We have been warned to not love the world (I John 2:15-16). One of the most dangerous aspects of the world, is its religiousness. Along with other forms of philosophy and intellectual teachings, the world has various religious views that compete / interfere with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:1-8). It takes the Holy Spirit's discernment, through study of the Scriptures and prayer, to understand and reject the influence of the world. Perhaps the trickiest deceptions are worldly teachings that claim to be Christian and use the Bible. See Psalm 1:1-3 cp. I Corinthians 2:12-16; II Corinthians 11:2-4,13-15.
I John 2:18-19 - It is one thing to be incorrect in our understanding of a passage of Scripture or a doctrinal point. However, there are those who set themselves up as teachers, who cause divisions of churches and lead away many people from following the truth. They use the Bible, but they are described as "antichrists" [Not to be confused with The Antichrist - see II John 1:7 cp. II Thessalonians 2:1-10 - the beast of Revelation 13]. Unless you are born again, you are, in some way, under the influence of the spirit of antichrist. See Ephesians 2:1-3; II Corinthians 4:3-6; I John 2:22; 5:19-21 cp. John 8:42-47.
I John 2:20-21 - The indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the "unction / anointing" which is His personal instruction, guidance, wisdom, and discernment / protection from lies (Romans 8:9). He is called the Comforter / Helper and the Spirit of Truth (John 14:15-18, 26; 16:12-15). As you listen to people teach, you can discern, from the Scriptures, whether they are telling you the truth or not. See I John 2:27; 4:1,6 cp. John 6:63; II Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11; I Corinthians 2:1-16.
I John 2:22-23 - True teaching must be centered around a correct understanding of who is the Father, who is His Son, and why did the Father send His Son to earth. See John 5:19-24; 8:23-24; 14:1-6; 17:1-10,17-21; Romans 1:1-5,16-18; I Corinthians 1:9; 2:1-2; II Corinthians 4:5-6; I Peter 1:1-2,22-25; I John 4:13-15; II John 1:9. See also Psalm 2:1-12.
I John 2:24-26 - Even those who already know Christ can get confused and drawn away from following the truth, if they are not careful. John says that false teachers and false teaching can "seduce" you. See Romans 16:17-18; II Corinthians 11:2-3, 13-15; Galatians 3:1; Colossians 2:8, 18; I Timothy 4:1; II Timothy 2:14-16; I John 4:1-6; II John 1:6-11.
I John 2:27-29 - The indwelling Holy Spirit, which gives us His "unction / anointing," teaches and confirms truth to us (see notes on I John 2:20-21). He certainly uses people to teach us (Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:8,11-16; II Timothy 2:2), but the source of truth is not man. All men must be subject to what the Spirit is teaching us through the Scriptures. See Galatians 1:1-24; I Corinthians 2:1-5,12-13; Ephesians 4:20-21; II Timothy 3:14-17; II Peter 1:16-21.
Submissive, Spirit-led study of the Scriptures will give us confidence and cause us to be unashamed servants of Christ. We will be able to walk with Him; to walk like Him; and be prepared to stand before Him. See John 7:16-18; James 1:18-25; I Timothy 4:12-16; II Timothy 2:14-16; I Corinthians 2:9-13; Ephesians 1:15-20; Colossians 1:9-12; II Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 2:20; I Corinthians 1:4-8; II Peter 3:10-18 I Thessalonians 1:5-10; 5:19-24.
Questions to ask ourselves:
- How is it that all churches can talk about Jesus and yet teach very different things?
- How long has this been going on?
- How dangerous is this?
- What are you going to do about it?