15-17).


John wrote to explain true fellowship with the Son.





Part One: The Source of Fellowship (1:1 – 2:27)




1: 01-04


The Circumstances for Fellowship



A. Walk in the Light



B. Confession of Sin



C. Obedience to His Commandments

2: 03-06


D. Love for One Another

2: 07-14


The Cautions to Fellowship

2: 15-27


A. Love of the World

2: 15-17


B. Spirit of the Antichrist

2: 18-27


Part Two: The Behaviour of Fellowship (2:28-5:21)



Kind of Fellowship

2: 28-5:03


A. Purity of Living

2: 28-3:03


B. Practice of Righteousness



C. Love in Deed and Truth

3: 13-24


D. Testing the Spirits

4: 01-06


E. Love as Christ Loved



Consequences of Fellowship

5: 04-21


A. Victory over the World

5: 04-05


B. Assurance of Salvation

5: 06-13


C. Guidance in Prayer

5: 14-17


D. Freedom from Ordinary Sin

5: 18-21


The Wisdom of John

Commonly known as the First Epistle of John




That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1: 01-03)


God is Light


This is the message which we have seen and heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:  05-07)


Cleansing from Sin


If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1: 08-10) My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2: 01-02)


The Commandments our Surety


Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2: 03-06)


The Old and New Commandments


Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.  He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2: 07-11)


The Three Ages


I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.  I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2: 12-14)


Love of the World


Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2: 15-17)




Little children, it is the last time. And just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up, from which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they were of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out so that it might be revealed that they were not all of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He who denies the Father and the Son is antichrist. Everyone who denies the Son neither has the Father. The one confessing the Son also has the Father. Therefore what you heard from the beginning, let it abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you will abide in both the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us: everlasting life. These things I have written to you concerning those leading you astray. But the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He is revealed, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him in His coming. (1 John 2: 18-28)


Sons of God


29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does righteousness has been born of Him.

1 John 3

Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope on him purifies himself, even as that One is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was revealed that He might take away our sins, and in Him is no sin. Everyone who abides in Him does not sin. Everyone who sins has not seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as that One is righteous. He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil. Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the Devil: everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God, also he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. And for what did he kill him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's things were righteous. (1 John 2: 29-3:12)


Love of the Brethren


Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brothers. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Everyone hating his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer has everlasting life abiding in him. By this we have known the love of God , because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But whoever has this world's goods and sees his brother having need, and shuts up his bowels from him, how does the love of God dwell in him? My children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And in this we shall know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him, that if our heart accuses us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not accuse us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (1 John 3: 13-23)


The Spirit our Surety


24 And he who keeps His commandment dwells in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He gave to us.

1 John 4

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the antichrist you heard is coming, and even now is already in the world. You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore they speak of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us. The one who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 3: 24 – 4: 06)




Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God.  And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment, that as He is, so also we are in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And we have this commandment from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also. (1 John 4: 07-21)




Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves him who has been born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. For everything that has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5: 01-05)


The Three who bear witness


This is He who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by the water and blood. And the Spirit is He who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness on the earth: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three are into the one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater. For this is the witness of God which He has testified about His Son. He who believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself. He who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he does not believe the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God has given to us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have everlasting life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5: 06-13)


Boldness in asking


And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. If anyone sees his brother sin a sin not to death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for those that do not sin to death. There is a sin to death, I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not to death. (1 John 5: 14-17)




WE KNOW that everyone who has been born of God does not continue to sin, but the one born of God guards himself, and the evil one does not touch him.


WE KNOW that we are of God, and all the world lies in evil.


And WE KNOW that the Son of God has come, and He has given us an understanding so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and the everlasting life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5: 18-21)


The Second Epistle of John


In this second epistle, there is not much external attestation; but, internal evidence suggests a similarity of structure, style, and language with John’s gospel. The second epistle has terminology that identifies it with John; “truth,” “walk,” “new commandment,” “love,” and more. The epistle was probably written about A.D. 80 from Ephesus. The destination of 2 John is “the chosen lady and her children.”


This could refer to:

(a)   The universal church;

(b)   A local church;

(c)    An actual lady.


By normal language usage, John was probably writing to a lady whom he knew but who is unknown to scholars today. John wrote to warn the lady (and the church that was probably meeting in her house, the “ecclesia domestica”) against encroaches of false teachers. The lady was hospitable and friendly, and John saw the distinct danger of the lady inviting the itinerant false teachers into her home. John warned her against showing openness to those false teachers (2 John 10).





Abide in God’s Commandments



A. Salutation



B. Walk in Truth



C. Walk in Love






Abide Not with False Teachers



A. Doctrine of the False teachers



B. Avoid the False Teachers



C. Benediction



2 John

The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, for the sake of the truth dwelling in us, and which shall be with us forever. Grace will be with you, mercy and peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (1 John 01-03)


I rejoiced greatly that I found your children walking in truth, as we have received command from the Father. And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have entered into the world, who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the anti-christ. Look to yourselves, so that we may not lose those things which we worked out, but that we may receive a full reward. Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, nor speak a greeting to him. For he who speaks a greeting to him is partaker of his evil deeds. Having many things to write to you, I do not want to say with paper and ink. But I trust to come to you and speak face to face, so that our joy may be full. The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen. (2 John 04-13)


The Third Epistle of John


The close association of epistles 2 and 3 of John relates both of these to the first epistle and demands a common authorship. Third John was likely written from Ephesus about A.D. 80. Third John is addressed to “the beloved Gaius,” unknown apart from this statement. John wrote to encourage Gaius concerning the problem of Diotrephes and to denounce the sin of Diotrephes.





The Commendation of Gaius



A. Salutation



B. Godliness of Gaius



C. Generosity of Gaius



The Condemnation of Diotrephes



A. Pride of Diotrephes



B. Praise for Demetrius



C. Benediction



3 John

The elder to Gaius the beloved, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, in regard to all things I pray that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. (3 John 01-02)


For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified of the truth that is in you, even as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than these things, to hear that my children walk in the truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you work for the brothers and for strangers, who in love bore witness of you before the church, whom you will do well to send forward worthily of God; because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the nations. Therefore we ought to entertain such, so that we might be co-workers in the truth. I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the pre-eminence among them, did not receive us. Therefore if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, ranting against us with evil words. And not content with these, neither does he himself receive the brothers. And he forbids those who would, and casts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate the bad, but the good. He who does good is from God, but he who does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has good report by all, and by the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our witness is true. I had many things to write, but I will not write to you with pen and ink, but I trust I shall shortly see you, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.( 3 John 03-14)


The Revelation of Jesus Christ


There is considerable external evidence for John’s authorship of Revelation (or Apocalypse) from such early writers as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian. Internally the writer reveals himself as John (Revelation 1: 01, 04, 09; 22: 08). The Revelation also indicates a similarity with the gospel of John, employing words that are common to both: Logos, Lamb, Jesus, witness, true, overcome, dwell, fountain of living waters, and others. Westcott, Lightfoot, and Hort suggest a date of AD 68 or 69 while traditionally a date of about A.D. 95 has been mentioned for the writing of Revelation. John addressed the Revelation to the seven churches of Asia (1: 04). John wrote for several reasons: to encourage Christians amid persecution under Domitian (ascended A.D. 81) and remind of the final triumph of Jesus Christ; to bring the Old Testament prophetic truths to their final consummation; and to provide a picture of the triumphant Christ in His judgments and in His millennial reign.



The Seven Sevens of Revelation



The Seven Churches

2: 01-3: 22


The Seven Seals

6: 01- 8:01


The Seven Trumpets

8: 02-11: 19


The Seven Personages

12: 01-13:18


The woman

12: 01-02


The dragon

12: 03-04


The Man Child

12: 05


The Archangel Michael

12: 07


The Remnant

12: 17


The beast out of the sea

13: 01-08


The beast out of the earth

13: 11-18


The Seven Bowls

15: 01-16:21


The Seven Dooms

17: 01-20:15


Ecclesiastical Babylon

17: 01-18


Political Babylon

18: 01-24


Antichrist and the false prophet



Antichristian nations



Gog and Magog

20: 08-09





The Wicked Dead

20: 11-15


The Seven New Things

21: 01-22:21


New heavens

21: 01


New earth

21: 01


New city

21: 09-23


New nations

21: 24-27


New river

22: 01


New tree



New throne

22: 03-05



Under Construction



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