Peninsula Community Church
June 3, 2012
Christ’s Life Displayed: Don’t Be Deceived*
From our message last week we saw that there is an internal battle at play for who we will follow and what will guide our walk with God. This week we will look at the external effects of an antichrist mindset.
1 John 2:18-27 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 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 it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us–eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie–just as it has taught you, abide in him.
People as a whole are easily deceived. People are gullible and there is no greater place for deception than in an understanding of who Christ is and what He claims. One of the problems found today is that we have attempted to make God in our image so that He is more easily received by those that do not know Him or understand Him. When we do not have a proper mooring in theology and biblical knowledge and guidance of the Holy Spirit we will be easily deceived and effected by untruths and deception.
We are in the last hour of deception. Throughout the New Testament one of the themes that is evident is the one that we are living in the final hour. It is interesting to note that Greg Laurie in a message on the antichrist stated that annually a group of renowned and well respected scientists who meet to discuss when they believe the end of the world will occur. These are not extremist or weird people but they are some of the best minds in the world. They met last year and they have set the atomic clock ahead by two minutes. They now have the clock set at 5 minutes to twelve. Now their view is not a biblical one but one that comes from the increase of the availability of nuclear weapons by such countries as North Korea and Iran.
One of the things John is saying here in this passage is that there will be one who will rise as the Antichrist but in the world today there is already an attitude or mindset of antichrist. The mindset of antichrist is to deny that Jesus was the Christ and that He was Christ was fully the incarnate one. The antichrist spirit does everything in its power to diminish Christ and substitute other views or people for the true incarnate one.
I have never seen a time in our lives where there is an all out attack against Christianity. As I was preparing for this message I did a search on evidence of the antichrist and I was amazed at what people were saying. Some believe that President Obama is the antichrist; others believed that the pope is the antichrist and others believe that Herman Cain is the forerunner of the antichrist. We must be careful at identifying who might be the antichrist and look at the mindsets that lead to an antichrist belief system
I will never forget as a kid that we had a formula to determine who would be the antichrist. If you take the alphabet and apply a numerical value to each letter in order and then multiply those numbers all by six then add those numbers up and the number equals 666 then that person must be the antichrist. In those days everyone thought that Henry Kissinger was the antichrist because using this formula his name equates to 666.
The Word of God and the Spirit of God protect us from deception and lead us into eternal life. We need to understand that our greatest protection against deception is truth. And Biblical truth comes only from the word of God and the Spirit of God. When we are seeking out the truth of the Word and are walking in the power of the spirit we are more likely to live in truth.
The truth is a gift from the Holy Spirit. John says that we have been anointed by the Holy Spirit to understand the truth and to walk in the truth. This truth is not a new teaching as some would purport but rather it is the truth that we have received from the beginning. It is the word of truth. We do not add to or take away from the word.
I am sure that you have heard the story related to bankers who learn to find counterfeit money by handling nothing but real money. After several weeks of handling real money, they are given counterfeit money into the stream and when they touch the money that is counterfeit they are able to know that it is fact immediately.
We should let the Word abide in us and we should abide in the Spirit. We must allow the word of God and the Spirit of God to be our guide and compass of our lives.
Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Paul is agreeing with John as he states Let the word of Christ dwell in you which is the same as Let the word abide in you.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Once again Paul agrees with John once again when he states that we should be
filled with the spirit as John states that we are to abide in the Spirit.
As we abide in the word and in the Spirit the word and the Spirit will abide in us. Guard yourself against the antichrist by loving the word, living in the word, praying the word and memorizing the word. John got it right when he says: If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
*Please note that the skeleton of this message is from a message presented by John Piper. The meat of the message is my words and thoughts.