Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: John teaches us that we have the truth, know the test for truth and can determine the spirits of the Antichrist in today's world if we will apply the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

How To Know You’ll Stay

1 John 4:1-6

• We would like to believe that we are freed from the threat of Gnosticism because of John’s clear message and stand for the truth.

• However, Gnosticism has risen anew. Satan has no new tricks.

• Today we are going to focus on the spiritual world and the truth.

• C. S. Lewis said that the two common mistakes of Christianity is either the overemphasis of the spiritual world or the minimization of it.

• John tries to bring into balance this topic, but let me explain how it sneaks in unnoticed.

• One of the teachings of the Gnostics, particularly the Zoroastrianism, a Persian Gnostic religion, was that Satan became legal owner of the physical world.

• The Zoroastrians taught that there were two major gods, an evil one who ruled the physical world and a righteous one who ruled in the spiritual world.

• This is still taught today by a group of metaphysical, mystic evangelists, but in a different form.

• According to Michael Horton in “The Agony of Deceit”, states: “In such a philosophy the problem of evil is solved by blaming everything that goes wrong on the bad god (the devil); the good god is seen as no more than a counterbalance. One is left with the impression that the two gods each possess equal power both in quality and quantity. Everything that is wrong in the world is the fault of the bad god. And it's up to the initiate or believer to make sure the good god wins.”

• How is this brought current by the mystic evangelists of today?

• “When Jimmy Swaggart defied the orders of the Assemblies of God to refrain from preaching for one year (after it was revealed about his moral failure), he assured the public that he was free of moral defect, for, he said, Oral Roberts had cast out the demons from his body over the phone. Oral Roberts confirmed Swaggart's report, insisting he had demons and their their claws deeply embedded in Swaggart's flesh. Now that the rascals were gone, Swaggart and Roberts asserted, Swaggart could get on with preparing the way for Christ's return. Evidently, personal responsibility for sin can be dismissed by blaming it on an external force. Yet Flip Wilson's famous quip, "The devil made me do it" is hardly comedy when we're talking about the biblical view of sin.”

• The idea that is being proposed by these want-to-be Christian mystics is that, though a Christian cannot be possessed by an evil spirit, we can carry a curse, perhaps a family curse, or a curse from a demon we allowed into our lives at an earlier age.

• Because we don’t want to take responsibility for our personal sins this makes this falsehood seem appealing, and the hope for a “quick fix” for our habitual failures makes us vulnerable to this deception.

• As we proceed through this passage, do not let the discussion of demons, evil spirits and Satan intimidate you.

• Please focus as much attention on the position and protection of the believer.

• Before we begin, let me lay down some principles that we will be considering foundational to this study.

• If you have questions concerning any of these, please write them on the “Questions and Future Topics” forms.

• I am not trying to avoid these questions, but we will be covering so much, I am afraid I will only partially answer these questions and further confuse the issues unless we present them with preparation.

• 1) For me to sin, I must be deceived.

• 2) For me to sin, I must resist the grace of God.

• 3) God has given me everything in this life I need to live victoriously.

• 4) Satan has no access to my spirit and his attacks must come from the external.

• 5) No curses or demons can be carried past the Cross of Jesus. Only my mind can carry sin into my Christian life.

• 6) Therefore, I am responsible for my sins and cannot blame them on the devil.

• 7) Still, Christ alone is responsible for my victories and must receive all the glory (credit).

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

• It is clear that there are spirits that claim to be from God but cannot be believed.

• Some commentaries suggest that there is a spirit attached to every false doctrine or teaching.

• This ties the false spirits to the false prophets.

• It also indicates that false spirits are lying. They profess to be what they are not; from God.

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