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Lesson Text: Acts 17:16-23 / Back of Dakes’ KJV page 50 / 1 John 1:1-2; 4:1-4

What is Gnosticism?

  • It’s a philosophical & religious system, teaching that knowledge rather than faith is the key to salvation
  • It swept over the church from Syria to Gaul like an epidemic
  • This teaching believes the Jews God is not the supreme God
  • For those who believed in heaven, believed heaven was imaginary
  • It is a mixture of various religions of Christianity, Buddhism, etc.
  • This was starting to disturb the saints in the faith
  • It also caused much confusion among Christians from the 1st to the 6th century

First-century Gnosticism

  • The Epicureans – they did not believe in any gods except in name they held the chief good consisted in pleasure (eat, drink, & be merry) Acts 17:18, Dakes ref. H
  • The Stoics – they believed that no supreme good was virtue (Dakes ref. l)
  • Both these sects denied the resurrection of the body (Dakes ref. l)
  • Both of these sects of Gnosticism claimed that Paul was bringing two new gods to them (Jesus & the Resurrection) Acts 17:18

Modern-day Gnosticism

  • Evolution – creation evolved without God
  • Big Bang Theory – the universe was created without God
  • Religions like Catholicism, Mormonism, etc.
  • Catholics teach Mary was divine & didn’t have children after Jesus
  • Their doctrine of Christ says we can’t be like Him & live free from sin
  • Their excuse for not living free from sin is they say that Jesus was God
  • This appealed to many in the church who were dissatisfied with the simplicity of the gospel
  • They believe Jesus and the Father are the same person
  • For the Christians who believe, they have an intellectual salvation
  • Some music like hip hop is used to entice people
  • When people who listen to hip-hop come to Christ, they need to be delivered because that music is a strong hold & possesses people

Unlike Gnosticism, we believe what the Bible says about God & Jesus

  • God created the world Heb 1:1-2
  • God keeps the world under control
  • For this cause, saints do not have to fear global warming
  • John writes this epistle to show Jesus as a human being 1 John 1:1; 4:1-4
  • If Jesus did not come in the flesh, there would be no need for Him to fast 40 days Matt 4:1-11
  • After the fast, the devil left Him for a season
  • For this cause, there is no crutch to lean on to sin
  • We can live holy because Jesus lived in the flesh free from sin Heb 4:15
  • This was because some were teaching “another Jesus”  2 Cor 11:4
  • John is talking about Jesus “AFTER” his resurrection I John 1:1-2
  • God and Jesus are one in UNITY but not the same person John 17:21
  • Saints should operate in the Spirit of unity like God and Jesus John 17:20-21

Some saints are affected by Gnosticism & sci-fi movies today

  • They have a hard time believing Jesus came down from heaven John 6:38
  • There are differences of opinion on who Jesus is Matt 16:13-15
  • They have a vague idea where heaven is
  • This is because they watch too many science fiction movies I John 2:15-17
  • It’s hard for them to open their heart to the gospel
  • It’s hard for them to believe
  • Satan invents those science fiction movies to prevent you from believing  2 Cor. 4:4 
Bishop Joseph White

Bishop Joseph White

Founder, Preside Prelate

Dr. Joseph White teaches biblical seminars throughout the year. The outlines are available for anyone to download and study from. When he is not traveling, Dr. White is teaching and preaching as pastor of Pool of Bethesda, CLGI located in Columbus, Ohio.