Do Not Love Worldliness
1 John 2:15-17 ESV
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
We are not to take pleasure in, to long for, and to prefer what is of this sinful world over and above God and his righteousness and holiness. We are not to embrace, to esteem and/or to obey the philosophies, attitudes, values, morals and conduct of this sinful world. And, we are not to be passionate about and to give our affections over to the lusts of our flesh, the sinful desires of our eyes, and the pride (boastfulness) of our fleshly lives.
For, Jesus died on that cross to set us free from all of that. He died so that we could crucify our sinful flesh with all its passions and desires. He died to put sin to death in our lives so that we might be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And, he died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Co. 6:20; Gal. 5:24).
So, what we need to understand here is that Jesus didn’t die on that cross merely to forgive us our sins so that we could go to heaven when we die. And, he definitely didn’t die so that we could continue on in our sinful practices without guilt, while claiming God’s grace covers it all.
For, this says that if we love (prefer, embrace, take hold of) the passions and desires of our sinful flesh, i.e. if we prefer this to walking in holiness and righteousness, then God the Father’s love is not within us, and how we are living is not from God, and it does not meet his approval, and it will end in death, not life. For, it is only those who make it their practice to do the will of God who abide forever with God (cf. Rom. 8:1-17; Rom. 2:6-8).
1 John 2:18-19 ESV
“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
Let me preface this section by stating that the church is not a building. It is not a denomination. It is not a business or a corporation under the federal government. So, even though all these things are called “church,” they are not the church, the body of Christ, the holy ones of God, his people. For, they are organizations of men, not of God.
But, the (true) church is a living organism, not built with human hands or with brick and mortar. For, we are living stones built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets with Jesus Christ as our chief cornerstone. So, we who are in Christ, by God-given faith in him, are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (1 Peter 2; Eph. 2:19-22).
So, when it says that these antichrists went out from us, for they were not of us, or else they would have remained with us, please understand that this is not talking about people leaving these human organizations which are called “church.”
But, this is talking about people deserting the body of Christ and faith in Jesus Christ to go after what is not of God. But, they still may be meeting together with people in these organizations called “church,” for many of them are wolves in sheep’s clothing who are leading people astray.
No Lie is Of The Truth
1 John 2:20-25 ESV
“But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.”
This is another area that needs explanation. For, to deny Christ, although it certainly can be verbal, is really done by our heart attitudes and by our thinking and by our conduct. It is more a philosophical denial than it is a verbal denial, although one will sometimes lead to the other.
For, the very premise of wolves in sheep’s clothing, and false teachers, and false shepherds of the people who only come into the sheep fold to steal, to kill and destroy, gives evidence that one can deny Christ without actually verbally denying him. For, many profess faith in Jesus Christ or portend to be followers of Christ, but they masquerade themselves as his servants and messengers, and yet they deny him by how they live, and by their beliefs, and by what they teach others, as well as by their attitudes and conduct.
So, let’s not get tripped up here with words, and then miss the real truth behind those words. For many who are antichrist, and who are out to destroy the church, will make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ in order to deceive those who would put their faith in and who would follow Christ with their lives. For, that is their goal, to lead us away from Christ while pretending to be of Christ, so that they can deceive the hearts of many.
So, just because someone professes (confesses) faith in Jesus Christ does not mean he is of Christ and/or that he is not antichrist. And, this is critical that we see this, for many are being deceived today by those who confess Christ, but who teach what is antichrist to the unsuspecting and to the naïve who are not well grounded in the Word of God. And, so they are easy targets for deception. So, don’t be fooled by professions only. “Look under the hood” before you buy the “vehicle” to make sure it is the “real deal.”
Those Trying to Deceive
1 John 2:26-27 ESV
“I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.”
Ok, so with all of that said, we need to be people of discernment here so that we are not deceived by these master charmers, manipulators, liars and deceivers who are claiming that they are followers of Jesus, but who are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing (antichrist).
So, what this means is that, just because it looks good or sounds good doesn’t mean it is good. Just because someone sounds religious, or seems to know all the lingo, and may even seem to know the scriptures, it doesn’t mean necessarily that they even know Jesus at all. They may sound all Christian, and they may sound like they support Christians, while they may secretly be working to steal, to kill and to destroy the church.
Testing the spirits
So, how do we know? We have to test the spirits to see if they are of God. So, we have to be students of the scriptures (in context) and we need to study to show ourselves as workmen (and women) who do not need to be ashamed because we rightly handle the word of truth. And, then we need to be walking in obedience to our Lord, doing what he says, or we are going to be easy targets to be deceived.
So, we need to know that these antichrist fakers of Christianity are going to sound Christian, and they are going to use scriptures, and they are going to prove to you their philosophy by the scriptures, but taken out of context. And, so you need to check the context of those scriptures against what they are teaching, and you need to test what they are teaching against the divine character and will of God, too.
We can so easily get our focus on the wrong things, which is Satan’s plan, that we miss what is right in front of our eyes staring us right in the face. Distraction, for example, is one of Satan’s greatest tools, like all the chaos in the news continually, and all the uproar over the election process, and all the stuff that gets put on Social Media that gets people all worked up and fighting with each other, probably most of it not even being real.
So, we need to pray for God to open our eyes to the things we are missing. For, Satan has devised a plan, which is antichrist, to fool Christians into denying Christ while they think they are believing in Jesus. He has turned the gospel of our salvation upside down and inside out to where it is illogical, it is contrary to Christ and his gospel, and it is not doctrinally sound at all.
I know this is long, so let me summarize. These who are antichrist are preachers of the Word. They are pastors and leaders of church congregations or of man-made churches which are really businesses. And, they are teaching that we can be saved by a mere profession of faith in Christ but which does not have to alter how we live our lives.
And, then they call it “grace,” but that is a lie, for God’s grace is not going to give us free license to continue in our sinful practices while promising us heaven.
So, we need to go back and read the beginning of this. If we are believing that we can still live for our flesh and have heaven as our eternal destiny, then we are believing a lie from hell. Jesus died to deliver us from our slavery to sin, not to coddle us in our sins. So, we need to follow the way of truth and not get trapped by the lies.
All The Way My Savior Leads Me
Lyrics by Frances J Crosby, pub. 1875
Music by Robert Lowry, pub. 1875
All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.
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