I John 4 -- 5
The Apostle John speaks of many antichrists: As you have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists (I John 2:18). While John spoke of all those who are anti-Christ (against Christ), there is coming a day when one single person will be known as the Antichrist because he will promote evil and oppose biblical, spiritual, and moral principles. The Antichrist is that man of sin (II Thessalonians 2:3), who is fully devoted to Satan's control. He will carry out his wickedness through the support of demon spirits that work in unbelievers. Don't be deceived by those who appear as angels of light, as did the religious leaders of Jesus' day and the early Church (John 8:44; II Corinthians 11:13-14). Because of this, John writes: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (I John 4:1).
No one who is truly a child of God doubts the reality of Satan. But we may be surprised at who Satan's preachers are. Who would have thought that Jesus would have to say to the religious leaders of His day: You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do (John 8:44).
False prophets are deceiving multitudes because they are usually popular, friendly, and courteous. But how does one try the spirits? John explained: By this we know the Spirit of God: Every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) 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 from God; and this is the spirit of Antichrist (I John 4:2-3). Deception today is awesome and more difficult to discern. If He is less than fully God or fully Man, what hope have we of salvation? A good man, however good, could not atone for our sins. Only Jesus, in His perfect life as a Man wholly dependent upon God the Father and becoming a blood sacrifice in our stead, could save our souls.
Our assurance of eternal life does not rest on our feelings, which change with circumstances, nor on our ability to detect enemy spirits, but on our assurance that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the (One and Only) Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him (4:14-16).
We know that whoever is born of God does not (deliberately and knowingly continue to commit) sin; but He that is born of God (Jesus) keeps himself, and that wicked one (Satan) does not touch (control) him. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness (5:18-19).
The Christian's greatest danger may not be false prophets, nor even the influence of wickedness. Perhaps the most deceptive of Satan's snares is found in the admonishment: Little children, keep yourselves from idols (5:21). An idol is anything which has priority over God's will and His Word in our lives. Idolatry can be so subtle. For instance, someone we admire or love could influence us to gradually lower our standards of holiness, so that eventually we compromise and become lukewarm in our worship of Jesus.
So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of My mouth (Revelation 3:16).
Government Official: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA) · BPM Staff: Shelley Robertson · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WNGN-FM, Buskirk, NY · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Ruth Ann Arnold · Country: New Zealand (3 million) two large islands southeast of Australia · Major languages: English and Maori · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for the blessings of God upon your family and home (II Samuel 7:29).
Memory Verse for the Week:
I Peter 2:2