Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lots of Lies with a Little Truth = DeCePtion

Read 1 John 2:13-29

 When reading these verses, 15-16, we find some warnings like:

  • Do not love the world
  • Do not love the things of the world
  • Don't be lustful, or boastfully prideful 

More then making a list of do nots, John wants to remind God's people what they do know and it's this knowing that helps the Christian overcome the do nots.

Andrew Murray, a great man of faith wrote this about sin:

One great power of sin is that it blinds men so that they do not recognize its true character. 

In my humble opinion, I imagine that John was giving these instructions to the Church because he understood and knew the power sin has.

Although John is not scolding because he address the Church as "little children" and says, "I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth," (verse 21; Italics mine). 

 He writes so that we will be aware of deception. And sin has a powerful deception over people. John said, "These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you," (verse 26). It's like BEWARE . . . "they" . . . sin, people twisting the truth . . . are going to get you if your not alert and remember what  you know about the truth. I also think it's like him saying  . . . hey, you know that's not right, so keep yourself from such sin and deception.

John is encouraging Christians because we know the Truth; therefore, he does not want us to be deceived by the world and its lusts or by those who would pollute and dilute the truth of God's Word.

If it was easy for those back in Biblical times to serve other gods, or go after the lust of their flesh, and be deceived, then we are not exempt. Especially in these days with technology, the media, the openness of sexuality, and the rampant cancer of making wrong right.

This chapter's basic messages is about knowing, abiding, anointing, the antichrist, and being aware of deception.

If you're reading along in your Bible you can count how many times each word is used. In my NASB I counted:

  • Know, written 9 times
  • Abide, written 8 times
  • Anointing, written 3 times
  • Antichrist, written 3 times
  • Deceive, 1 time

Knowing the Truth Thwarts Deception

The Greek word for "know" is ginosko and means: To understand and to know, perceive, have knowledge of or a knowledge grounded on personal experience."

This led me to the question, what is it that John says we Christians know? This is what I found, Christians know:
  1. That Christ has been from the beginning (this was stated in chapter one as well)
  2. The Father God (Learning God's character through Christ)
  3. We know it's the last hour (Their is evil in the world)
  4. That we have an anointing (We are sanctified)
  5. We know the Truth (Jesus claiming to be God.)
  6. That if we practice righteousness, we are born of God (Those who know, walk in goodness)

It takes faith to know and believe in who God and Jesus are, without faith we cannot know and are are misguided. 

John 14:7 says, "If you had known Me [Jesus], you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." (Brackets mine).

Jesus was speaking to his disciples. There must have been some discussion on the identity of Jesus and God the Father. 

Jesus says to Phillip, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father?'"

I can't but wonder what tone of voice Jesus used to exhort Philip. But I'm sure it was enough to jolt Philip out of his stupor.

Jesus was not invisible. Those who walked with Jesus listened to his preaching; by his actions and his character they should have seen the Father through him. I believe this is what Jesus was saying to Philip . . . Hey you have been with me, seen me, witnessed my ministry, you should also see my Father, for it's through me that he works, we are one and the same. Where have you been Philip?

 Scripture says, "And He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation," (Colossians 1:15; bracket mine).

However today we don't "see" Jesus or God in the flesh. Perhaps that is why it is hard for some to "know" him and believe. 

Yet if we read the Bible we will know him, feel his presence through the Holy Spirit—who leads us into truth and convicts us of sin. We will learn the character and love of the Father through reading about he ministry of Jesus and his disciples. Jesus came to make his Father known and to do his Father's will, which is to reconcile mankind to God. 

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans that even though God was invisible he made himself plain through his "creation of the world" and his "invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse," (read verses 18-20).

Jesus was in the beginning in Genesis, creating the world and the universe with God Almighty. Then God appeared in the flesh through the virgin birth. 

"And the Word became flash, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth," (John 1:14).

To know God, to know the Truth, to know Jesus we must learn to abide. What does it mean to abide?

Abiding Knows the Difference Between Truth and Lies

The Greek word for abide is meno, and according to Strong's Concordance definition c) is "in reference to state or condition 1) it is to remain as one, not to become another or different.

Abiding with Christ, being in Christ and in the Father is for us to remain as one with him. We don't become a god or little gods, when I say we are one with him.

For a reference point think of a body. Christ is the head of the body his church; the church is the body of believers—the Bride of Christ. The body of Christ has many parts but is one body (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-25). As we abide in him we are least likely to stray or be deceived by other doctrines that do not line up with The Word of God BECAUSE we know the Truth.

 Also we are more aware of our conduct, thoughts, and purpose as we abide.

 When we abide according to 1 John 2 we are blessed with:
  1. The ability to overcome the evil one  (Satan and his dominions; verse 14)
  2. The privilege to live forever with God as we do his will (but remember it's God's grace that saves us through faith; verse 17)
  3. Being in the Son and in the Father (verse 24)
  4. Having confidence and not shrinking away in shame (I love this: verse 28)

Also not only do we have these assurances and abilities, but also John is telling us that something abides "in" us as well. Are you ready to know what that is?

  1. The anointing of the Father (verse 27)
  2. Eternal life (verse 17, 25)

Wow! Is that awesome or what?

To anoint someone is to rub oil or ointment on a person or thing. In Biblical times and at the time of Jesus, the priests or high priest performed this anointing.

As I thought about priests, I thought of Jesus being our High Priest in which Hebrews 7:26 and 8:1 describes:

Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, . . ."

Jesus, our High Priest, has anointed us through his blood. A sinless man, dying for sinful people.Take a moment and picture Jesus your High Priest anointing you with his love, truth, and whatever it is that you need for today. Be it peace, comfort, or joy.

Antichrist Denies and Deceives

There are many in our world and throughout the centuries that want to deceive and twist the truth. I can think of several religions that distort the person of Christ. They take a lot of lie and mix just enough truth to deceive those who will take someone's word for it—or haven't come to know the Truth or who refuse the Truth. Or worse, believe what their tickling ears what to hear.

Christ is the humility of God embodied in human nature; the Eternal Love humbling itself, clothing itself in the garb of meekness and gentleness, to win and serve and save us. ~ Andrew Murray
Do you know the meaning of Christ? Christ means the Anointed One. Jesus was anointed by God as Prophet, Priest, and King!

John says, "Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour," (verse 18).

He goes on to explain who and what the antichrist is: Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also," (verse 22).

That might run against the grain of some, but that is the truth of The Truth. It cannot be any clearer than that?

Jesus is the Son of the Living God; it is through him we have eternal life. So my friend, we out to abide in him, know him, pray we are kept from deception. Being sure what we learn, measures up with the Word of God. The Word is truth and is life for a dying world. 

"No lie is in the truth."

 Thanks for coming along.  Let me know your thoughts.

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