Doctrines of demons, false messiahs, false prophets, and false teachers. We were warned by Jesus, Peter, Paul, and in this short letter, by John. From the 1st century to the 21st century, we have been deceived by churches, religions, and cults with demonic motives. We need to listen and understand to what John tried to tell us way back then. Let’s dig in…
1 This letter is from John, the elder.
I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children (the church God has chosen and its members), whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth— 2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.
Live in the Truth
4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.
5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.
12 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.
13 Greetings from the children (members) of your sister (church), chosen by God.2 John 1 NLT
A Warning about False Teachers for Us Today
Back then, around 92 AD, there were false teachers going around to the various churches denying Jesus’ humanity — the gnostics. Today we have…
- The Roman Catholics who lift up Mary and the saints equal to Jesus’ diety; eat a wafer claiming to be His body; deny the sufficiency of His death and resurrection in absolving us from our sins — among other false doctrines.
- The Mormon Church or the Latter Day Saints say that Jesus is Lucifer‘s brother.
- The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Jesus is less than God Almighty.
- The Eastern Orthodox Church believes that their painted icons embody the Holy Spirit.
And they ALL call themselves “Christian“!
“True love requires love for truth.”Skip Heitzig
John was writing to an early, first-century church. They met in people’s homes, like many small groups today. Thus, there usually was a “lady” hostess. Not all of them could have a full-time teacher or preacher, so there were many traveling preachers. Consequently, that is what it was like in the early days of the United States during the First Great Awakening.
John warned them to beware of false teachers. To not let them stay more than one day. The more people listened to the lies, a watered-down, fake or twisted Gospel, the more people would believe it.
Jesus warned us first…
“Don’t let anyone mislead you, 6 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.”Luke 17:5b-6 NLT
Paul warned us…
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.1 Timothy 4:1-3 NKJV
Doctrines of Demons
“Forbidding to marry” – one of the early doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church was prohibiting priests to marry. It was called a “vow of celibacy”, but it was really a vow to not marry. Hence, they had unwritten permission to have sex. History tells us of the immoral sexual behavior of supposedly pious Roman Catholic priests and even nuns. Must read: “A Woman Rides the Beast” by Dave Hunt. (affiliate link)
Pastor Sandy Adams sums it all up nicely…
Here’s John’s theme: love in truth. 1 John told us if we love God we’ll love our brother, but here we’re told real love never ignores the truth. God’s love is always in harmony with God’s truth. If ever our love causes us to ignore the truth – if in the name of love we tolerate, gloss over, or accept a falsehood, realize we’re not exhibiting the true love of God. Real love affirms and supports God’s truth! And in today’s “Can’t Offend, Tolerant-Of-Everything, Watered-Down World”, many churches have adopted a “Love is Supreme, Unity at all Costs” type of mentality. To them, nothing is as important as love, peace, and unity.
Apparently, they’ve forgotten the words of Jesus. In Luke 12:51-53 (NKJV) the Lord said, “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Jesus said He would draw a line in the sand.
Jesus came to confront us with the truth about God and life and us, and we’re forced to make decisions that put us at odds with folks who choose the opposite. Sometimes friction even erupts in the same family. Not everyone humbles themselves and receives the truth. It’s been said, “You shall know the truth and the truth can make you mad.” To insist on unity at all costs glosses over the reality of objective truth – God’s truth.
To suggest that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, and Mormons should just forget their differences and love one another as brothers is ridiculous. As Christians we should love all people and seek to lead them to Jesus, but for us to embrace them as family is to deny the truth that saves us and defines us!
Real love will never deny God’s truth! And to suggest it really doesn’t matter what you believe – that doctrine is irrelevant – that all that should matter to us is love – is total naïvety about what the Bible teaches! The notion that truth is irrelevant is straight from the pit of Hell. Your doctrine will determine your destiny.
Having love, and even faith, is not enough – the real question is can the object of your faith save you? Just because a baby can suck a bottle is no guarantee he or she will grow up healthy. It depends on the contents of that bottle! Likewise, faith alone will never save. Faith and love has to be grounded in truth!Sandy Adams
Just like bank tellers learn how to recognize a counterfeit bill by studying the real thing, we must study the Word of God. That way, when we hear something that just doesn’t seem right, we go back to the source to verify it.
Ultimately, faith and love need to be grounded in TRUTH.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”John 14:6 NLT
Do YOU KNOW the TRUTH? Do YOU KNOW Jesus?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.