The spirit of antichrist!
Scripture reading for December 4th: 1st John 4:1-21
The Christians of John’s day were in a battle against false teachers and the spirits of evil who spoke through them. John wrote to encourage them and help them to identify these deceiving spirits. His words of instruction can help us in these last days in a similar battle!
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1st John 4:2-3) These false prophets were denying Christ came as a man. This spirit was in the world in John’s day and is also in the world today in many modern cults. This belief was known as ‘gnosticism’ and denied the humanity of Jesus as the Son of God. The true Spirit of God always recognizes that Jesus came in the flesh.
John encouraged the Church to remember that they were able to overcome these evil spirits because the Holy Spirit lived in them. (1st John 4:4) The Spirit of Christ gives overcoming power because He is a Spirit of Truth. Believers can be confident in the Holy Spirit bringing discernment and enabling each person to know truth. The evil spirits tell lies that believers can easily spot.
Love is the mark of those controlled by the Holy Spirit. God is love and demonstrated His love by sending His Son into the world to die for us that we might live through Him. (1st John 4:7-12) Those born of God love each other and testify to the world about the love of God.
When we know the love of God, we have confidence on the day of judgment. God’s perfect love received means that we have been declared righteous and no longer have to answer for our sins. Jesus has forgiven us and we rest in His promise of righteousness by faith. This enables us to live a life of love towards others, free from fear of death. The Spirit of God gives us overcoming power through truth and love. What a joy it is to walk in the truth!