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Passing thoughts,

Within the confines of a year, Diotrephes had me fully convinced I was clinically insane, a toxic and abusive person, a criminal, a liar, a dishonest and corrupted soul, a thief, a monster without any redemptive quality, damned to hell, the reason the church was not growing and would never succeed. Of course, my wife tried to convince me not to fall prey to those cunning lies. Still, my loyalty to a supposed friendship was yet too firm, and who was I to ever question a scholarly brute utilizing mind science as an expert? I was ignorant to know.

Throughout the months, I began to sit in the back, isolated, uncertain of everything; all the while, Diotrephes took preeminence, premeditated, no doubt. Diotrephes would tell the congregation I was sick when they sought an inquiry. And behind the curtains in secrecy, Diotrephes devoured low-hanging fruit against me, idle souls, delinquent behaviors. Once Diotrephes had cultivated his discord and sown his oppression, I was removed from the pulpit by the hands of pride, and shortly after, I knew unchangeable damage had occurred.

But God had mercy on my soul and withdrew us to learn and heal. I began to identify my King's discipline; I broke down and wept in deep sorrow, begging Him for forgiveness, having been blind to recognize the spiritual threat. Throughout the years, countless other victims of Diotrephes reached out, divided houses and churches, understanding the trauma and loss that came at the hands of a professional and cunning narcissistic sociopath, a fraud of the highest order capable of mentally swindling men of notable reputation, a very challenging truth to have brethren discern.

But one day, justice will come, reality will be publicly known before all men, and eternal peace will be given to all who have had to persevere through the hands of evil workers, as God is our witness. Though it came at a significant loss (i.e., work, family, friendship, security), what was gained far outweighed the slander remaining behind.

Today, we have nothing but love in our hearts within His healthy assembly, focused on the mission, moved by good works, motivated by compassionate supporters, and blessed by the encouraging growth of souls being added (Acts 2:47).

Perhaps this account sounds familiar to you; you may have lived through similar attacks. If so, please know you are not alone, for the Scriptures are filled with believers who have had to learn this wisdom.

"Count it all joy brethren....' - James.

"do not imitate what is evil" - John.

Your servant,

PS: for your studies,

3rd John 1:9-10

Diotrephes had his devoured loyalists; some remained with him, and he only pushed out his opposition.

1. Diotrephes loves to be first among the congregation and does not accept what faithful brethren have to say.

2. Diotrephes practices evil deeds, such as unjustly accusing the faithful with malicious (wicked) words.

3. Diotrephes does not receive faithful brethren who oppose him, and he intimidates them by forbidding them to have any voice, ultimately pushing them out of the local assembly.

4. Diotrephes is fully convinced in his mind that he is righteous and will know how to interpret the Scriptures for his selfish ambition.

Practical Application against Diotrephes

1. If possible, have elders (strong spiritual men) who are well-versed, faithful, and capable of discerning the threat.

2. Fellowship a healthy congregation and learn to keep the flock secure and socially connected in friendship, study, and worship.

3. Know the charity of Christ and live genuinely according to His instruction, law, and love combined. PRAY often.

4. WITHDRAW from hardened hearts who live in behavioral toxicity (i.e., corrupt, duplicitous, nefarious, sinister, divisive, hypocritical, prideful, argumentative, ego-driven, greedy, etc.). - Rom. 16:17-18.

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You've fallen asleep comfy in your bed, and a fire started in your house. You wake to panic as you become aware of your surroundings, trapped by a wall of lavalike heat. You find yourself in danger, where smoke and flames threaten your life. Your neighbors were capable of seeing the threat and had since called for help. The firefighters arrive on the scene and immediately find you in your bedroom--time for a rescue. Are you yet seen in a location of satety? No, not yet. There still needs to be a transfer from the site of dakness, smoke, and fire to an area of light, fresh air, and safety. And so the firefighters guide you out of certain death into a secure location. You have now been saved, not without damage, trauma, and loss. But you've gained your life and get to learn fowared another day.

You've become idle in your sinful behavior and practices. You wake to panic as you become aware of your eternal punishment. A neighbor cares for you enough to share Jesus with you. Will you obey the gospel?

The reception of forgivness was the desired result of all who willfully gave their lives to Christ, submissive to His spiritual operation (Col. 2:11-12). Paul, the apostle, speaking to his brethren in Colossae, was accurate in reminding them of their reconciliation. And how the Word of God they had chosen to hear produced fruit for the Kingdom. The Kingdom was God's preplanned location where all found within would have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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This good news of Jesus Christ "was proclaimed in all creation" to give humankind a way out of the flames and sinful consequences. And we are wise to hear its call.

Is your house on fire?

Ref. Colossians 2:13-24

Your servant,




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