Scripture reading for November 20th: 1st John 2
John identified the false teachers of his day as ‘antichrists’. An ‘antichrist’ was one who set their own teaching over and against what Christ taught. In other words, Jesus proclaimed that He was the “Son of God”. The antichrists would deny the deity of Jesus, also denying God the Father or our adoption into the Father’s family. They claimed to be Christ-followers but were counterfeits!
“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us.” (1st John 2:18-19) John taught the church that the appearance of these false teachers marked the time they were living in as the ‘last days’. These teachers came from within the church but were not really part of the true church. We must now be in the last minutes or seconds because these same types of teachers abound in our world today.
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. . . I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” (1st John 2:20, 26-27) God our Father has equipped us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth that lives in each believer to reveal truth and give discernment of false spirits. We must remain in Jesus Christ and follow the Spirit and Word to avoid deception!
Scripture reading for May 16th: John 8:31-59
“To the Jews who had believed in Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32-33) This simple statement by Jesus brought the discussion of who He was and who they were to a new level. To truly be a disciple of Jesus, each follower must hold to Jesus’ teaching. This teaching is ultimate truth that frees a person from sin and false religion. Every man is bound in his soul by lies and Jesus understood what was needed to be truly free. These Jews would need to face their own condition and come to grips with who they were really following.
The Jews who believed were offended that Jesus told them that they were slaves of sin. (John 8:34-35) They had believed that with Abraham as their father, they had an “in” with God. Jesus told them that their slavery to sin would keep them out of God’s family. It was only through a relationship with the Son that they could have adoption into God’s family. Jesus pointed out that they were trying to kill Him, something Abraham would never do. (John 8:37,40, 59)
“Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:43-44) Jesus plainly told them the truth about their inability to hear and their desire to kill Him. They were acting under the influence of the devil, who was their father!
This startling statement caused them to accuse Jesus of being demon possessed. Jesus told them He was not under the influence of a demon, but spoke truth to them that if they believed they would never die. (John 8:51) This again brought the crowd to the place where they wanted to stone Jesus. Jesus slipped away for it was not yet His time. Take a moment and examine your own heart. Are you believing in Jesus? That’s the only way to eternal life!