1 John 4:5-6, “They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

One of the things that characterizes John’s writings (The Gospel of John, 1-3 John, and Revelation) is the large number of antitheses used by the Apostle. For example, in 1 John, John has contrasted the darkness of sin and the light of God. He does this to explain how Christians must walk (1 John 1:5-10). He also contrasts love and hate to define those who love the truth (1 John 2:10-11).

In 1 John 4:5-6, John returns to discussing the world as he contrasts those who are of the world with those who are of the Lord (1 John 4:5-6). John speaks of the world, as we have seen in 1 John, as the evil world system that sets itself in opposition to the Lord (1 John 2:15-17). Christians are not to love the world system because to be of the world is to be opposed to the Lord Jesus (John 15:18-25).

We must recognize, as we’ve seen over the past few days, those who possess the Holy Spirit from those false teachers John writes against who possess the spirit of the antichrist. 1 John 4:4-5 makes it clear those who possess the antichrist are those of the world (1 John 4:5). Those teachers who set their affections on the world can be recognized as those who are not of the Lord. Christians should not be alarmed when those who mold their doctrine according to the sinful norms of our culture, resulting in them gaining an audience from the world since John tells his original audience, and us today, that this is sure to happen.

Those who are of the Lord, are contrasted with those who are of the world. In 1 John 4:6, John writes, “we are from God.” Those who know and possess the spirit of the antichrist do not listen to those who are from the Lord. While all true Christians can rightly claim to be of the Lord, John contrasts them with the false teachers mentioned in 1 John 4:1-5 telling us that when John uses the word we, he is referring to the Apostles, those with a special commission from the Lord. John is thus, making an explicit claim for apostolic authority. As John does so, he is repeating Jesus’ statement that all who receive the apostles receive Jesus Himself (Matthew 10:40). To listen to the Apostles, today, we heed their teaching found in the Scriptures, revealing thereby, like John’s audience, we are of the Lord.

We must ask the question now, “Are you and I from the world, or from the Lord? Do you and I heed the voice of Jesus that speaks through His Apostles in the New Testament or do you and me listen to the voices that speak through our sinful inclinations?” Please ask the Lord to search your heart with His Word and by the Holy Spirit to see where you have been listening to the world instead of the voice of the Lord in the Scriptures. Also, please consider finding one other person you can confide in and who will help you hear the voice of God through biblical admonition, rebuke, and exhortation.