Every once in a great while a news story pops up wherein a species once thought to be extinct is rediscovered in some Amazonian wilderness. As seems to be the case nowadays, the story starts to trend, specialists in the field are befuddled by the reality of a species they thought extinct prancing about in flesh and bone, then something new comes along and the newly no-longer-extinct species is summarily forgotten about.
Even within Christendom there are certain species we thought extinct. We read of their existence some nineteen hundred years ago then as though they never existed they disappear into the vast storehouse of history thought never to return.
Truth be told, it would have been far better for the species to I am referring to have stayed extinct, but alas, it seems to have been rediscovered, and many a soul, especially the young and impressionable are enamored if not outright enraptured.
Recently I was reading a passage out of John’s first epistle, and a handful of words moved me so, that I began to research what it was John’s heart was so broken over, and why his writings to the churches seemed so emotional.
1 John 2:18-19, “Little children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”
John wrote his first, second and third epistles near the tail end of his life. He knew he was close to going home, to finishing his race faithfully and receiving his just reward, and he set about writing a letter of warning to those he considered his spiritual children, in an almost paternal and fatherly manner.
‘Little children, it is the last hour,’ I keep rereading these words over and over again, and I can’t help but think that if during John’s time it was the last hour, then we must be living in the last seconds of the last minute of the last hour.
Strangely enough, the selfsame individuals John was warning against in his first epistle have reemerged from the shadows, with the selfsame polluted doctrine and teaching. These individuals no longer go by the name Gnostics, but have modernized their title and rebranded themselves Emergent. Make no mistake, the roots of such individuals can be traced back to the Gnostics of old, and the heresies they preach are an echo of centuries past.
The Gnostics believed – like so many do today – that the Word of God was not the final authority, and because of their spirituality they had somehow tapped in to a hidden knowledge that caused them to be above the normal distinctions of right and wrong, giving them license to sin with impunity.
Because sin became relative to them, the Gnostics were known for their deplorable conduct and complete disregard for Christian ethics.
Certain denominations today believe, and wrongly so, that all revelation can be labeled heretical because John labeled the Gnostics are heretics.
I agree, any revelation which attempts to redefine Christ, or contradicts the Word of God is heretical. However, we cannot make the broad claim that all prophecy is likewise heretical, because this is not what John was saying, and he clarifies this further in letter.
John’s issue was with men attempting to redefine Christ, the teachings of Christ, and the standard of Christ based on their own hidden knowledge.
It’s like some men today who say it is within their right to leave their present wives, and marry another while still being in leadership because the Lord told them to.
Sorry, out of bounds, no can do. God will not tell you to do something His own Word tells you, you cannot do.
It wasn’t the God of the Bible that told you to divorce your spouse for another; it was your lust which you’ve made your new god.
Like the Gnostics of old, men attempt to justify their licentiousness, their lust, their sin and their perversions by employing the notion of hidden knowledge or special dispensation based on a self-analysis of their own spirituality.
There’s no deception like self-deception, but just because some men deceive themselves, it does not mean that God will change His mind on what He has already established in His word.
Perhaps the Gnostics of old are no more, but their offspring are still skulking about, admittedly under a different name. So the next time you see Gnosticus Modernicus know that it is not a new, as yet undiscovered species, but an old one thought to be extinct all this time.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.