“We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God doesn’t listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
The Apostle John makes a claim for himself and the other early church Apostles, appointed by Christ, by affirming that they are from God. They have seen the face and works of Christ and have been called by God through the work of the Holy Spirit to preach and teach the whole council of God and write the very words of Scripture. The doctrines of the church are taught in their writings and recorded for us in the Bible text, in these early days of the kingdom of God. This is crucial, for many falsehoods and heresies were to infiltrate the church and the thinking of Christians even in those early days. We see some of these falsehoods being addressed already in the Epistles to the churches and even in the first Century, the pure message of the gospel was being sullied.
In our day, false teachers and faulty teaching are everywhere. The assault on the doctrines of the faith and the inerrancy of the Word of God is fierce, as we live through these last days of this world. Satan has falsehoods everywhere, and there are so many voices that do not hold to the teaching of Scripture and go their own way. We are told this will happen. People are following the light of their own faulty understanding and leading many astray.
“Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will lead many astray. Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold.”
The Apostle says that these voices with their strange doctrine are not from God, because they do not listen to the teaching of the Scripture and have deviated from the truth of God revealed there. Those who do not stick to the truth of Scripture and have so little regard for it, are not of God. In these last times it will get worse and worse and all kinds of unrighteousness will abound in the name of God. We see this clearly today as corruption and error are infiltrating the teachings of the Word of God.
The lifestyles of Christian people are now no different from the people of this world. Worldliness has so infiltrated the psyche of the church that anything goes. Christians are imbibing things they should not and involving themselves with luxury and ungodly living to satisfy their craven desires. The flesh is not resisted and many are led astray by the god of this world.
“So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.”
The only way to discern truth for error is by the standard of the Scripture and the only way to live is to seek the spiritual and follow in the way of Christ.
“Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,”
2 Timothy 3:16
There is no other way to recognise the truth for living and finding the way to God. What we believe about the Bible is crucial, for without it we are completely at sea and have no mark of reference to guide us. The Apostle John is adamant about this and as his words are included in Scripture, so we must listen.