Saturday, December 13, 2008

They overcame the Antichrist.

I John 4:3,4 (Birinci Yuhanna 4.3,4)
İsa'yı kabul etmeyen hiçbir ruh Tanrı'dan değildir. Böylesi, Mesih-karşıtının ruhudur. Onun geleceğini duydunuz. Zaten o şimdiden dünyadadır.

Yavrularım, siz Tanrı'dansınız ve sahte peygamberleri yendiniz, çünkü içinizdeki Ruh dünyadakinden üstündür.
Let's look at a few words, again.
  • geleceğini -- (the one who) will come
  • duydunuz -- you have already heard
  • Zaten -- as a matter of fact
  • o şimdiden -- already, now
  • dünyadadır -- world - in - is
Yuhanna warns his people to watch out for false prophets, for lying spirits. The spirit or prophet who does not confess that İsa is the Anointed King who came into the world is the spirit of antichrist. And folks, he was not warning them about some comic-book villain due to show up thousands of years after they were dead. Yuhanna was warning them about a present reality, a school of thought and its teachers that disregarded the core of the Christian message: God made Himself known to humanity in and through the biography, the real life, words, and deeds, of one historical figure.

You have to wonder, though: why would a Christian assembly give a hearing, or even the time of day, to someone who did not take İsa seriously? Why was this a real threat? Well, put yourself in their shoes. These were Jewish Christians, who adopted the pattern of synagogue worship as the format for their own rites -- a couple of readings from the Law and the Prophets, then a sermon. Add a few bells and whistles to accommodate İsa -- perhaps add a reading from one of the apostolic letters circulating around. Commemorate and confirm the covenant with bread and wine. Still, the basic language and structure would have been familiar to any first-century Jews who wandered in. Some of whom wandered back out again, and tried to take the followers of İsa with them, back into the old familiar routines. (remember the crab basket?)

The old culture had its attractions. But those who embrace İsa have a spiritual core that can make them victorious over the fatal charms and attractions of their native culture.

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