Monday, 11 May 2020
They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 1 John 4:5
John returns to his mode of making contrasts. In the previous verse he said, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” In this verse, he makes a bold contrast from those words –
Of God/of the world
True believers in Jesus Christ are of God. In contrast are the false prophets and those who listen to them. They are of the spirit of the Antichrist and are of the world. They are sons of the Devil and the system he employs. The world in which they live and fellowship in is the source of their speech, even if it isn’t necessarily the subject matter they teach. Understanding this, John says, “Therefore they speak as of the world.”
In John 3:31, Jesus said, “He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” The source of what Christ Jesus spoke was not of this world, because He was not of this world. Those in Christ have their source in Christ, and thus they are “of God.” Those who are not in Christ, speak as the world. Because this is their manner of speaking, John says, “the world hears them.”
When someone is in Christ, he should naturally want to speak about Christ. He will speak about the temporary and futile state of this world, and also of the anticipation of what is ahead for believers. Those who are not in Christ have no such hope, nor do they have a heavenly source for their thoughts. They are of this world because they are grounded in this world. Because of this, the world (meaning the people of the world) will naturally listen to them.
Until a person is willing to accept the premise that this world is not as it should be, and that God has a redemptive plan which is in motion which is intended to bring us back to the state we were originally intended to be in, they cannot accept those things. Further, because Jesus is the central point of that entire plan, they cannot accept Him or what He has done in any meaningful way.
It requires a complete change in one’s worldview to say, “I accept the premise that this world is not truly what I was intended for, and that God has remedied that by sending Jesus.” This is why Jesus said this to his apostles –
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18, 19
There is actually a state of enmity between those who are in Christ and those who are not. This may not be an overt state. In other words, a husband and wife may love one another, but when only one is saved, there is the knowledge that “She thinks she is going to heaven and that I am going to hell.” This is the hatred that John is referring to. The husband hates that message, and therefore, he hates the Source of that message. His heart must first turn to Christ to receive the truth of what Christ speaks concerning such things.
Life application: In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul equates all people as sons of Adam and “of the dust.” But he says that the believers who bear the likeness of Adam will also bear the likeness of the “heavenly Man,” that is Jesus Christ.
The people John speaks of today were and remain sons of Adam. Just as Adam believed the lies of the devil, so these people continue to follow in the same lies. Any teaching contrary to the Bible is a part of this system, but specifically denying the manifestation of Jesus as coming in the flesh is what John is speaking of. Their denial, whether explicit or implicit, is of the world and the world rejoices in hearing them.
Accountability to the true God is thrown out the window so that the deeds of darkness and wickedness can abound. Take time today to evaluate your stand on the Person of Jesus – it is through Him that we are granted eternal life and fellowship with the Creator; nothing else will do. Stand firm on the faith which leads to eternal life!
Lord God, keep us from the influence of those who speak from the system of the world, but whose hearts are cold to You and the wonderful message of reconciliation You have given. It is through the shed blood of Jesus that we overcome this world and are brought back to You. No other path is acceptable. But we thank You that this one path is available. May You be praised for bringing about this glorious restoration! Amen.