Scripture Reading: Daniel 9:20-11:1 / 1 John 3:11-4:6 / Psalm 137:1-9
They say that one of the greatest mistakes anyone can make is to underestimate their enemy. When it comes to spiritual warfare, the greatest mistake we can make is to underestimate our God! Some think satan is powerful and is equally or nearly as powerful as God. Sadly, some Christians are blinded by this fallacy and live in defeat and deception.
The early church faced an onslaught of persecution outside the church and intruding false and evil doctrines within the church. John speaks about the evil spirits that the early believers regularly faced. False teachers and prophets taught that Jesus did not come in the flesh, trying to debunk the message of the gospel. Prominent Gnostic teachers taught that all matter was evil, including the human body. The idea of God becoming man and redeeming us by the person of Christ was enthusiastically rebuked.
John writes to these believers about identifying false spirits and embracing God’s Spirit. They were not to fear the ever increasing and deceptive Gnostic spirit that was alluring people from faith in Christ. John assures them, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
They needed to be reminded that they were children of the Most High God. Christ had “overcome” the evil works of darkness and had conquered them once and for all. The forces of darkness had been stripped of their power and hold. God’s Spirit now resided in them and they walked in the same victorious power over the seducing and false spirits. They were greater because Christ was greater!
We wrestle with the same seducing, alluring and deceptive spirits today. Modern Gnosticism teaches that Jesus was not the Son of God. Today, false religions and cults declare that there are other ways to God and salvation other than Jesus. Their message may seem to be effective but it is no match for the powerful message of Christ being the way, the truth and the life! The message of Christ the redeemer, healer, baptizer and coming King is forever etched in eternity.
Salvation is not a superficial enhancement of the outward man but an inward change that affects our whole person. We are new creations in Christ Jesus and have been changed by His transforming power. He anoints and indwells us with His Spirit. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. The “prince of this world” is no match for the “prince of peace” and “The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!” The antichrist spirit is in the world…but the Holy Spirit is in us!