Caveat: A pre-condition that must be met before an act can take place.
What God says through the Apostle John in his first letter to the church will come as a shock to those who have always believed that in order to be saved God has only one caveat–belief in Jesus Christ.
Because I was “born and raised in the church” I began hearing that message early on and believed it without question until I began to study the Bible on my own. Like all others in professing Christendom I was encouraged to own a Bible and to read it when time permitted. However, I was to leave the studying and interpreting of it to the professionals. Upon hearing the Lord’s call to study His Word in order to 1) be “approved of Him” and 2) to be able to “rightly divide” His Truth from Satan’s error (2 Tim. 2:15), I began to study it in search of spiritual Truth. I soon realized that practically everything being put forth from pulpit and podium as “Bible truth” was neither Biblical nor Truth.
As a general rule I do not listen to Satan’s false prophets who preach a “perverted gospel” (Gal. 1:6), which Jesus calls “great darkness” (Mat. 6:23) because it is presented as God’s light. However, my clever Father occasionally arranges for me to “accidently” overhear what is being put forth by the “angel of light” through his “ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:15). As I listen to his false prophets today and compare their messages to what the apostles fought against I find that nothing has changed. Satan is peddling the same counterfeit gospel to the religious descendants of the same counterfeit Christians who are trapped in the same Counterfeit (Catholic/Protestant) Church system. Why is his message so eagerly received and believed?
Because men love darkness more than light. Those in the Institutional Church are condemned because they reject the Light (holy gospel) that God has spread throughout the world while embracing their own false light (perverted gospel), which He calls “evil.” Church people hate God’s Light because it exposes their darkness (Jn. 3:19,20). The Lord defines as darkness any spiritual “truth” that is not His Truth/Word (Jn. 17:17). With those Scriptural Truths in mind we will begin our study of the Holy Spirit-inspired Words found in John’s first letter to those in God’s church whom he calls his “little children” (2:1). As we study John’s letter we will “rightly divide” the Lord’s Truth concerning the most serious deception Satan ever convinced religious man to embrace–the acceptance of sin as inevitable. This deadly Satanic error has been accepted as God’s Truth by the whole of professing Christendom. Even some in His true church cling to this perverse bit of theology which has roots that go back some 6000 years. Those roots are exposed by an episode that took place in the Garden of Eden.
In Genesis 3 we find Satan, in the form of a serpent, talking with Eve who tells him in verse 3 that God has warned that if she and Adam eat of the forbidden tree located in the midst of the garden they will die. Satan assures her that the members of God’s first church could eat as much of the forbidden fruit as they wanted and live forever, that God would view their sin as if it had never happened. Notice that the devil did not tell her that eating the fruit was not a sin, he simply said that they could sin and not die, that God had lied to them. Rather than die, they would live forever in paradise. Satan convinced Adam and Eve that they would suffer no negative results of sin because of their relationship with their Creator and conversation Partner.
Nothing has changed. Today their spiritual descendants believe that they can sin with impunity because they are “saved,” going so far as to call themselves “saved sinners.” Modern religious man and his ancient parents share the same belief in the same “truth” that has come from the same source. SATAN HAS CONVINCED BOTH GROUPS THAT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN GOD THEY CAN SIN AND GET AWAY WITH IT. John’s first letter to his and God’s “little children” refutes this lie and condemns all who embrace Satan’s “only believe” gospel. Satan rules the lives of those who are satisfied with his “perverted gospel” (Gal. 1:6) and the “other Jesus” it puts forth (2 Cor. 11:4). L.J.