Perils of Apostate DECEPTION in the Fellowship of God

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1 Sunday May 19, 2013 Phone: Pastor David Miklas Message #7 Saints Fellowship with God Text: I John 2:18-27 Perils of Apostate DECEPTION in the Fellowship of God Introduction: In our last message we focused our attention on the Perils of Worldliness from I John 2: John warns us when our "Life Style" conforms to that which opposes God; we are not in fellowship with God. This message will focus on the Perils of Apostate DECEPTION in the Fellowship of God which is a second warning found in verses18-27, Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (20) But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (25) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (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. The most destructive statement in our religious thinking has been, "It makes no difference what you believe, just as long as you are sincere!" That statement expresses the personal philosophy of many people today, but whether it was thoroughly thought through is doubtful. Is "sincerity" the magic ingredient that makes something true? My friends, it takes more than "sincerity" to make something true. Faith in a LIE will always cause serious consequences. Faith in the TRUTH is never misplaced. What a man believes does make a difference, for that belief will determine his eternal destiny, for that belief will determine how he lives and behaves in this life. It has been said: When people abandon the truth, they don t believe in nothing, they believe in anything. Today, one of the seriously-alarming trends in our society is the growth of public gullibility. It never ceases to amaze me the erroneous ideas ordinary folks are willing to accept: Today there are cults and sects in our world knocking at our doors, many of them proposing their antichrist, bizarre, and fantastic speculations to the gullible among the believing church-going crowd. Today we have many religious groups and para-church organizations, even mission societies, that once stood for Biblical truth, that once stood for the absolutes of the Word of God, and that are forsaking or compromising the truth for the sake of unity and oneness. Today as we read in Jude 4, they are no longer "contending for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints." Rather they are setting aside fundamental doctrinal truth and joining hands with apostates and erroneous ideas for the sake of unity. Page 1

2 The real dangers facing the church in our day and in our generation are: not unbelief, but wrong belief; not irreligious actions, but heresy, and not doubting, but deceiving! Through the Apostle John, God has warned the "little children" about the conflict between Light and Darkness, in 1:1-2:6, about the conflict between Love and Hatred, in 2:7-17, and about the conflict between the World and God, in 2: Now he warns us about the conflict between truth and error. It is not enough for a believer just to walk in love; we must also walk in truth. In this short section, the stirring and resounding challenge is to beware of the antichrists! Before John explains the tragic consequences of turning from the truth, he emphasizes the seriousness of the matter, by using two special terms in verse 18: "the last time," and "antichrist." Both of these terms make it clear that believers, like you and me, are living in an hour of crisis and must earnestly contend for the faith. Term 1: Generally speaking, the phrase, "the last time," is that time period which spans the niche between the first and second comings of Christ. It is the time between Pentecost and the return of Christ in the clouds with great power and glory. This is also the time of which the Lord gave advance warning from Matthew 24:5, For many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Paul describes for us these last days in II Timothy 3:1-8. Peter describes for us these last days in II Peter 3:3-4. Jude describes for us these last days in Jude Not only have we been living in "the last days" for more than 2000 years, but we believe, we are living in the last days of "the last days." On the one hand, "Fret not, Jesus is coming again, and it may be this very day!" Amen! On the other hand, these are crisis years and we had better know WHAT we believe and WHY we believe it. Term 2: The Lord warns us of the "antichrist" in Matthew 24:24, For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Only John used the word antichrist in the Bible. I John 2:18, "As ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists..." I John 2:22, Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. I John 4:3, And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. II John 7, For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. In these verses the antichrist is described as Number 1: A spirit in the world denying or opposing Christ. Number 2: The false teachers who embody this spirit that denies the deity of Christ. These impostors are far from genuine; they are masqueraders of spiritual truth. Number 3: A person called the "Man of Sin," who will arrive on the stage of global affairs after the Lord has taken His church home to glory, and will head up the final world rebellion against Christ. II Thessalonians 2:3-4 Page 2

3 These antichrists, who deny the Deity of our Lord, are forerunners of the Antichrist who will be the devil incarnate. He will sit in the Temple in Jerusalem during the great tribulation period and announce he is God. In the Bible he will be known as the "King of Fierce Countenance, the Man of Sin, The Son of Perdition" and by many other names and titles. However, The "spirit of antichrist" has been in the world since Satan declared war on God in Genesis 3. The "spirit of antichrist" is behind every false doctrine and every false religious substitute for the realities Christians have in Christ. The "spirit of antichrist" philosophy permeates all of life - secular, religious, moral and political. The word antichrist has at least two ideas associated with it. The prefix anti in the Greek has a dual meaning. It can mean "against" Christ, or "instead of" Christ. In his frenzy, Satan is FIGHTING Christ and His eternal truth, and he is SUBSTITUTING his counterfeits for the realities found only in our Lord Jesus. In this context, the instead of is the meaning preferred. This antichrist is someone who has no scruples about proclaiming a Christ who is not the Christ of the Bible. To him: He may be a Christ who is not quite God and never quite saves, as many of the cults and isms teach. He may be a Christ who offers health and wealth as proclaimed by a number of high profile, big name televangelists. He may be a Christ who is repeatedly sacrificed in the mass, as is the norm in certain denominations. He may be a Christ whom I invite into my life to make me feel good, as so much of modern evangelicalism teaches. These are the teachings of a religious usurper, who has no qualms about his false pretenses. The great truth of the Word of God is Jesus is the God man, God the Son, virgin born, undiminished deity, clothed in complete humanity. Satan permeates a philosophy that denies Jesus is THE SON OF GOD in the flesh, instead making him only A SON OF GOD. John pulls no punches when he says That a man cannot have God, he cannot know God, without first believing in Jesus. Without the Son, we cannot know the Father!, Jesus is the only way to God! Does it make a difference what you believe? My friends, it makes all the difference in the world, not only WHAT you believe, but also WHY you believe. You and I are living in crisis days. We are living in a time where there is a lot of preaching, but not much teaching on the great doctrines of the faith. Therefore we are being easily led astray. It is important you are able to discern right from wrong. It is important you are able to discern truth from error. It is important you are able to discern books that are promoting truth mixed with error. It is important you are able to discern true ministers of the gospel from those who are apostates, even some nationally known leaders and radio personalities. It is important you are able to discern that not every church organization or para-church ministry or mission group or college that once stood for and taught the truth is still standing for that truth today. All of this has been said because even good preachers of the gospel, as well as God's people are being motivated by this thought: Let's not be concerned for the absolute authority of God's Word. Join hands with everybody, even if they don't believe in the inerrancy of scripture or in the Deity of Jesus Christ. In our text, verses 18-27, John gives us THREE marks of these antichrists or apostates. FIRST: Verse 19, "They departed from the fellowship." The word US refers to the fellowship of believers, the church. Not everyone who is part of an assembly of believers is necessarily a member of the family of God. Now these people in verse 19 left the fellowship. I believe they were able to talk the talk, but not walk the talk. If you will investigate the history of most false cults, and most, if not all, anti-christian religious systems, you will find that in most cases their founder started out in "a local church, and under Page 3

4 the Word of God. It became obvious that they were "with us" but not "of us" so they went out "from us" and started their own group. Just because there is some group or radio program or para-church organization, or college or mission group: That claims they are Christians, or That claims they believe in God and hold to some form of doctrinal position, but If they do not claim the "whole counsel of the Word of God or believe in the deity of Jesus Christ or they have departed from some other doctrinal position held within the Word of God, BEWARE! It is clear they are in a dangerous departure from the truth. At times, you may not agree with how we do things here, but you will have to agree that here the "whole counsel of God, the eternal, forever-settled word is preached and taught to the Glory of God! SECOND: Verse "They deny the Faith" Not all preachers and teachers who claim to be Christians are really Christians in their belief. There are those who believe in the Bible, but not in the deity of Jesus Christ. There are those who believe in God, but they don't believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ. There are those who believe in the moral goodness of Jesus, but not in the deity of Jesus Christ. The great assertion of the faith that sets a Christian apart from the cults and apostates is this: Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh. In I John 4:1-3 we read, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. The principle work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the truth concerning the person of Jesus Christ. The test of any religious organization, and The test of any minister who claims to be a minister of the gospel, and The test of all cults and those in apostate denominations, is to Ask their response to the question, "Who is Jesus Christ?" The Bible makes it unquestionably clear: JESUS CHRIST IS THE ETERNAL SON OF THE ETERNAL GOD, WHO WAS VIRGIN BORN, SINLESS, THE PERFECT DEITY CLOTHED IN PERFECT HUMANITY. Satan will never, under any circumstances, permit a man to accept that truth. Satan many concede that God created the universe. Satan may concede that the Bible contains the Words of God. Satan will never concede that Christ is the Son of God. Every world philosophy at work today that denies Christ is the Son of God is under the influence of the antichrist. Therefore, when one of these Christ rejecters speaks, the unsaved world hears them and believes them. But a believer who is under the unction of the Holy Spirit, verse 20, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, verse 27, knows that the false teacher is speaking under the influence of the antichrist. Listen my friends, either Jesus is the very God of the very God, clothed with human flesh; or else you and I are only kidding ourselves. Without the perfect, sinless, Son of God there would be no blood atonement and forgiveness of sin at Calvary. Page 4

5 To confess "Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh" involves much more than simply to identify Christ. True confession involves personal faith in Christ. A confession is NOT a mere intellectual, theological statement that you recite. It is a personal witness from your heart of what Christ has done for you. A conversion to Christ does not come because you have had some religious experience or the fact that God has done some great thing to benefit you. A person is not saved by saying he or she believes what his or her church believes. We are saved by trusting Jesus Christ, and Him alone, as our personal Saviour. For in Romans 10:9-10, 13 we read, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Once saved, a person s life bears witness to his or her faith. An apostate liberal will often say, "O we worship the Father, we believe in God, even though we disagree with you about Jesus Christ." Listen, to deny Christ means you also deny God the Father. You cannot separate them, since they are one God. In John 5:23 we read, "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him." THIRD: Verses 26-27, "They deceive the faithful." It is interesting to observe that anti-christian groups rarely try to lead lost sinners to their false faith. Instead, they spend much of their time trying to convert backslidden Christians to their doctrines. The word seduced in verse 26 carries the idea of being led astray. We have been warned this would happen from I Timothy 4:1, "...that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teaching of demons." The devil s trick is to lead us astray by mixing a lot of truth with some error. Therefore we should not accept everything a person tells us simply because he claims to believe the Bible. Check it out to make sure he is not twisting the scriptures. Remember, Satan is not an originator, he is a counterfeiter. Satan has counterfeit ministers, who preach a counterfeit gospel that produces a counterfeit Christian, if there is ever such a person. Satan's chief stratagem during this age is to plant the counterfeit wherever Christ plants the true. And it is important that you be able to detect the counterfeit and separate the teachings of Christ from those of the false cults. You may ask, Pastor, how can a believer be sure he is not sidetracked by some smooth, religious operator? John gives us TWO lines of defense against deception. Number 1 line of defense is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In verse 20, the word "unction" and in verse 27 the word "anointing" are the same Greek word. The Greek word is "charisma" which could be translated into English by the word "gift." John is saying you have a gift from the Holy Spirit. Those of us who have been born again have a gift, "It is the gift of spiritual knowledge." There are things that a Godly spiritual believer will know that the unsaved DO NOT KNOW. I do not care how brilliant they may be, or how versed they may be in the Bible. If they are unsaved, they cannot know the things of God because the Spirit of God is not living in them. A Christian who spends time daily in the Bible, and in prayer, and will walk in the spirit, will be taught by the Holy Spirit. He or she can have the same understanding of the scriptures as any preacher and the discernment he or she needs to detect error from truth. Please notice again verse 21, I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Jesus implied in Matthew 4:4, we are to live by " every word Page 5

6 that proceeded out of the mouth of God." John is implying these believers know the truth, but they are not applying the truth to their lives. You and I are living at a time when Christians know more about the Bible than at any other time in history. However, with all the Christian radio and with the flood of Christian books and seminars, we are at an all-time high of taking this book for granted. If you ignore or neglect any part of the Bible, you invite trouble. As a believer, you must read the Bible, study the Bible, memorize the Bible, and with the aid of the Holy Spirit you can know the Word of God. Number 2 line of defense is to "Abide, verse 24. The word abide is one of the key words found in this little epistle. The Greek word is "meno" and sometimes it is translated "remain, continue, or abide." You and I must have the determination to stay in the Word of God. We must live by TRUTH in convictions and commitment rather than by convenience, or else we will be taken in by false teaching. The word "meno" means to set your ROOTS down into something so that one is being nourished and sustained by that in which it is rooted. IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT YOU BELIEVE. It is not so much that we need to be learning new truths or jumping on the latest bandwagon of spiritual fashions that do not last. Rather we need to be learning more DEEPLY and practicing more FULLY the great truths we have been aware of from the early days of our Christian experience. Thus we can sing: There is a peace in my heart, That the world never gave. A peace it can not take away, Though the trials of life may surround like a cloud, I've peace that has come to stay. Constantly abiding, Jesus is mine, Constantly abiding, Rapture divine. He never leaves me alone, whispers O' so kind, I will never leave thee, Jesus is mine. ******************************************************************* If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon on the Perils of Apostate DECEPTION in the Fellowship of God, then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you. Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in Acts 16:31,...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved... Romans 10:13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation. If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior let me know? Please send an to, and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life. The Weekly SERMON was sent as a ministry of Bible Baptist Ministry, 48 Alexie Rd., Hanover Township, PA Privacy policy: your address will not be sold, or shared with any third party. Copy write permission: Because the Weekly SERMON will be reproduced into other formats, PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING: The Weekly SERMON in its original form, without any changes, may be copied and Page 6

7 re-transmitted by electronic mail, and copies may be printed for individual or ministry purposes, provided that such copying, re-transmission, printing, or other use is not for profit or other commercial purpose. Any copying, retransmission, distribution, printing, or other use of the Weekly SERMON must set forth in full the heading that is given before each Weekly SERMON. Any other request for use, please contact Bible Baptist Ministries at or by phone at Page 7

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