Sunday, February 5, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Twelve

2:25-26 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. This is one of the exceeding great and precious promises Peter mentioned, 2nd Peter 1:4. God made this promise before He created and began time, 2nd Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2. Christ is the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world, Revelation 13:8. From eternity past the unchanging plan of salvation had its foundation; God determined of His own will that He would offer salvation to mankind by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross, Ephesians 1:7, 11. God’s promise of eternal life is conditional; it hinges upon the hearer’s response to the message of the gospel, Romans 1:16-17; 10:17. If one hears and believes the gospel the result is the immediate reception of the indwelling Holy Spirit and eternal life, 1st Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14.

Jesus promised everlasting or eternal life to those who believe some fifteen times in John’s Gospel alone. Eternal life is contingent upon two things: God’s fidelity regarding His promise, and our willingness to believe what He offers us and accept His free gift of salvation. We know God is true and cannot lie, Hebrews 6:17-18. The question then being: will you believe God when He tells us that Christ is the way, truth and life? Will you accept that truth and believe it to the saving of your soul?

The NKJV renders verse 26 “these things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.” The spirit of the Antichrist was abroad in John’s day, and many false teachers sought to lead Christians away to make disciples for themselves, Acts 20:30. The term “anti” in the Greek can mean “against” and “instead of;” both of which describe an antichrist teacher. An antichrist teacher opposes Christ by replacing Him with a system, clergy, liturgy, charismatic leader, etc that becomes “Christ” in place of the Savior. John is warning the Christians of his day. In his second epistle he writes, “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may have a full reward,” 2nd John 1:8. Being deceived and led astray does not cost one their salvation, but it will cost them their rewards at Christ’s judgment seat, John informs us. As for the teacher in question bringing this seducing and deceiving doctrine, the apostle does not mince words when he states that such promoters do not have God because they do not abide in the doctrine of Christ, 2nd John 1:9-11. The deeds of such men, says the apostle, are evil.

2:27 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.
We read: “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts,” 2nd Corinthians 1:21-22. As we already discovered, priests and kings in the Old Testament were anointed with oil to signify their acceptance with God; that God was with them and they had been divinely chosen. On this side of the cross we read concerning Christians: “And [Jesus]hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen,” Revelation 1:6. All Christians are priests and kings to God, and receive God’s anointing. This shatters the clergy myth of Catholicism and its derivative systems that separate common folk and laity from the clergy class. This is a human dichotomy erected in opposition and antagonism to God’s revealed will for Christians who are ambassadors and intercessors of Christ, 2nd Corinthians 5:20.

Rome, despite its boast that it adheres to the revelation of Scripture, does not allow a Catholic to contemplate Scripture for himself and reach his own conclusions regarding its teachings by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Here are a few examples of the blind allegiance Rome demands of her followers and a plain denial of what John and others in the Bible state regarding an “average” Christian’s ability to hear and understand the word of God.

It is for the bishops, with whom the apostolic doctrine resides, suitably to instruct the faithful entrusted to them in the correct use of…the New Testament…by giving them translations of the sacred texts which are equipped with necessary and really adequate explanations,” Flannery, op. vol. 1 pg 764-765.

“[Julian Hernandez] introduced into Spain prohibited books [Bibles] that he brought from far away places where they give protection to the ungodly…He firmly believes that God, by means of the Scriptures, communicates to the laity just the same as He communicates to the priest.” This man was burned at the stake for heresy December 22nd 1560 for this “crime.” He was also condemned for his belief that “whoever has faith in Jesus Christ, and trusts only in the merits of Him, is certain of going to heaven.”

The Catholic believes in inspiration because the Church tells him so—that is putting it bluntly—and that same church has the authority to interpret the inspired text. Fundamentalists have no interpreting authority other than themselves,” Karl Keating from “Catholicism and Fundamentalism,” published 1988.

Man can obtain a knowledge of God’s word from the Catholic Church and through its duly constituted channels. When he has once mastered this principle of divine authority, the inquirer is prepared to accept whatever the divine Church teaches on faith, morals and the means of grace,” Rev. Peter Geiermann, “The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine.”

In an older post I had listed that one of the traits of a cult was the inability and dissuasion for one to think for him or herself. Here we have a frank confession that Catholics are dissuaded from just that; one must master the principle of divine authority (aka the Church’s authority over the believer) and then submit to that authority whatever it tells you. John writes the opposite: that Christians have no need of any man to teach them because the Holy Spirit enters a believer when they hear and believe the gospel. From that point He will lead a saint into “all truth,” John 14:26; 16:13. The Holy Spirit is given to all believers, since the Bible is clear and adamant that unless you possess the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of Christ, you are not a Christian.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” Romans 8:9.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God,” 1st Corinthians 2:12.

There was a primeval example of this conduct in the infant church, and it happened that it was John who confronted it in his old age. A certain leader within the church named Diotrephes was lording over the saints. His conduct did not mirror Christ’s, but he demanded that his word be obeyed, even to the point of resisting John’s authority and prating (ranting) against him, though John’s demeanor and conversation long ago proved and continued to prove his loyalty and faithfulness to Jesus. Diotrephes rejected the saints from other regions, and anyone who did not obey him out of hand by doing likewise was excommunicated from the church, 3rd John 1:9-10. Diotrephes wanted submission to his will, not based on his exemplary Christian walk but on the authority of the position he claimed to possess. Here is Rome’s corrupt system in prototype form. Rest assured that MANY of Rome’s popes were far more wicked than Diotrephes throughout the centuries.

John commends Christians to abide in Christ. Our stand is in Christ and His word because our life is in Him, Colossians 3:3. Our faith is in the unfailing One who died for us; His word is all that a Christian needs for life and godliness. He gave us His Holy Spirit to teach us, and forbade a man or hierarchy from lording over others, Matthew 20:26-28; 1st Peter 5:2-3. Our faith and loyalty is to God and His word; He has promised that this would be sufficient.

1 comment:

  1. Revelation 2:6 and 2:15 stress that God hates this philosophy. Good post.


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