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Many Deceivers

Words of Faith Final

Many Deceivers
Words of Faith 6-19-24
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2024
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 John 1
[7] Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

John had seen the strong faith and love displayed by believers-- the church's children. But there also were those who had left the believing community for the world. Some were spewing a message that sounded good, but it denied that Jesus had come in the flesh.
The reason for this was a popular movement embraced by many false teachers (deceivers) who taught that spirit was good and matter was evil. This was part of a philosophical cult called Gnosticism. Remember the "Gnasty Gnostics"? They reasoned that Jesus could not have been God and man-- Spirit and flesh. John warned against this kind of teaching.
The danger is still around. Today, many false teachers still promote an understanding of Jesus that is not biblical. Some argue that the uniqueness of Jesus as "God with us" is unreasonable. They may argue that such a union of Spirit and flesh is untenable or that the virgin birth is unreasonable. These teachers are dangerous because they distort the truth and undermine the foundations of true faith. They may use religious language, but they change the meanings and teach something opposing the truth of Christ and the Gospel.
The term translated "deceivers" can also be translated "impostors". The implication is that there are those who lead others astray. John referred to "many" such charlatans and pretenders. The great danger of deceitful leaders is that they seem so sincere and believable. They are not easy to spot, and they usually say the sort of things that people very much want to hear. They also mix in enough truth to make their message seem genuine. False leaders are winsome and attractive. They gather people to themselves easily. John warned that they were "the antichrist."
We want to be clear and understand that such a person is most likely not the historical "Antichrist" referred to in the Revelation, but they do represent the spirit of antichrist. Though the message may sound reasonable, caring, and winsome, they are, in fact, denying the truth that God became flesh to dwell among us, live a sinless life, and then die for our sins as a perfect and complete sacrifice.
We want to avoid becoming overly suspicious or paranoid about everyone we meet. However, we do want to be wise in evaluating the character and conduct of those who seek to influence people. The way a teacher lives shows much about what they believe about Christ.
We live in a time when discernment is greatly needed. Many promote a message in the name of Christ. Some will differ from what we have learned in some nonessential area, but they still profess the core truth of the Gospel. Others subtly deny the unique nature of Jesus Christ as the One Savior and sacrifice for our sins. We do not need to divide ourselves over nonessential issues, but we do need to be watchful for messages that are antichrist.

Father God, give me eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to discern Your truth in all situations, and courage to stand firm upon the truth of the Gospel. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2024
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2024 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.