HOW CAN WE KNOW TRUTH FROM ERROR???
I John 2:18-28
"Little children, it is the last time, and as ye have heard that the antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would no doubt continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
We have knowledge imparted to us for us to know the truth from the lies of the devil. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and reveals truth to us, all truth, so no lie goes unnoticed.
From the midst of the congregations of the last days, have many false doctrines arisen. These false doctrines are evil, wicked, and damaging to the max in the church. They keep revival away, they hinder the salvation of more people to Jesus. The corrupted doctrines of devils that is then taught by these ‘antichrists’ deceive congregations, depress those that believe them, and defunct the gospel message that should be taught.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 (KJV)
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
False doctrines are found in many congregations. We need to battle such heresies, for they are poison to truth, separate congregations from the soul winning, miracle packed congregations they should be. We need instruction from the Word of God of ‘what’ is the "truth". We need to quit being wimpy, and warn against the error, the heresy, and the false doctrines of our day. Then we need to understand that God will help us avoid error.
The ones with the false doctrines are called (by John) to be "antichrists" (I John 2:18), "liars" (I John 2:22), and "seducers" (I John 2:26). Those of John’s day were a philosophical and religious group that taught that knowledge, rather than faith, is the key to salvation. It was a divisive and destructive force in Christianity from the first to the sixth century. Many forms and variations of it survive even today. We are warned by Paul’s writings (from God) that these ‘doctrines of devils’ would make a re-appearing in greater power in the last days.
First, without fear and hesitation, IDENTIFY the LYING HERETICS
1. They claim a higher knowledge than ordinary believers, and want others to see them as superior. They assume titles as ‘prophet’, ‘apostle’, and ‘healer’, when in actuality, their message is not God’s truth, so their titles are not ‘God given’. There are apostles, prophets, and ones used with a healing ministry, of course, but the real ones are not flaunting titles, but preaching the unadulterated Word of God. The messages preached by these heretics of the last days is not proven harmonious with all of Scriptures. They claim a ‘word from God’ that is their peculiar treasure.
2. They claim the authority to tell others what God wants for them to do. It usually includes the giving to them of money. God can speak to any saint, and wants no ‘priesthood’ that comes between us and God. We are all priests to God. If anyone claims a ‘word’ for another, why is it not a ‘confirmation’ of what God has already told that person. God does not want others to be your mediator, but Jesus is the only Mediator between us and God.
3. They present themselves to be chosen to be superior, holy, and pure, and appointed one to inform people of the blessings they will get if they give an offering of $88, or $1000 or whatever. God, according to them, is selling healing, selling the salvation of your loved ones souls.
4. They claim a spiritual communion with God, greater than their listeners or viewers. They claim that God is not interested if they are repentant, or even saved, but if they have the money, they can have healing. Proof of the faith of the victim is to use their credit card, and trust God to give them the resources to pay the bill when it comes.
5. They adjust Christian doctrines, Bible passages, to fit their heresy. They take a passage of the Old Testament, talking about bringing a ‘offering of a lamb’ to sacrifice for sins, and though that passage truly speaks of Jesus, our Lamb, being the sacrifice that paid for our salvation, they twist the verse to mean that hearers are to bring them an ‘offering’ of money. That perversion of truth is called heresy, and is blaspheming the true Lamb that gave His life for us.
6. Sermons that would lead sinners to repentance and healing from sin are ignored, and not preached.
The heresies are fallacious, erroneous, and heretical. The Christian community has errantly tried to often to tolerate, ignore, or acquiesce to such false doctrines. We need to allow the Spirit of Truth to do His ministry, to reveal truth, and to uncover heresy and falsehood!
IN THE LAST TIMES, TRUTH IS VITAL.
I John 2:18
"Little children, it is the last time, and as ye have heard that the antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."
If John was in the ‘last time’ at that writing, then we are in the ‘last times of the last time.’ The ‘last days’ began on the day of Pentecost, and we are coming to the end of those perilous times. What was true when John wrote it, is by far more true now. John's time was a crisis time, and many events similar to our day were occurring then. We are seeing the completion of that prophetic teaching. Jesus spoke through John, and had him announce a crisis time, that we need to be alert and aware of this time of lying preaching of the last days.
As has been predicted in the Bible, there are many even today that "scoff" at the idea of the second coming. They are blind, and are not alert:
to the prophetic fulfilment,
to the witnesses of Scripture,
and to the confirmations from the Spirit of Truth.
Many today are sending offering after offering to rich heretics promising God will repay their ‘gift’ with healing. They are selling and cheating, lying and twisting Scripture, to make themselves rich. How can we take seriously the foolish rantings of people so far from being spiritually aware? We need to heed their lying sermons as much as we would heed the opinion of a three year old on the stock market.
John, who was:
spiritually aware of the age,
knowledgeable of the signs,
cognizant of the current fulfillment of prophetic truth,
and definitely in tune with the Spirit of Truth,
warns and alerts us to beware the ones who act in conjunction with the scheme of the Antichrist himself. He calls them "antichrists".
Someday soon, after the rapture of the church, the real Antichrist shall come. Antiochus Epiphanes prefigured him long ago, and so did Nero, Hitler, and Mussolini. Just as God wants us to live as Christ, having His mind, His nature, His works, so the devil seeks to have many of his cohorts among mankind to be like the Antichrist.
John tells us that "many antichrists... have already arisen." There are still many today. These people embody the anti-Christian spirit, and are like forerunners of the eschatological antichrist.
John is the only one in the New Testament to use the word "Antichrist". (I John 2:18, 22, 4:3, II John 7) John who was the one most close to the Lord, and is also the one who is most concerned with warning us against those who are farthest from this Jesus that John loved so much.
"Antichrist" comes from two words, "anti" which when used with another word, means "opposition to", and "opposition in the guise of similarity."
The "antichrists" of all ages are people who have assumed the guise of Christ, tried to assume the authority of the Lord, counterfeited Christ, tried to rival Christ, have usurped the position of Christ, and have been adversarial to Christ. Jesus warned of such "false christs" (Mark 13:22). These heretics in the congregations of today are trying to take the position only belonging to Jesus in our lives. They want to ‘lord over’ the saints. They want gifts given to them, they want adoration for their ‘calling’.
The Antichrist himself cannot be revealed until we, the saints, have been removed from this earth by the rapture. Yet, too often, unlike John, some have not hindered the other "antichrist" personalities within the congregations of today.
John not only taught the truth, he attacked the error and the heresy, and he warned strongly against these "antichrists".
It is time we call ‘liars’ of the church to be the ‘liars’ they are, and present the Word of God that proves them to be liars.
These "antichrists" "went out from us", according to I John 2:19. This indicates that they had before claimed to be Christians, were pretending to be part of the faith. John says that "they were not of us", indicating that their membership in the congregations was outward, and they were Christians in name only. There are many who the devil has placed within the Christian circles, and have made great play-acting imitation of saints.
When the Word of God is preached in uncompromising, rhema filled fashion, the Spirit of Truth begins to work. Then these hypocrites begin to be uneasy, and will depart. They depart from the midst of the revival. John says that "if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us" (I John 2:19) Continuance, in the presence of the revival of the Spirit of Truth is a mark of true discipleship.
"...If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free..."
God has always desired to make manifest the ones who are fake, false, and hypocritical. Somehow, someway, God seeks to unmask these ones, but the sleeping , apathetic saints hinder such attempts of the Lord. Here in the time of John, the group was exposed and left the revival congregation.
"they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." (I John 2:19)
THESE HERETICS ARE LIARS and SEDUCERS. They claim to have the message of Jesus for the saints, but they twist the true Word to present their lying doctrines. The true Word of God is in conflict with their teachings.
Christ Jesus is the only access to the Father, and those who deny Him, denigrate Him, or seek to down-grade His Person, will lose the Father.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
The intention of these "antichrists" is to seduce the people of God from the truth. They intend to mislead.
I John 2:26
"These things have I written unto you, concerning them that seduce you."
Their goal is money, and if they, like Judas, have to betray the Lord to get it, it is fine with them. They twist the Word, they promise blessings, they claim visions and dreams not truly from God, they take titles to appear a greater saint than their victims. Their purpose is evil.
The believers have security in our relationship with the Lord. We do not need them to tell us details of how to get rich, how to have surplus. We have the Lord, Who promised us that we would be ‘taking up a cross’ and following Him. We have an ‘anointing’ and spiritual gifts, but not always enough stock in the stock market to live in a multi-million dollar estate like they do.
THE TRUTH IS GIVEN SPIRITUALLY TO US, TO ENABLE US TO IDENTIFY HERESY AND THE HERETICS.
I John 2:26-28
"But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."
This "anointing" is the same word as "unction" in verse 20. It is from the Greek word "chrisma". The term signifies not the act of anointing, but the balm that has not just been poured upon and dripped from, but as a remaining cream that continues to affect the one anointed. This anointing is the abiding Lord within us. We are to have this anointing "upon us." John is saying that the true anointing is upon the saints, not the "antichrists" who may claim some greater anointing than we have in Jesus.
When John says that "ye have not need that any man teach you..." does not mean we do not have the ministry of teaching still in effect today, but it means that our real Teacher is the Holy Spirit, and He may use some with the gift of teaching to aid His work, but it is His work, not the human teachers. All teaching from human teaching should be tested by the Spirit and by His written Word. We can know "all" the things we need to know, via this Great Teacher, the Spirit, Who abides within and upon us.
We, as saints, need to hold to, adhere to, and continue in the true Christian message. We are told to "let that abide in you, which ye heard from the beginning." Hold the teaching of the Word, dig to find the true message, and do not easily relent when another tries to claim you are in error. Search the Word, and keep the Word as the authority.
We are to maintain a union and a fellowship relationship with the Lord. We are told many times in Scripture to "abide in Him." It is an imperative. This One with Whom we have a relationship will soon come. It is a unveiling and manifestation of the One with Whom we fellowship. He will pay us a royal visit. It means that His arrival, and His continuing real presence with us, will validate our abiding with Him now. Many will think us to be strange, weird, and crazy. But the coming of the Lord will validate our present claim of relationship with a Being no one now sees.
The anointing of the Holy Spirit that will teach us the truth, and help us identify the heresies of the devils.