“Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist” (v. 7). 2 John 7
Montanism was not the only movement that believed there was a unique, mystical knowledge of the truth available only to a special few. We have already seen in our study of Galatians that Roman citizens of the first and second centuries were predisposed to look for a doctrine of salvation that was available to an elite group….
Many different groups taught such a doctrine, but the most influential of all of them embraced what is known as Gnosticism.
It is difficult to classify Gnostic beliefs because they were highly malleable and absorbed trappings of many different religions. The Gnosticism that plagued the early church was an amalgamation of Persian, Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian ideas, along with a healthy dose of Greek philosophy. Many early Christian apologists identified Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–24) as the first Gnostic.