This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.(I John 1:5)
The Apostle John’s ministry is one of restoration. The faith of the saints had been confused, distorted, tangled and blurred by the pseudo spirituality of those who claim a mystical, direct knowledge of God, which is above and beyond the experience of “normal” christians.
These “gnostics”, ie “knowing Ones“, undermined the simple faith of christians, causing them to doubt the integrity and depth of their own experience. Therefore John sets out to call us back to what we heard “at the beginning”, starting with our very concept of who the “only true God” actually is. God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all… .
The Gnostics who had distorted the faith,(and who always distort the faith), claimed a secret knowledge, available only to the initiates, which elevated them above normal Christians. “Revelation Knowledge”, as opposed to the mere “head Knowledge”of the christian disciple. Thus do they denigrate normal christian teaching, as being elementary, “sophomoric”, childish.
This kind of influence always ends up creating in the minds of its adherents, artificial hierarchies of Christians. I have heard modern christian teachers talk about “outer court” christians, “inner court ” christians, and the select “Holy of Holies” christians. Or something like 30, 60 and 100 fold christians. Or an Elijah company of believers for the last days.
The existence of a hierarchy among christians is always a sign of decline or even satanic influence.
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.(Matthew 23:8-11)
Those in on the ‘Gnosis‘, the secret teaching, or the hidden knowledge, are the ones in the highest and most select company. The rest are dismissed as “carnal” believers .
It is in this anti-christ Spirit that I have heard modern gnostics denigrate the Word of God openly, despising it, yet patronizing it in a condescending fashion. Tommy Tenney who wrote the book “The God Chasers” and who for a brief time was the charismatic flavor of the day, actually called scriptures God’s old Love Letters, (Nice but not ‘current’)
“God chasers … are not interested in camping out on some dusty truth known to everyone. They are after the fresh presence of the Almighty…A true God chaser is not happy with just past truth; he must have present truth. God chasers don’t want to just study from the moldy pages of what God has done; they’re anxious to see what God is doing…There is a vast difference between present truth and past truth. I’m afraid that most of what the church has studied is past truth, and very little of what we know is present truth.” [The God Chasers xvi]
Rick Joyner is another example of this. His books of visions, dreams and supernatural experiences would have people believe that he has personally spoken to Jesus, the Apostle Paul, the (heretic) William Branham, and the Angel Wisdom. He has climbed the mountain of God, spoken to the departed saints, and supposedly the Angel told Him there is more. These books number in the hundreds of pages and sell by the millions.
Think about it, the whole goal of the Christian life is to see the face of Jesus(the beatific Vision), yet Joyner has seen Him and spoken to him many times over, supposedly.
Tenney , Joyner, Copeland, and the host of modern gnostics all in one fashion or another ridicule and demean christian doctrine, as being “head Knowledge”, “Musty Old Love Letters from the past”, “the Letter of the Law” etc. The question is where now do we go to get the “secret teaching” that is supposedly so much more relevant to our time ?
The answer is predictable, You need to rely on Tenney, Joyner’s visions, or to buy Pat Robertson’s “Secrets of the Kingdom”, or go receive a word from “prophet Bernard Jordan” (if you can afford it), or make the trek to Toronto or Pensacola, or whichever pilgrim site is the latest “locus of blessing”. Such concepts are pagan, for Gnostics always position themselves as revelatory mediators, specially “anointed” gurus.
To those lambs undergoing this kind of pressure, John speaks directly;
Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.( I John 2:24-27)
God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all…Any talk of secret teachings for the initiates, or ‘lost books” of the Bible, or forgotten truths now revealed, goes against the very nature of God himself. The Revelation of God in Christ, is the shining of “the true Light”, it is the fullest Revelation of God possible, and is open and available for the least Christian to behold.
God is Light… we serve an open and transparent God. True these things are hidden from the world, for they have been blinded to them by the god of this age, and by their own willful rejection of God. But there is no “secret teaching” in Christianity, no “hidden knowledge”, or “secret Keys” to anything in Christ.
Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. ( I John 2:8)
The only True God is Light and in him there is no darkness at all.