Updated: Jun 8
3 Jn 1:9-11 reads:
“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth themout of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”
You could say pastor Diotrephes was a heretic in the very sense of the word, what the apostle John went through with him, something experienced by people under the leadership of pastor Tim Krahn at Victory Faith Church (VFC), a Ruckmanite, Allegoricalizer, Hider of Criminals, etc. He exemplified Diotrephes who was an exemplar of heresy, sowing seeds of apostasy. Though Krahn may be much closer to the truth and hold to much better Scriptural positions than vast majority of "evangelical" or reformed-Calvinist pastors, such as EBMC or Grace Bible Fellowship pastors, who for the most part are unsaved charlatans and heretical chameleons, this nevertheless doesn't imply he is not a Diotrephes by definition. It is a fool who compares or commends or measures himself amongst others:
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Cor 10:12)
Many times I don’t name names and sometimes I first approach the person about their public error or sin, but this is purely an act of mercy and grace that the Bible doesn’t even require of me. On occasion a public sin would be better to treat in a private manner. It could save embarrassment. Sometimes someone needs public exposure, particularly if they remain unrepentant. Such is the case here. Both the Apostle Paul and John deal with people in public even in the church. Both named names, Paul no less than ten times in 1 and 2 Timothy alone. It‘s become a portion of the eternal Word of God, names the world over has read and reread millions if not billions of times. What I write is needed even more now with the growth of apostasy in these last days of the last days (2 Tim 3 & 4).
Gaius wasn't someone Diotrephes would tolerate, because Gaius was someone the Apostle John loved (v. 1), and desired to see “prosper and be in health” (v. 2), for he walked in the truth (v. 3), which means he would have contended for the faith and against error, reproved and rebuked sin, opposed false interpretation of Scripture, without respect of persons. When Gaius came along, he wouldn’t be accepted in the unidentified church to which John had written according to his 3rd epistle (v. 9a). Diotrephes, the pastor of this church, is the personification of heresy and in his qualities are the seeds of apostasy. John indicts Diotrephes on at least three counts, one of which stands above the rest.
1. First, John had written to this church, so when John writes, Diotrephes "receiveth us not," he meant that Diotrephes did not accept or distribute the contents of what he had written. That's how he doesn't receive John. I have found in my lifetime as a born again Christian that I'm not received because someone is not receiving what I say, not because it isn't the truth, but because it is. Like Diotrephes, someone doesn't want to hear the truth. Jesus refers to this in John 8, “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (v. 47). When someone “resists the truth” (2 Tim 3:8) and won’t acknowledge it, this is what they are doing. That is pastor Krahn.
John was an Apostle. What he sent and would send was authoritative, whether scripture or like scripture, because it was apostolic. Diotrephes suppressed and opposed it. Why? Because he had greatest affection for himself, what John communicates: "who loveth to have the preeminence." This translates a compound Greek word (philoproteuo), which is made up of two words, phileo, "to have strong affection," and proteuo, "to be first." Whenever Scripture—the truth that John taught and in which Gaius walked—clashed with Diotrephes strong affection for putting himself first, he chose himself above the truth. He desired the preeminence. This is very very common in our day and the behaviour experienced by individuals under the leadership of Krahn.
When someone rejects the truth or correction of what Scripture teaches on the local church (vs embracing the heresy of universal church); on church membership (vs embracing no membership); on the Lord’s Supper (vs not having communion at all or corrupting communion by practicing something different than closed); on repentance and Christ’s Lordship-thus the gospel (vs teaching a false gospel of easy believism); on objective evidence of salvation, what scripture teaches (vs embracing subjective evidence); on true Scriptural interpretation and preaching (vs teaching unBiblical allegoricalism, numerology, false typology, eisegesis, manipulating, etc, as exposed here); on judging, contending, discerning, warning and reproving (vs despising and hating these things); on the Bible doctrine of preservation (vs claiming the KJV is Gods promise of preservation and rejecting Gods inspired perfectly preserved Word in that of Hebrew Masoretic text and Greek Textus Receptus, exposed here); on God’s law (vs claiming Christ nailed the law on the cross and that born again believers are not obligated to fulfil the law, and other law-related errors); on church discipline (vs rejecting Gods instructions and casting out those he envies and hates, even though they preach and love and walk in the truth); on sanctification (vs teaching Keswick/ Higher Life/ Deeper life-type of “theological” heresy); on leading without partiality and respect of persons (vs practicing these abominable sins, which actually disqualifies the pastor); on loving the truth and hating every false way, envy and evil (vs loving false and sinful ways such as slandering, talebearing, backbiting, and tolerating these destructive sins of the tongue); etc; — that person is putting himself above the truth of Gods Word and thus above God.
This is pastor Krahn. Tim Krahn clearly desires the preeminence. The one who puts himself first, will also not discuss or debate a subject with an open Bible. He will not do well in the face of criticism. Furthermore, he also will not do so well when someone reproves or criticizes any of his "yes" men, especially not his big rollers, even when such men are guilty of abusing their children and wives or refuse to obey the Word of God (e.g. not getting Scripturally baptized by immersion out of fear of family or something else). When error and sin was contended against, in faithful obedience to Scripture, the answer was to cast out the “divisive one” and “trouble-maker.” Like, Diotrephes, this was and continues to be Krahn's problem. In such cultish environments, sin and evil (leaven) can keep breeding without much resistance.
And that is precisely what has occurred, where evil criminal behaviour was swept under the rug for three plus years at VFC, while simultaneously casting out a faithful servant and disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. An unregenerate bully, Philip Wiebe, a big man contributor to the coffers of VFC, has been charged with severely physically and emotionally abusing his wife and children (to as young as two or three years old) to the point of breaking bones, which took place over many years and to which pastor Krahn was privy to for at least three of those years. Which means he intentionally harboured an abusive man with evil, criminal behaviour, instead of dealing with it lawfully. For a long time I suspected that this was the case and warned pastor Krahn of the evil, wrathful, abusive and controlling behaviour of this bully (never mind the false teachings that he was promoting) and the potential for physical abuse to be present, even though I had only scant proof of it at the time. Turns out Pastor Krahn knew about it all along and I was precisely correct, and it was much worse than anyone could have imagined. Now he is facing the music, whereas it should have occurred at least three years ago already, when the evil was first discovered. But that is not how pastor Diotrepehes, or Krahn I mean, flows. The Word of God is not his guide, and barely a crutch. He puts his opinions and desires above the truth of Scripture, being motivated out of envy and selfish lusts.
That further verifies that Pastor Tim Krahn is a heretic in similitude to Pastor Diotrephes, driven and guided by his own belly but not faithful service to the Lord Jesus Christ at any cost (Rom 16:18).
Heresy is dividing from the truth, causing a faction, and this relates to apostasy, which is turning from the truth. Compromisers, heretics and false teachers teaching or preaching heresies, are often nameless and obscure in the Bible (but not always — again, ten times Paul mentions heretics in 1 and 2 Timothy by name and John does the same here). Diotrephes is a real person, hence an exemplar of heresy in scripture. In him we see illustration of what some of the other heresy and apostasy passages, such as 2 Peter and Jude, are teaching (in part). What we read in those epistles and the example of Diotrephes aren’t contradictory. The strong affection to be first in Diotrephes is walking according to ones lust in 2 Peter and Jude. When he doesn’t get first, he goes into silent (or ignoring) mode and ghosting (I.e. an ungodly form of “separation,” consisting of ignoring, unscriptural shunning, giving the cold-shoulder) in return. The same behaviour will occur when he is criticized for any of his teachings or positions or practices.
In 2 Peter and Jude, this means eliminating any competition to that lust, to the envy, whoever says, "No." John would be one. Gaius would be another. Anyone who walked with John and Gaius and behaved liked they did, who contended for the faith and put truth first, would be eliminated. Only “yes” men are allowed, for they keep the “the Lords anointed” on their pedestal. Being first meant having your way and the truth would be a casualty to lust when it needed to be. The heretic or false teacher of 2 Pet 2 also denies the Lordship of Christ as we read in v. 1, and sets his faithful followers against the one speaking the truth (v. 2). Why and how? Because of “covetousness” (envy) and through “feigned words” (v. 3). Diotrephes actively suppressed and opposed truth, and it is implied that some truth(s) in particular clashed with Diotrephes.
Again, fits Krahn to precision, and envy was a major motivator for his hireling behaviour. He didn't like it when the spotlight wasn't always on him, when someone didn't say "yes" to error or heresy or sin. It gnawed at him when men started seeking my guidance and direction, instead of coming to him, which they weren't to blame for since they were getting little solid Biblical teaching or guidance from him. His heart affection was with "yes" men, men he could control regardless of circumstance or consequence, men that would never dare criticize or contend or reprove or rebuke, in spite of the fact that this behaviour is wholly unscriptural and cultish. Hence why he joyfully accepted and adopted the "touch not the Lord's anointed" heresy wrested from 1 Sam 26 by men from the church.
2. Second, John said he was "prating against us with malicious words" (3 Jn 1:10). "Prating against" is literally to make false accusations. The same word in 1 Tim 5:13 is translated, "tattlers,” which is to tell tales, false and unfounded accusations, to cause people to distrust that person or his teachings or warnings, who is saying something different than what they want to hear, even if its truth. They don't want they’re teaching and then undermine them by saying false things about them to others. "Malicious words" are harmful ones with the intent to harm that person's reputation, to make him of enough disrepute that his words won't be trusted, trashing him so that they’ll be free of him.
Once again, we have a solid fit and exactly what occurred in the case of Krahn, and of others under his hireling, cultish leadership, who played follower the leader.
3. Third, Diotrephes also exemplified heresy by not being receptive to those like-minded with John in the truth of scripture. These are they who see the truth the same way as John and love the Lord by obeying the Lord, but these people are not received—they are rejected. This is expressed in 3 Jn 1:10 as "neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would." Whoever agrees with John and his teaching can't be allowed or received, nor anyone else who would accept those who agree with him. It’s called censorship. John heavily taught on the evidence of salvation. His first and second epistle are entirely based on the subject; a major means to address false professions, but Diotrephes didn’t like it because it affects the numbers. Yet another bulls eye hit concerning Krahn.
In the way of Diotrephes, an exemplar of heresy, are the seeds of apostasy. John says in 3 Jn 1:9, "if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth." I (we) have remembered. John was a contender for the faith. He says, I'm going to expose the man if I come. I will make it an issue of his conduct because it is an issue to be contending against and of expose. I'm not going to overlook this. It’s apostasy. Something must be done about it.
Paul likewise speaks of such men who “resist the truth” and “of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” (2 Tim 3:8). What does he say to do with them?
“But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men” (2 Tim 3:9)
Expose them. Mark them and avoid them (Rom 16:17). Their “mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake” (Ti 1:11), bringing great reproach to the name of Christ.
The heretic, the one turning from the truth, to whatever varied degree, doesn't want to hear that he's going to be dealt with, only that he's going to be tolerated and will continue however he wants, as the lord over the flock. No one will tell him what to do, not even the Word of God. Jesus referred to those guilty of this as impersonating lost Gentiles who “exercise lordship over” and “exercise authority upon” (Lk 22:25) the flock, as “lords over God's heritage,” (1 Pet 5:3). When a Diotrophes isn't dealt with Biblically, his belief, attitude, and behaviour will influence others, spread, and turn people or keep people on a different direction than they should be going.
As briefly mentioned, how does a Diotrephes keep the people on his side? By setting his followers against the one speaking the truth (2 Pet 2:1-2), “by good words and fair speeches, deceive[ing] the hearts of the simple” (Rom 16:17-18), and by slandering and smearing his alleged opponent, playing the victim, and by “cast[ing] them out of the church.” (3 Jn 1:10). Isaiah 66:6 speaks to this:
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.”
Anyone involved in this type of behaviour is impersonating Diotrephes.
In this environment, the seeds of apostasy are well under way, being fed and watered by the ongoing evil and unrepentant behaviour. The path of apostasy is “faithless.” It removes confidence in the Word of God by opposing the truth and perverting the truth therein. Someone who cares about the truth, like John, won't ignore it. He will deal with a Diotrephes because the truth is more important than the potential grief that comes from the unjust, malicious accusations of a man who is most interested in having his own way. He will also encourage the “Gaiuses” to follow “that which is good” which is truth, since “he that doeth evil” like Diotrephes, “hath not seen God.” (3 Jn 1:11-12).
In all this, pastor Tim Krahn several times each week stands in a pulpit and presents himself as a "man of God" who preaches the truth and the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18). He preaches and prays in spite of God’s injunction against his preaching and prayers when he has unresolved issues with another brother concerning which he never sought redress (and not just one brother, but many other professing brethren from his previous stint with the apostate EBMC denomination where he pastored around 7 years). He plays the victim when in reality he is the perpetrator. He offers his gifts to the Lord, while he hasn't repented of his evil or reconciled with a brother who has ought against him (Matt 5:23-24), which reflects the ongoing apostasy and leavening of the whole lump at Victory Faith Church (their inclusion of the name "Baptist" as of the summer of 2023, doesn't make them Baptist -- in fact they are far from being true Baptists, but thats for another soon to be published report).
"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." (Matt 5:23-24)
Pastor Krahn, like Diotrephes, comes across as a very insecure man who is in constant need of the approval of men and endearing humanistic methods of self-preservation. He appears to be just another architect of the tower of Babel, trying to build a movement by politics and make a name for himself, and then maintaining that position at all costs. Christ is not exalted in these politics, but man. Yes, Krahn is indeed excessively man-centred and demands unquestioning loyalty to the pastor, to him. He exercises authority over the people like lost Gentiles do, contrary to what Paul wrote what they did, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” (2 Cor 1:24). Jesus said this is not what saved ministers do, but unsaved people:
"Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:42-45)
His behaviour does not identify with that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Men like Diotrephes and Tim Krahn must be exposed and reproved before all:
"Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear." (1 Tim 5:20)
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." (Rom 16:17)
Flee from Diotrephes (who is found also in practically every "evangelical" and reformed-Calvinist pulpit), which you will do, if you are truly converted to Christ (3 Jn 1:9-11). Judge the man behind the pulpit with the Word of God (1 Cor 10:15; Ac 17:11), which is righteous judgment (Jn 7:24), and see whether he aligns with Scripture including as to whether he is a Diotrephes. Flee from these men and heretical churches. It is commanded (cf. 1 Tim 6:3-5; Eph 5:5-11; Phil 3:2, 17-19; 2 Jn 1:9-11) and truly born again believers will most certainly do it (2 Cor 6:14-7:1).
If you read here and you suspect your pastor is a Diotrephes, you shouldn’t resist the truth but love it and then dissociate from him lest you become like him. If you stay with him, you are impersonating him. John exhorted Gaius to separate, and Gaius obeyed because he was of the truth and walked in the truth. That means he was saved and exemplified his converted state by obeying Gods Word (as repeatedly commanded in scripture: e.g. Jn 14:15-24; 15:1-10; 1 Jn 2:3-5; 2 Jn 1:6; Rev 22:14-15).
Read also the following corresponding report, as to whether Your Pastor is a Shepherd or a Hireling.