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1 John 2:17-27 Protection from Deception

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Protection From Deception

Today we will be in . We are going to look at three main points and a few sub-points as they arise. I believe this to be a very timely text that will, I hope, draw us closer to the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are going to look at the fact that we do indeed live in the last days and that the Spirit of God is being poured out just as Peter said in . But it is also the last days of deception and that is being poured out as well. We are going to see that it is the Word of God and the Spirit of God that is our only protection from this deception and that it will lead us to eternal life. Then finally we will see that we should let the Word of God abide in us and that we should abide in the Spirit. Let’s pray.
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.[1]
This world system that is opposed to God and everything that goes along with it; that which works to draw man away from God is passing away, it is the last hour. The time for the culmination of the Kingdom of God where Christ not only reigns in the heart of His people but in all of His creation. The Holy Spirit of God is being poured out and the glory of God is being revealed in the salvation of His people. John says: “You have all heard that the Antichrist is coming.” Evidently the idea of persecution and a trial of the church by a person that is opposed in every way to Christ had always, since the beginning, been taught to the people of God. Jesus called them false christs and false prophets who would seek to deceive even the elect in Matthew and Mark, and Paul talked about the man of sin: 3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of £sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. John called him the beast in don’t want to spend a lot of time on this person that John calls the Antichrist because for some reason we have built a superstition around him. How many of you know hymn number 666? At one time states would not issue car tags with three 6’s in a row on them. Since it is the last days then we know that the Antichrist will come into the world. But until that time comes you need to understand that there are many antichrists here and now, in fact that is how John says we know it is the last hours. If these antichrists are here now then we know it has to be the last day because if the time of the culmination of the kingdom had arrived they would no longer be here. God through Christ will judge those who are enemies of God and there will be no opposition to Christ (no antichrists). Remember these churches that John is writing to are going through a major split. Not a split like we think of where people leave because they don’t like the carpet or the music or some other frivolous reason. There were those who had come in and began teaching a false Jesus. They were teaching that Christ did not come in the flesh, the Jesus did not fulfill the work of Christ and His death and atonement could not save. And people were being deceived and turning away from the faith they had first heard. These antichrists were once numbered among us, John says, but they left because they were not really part of us. (not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven) They went out from us, they disassociated from us because they were not believers and it was made obvious to us because they left. For we know that those who are believers will persevere to the end. But the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is shinier to those who are not truly His and they are drawn away by the world and they are thereby opposed to Christ, they are antichrists. Jesus made it clear that these people will try to deceive even the elect.
There is some good news and bad news here. The good news: Christ is going to return and judge the world. For us who are believers that is very good news because our judgment is set, we have been pronounced just or justified. We have been made the righteousness of Christ. That is the good news. But, there is bad news. The world that is opposed to God is coming to an end but it is not over yet. The Antichrist is coming into the world to make your life difficult and even now there are anitchrists who are opposed to God and the things and people of God. God has a way of sifting them out from among us so that we will know who they are (made manifest). You can know that you are of the body of Christ because you persevere but those who are opposed to Christ (antichrists) were never a part of us that is why they left. But their purpose is to deceive us, to work in the world to draw us away from what we first learned. Where the Holy Spirit is active so is the spirit of the antichrist to deceive us.
So what can save us? If the false christs, the false prophets, the antichrists are in the world to deceive us how can we escape the deception? Our second point this morning gives us the answer to that question. In this passage we see that the Word of God and the Spirit of God work together to guard us or protect us from the deception that is alive and well.
Before we go there let’s look at some of the deception that is alive and well. How about this one: “Jesus was conceived by a physical union between Elohim and Mary so He is half God and half man. Or Jesus is not eternal but instead he was from a spiritual union in heaven between Elohim and one of his many wives. (those are both Mormon teachings) Jesus is really just Michael the Archangel who is not eternal but just another created being. He was not God he was a god. (Jehovah’s witness) Jesus didn’t really die to atone for our sin but just to show us how to be completely committed to God (Unitarianism) I have one more from Paula White the prosperity gospel preacher who is President Trumps spiritual advisor; “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God, we are all begotten sons and daughters of God”.
Those are just a few of the deceptions that are directed at drawing us away from believing Who Jesus is and what Jesus came to do. And since the Word of God and the Spirit of God is our protection from that deception we need to see first that knowing the truth of God is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Verses 20-21 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. We could spend a lot of time discussing what the anointing is and who the Holy One is but to make this simple John is telling the people he is writing to and us that we have the Holy Spirit given us by God and we already know the truth of Who Jesus is and there is no mixture of truth and false in what we know. The reason they already know the truth is because they heard it. John says that twice in verse 24 “that which you heard from the beginning. John is writing to people in and around Ephesus where he pastored so he knew that they knew the truth and he knew that Paul had established that church so they heard the truth from the Apostles. That is what John says they already know but it is the anointing, the Holy Spirit that causes us to know the truth because as Paul says elsewhere, spiritual matters are discerned spiritually. What you heard from the Apostles in the beginning is the truth that the Holy Spirit anointing is confirming in you. The reason this is important is because people, antichrists, were coming in to them claiming to be one of them and telling them of new revelation from the Holy Spirit, a secret knowledge just revealed. John says; “NO, no, no, the word you heard from the beginning is the truth. Folks we are going to hear new things all the time because none of us know the book the way we should. But if you hear something that you have never heard before then the only place to turn is to the Word of God that is confirmed to be true by the Spirit of God, the anointing John is talking about. The Word of God confirmed by the Spirit of God is our only defense against deception by antichrists.
But what if someone comes in and declares to you that they received this new understanding of Christ through the Holy Spirit. The Mormons say that, the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that, the Unitarians say that, and especially the prosperity gospel preachers say that. The Holy Spirit does not expand the apostolic teaching of Christ. On the contrary, the Word tests the Spirit. says, "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus has come in the flesh is of God." The Spirit agrees with the apostolic doctrine or it is not the Spirit of God. This is why we reject the teaching of the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the prosperity gospel preachers. Not because we can boast of different revelations from the Spirit, but because their claims do not agree with the faith once for all delivered to the saints in the teaching of the apostles.
So the work of the Holy Spirit is not to take us beyond the teaching of the apostles which is written in the Scriptures. The anointing (Holy Spirit) is given to help us accept and abide in that teaching. It helps us grow in our understanding of that teaching. It strengthens our power to practice that teaching. It increases our confidence in the truth of that teaching. But it does not change the teaching. It does not expand on the teaching.
So we know that we are in the last days even if it has been over 2000 years since those last days began with Christ’s work on the cross and His resurrection. The Holy Spirit is still being poured out bringing God’s people into the kingdom of God. But the end has not yet come and along with the Spirit of God being poured out deception is being poured out as well. The Antichrist will come into the world but at this time there are many antichrists who are determined to lead people away from faith in Christ. Jesus called them false christs and false prophets who will seek to deceive even the elect, even the saved of God. Our only defense is not our own wisdom, our own logic not even our own good works but our only defense against this deception from the antichrists is the Word of God and the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God confirms in us the Word of God that was first delivered to us from the Apostles who wrote God’s Word concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ the only begotten perfect Son of God who came in the flesh to conquer sin and death. Therefore we should let the Word of God abide in us and we should abide in the Spirit; which is our last point this morning.
In this passage we find just two commands for us believers. , 24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father…27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.[2] Just so we do not miss these two commands let me point them out to you. In verse 24 “let that abide in you (the Word) that you heard from the beginning. Verse 27: “just as it has taught you (the Holy Spirit), you will abide in Him (Holy Spirit, anointing). Let the Word abide in you and abide in the Spirit. Paul said some things very similar. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Let the word abide in you) in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And filled with the Spirit (abide in the Spirit), 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
So here is the bottom line. If the Word abides in you then you will abide in the Son and the Father. When you abide in the Son you will bear much fruit to the glory of God. When you abide in the Spirit you will not be deceived because He teaches you, through the word, all about Christ in whom you abide.
When we abide in the Word, when we settle in and live in the living Word of God then we will abide in the Spirit and the anointing of the Holy Spirit will protect and deliver us from the deception of the antichrists, from the world that would seek to draw us away. Let’s pray.
[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[2] The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
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