1 John 4:5 New American Standard Bible
5 They are from the world, therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.
In the previous verse John spoke of believers being from God. But now John turns his attention to the false teachers. He writes “they are from the world”. Someone who doesn’t know the bible might ask the questions “aren’t we all from the world?”. The truth is we all live in the world. But those who are from the world as John writes here are those who are influenced by Satan and those who are under his dominion and his control.
In this world there are two groups of people. There are those who are of God and children of God, and there are those who are enslaved to the devil and serve him whether they know it or not. Every one of us is born into sin and we are born into slavery. Before knowing Christ, the devil has dominion over our lives and the way he keeps us in slavery is through lie and temptation. The more we indulge in the wickedness of this world, the more we become captured by it.
John often in His writing use the concept of light and darkness. We now live in a day in which people reject absolute truth. They will use the phrase my truth or your truth. But the truth is there is absolute truth. There is right and there is wrong. There is light and there is darkness. Those who are false teachers are messengers of Satan. Everything they speak is born out of the heart of Satan. They are influenced and controlled by the wicked one.
John points out the world listens to them. The world here is the world system that is built upon the lies and deceptions of Satan. We must remember when God created Adam and Eve, He created them perfect. They were created without sin. But because God loved them and knew that love cannot exist without freewill, God gave them choice. God placed them in the garden and told them they could eat from every tree except one. Choice had to exist for love to exist.
But Adam and Eve sinned. They rejected the word and command of God and instead believed and embraced the lie of the devil. Upon sinning the human race was placed under the dominion and authority of Satan. Satan thought he had conquered and destroyed God’s greatest creation. But long before anything was created the plan of salvation was established. The Father knew that one day His Son would suffer and die a level of suffering we cannot comprehend to take the wrath and punishment that we deserve. All because of His love for us.
Those who are of this world who are influenced by Satan and under his dominion listen to those who speak under the influence of the enemy. This is why we must prepare ourselves to be rejected if we hold fast to the truth and truly preach and proclaim all that is found in Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus we are in the world, but we are not of the world. Our citizenship is in Heaven. Our Lord and Master is Jesus Christ. He has called us to die to self and to live for Him. We have nothing to fear because He who is within us is greater than he who is in the world.