1 John 4:4-6 ESV
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
Spirit of the Antichrist
The subject matter is that of false prophets and the testing of spirits to see whether they are from God (see vv. 1-3). So, this is about overcoming the spirits which are not from God, i.e., the spirit of the antichrist. And a spirit is a personality, character, heart, attitude, mind-set, and influence.
So, what is the character, heart, mind-set, and influence of the antichrist? It is all that is against God/Jesus Christ. It is all that is opposed to Christ and to his gospel of salvation from sin. And it is all which promotes evil, denies Jesus, and rejects truth and righteousness.
And do you know that the primary gospel message being taught in today’s market-driven churches is all that? Yes, for it denies the Lordship of Christ over our lives, it promotes evil (continuing in sin), it denies the truth that we must die with Christ to sin, and it discourages walks of obedience to Christ.
For, it requires nothing more than a mere acknowledgment or a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and then it guarantees those professers of faith in Jesus that heaven is their eternal destiny regardless of how they live their lives while they are still living on this earth.
Some of them may use the term “repent” when they talk about believing in Jesus Christ, but it often means nothing more than a mere acknowledgment of one’s sinful condition and of the need to have Jesus forgive them their sins so that when they die they won’t go to hell but to heaven.
But it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the biblical use of the word “repent,” which not only means to have a change of mind, but which also means to go in the opposite direction of what one was going. For it means that we were living in sin, we left that life of sin behind us, and now by God’s grace we are living and walking in His righteousness.
Overcomers of Evil
So, if we are overcomers of this antichrist spirit, we will reject the lies, we will not accept a diluted half-truth gospel in place of the whole counsel of God, and we will not accept the idea that we can continue living in our sin without guilt and that we don’t have to obey the Lord’s commands.
For, if we are truly in Christ, by God-persuaded faith in him, God’s Spirit now lives within us teaching, encouraging, counseling, and empowering us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. We will welcome his voice speaking to us, and it will now be our desire to follow Jesus in obedience.
But the reason these false teachers are teaching this false half-truth diluted gospel in place of the whole counsel of God is because they are listening to Satan, and they are listening to the world, and they want the world to like them, so they are saying what the people of the world want to hear.
And so, the people of the world, including many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, are flocking to these charlatans by the hundreds and by the thousands because they are telling them what their itching ears want to hear. For, it comforts them IN their sin, and it does not demand they forsake their lives of sin.
But there will be people who will listen to us, too, but they will be in the minority, not the majority. But they will be the people of God or they will be those who are seeking after the Lord. Others may read what we write for various reasons, too, and if we are sharing the truth of God’s Word, it will never return to him void, but will accomplish what he desires (Is 55:11).
1 John 4:7-12 ESV
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
Love is From God
We must be so careful when we are reading the Scriptures in a language other than the original that we don’t automatically assign meanings to certain words that are not intended. And we don’t have to have knowledge of Greek to discern this, for we have the Holy Spirit, and we have the word of God, as a whole, which helps us to discern meanings of words.
Yet many people will read such passages as this and they will assign the meaning of this word “love” to human love which is based in the flesh of humans and not in the Spirit of God. Thus, they will interpret these Scriptures on that basis and will assume that loving others means we only say to them what makes them feel good about themselves.
Thus, we have many misinterpretations of Scriptures which teach on “love.” And many people are teaching that love does not tell the truth, that love lies to people to make them feel good, and that it is unloving to speak the truth to people for it makes them feel uncomfortable.
But when this teaches us that we are to love one another, this is speaking of God-like love which prefers what God prefers, which does his will, and which chooses his choices, which are what are holy, honorable, trustworthy, honest, pure, and upright. For, this love is based in moral preference.
So, when we love others with this kind of love, we will not do evil to them. We will not lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, murder, hate, and otherwise do what we know is evil against them and which we know will cause them ultimate harm. But we will do for them what is spiritually beneficial.
We will be kind, but kindness will not mean diluting or ignoring the truth or refusing to tell them the truth out of fear that they will not like us. And if we love with God’s love we will obey the Lord, not try to wiggle our way out of obeying him.
So, when this says that whoever loves (is loving) has been born of God, this is not speaking of human and fleshly love. This is speaking of God-like love where the believer in Jesus prefers to live his life through Christ, embracing God’s will for his life, and is choosing to obey God’s will in His power. This is a person who is walking according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh.
And if we are walking in the love of God and in his truth and righteousness, and if we are living holy lives, pleasing to God, we are going to love others with the love of God which prefers what is holy, pure and righteous.
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”