1 John 2:18-29

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

February 11, 1998


John has been teaching his "little children" how to tell truth from a lie, how to tell if a person is really a Christian or not. It doesn’t depend on just what a person says, but also what they do.

:18-19 antichrists

:18 Little children, it is the last time

timehora ("hour") –season, hour, any definite time, moment

The truth is, the "last days" actually began with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

They will end when Jesus comes back.

Also, there is no "definite article" in the Greek (our word "the" in English), and in Greek this means that the "last time" is being referred to by quality, "Little children, it is by nature the last hour", these are "last hour" kinds of times.

:18 and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come

antichristantichristos – the adversary of the Messiah; it is a compound word with the prefix "anti" in front of it, which can mean two different things, either "opposite" or "in place of".

The antichrist is both in a sense the "opposite" of Jesus Christ, but also, and primarily, is someone who comes "in the place of" Jesus Christ, trying to take His place in our lives.

This word is actually used three different ways:

1) the "spirit of antichrist"

(1 John 4:3 KJV) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

The "spirit of antichrist" is behind every false doctrine and every "religious" substitute for the realities Christians have in Christ. The "spirit of antichrist" is in the world today. It will eventually lead to the appearance of a "satanic superman" (Wiersbe)

2) false teachers, "many antichrist", the ones who are used by this "spirit of antichrist".

3) The specific individual, yet to be revealed on the world scene.

(2 Th 2:4 KJV) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

:18 even now are there many antichrists

In John’s day this was true.

It’s even truer today.

Jesus said,

(Mat 24:4-6 KJV) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. {5} For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. {6} And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

:18 whereby we know that it is the last time.

This is what defines our current time since Jesus’ resurrection as the "last time", the fact that there are many "antichrists", many who are opposed to Jesus, many who would try to take His place.

: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

went out from us – not in the sense of being sent out as missionaries, but the idea of departing from the truth as well as departing from the group.

continuedmeno – to remain, abide

Be careful not to take this as if everyone who leaves the church is some kind of heretic.

There are all kinds of reasons why people leave a church.

a) It may be because of some silly disagreement with another person.

b) It may because of discipline that someone is asked to leave the church. And in this case, if a person repents, they are to be welcomed back in to the church, even as Paul wrote to the Corinthians about a person who had been removed from the church –

(2 Cor 2:5-8 NLT) I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt your entire church more than he hurt me. {6} He was punished enough when most of you were united in your judgment against him. {7} Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won't be able to recover. {8} Now show him that you still love him.

c) The idea here is that these people had been believing and even teaching heresies in the church, departing from the truth, and it got to the point where they left the church.

If you will investigate the history of the false cults and antichristian religious systems in today’s world, you will find that in most cases their founders started out in a local church! They were "with us" but not "of us," so they went out "from us" and started their own groups.

:19 but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

The departing of the false teachers made it obvious that they were not a part of them.

:20-27 truth and lies

:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

unctionchrisma – anything smeared on, unguent, ointment, usually prepared by the Hebrews from oil and aromatic herbs.

This is talking about the Holy Spirit, which is seen symbolically throughout the Bible as "oil" or "anointing". One of the clearest places we see this is when Samuel "anoints" little David to be king –

(1 Sam 16:13 KJV) Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward…

knoweido – to see; to know; not particularly knowing by personal experience with something, but knowing by perceiving something.

Perhaps we might say, "you understand all these things because of the anointing you have".

We’ll expound on this a little more in verse 27.

: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.

He’s not telling them this stuff because they don’t understand the truth and so he’s trying to straighten them out.

Instead, it seems he’s trying to correct the notion that some of the people were thinking that perhaps some of these teachers were okay despite the fact that they were speaking a monstrous lie to the people about who Jesus was.


It’s not okay to have an incorrect idea about Jesus.

We want to look at our Mormon friends and their emphasis on the family and all, and say that perhaps what they say about Jesus isn’t all that big of a deal.

No lie is of the truth. No lie that misguides a person concerning Jesus can be of the truth.

:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?

denietharneomai – to deny; not to accept, to reject

Christ – "Messiah", the "anointed One" (maybe a little play on words with "anointing"?), God’s chosen Savior.


The truth is centered on who you think Jesus is.

This is one way to cut to the chase when you are talking with a person, and trying to find out if they really know the Lord or not.

What do you think of Jesus?

If they do not believe that Jesus is God’s anointed Savior, they don’t have the truth.

To make it even clearer, if they do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, if they do not believe that Jesus is God, then they don’t have the truth.

Jesus being our Savior depends on His also being God.

Jesus is our Savior because He saves us from the penalty of our sins by having died in our place.

If Jesus is not God, having an eternal, immortal life, then His death could not have helped more than one other person. But because He is God, then when He laid down His life in payment for our sins, He was able to pay for the sins of the entire world.

Who do you say that Jesus is?

:22 He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

You can’t claim to know the Father without knowing the Son.

The two are a package deal.

Jesus said,

(John 14:6-7 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. {7} If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning.

which ye have heard from the beginning

We’ve been taking this phrase to talk about the eternality of Christ.

We kind of got off a little bit from how John used "from the beginning" at the opening of his letter –

(1 John 1:1 KJV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

This seemed so similar to the way he opened his gospel –

(John 1:1-2 KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} The same was in the beginning with God.

But could it be that it is really referring to the teachings you heard from the beginning, not looking for some new thing, but staying with the basics?


Staying put is the greatest of maturity.

The "fathers" (2:13,14) are the ones who have known Him "from the beginning". Could it be simply that the greatest mark of maturity (for "fathers") is staying with what you know, and not looking for some "new" thing?

Not staying put by staying in the same church, but staying put in staying in the same teaching as the Bible about Jesus.

:24 If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

Abide … continue – same word, meno, "to abide", "to remain"

If you want to keep abiding in the Lord, then let the things you heard from the beginning stay in you.

:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

promiseepaggelia – announcement; promise

The word is translated "message" in –

(1 John 1:5 KJV) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

seduceplanao – to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way

This is the focus of this section, dealing with those who deceive the church.

:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you

anointing – it’s the same word translated "unction" in verse 20, meaning the Holy Spirit.

:27 and ye need not that any man teach you

needchreia – necessity, need

You do not have a "need" that any person should teach you.

It’s not absolutely a necessity that you should be taught by any particular person.


The cults require you to learn from them.

This is the mindset that comes from a cult and keeps you in a cult, that if you ever stop listening to their teaching, you won’t be able to learn the truth.

The truth is, that if you stopped listening to them, and just asked the Lord to teach you, there’s no way in the world you’d come up with the crazy kinds of ideas they’ve come up with, except by listening to their teaching.


It’s okay to be taught by a person.

This is the balance.

There are some who take this verse a little too far, and they allow themselves to learn anything from anybody.

Yet one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of teaching.

(Eph 4:11-13 NLT) He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. {12} Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, {13} until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.

We can benefit by those gifted with a gift of teaching, whether it’s in a Bible Study like this one, or listening to tapes, or the radio, or reading a book or commentary.

There’s nothing wrong with being taught, John’s point is that it’s not a "necessity" that you have to be taught by anyone other than the Holy Spirit.

:27 but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things


The Holy Spirit can teach you.

This is one of His jobs.

(John 14:26 KJV) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The cults would tell you that you can’t read your Bible without them telling you what it means.

Yet you have nothing to be afraid about in reading your Bible.

Pray before you read. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you. Read. Study. Listen.


(Wiersbe) A missionary to the American Indians was in Los Angeles with an Indian friend who was a new Christian. As they walked down the street, they passed a man on the corner who was preaching with a Bible in his hand. The missionary knew the man represented a cult, but the Indian saw only the Bible. He stopped to listen to the sermon. "I hope my friend doesn’t get confused," the missionary thought to himself, and he began to pray. In a few minutes the Indian turned away from the meeting and joined his missionary friend. "What did you think of the preacher?" the missionary asked. "All the time he was talking," exclaimed the Indian, "something in my heart kept saying, ‘Liar! Liar!’"

That’s the Holy Spirit talking!

:27 and is truth, and is no lie,

The Holy Spirit is called the "Spirit of truth"

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

:28-29 Proud to abide

:28 And now, little children, abide in him

This reminds us again of the encouragement that Barnabas was constantly giving to the young church in Antioch –

(Acts 11:23 KJV) Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

:28 that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Notice change to "we". It’s not that "you will have confidence", but "we may have confidence".

confidenceparrhesia – freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance

ashamedaischuno – to disfigure; to dishonor; be ashamed

comingparousia – presence; the coming, arrival, advent


Abide now so you won’t be ashamed then.

When we abide in Him, He does all kinds of wonderful things in our life, bearing fruit.

(John 15:4-5 KJV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. {5} I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

But when we aren’t walking with Him, not much good happens.

(1 Cor 3:12-15 NLT) Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. {13} But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. {14} If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. {15} But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.

:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

know … know – John uses two different words for "know" here. The first word speaks of "understanding or perceiving" (eido), while the second speaks of "knowing by experience".

We might translate this, "if you have come to understand that Jesus is righteous, then you have come to know by experience that the one who is continually doing righteous things is born of Him".

You look more and more like the one who gives birth to you.


Abiding makes a person’s life look like Jesus’ life.

John is telling us what "abiding" looks like.

It looks like a person’s life who is continuing to do "righteous" things.

Not just once or twice, but a life of change.

It’s not just "talking" about Jesus, but continuing to "do" things like Jesus.

It’s not going forward at an altar call that proves if you’re saved, it’s whether or not you start acting like Jesus more and more.