Therefore, antichrist describes a people discontent with and disconnected from the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, who make their own rules, and present to the world a counterfeit Jesus made after their own image by counterfeit teaching. John did not make a dry observation about antichrist. It carries a strong note of warning through the book.
There exist many lists of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be found in the Bible, none exhaustive, and each gift has a bearing on our RELATIONSHIPS with others. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
The Lord knows where our heart is, and we’re going to be judged by that knowledge. Yet, as humans, knowing our own hearts can be a challenge at times. We have this blessing of human emotion to give us clues as to where our heart truly lies. Can we spot a lack of trust in God where we feel fear? Can we find pride, a shortage of patience, or selfishness in our anger?
Nearly 3,000 years before The Stones recorded their #1 hit, wise King Solomon had already (and much more poetically) recorded these very same insights and conclusions in the book of Ecclesiastes. Possessing fame and wealth beyond what Mick, Keith, and the rest of the band could likely even fathom, Solomon set out on his own journey to find meaning and fulfillment in life. Throughout the early chapters of Ecclesiastes, we find Solomon testing his heart with mirth and releasing it to indulge in pleasure (see Ecclesiastes 2:1-3).
Paul says these selfish desires lead to temptations, snares, destruction, perdition, and sorrow. Wealth doesn’t add to happiness; it adds to sorrow. The desire for wealth or the appearance of wealth leads to bad decisions and the inevitable consequences. So says Solomon in Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”
Spiritual blindness is different from eyes that are not functioning properly or are ruined. Spiritual blindness has to do with allowing our lives to be the final authority on what is accepted and true. It is blindness because we are not the authority. When we make ourselves the authority, we can only reflect upon our projections of reality. So, we surround ourselves with a type of knowledge limited to ourselves. This excludes knowing what is beyond us because we cannot admit contradictions to the biases of our fleshly mind. Being impressed with ourselves is a little like being in a room of mirrors, wowed at the seeming infinite, while after all being in a small room.
We have a heavenly target and our heading set, but we still live in a temporal setting, a “not yet” world and for that reason we are “becomings”. We are always “becoming,” either for better or worse.
So, Jesus prayed in a garden, was arrested and fettered in a garden, died and was buried in a garden. That means he also rose from the dead in a garden, since that’s where the tomb was located (John 20:1ff).
Just those three words probably remind most readers of this article of that old gospel song “There is Power in the Blood of the Lamb” that was used so often in days gone by in tent and revival meetings. And, indeed, those words are true, but let us consider some other thoughts about power. It seems that people are impressed with power whether it be political power, national power, mechanical power, electrical power, muscular power, etc., etc… the list goes on.
As a Christian, there is certainly one thing we can do in regard to our own spirits. We can determine to never be “offended” by another in this manner. In other words, we must endeavor to not allow anything another might say or do to keep us from walking with the Lord and being an active part of His body. If following the Lord is the most important thing in our life, we must make it true.