3 John (there’s only one chapter):

v9-10: This is a record of the first cult leader donning the facade of Christianity. His name was Diotrophes and he not only “loved to be first among the brethren,” but also did not accept what John was teaching. Can you imagine the amount of arrogance needed, not to listen to a man who walked with Jesus, saw Him do miracles, saw Him die, and saw Him alive once again?! He went so far as to accuse John with wicked words. He also kicked people out of his church if they received other believers from John. All cult leaders throughout history have had the same problem…they have the “Diotrophes Syndrome” which is arrogance and the attitude that everyone is wrong except those in his little group. Jimmy Jones of “Jonestown” is a perfect example. He was actually an atheist and a communist but still wanted to influence people and had a church in California and, when securing control, he moved the whole thing to Guyana, South America. Now all were isolated and heard Jones preach every night. During the labor chores, they heard Jones’ teachings over loudspeakers during the day. No one dared question his authority. Later, there were accusations of drug addiction and illicit sexual behavior on Jones’ part. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. At one point during one of his rants, Jones held up the Bible in front of his congregation and angrily exclaimed something to the effect of “Don’t look at this (Bible), look to me!” Wow. Sadly, at that point of this demonic deception over the people, he could get away with that. But not for long.

We Christians must always have our antennas up for false teaching. No man (or church leader) is above the Holy Scriptures. Just like in reputable research, allowing and inviting peer review is a healthy thing. There is no room for “Lone Rangers” leading God’s people. I have sent my commentaries to both my pastors for their review to keep me “pounding the truth zone.” When difficult issues or topics arise, I will meet with one of them for help. It’s like having an umbrella of protection for me and you. Plus, I have quite a few Bible-savvy people who receive these commentaries and they will certainly “keep me honest.” If I goof, they let me know quickly. This has happened a few times and it has been most helpful.

God bless, and if you haven’t yet fallen in love with Jesus, I pray that you will ASAP. It’s by far the best thing a person could ever do.