Saturday, January 30, 2010
1 John 2 and Deut 13 Get it right! Antichrists are coming
1 John 2 18 Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour.
19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth.
22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? He is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
23 No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.
24 What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life.
26 I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
27 The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie; just as it has taught you, remain in Him.
Why does false religion matter to God? Live and let live. Its ok to believe whatever you want. All religions are the same.
The publishing world sees very few books reach blockbuster status, but William Paul Young's The Shack has now exceeded even that. The book, originally self-published by Young and two friends, has now sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into over thirty languages. It is now one of the best-selling paperback books of all time, and its readers are enthusiastic.
According to Young, the book was originally written for his own children. In essence, it is an attempt to answer the question of evil and the character of God by means of a story. In this story, the main character is grieving the brutal kidnapping and murder of his seven-year-old daughter when he receives what turns out to be a summons from God to meet him in the very shack where the man's daughter had been murdered.
In the shack, "Mack" meets the divine Trinity as "Papa," an African-American woman; Jesus, a Jewish carpenter; and "Sarayu," an Asian woman who is revealed to be the Holy Spirit. The book is mainly a series of dialogues between Mack, Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu. Those conversations reveal God to be very different than the God of the Bible. "Papa" is absolutely non-judgmental, and seems most determined to affirm that all humanity is already redeemed.
The theology of The Shack. The dialogues reveal a theology that is unconventional at best, and undoubtedly heretical in certain respects. The unconventional "trinity" of divine persons is itself sub-biblical and dangerous. "Papa" tells Mack of the time when the three persons of the Trinity "spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God." Nowhere in the Bible is the Father or the Spirit described as taking on human existence. The Christology of the book is likewise confused. "Papa" tells Mack that, though Jesus is fully God, "he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything. He has only lived out of his relationship with me, living in the very same manner that I desire to be in relationship with every human being."
The Christian church has struggled for centuries to come to a faithful understanding of the Trinity in order to avoid just this kind of confusion -- understanding that the Christian faith is itself at stake. Jesus tells Mack that he is "the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu." Not the only way, but merely the best way.
In another chapter, "Papa" corrects Mack's theology by asserting, "I don't need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish it; it's my joy to cure it." Without doubt, God's joy is in the atonement accomplished by the Son. Nevertheless, the Bible consistently reveals God to be the holy and righteous Judge, who will indeed punish sinners. The idea that sin is merely "its own punishment" fits the Eastern concept of karma, but not the Christian Gospel.
Jesus tells Mack: "Papa is as much submitted to me as I am to him, or Sarayu to me, or Papa to her. Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way." The essence of idolatry is self-worship, and this notion of the Trinity submitted (in any sense) to humanity is inescapably idolatrous.
The most controversial aspects of The Shack's message have revolved around questions of universalism, universal redemption, and ultimate reconciliation. Jesus tells Mack: "Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions." Jesus adds, "I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, my Beloved." Mack then asks the obvious question -- do all roads lead to Christ? Jesus responds, "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you."
"Papa" chides Mack that he is now reconciled to the whole world. Mack retorts, "The whole world? You mean those who believe in you, right?" "Papa" responds, "The whole world, Mack."
James B. DeYoung of Western Theological Seminary, a New Testament scholar who has known William Young for years, documents Young's embrace of a form of "Christian universalism." The Shack, he concludes, "rests on the foundation of universal reconciliation."
How is it that so many evangelical Christians seem to be drawn not only to this story, but to the theology presented in the narrative -- a theology at so many points in conflict with evangelical convictions?
Writing at Books & Culture, Katherine Jeffrey concludes that The Shack "offers a postmodern, post-biblical theodicy." While her main concern is the book's place "in a Christian literary landscape," she cannot avoid dealing with its theological message. When it comes to The Shack, the really troubling fact is that so many readers are drawn to the theological message of the book, and fail to see how it conflicts with the Bible at so many crucial points. All this reveals a disastrous failure of evangelical discernment. It is hard not to conclude that theological discernment is now a lost art among evangelicals -- and this loss can only lead to theological catastrophe. The popularity of this book among evangelicals can only be explained by a lack of basic theological knowledge among us -- a failure even to understand the Gospel of Christ. The tragedy that evangelicals have lost the art of biblical discernment must be traced to a disastrous loss of biblical knowledge.
The whole period from Christ’s resurrection to now, running now well over 1900 years, is called here "the last days." Even in this letter the apostle has said the age to come has already dawned, the darkness is passing away. Twice he has reminded us that the world is passing away, the darkness of it is disappearing, the last days have already come, and we are moving toward the end of them. And as we move towards the end of the last days we can expect the Antichrist to arise. The antichrist: He will be a Gentile (v.1a). God allowed John the Apostle to see far into the future and told him to write down what he saw. Don’t let the strange metaphorical language intimidate you. John says he saw "a beast rising up out of the sea." In prophetic literature, the "sea" almost always refers to the Gentile nations or non-Jewish people. Rev.17:15 says, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues."
The antichrist He will be a World Dictator (v.1b). The world is ready for a man with all the answers. As we watch Obama present himself as the man who has the answers to our problems we should be concerned. In the time after the rapture and the chaos that ensues, the timing will be perfect for the rising of a "New Caesar" who will come with the answers for the world’s problems. In Dan.7 and Rev.17, we see a strange "beast" who had "seven heads and ten horns." We are seeing Europe unite now as never before. Not long ago we saw the rise of the Eurodollar, currency that can be used in many European nations.
But before he arises there will be a rise in Antichrists… those who would lead people astray from a true faith in Christ. And John wants us to get it right about the the true Christ, get it right about the gospel get it right about avoiding false teachings and get it right about abiding in Christ so we don’t lose our rewards at the end. 2 Timothy 3 says But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of religion but denying its power. Avoid these people! Christ himself had predicted that the days before his return would be marked by false christs, false prophets, and false teachers who would teach heresies in the name of Jesus Christ. Matthew 24, Luke 17.
What will these false teachers teach? Well firstly they are called anti Christs: The term anti can have two meanings. It can mean “in opposition to” or “instead of.” So an antichrist is either one who stands in opposition to Christ or one who stands in the place of Christ. They really all boil down to the same thing in the end. But those who stand in the place of Christ, claiming to be Christ, are in this sense antichrists.
22: “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.” (NAS) 23 No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well. 24 What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you.
It is all about Jesus. Its all about Who He is and what He came to do. Its all about your current relationship with Jesus. Is the One you are currently worshipping, currently knowing the real Jesus.. or a false one? In John’s time the anti Christs were happy to say that Jesus was God, or spiritual, but they weren’t happy to say He came in the flesh. They denied His incarnation. That He was the God manifest in the flesh.
1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. In the same way today many will deny aspects of Jesus’ person and work.
Do they deny that Jesus is the Son, the second person of the trinity? If they deny this, like the Jehovah’s witnesses, then they are anti Christs. Do they deny that He lived a sinless perfect life and came to die on a cross to atone for our sins? Do they deny that Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice of atonement to take away our sins? Then they are antichrists. There are Baptist pastors that deny these very things, including a former principal of a Baptist Union of great Britain theological college. We must be ob guard for the gospel.
If you don’t get it right you’ll offend God
There is only one true God.
He has declared how He must be worshiped.
He has declard that yo can only have a right relationship with Him through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 2: 1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Kings are exhorted to accept it10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
If you don’t get it right you’ll lose eternal life. He alone gives eternal life.
There are many people doing the bidding of Satan in local churches all around the world. They are the agents of hell. They cause disruption, breed contention and destroy fellowship. Some are very aware of what they are doing. Some are witless pawns who have no idea of the damage they inflict. Wolves almost always attack the lambs. The "antichrists" who come into the church attach themselves to the spiritual babies. They promote the doctrine of wolves, what 1 Tim.4:1 calls "doctrines of demons." Babies don’t know doctrine.
Satan had agents in the first century church. He has his plants in our church. He even had a wolf in the original local church. His name was Judas, one of the original twelve disciples. No one knew Judas was a secret agent except Jesus. He blended perfectly with the other 11 disciples. They lived with him for three years and never got wise to him. When Jesus revealed that one of them would betray Him, the other 11 each asked, "Lord, is it I?" (Mt.26:22; cf. Mk.14:19).
If you don’t get it right you’ll offend against the Light you already have
If you don’t get it right you won’t remain in God We hold to Jesus by ABIDING in His Truth (vv.24-25). Abiding in truth is an individual, personal responsibility. No one else can do it for us. "You" is emphatic. In v.24 it is used 5 times. We remember that "abide" means "to live, to remain, to stay." Don’t let Satan or his "antichrists" steal your fellowship. You can come to church, sing the songs, pray the prayers, read the Scriptures and still not abide. Abiding means feeding on the Word for yourself. Abiding means a quiet time with God every day.
If you don’t get it right you’ll be deceived The Anti Christ will be a deceiver. So are the many antichrists that abound as we head towards the end of the age. He suggests that heretics adopt Christian terminology for their errors. That is, they begin within Christian circles and at first they sound truly Christian. You cannot tell what they are until they begin to break away. Their terminology is correct, but they substitute another meaning for the words. Take, for instance, the way the word "resurrection" is being widely used among so-called Christian leaders. They say, "We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ; we believe in the resurrection of the believer." But what do they mean by that? They mean that the soul survives death some way, that the spirit of Jesus somehow survived the experience of death and his spirit is abroad today, though his body lies rotting in the grave. They do not believe what the New Testament states as the meaning of the resurrection -- the raising of the body of Jesus. It was his body which came from the grave.
You can get it right. 1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
1 John 2:27 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 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.