RECAP–False Light–based on 1 John 2:18-27 and 4:1-6
When I was a child, my grandmother was GREATLY interested in the plentitude of teaching around Revelation. I remember listening to Jimmy Swaggart tapes, watching Ted Hagee and the early foundations of TBN, and tried to imitate what they were teaching. I too became a student of Revelation, telling everyone at school that Jesus was coming soon and to watch out for the antichrist. Roughly 30 years later, Jesus has still not returned. Did I miss something? It is easy, when you are expecting something so much, to become discouraged and apathetic when what you hope for does not happen. And that is precisely where the church of Ephesus was. It was roughly 60 years since the resurrection of Jesus. Instead of things getting better, they were getting worse, and there was no guarantee the Lord would return. John was the only one of the original Twelve who remained. It’s hard to stay vigilant, focused, and faithful when it doesn’t seem like an answer is coming.
In the midst of this discouragement and apathy, John spoke to the church. Now is not the time to lay down and give up; now is the time to remain on your guard! Even though an “Antichrist” will appear, the “spirit of the antichrist” is already present and among them. Today, that same spirit, the spirit of the antichrist, is in our midst. What should we look for?
1) Looks the part–they look like Christians, but are not. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us”–1 John 2:19. On the surface, they might appear to be people of faith, but inside they are not committed to the way of Christ or to follow after God. They have a different motive: to undercut the work of Christ from within. How do we recognize if the spirit is in our midst? What is the fruit of their lives? Does it point to Jesus? The fruit of the Spirit? Or does it look more like the world?
2) Tries to convince us we don’t really need Christ. “It is the person who denies Jesus is the Christ”–1 John 2:22. Instead of encouraging us to remain in Christ, to trust in Jesus’ role as the vine and God as the vinedresser (see John 15), taking our nourishment from them, the spirit of the antichrist encourages us to cut ourselves off from the vine and go out on our own. We can do it better ourselves! Subsequently, they do not want to stand on or in the truth. “No lie comes from the truth”–1 John 2:21. For the truth reveals all things and can set us free (John 8:32). So the spirit of the antichrist will either give a false narrative of what the Scriptures teach or encourage us to not stand on the Word. Instead of asking, “What does God say? Or how do the Scriptures speak to this?”, they attack the authenticity of the Word of God (its outdated, irrelevant, that is not what Paul meant, etc.). For darkness wants to remain in darkness and not have the light shine on it!
3) Deny the person and place of Jesus. “Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God”–1 John 4:3. The spirit tries to minimize the person of Jesus, reducing him to a myth or fabrication. Likewise, they try to strip the authority of Jesus. But Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! “Greater is the one in your than the one in the world”–1 John 4:4.
4) Pushes us down an alternative path. The spirit tries to lead us astray, attacking what we believe to be true. They try to teach us there are many ways to heaven apart from the sacrifice and repentance demanded by Jesus. In turn, they give us counterfeit blessings (2:27), and encourage us to become friends with the world (see 2:15-17 again and 4:5).
So if this is the spirit of the antichrist, how do we not fall into spiritual apathy and give in to this spirit?
1) Live in your anointing. “You have an anointing from the Holy One” (2:20). “The anointing you received from Him remains in you” (2:26). When we come to know Jesus, we receive an anointing from him. We were purposefully chosen, designed by God. Don’t forget who you are!
2) Cling to the truth. “All of you know the truth” (2:20). To see through the deception of the day, we need to know the truth! Are we spending time with the truth? Or do we fill ourselves with competing messages?
3) Remain in the Son. We remain by spending time with Jesus. We make Jesus the center of everything we do, the primary reason for living.
4) Test the Spirits. Examine everything we hear or see not by our knowledge or our emotions, but against the Word. God’s Word never fails–if it contradicts the Word, then it is false!
5) Put Christ in his rightful place. Let us make Jesus truly the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, seated on the throne!
6) Listen to godly counsel. Surround ourselves with other people of faith, who are encouraging us to follow God.
Questions for reflection
1) Why is the statement “looks are deceiving” true when it comes to faith?
2) What are some ways that you demonstrate a need for Jesus in your living?
3) What practices do you have in place to help you “remain” in Christ?
4) What place does Jesus have in your life? How do you show he is in charge of your life?
We begin the season of Lent with the sermon titled, “Produce Fruit…”, based upon Matthew 3:7-12 and 7:15-23. What is spiritual fruit? And how does it serve as a good indicator of our hearts? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for February 16 – 22
February 16: John 15:1-17 How do we remain in the light and not embrace a false light?
February 17: John 15:18-27 How does the world try to silence the true light?
February 18: John 16:1-16 How does the Holy Spirit lead us into light?
February 19: John 16:17-31 How does the Holy Spirit keep us in the light?
February 20: John 17:1-19 What role does the Word and truth play in keeping in the light?
February 21: John 17:20-26 What is a fruit of being a follower of Jesus?
February 22: John 18:1-11 What is a fruit of being a follower of Jesus?
This Week’s Events:
Tuesday, February 16–Sunday Night Live Planning Meeting @ 7:30 pm
Wednesday, February 17–COB Town Hall w/ Moderator Paul Mundey @ 10 am; see previous email for Zoom link!
Wednesday, February 17–Ministry Team Meeting @ 6:30 pm
Thursday, February 18–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm (pending due to weather)
Sunday, March 28–Bread & Cup Communion
Sunday, April 4–Sunrise Service & Easter
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
After Easter, we will embark on a new series of our favorite hymns. We will spend 10 Sundays looking at our top ten favorite hymns. But we want your input! Please either put your hymns on a piece of paper and place it in the brown box in the narthex, call it in to the office, or send Pastor Ryan an email/text with your favorite hymns. SO FAR, I have only received 13 submissions. I really would love for everyone to make their submission by February 28th!
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Mail your tithe into the church office **PLEASE NOTE: We have had several days of no mail, and also some reports of mail being stolen on our street.
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Those in our community being negatively impacted by COVID and economic impacts. Several have seen layoffs in recent weeks.
Mary Batterman (health)
John Bennington (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Elijah Dean (health)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Shannon Hollen (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Reba & Garry Kline (COVID)
Lent family (work)
Alda Miller (health)
Mary Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Mark Milstead (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Stanley Suter (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB