TEXT: 1 John 2:18-23
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
The Antichrists Among Us (Part 3)
The Apostle John told us what happens with antichrists in the church: They eventually leave the church of God proving that they were never really a part of it. Perhaps, the key question for us today is: How does the church operate in light of the fact that there might be antichrists among us today — antichrists who have not revealed themselves and shown their true allegiance? How should we carry ourselves in light of this truth?
We must remember that John is writing to “little children” in the faith. These are possibly members of a local church that he helped found or a group of believers who had come to Christ not too long before John write this letter. The announcement that there may already be some among them who do not share their faith in Christ and who would seek to undermine the church was probably a little scary. The question on the minds of these believers, whom John affectionately calls “little children”, would have been: What do we do in light of this knowledge?
John reminds them of something very important. He says, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” The word “unction” comes from the Greek word “chrisma” and it means “anointing.” This anointing is something that every Christian receives from God and has abiding in him or her. It is not something special that is given only to certain Christians. This anointing is the covering of the Holy Spirit on your life and the influence of the Holy Spirit in your life. You received Him when you gave your life to Christ. In order to combat the spirit of antichrist, you must rely on the Holy Spirit.
As he explains that the “anointing” spoken of by John is indeed the Holy Spirit, John Piper states, “We can go back and rephrase 1 John 2:20 like this: ‘You have the Holy Spirit from God in you and so you know the truth.’… That is, ‘You don’t need these progressive prophets who claim to add new information about Christ beyond the truth you heard at the beginning.’ What is plain is that without the Holy Spirit we would not know the truth. Knowing the truth about Christ is a gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit reveals to all of God’s children the truth about Jesus Christ. So, when someone says, ‘Jesus is not God,’ or ‘Jesus wasn’t virgin-born,’ or ‘Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead,’ the Holy Spirit inside of us rejects those statements as untrue. Jesus Christ himself said, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” The Holy Spirit is the first line of defense against false teaching in the church. He is the first line of defense against a person who has the spirit of antichrist.
Now, some might say that this “unction” or “anointing” spoken of by John is only given to a special few. A false teacher may try to use such an argument to prop himself up and claimm to have some kind of special connection to God or a special revelation from God. However, that trick is almost two thousand years old. Warren Wiersbe writes, “False Christians in John’s day used two special words to describe their experience: ‘knowledge’ and ‘unction.’ They claimed to have a special unction (anointing) from God which gave them a unique knowledge. They were ‘illuminated’ and therefore living on a much higher level than anybody else. But John points out that all true Christians know God and have received the Spirit of God! And because they have believed the truth, they recognize a lie when they meet it.”
This is what John points out when he says, “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” Even the “little children” in the church knew the truth about Jesus. Why? Because they had the Holy Spirit living inside of them. If God puts a check in your spirit about what someone is doing or teaching under the auspices of the church, you need to follow that still, small voice. Perhaps, we would not see as much false doctrine spreading through the church as we do if more believers paid attention to the Holy Spirit speaking in their lives.
John goes on to give an example of a lie as compared with the truth. He says, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” Not only are they liars and unsaved, but they are not even of God. “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
The Bible makes it clear that there is not any middle ground between the true church and the antichrist. And the true church has a powerful ally in the struggle against the antichrists among us — the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit not only reveals the truth to us, but reveals those who have the antichrist spirit among us. We need not fear those who wish to do the church of Christ harm. As John says, it is not because we do not have knowledge of Christ — in fact, he says, we “know all things” — but because we have an “unction”, an anointing from Christ. The Holy Spirit allows us to discern and identify the antichrist spirit. We must learn to listen to Him.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.