2012-05-27 - Discerning Truth from False Teaching
The Epistles of John ~ Part 36 ~ 1 John 2
In contrast then to the unbelievers, the believer knows truth, that Christ is God, and that salvation only comes through Him. They are to hold on to this truth, and because they accepted this truth, they have received eternal life, and eternal relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31).
Live in Your Anointing: John concludes this section by reminding his readers that he wants them to clearly understand the differences between that which is being propagated by the false teachers, and that which they know because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These believers have the true anointing of the Holy Spirit -versus the esoteric anointing claimed by false teachers. They didn't need the teachings of some specific individuals who claimed to have the only truth.
Note, though, that John wasn't saying because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in each believer, they don't need teachers. After all Paul said:
"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Ephesians 4:12)
Again, since John is teaching with this letter, clearly he isn't saying believers don't need teachers. What John is saying, though is these believers don't need to fall into the false teachers' traps. These teachers taught they were the only conduit of some mysterious secret teaching, and that only they have truth and people must follow them.
In contrast, the believers have Scripture, the Apostles' teachings, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. There are no hidden truths, as the cults claim. There is truth accessible to all, under the leading of the Holy Spirit. So believers are called to
" not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
And as they tested the words of teachers against Scripture, and in dependency on the Holy Spirit, they were protected against the attacks of the anti-christs.
To be continued.