Why do you think it should be so difficult to recognize the deception of those who are claiming to speak for God? Listen past their words into the reality of what they preach. They breed fear and insecurity with their words. But we have a FATHER who assures us by calling us CHILDREN OF GOD, and that is what we are. It makes no difference that the world can't see it, they didn't accept Jesus as being born of God, either. For who we really are cannot be evaluated by any of our senses, nor do we have any idea what that life will look like when the outer shell is finally peeled off. We do know this much, though: when HE appears, WE will be exactly like Him because we will see Him exactly as HE is. There is no other possibility, since He is light and there is no darkness in Him.
YOU have the same thing WE have which is what HE had. Those who find their hope in Him walk in a reality where sin has been removed - which is the same reality He walked in. On the other hand, everyone who sins also has a bent to do so, they can't help it. For that's what sin is: the automatic move away from God. But, you know, He came specifically to take AWAY sins; and in Him there is no sin. There is a reality hidden from our human perceptions: the one who has been joined together in Him DOESN'T sin; but the one who sins hasn't seen Him, nor does he know Him. Don't let anybody trick you on this, for the one who does right IS right, EXACTLY in the same way that Jesus is right. So, I ask you, what makes Jesus right?
The evil one is daddy to all who sin, for sin has been his legacy from the beginning. But the son of God showed up to create a new reality from out of the old. By His doing, he destroyed the doings of the evil one. Here is the reality of His new creation: no one who is born of God sins because God's seed is in him. Why do you look at yourself as if you were still part of the old creation? Anyone born of God CANNOT sin because they share the same nature with God. Can't you see the obvious difference between God's kids and the devil's kids? The one who doesn't do God's deeds - or can't love his brother - is not of God. The distinction of loving one another is the prime reality of the message we passed on to you. This same difference existed between the first set of brothers. Cain was of the evil one and he hated his brother because God had accepted Abel's deeds as being right. And it drove him to kill his brother.
So, why are you surprised when you discover that this world's love is only an illusion? And why be shocked that under the thin facade lies a real hatred that is directed at YOU? This reality of love in us is what convinces us that we have crossed over from among the dead into true life. The one who doesn't have this love still remains in death. Everyone - regardless of the facade of professed love - who hates his brother is a killer that has no conscience. And cold-blooded killers don't have the eternal knowledge of the Father within them.
Love? With so many claiming to be authorities, how can we know what love is? Because it's essence has been revealed in this: unlike the brother-hater, Jesus laid down HIS life for US. Love IN US works itself out in the same way - though it will be questioned by many, just as HIS love was also questioned. Your society has gotten used to philanthropists and humanitarians whose wonderful deeds are praised throughout the world, but none of it replaces the true motivation that comes from a heart set free. How is it that you have come to associate the world's kind of love with the love of God? What I'm asking is this: how many times have you taught yourself to ignore the pretension of generosity in someone who only helps those who can pay him back, but manages to avoid helping the brother truly in need? But you, who are in Christ, true love is an indisputable reality that has been put within you which causes you to lay down your life for each other. Don't let the world's absurdity sway you into thinking that words are the power behind love; or that saying something just right will make up for the lack of reality.
Do you realize that this distinction causes us to know that we are of the truth? It's also what brings assurance before God when we are hearing that damning voice that accuses us before Him. And it makes no difference what it is that we condemn ourselves over, because God is greater than that damning voice. And keep this in mind: He ALREADY knows your deep secrets and your fears that they are severing your relationship with Him. Wouldn't you agree that if that damning voice had no more evidence against you - if it was silenced - then you would have confidence before God? It is this ASSURANCE that there is no more condemnation - I say again, NO MORE CONDEMNATION - that brings the realization that He gives us whatever we ask. For contrary to the old perception that something within us displeases God, it has been made known to us that we, through the finished work of Christ, are the ones who do what He says. Yes. WE are those miraculous creations that do His will. It is the voice of condemnation that tells you otherwise. As that voice is being silenced it is being revealed that we really do please God in all we do.
Stop, and consider: WHAT is it that we have been called to? Believing in the name of His son, Jesus Christ; and loving one another. And those in whom this is true are the ones who live in him, and He lives in them. HOW do we know that He lives in us? By the Spirit He has given us.