1 John 2:18-23
Most people think of the last days, the end times, as referring to Daniel’s 70th week – i.e. the last seven years before Messiah’s second coming – when He defeats the enemies of Israel (who are also His enemies), delivers a remnant of the Jewish people and sets up His Kingdom (Dan 9:24-27). However, Acts 2:14-21 reveals to us that the end times can be thought of in a much broader sense than just those last seven years. In a broader sense, the end times began after the ascension of Messiah and at the time of Pentecost. It is related to the preaching of the gospel message – giving people an opportunity to find forgiveness from their sins and to be welcomed into the Kingdom of G-d.
v18: Children: Individuals who are young in their faith, but who have the ability to understand that they are servants of G-d. They know that they have been called to bring honour to the living G-d by a righteous behaviour and by submitting to G-d’s authority. They are also committed to the purposes of G-d.
- The last hour: This is another term referring to the end times or last days. John said this nearly 2000 years ago, so this final hour is referring to the time of the gospel being available to all people.
- Antichrist: Anti – means contrary to. The antichrist is against Messiah. Although he may not bodily be here yet, his spirit has been at work in this world for a long time. He is in opposition to the will of G-d, and in opposition to the proclamation of G-d’s wonderful promise – the forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Messiah Yeshua.
- Is coming: This is written in the passive, which means that there is going to be something that brings him into being (2 Thess 2:3-8)
- Many antichrists have come: Many antichrists have arisen on the world stage in the past. They are here now and will continue to be present with us into the future – until the final one is defeated at the second coming of Yeshua. These antichrists, who arise before that final Antichrist, are individuals who operate, behave, think, teach, and move in the same blasphemous spirit of that final Antichrist. They all have the same purpose – they are all in opposition, in rebellion, to the gospel and to the will of G-d (Examples of this rebellion in our culture today include people choosing their own gender, saying that marriage can be between people of the same sex, etc).
v19: Us: True believers or true disciples of Yeshua.
- Not of us: The implication is that they were never ever from us. Them being with us was rooted in a lie, in deceit. They were not true believers. They were false. They were not committed to the gospel, and nor did they ever truly receive it (Roms 10:9-10).
v20: But: John shows a distinction/contrast between those who are truly believers and those who are not. What is this difference? The Holy Spirit dwelling (or not dwelling, in the case of unbelievers) in our lives.
- Anointing: He who has the Spirit has been born again. He who does not have the Spirit has never been born again (has never been saved). It is not that they lose their salvation – they never had it to begin with.
- The Holy One: Messiah
- You know all things: Everything that we need to know comes through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Through Him we have access to the truth and knowledge of G-d, so that we can exercise discernment and walk obediently in the truth (John 16:13-15).
v21: You know it: One who has the anointing of the Holy Spirit knows the truth. This truth is not of this world but is from G-d and it comes through revelation. This truth is always based on the Word of G-d.
- No lie is of the truth: We have a dichotomy here. There is truth and everything else is false. If it is not part of the truth it is false. There is no such thing as “my truth” or “your truth”. If we do not embrace G-d’s truth then we are embracing a lie. There is no position in between (If it is not light then it is dark. If it is not good then it is evil. If it is not THE truth then it is a lie).
v22: Who is a liar: We know that the true One is Messiah Yeshua (John 14:6). The liar, therefore, is the one who is anti Him – i.e. The antichrist and those who belong to him.
- He who denies that Yeshua is the Messiah: This one is the liar. When people deny that Yeshua is the Messiah they have not received the truth and they are living in deceit or falsehood. Truth begins with a confession and a belief that Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah (Roms 10:9-10). That final antichrist is going to deny that Yeshua is the Messiah.
- Denies the Father and the Son: Anyone who denies that G-d is the Father of Yeshua are going to agree with the antichrist. They are going to embrace the antichrist
and follow him.
v23: Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father: If we deny the Son of G-d (Yeshua) then we cannot have any relationship with the Father. The only way that we can have a relationship with G-d is through His Son.
- Acknowledges the Son: Confesses that Yeshua is the Son of G-d.