*The Gospel According to Jesus: Against Antichrist *
*Text: I John 2: (17)18 – 25*
*Introduction: *The last few months we are studying the First Epistle of John and so far we are learning what it means to *walk* in the light.
That involves: keeping His commandments (2:3), loving one another (2:10), rejoice in the forgiveness of our sins (2: 12), and not loving the world (2:15).
In verse *17*, He ends with a note “the world is *passing* *away*, and also its lust, but the one who *does* the will of God abides forever.”
There is an end to this world and Christians want to do the will of the Father till then.
That is to walk in the light continually.
I am not a movie-goer but lately a lot of movies that features the “*end* *time*” come to the theater near you.
Considering what is happening in the world you start wonder, the end of the world is near.
The first century Christians were in the same situation.
There were a lot of *books* and letters written about the end time.
Many Christians were going through severe persecutions and faced the *martyr’s* death.
We don’t quite understand the *book* of *Revelation* but imagine, for those who were going through terrible persecutions, it was the book of *hope* that God will *exterminate* evils and bring the eternal rest for them.
They did not have a clear *chronological* *map* of the end time like we have (though there are so many); they were anticipating the appearing of Jesus.
But they also knew that the antichrist will come before that.
Surprisingly John says, it is the last hour (*Acts **2: 17*; *Heb.
1:1, 2*) and antichrist is here.
This is the problem embracing his community, division.
Let’s look at the problem.
Problem Stated: Antichrist and the last hour vss.
Removal (Separation) vs.
Some people removed themselves from John’s community and started their own and teaching different doctrine, not only teaching *false* *doctrine* but tried to deceive John’s people.
*2:26* says, “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.”
Also in *3:7*, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.”
Don’t you *concern* if your loving people are lead to wrong teaching?
As a shepherd of the flock, John tries everything to prevent that.
Church did not kick them out but they separated themselves.
*Proverbs 18:1* says, “He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom.”
We think of antichrist as someone who stands against God and His people and appears at the final *consummation* of the time.
But according to John it is here at all time and even within hundred year of the crucifixion of our Lord.*
*I John 4:3* says,
“every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the *spirit* of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.”
*Spirit* of the antichrist.
Also *2 John 7* says,
“For many *deceivers* have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.
This is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
Now preposition “anti” means “*in* *place* *of,*” synonymous to “*pseudo*” means “false.”
In this context, it means “*rival* *Christ*” and therefore, it’s an “*opponent* of Christ.”
Now “antichrist” is only used in the epistle of John (*2:18**, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7*).
In other word, it seems, John invented this word, rather than using “pseudochrist” (false) which Jesus used (*Matt.
24:24; Mark **13:22*).
It is a stronger meaning against those who against Christ’s teaching.
**Purpose (Selection by God) vs. 19b*
It is a sad thing to witness a division in the church but if it’s a matter of truth, God Himself *screens* and *cleanses* His body.
There was a purpose of this division.
Verse *19b* in *NIV* says, “but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”
But this does not reflect the original meaning of this verse.
*NASV* says, “*/in/* */order/* */that/* it might be shown that they all are not of us.”
It is called “*purpose* *clause*,” the purpose of this division is that it becomes clear who are the true believes in the Lord.
It is a God’s way of cleansing His flock to *maintain* pure doctrine.
So division is OK, if the truth is in stake, but if it is because of our sin and preferences, it is a grave sin to cause division.
In John’s case, it was very *clear* that those who left the group believed in wrong teaching.
A commentator *Plummer* says, “*/Apostasy/*/ is possible, but only for those who have never really made Christ their own, never fully given themselves to Him/.”
They almost *succeeded* in persuading the John’s flock.
But John says, “You have provisions from the Lord to understand the truth from false.”
Provisions: Sings of believers vss.
*A. **Anointing *
“But you have an *anointing* from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.”
We who truly believe and *yield* to the Lord have an anointing.
It is natural for us to think of this “*anointing*” as the anointing of the Holy Spirit and I think so too, but it is very interesting John never *mention* about Holy Spirit in this passage.
Many *scholars* think that those who are in the side of wrong may have *claimed* the special anointing of the Holy Spirit so that they have a *special* knowledge (*gnosis*).
So here John says, “/No, we are the ones who have this *anointing* from the Holy One/.”
Peter called Jesus “Holy One of God” in *John 6:69*.
The word translated into “anointing” is “*Chrisma*.”
Noun form appears only in this verse in the NT and twice in verse *27*.
A verb form appears in *2 Cor.
1:21, 22* which say,
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
He *anointed* us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Here Paul separates the anointing by Christ the Lord and the sealing by the Holy Spirit.
Then look at *Eph.
**1:13* which says,
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the *word* *of* *truth*, the *gospel* of your salvation.
Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,”
See, possibility is that we are anointed by the word of God then sealed by the Holy Spirit.
So “anointing” may mean by the word of God.
Those people who separated themselves claimed the anointing of the Holy Spirit to possess the *special* *knowledge* about Christ but here John affirms his people that they are the ones who have the objective word of God’s truth which brings objective measure in the situation.
*Smalley* says, “/The faithful, that is to say, are those who have (inwardly) received the gospel of truth, and made it their own through the activity of the Spirit (cf.
*1 Thess 1:5,6*); thereby they possess the antidote to heresy/.”
This is the reason, I believe, John says we are to abide in what we heard in the beginning.
“See that what you have *heard* from the beginning remains in you.
If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”
There is a *play* on the word here.
Christ is the *Anointed* One: “*Christos*” and we have His anointing in the word and in the Spirit, “*Chrisma*" and those who are *apostate* thought they had anointing but actually they are “anti-christoi” (antichrists).
Against the anointing that is against the Anointed One.
This is the *severity* of the Lord who allows anyone to fall into apostate if one insists on the wrong understanding.
In that it is from within the church.
Paul warns this to elders in Ephesus in *Acts* *20:30*,
“Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
But don’t be *fearful* says, John.
Because, you all know the truth.
He does this with negative first, “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth.”