I John 2:18–27. The Antichrist and the Anointing.

Key Notes: Antichrists and The Antichrist. The Anointed and others anointed. Jesus the Baptizer. The work of the Holy Spirit. Knowiing and not knowing.

In the previous passage, John warns us not to love the World. In this section, he returns to faith and knowledge. What do we really know?

2:18 "It is the last hour." As we have seen before, Pentecost begins "the Last Days" (Acts 2:17). In a sense, since Christ, the World is always in crisis. It is certainly in crisis with respect to Him.
Antichrist is coming. The word "Antichrist" appears only in the epistles of John: (I Jn.2:18,22; 4:3; II Jn.7). Consequently, when we think of Antichrist, we make a composite picture based on other passages which use other words.

"...that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God." (II Thes.2:3

"...when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place...." (Matt.24:15)

"...and another {king} ...different...shall speak words against the Most High and shall wear out the saints of the Most High...and they shall be given into his hand for a time, two times and a half time." (Dan.7:24–25).

"And I saw a beast rising out of the sea....And to it the dragon gave its pwer. Men worshiped the dragon...and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it." " It uttered blasphemies against God..." (Rev.13:1–6 condensed)

This despicable human being is the dread foe of all believers, but destined to receive power for 3.5 years during the Tribulation.

2:18–22 Many anti-christs have come. They went out from us because they were not of us. This is an anti-christ, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Father has the Son. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.

John uses the term "anti-christs" for those who left the believers because they would not confess Jesus as the Christ. These anti-christs intended to lead the believers astray. (2:26). Some may have been followers of Cerinthus, the Christian heretic who taught that the divine part of Jesus, the Christ, came upon Him at his baptism, and left before His death. Others may have been Ebionites, Jews who believed that Jesus was an outstanding religious teacher, but could not acknowledge His deity. Some may have recanted under persecution. Perseverance proves the believer.

These anti-christs were monotheists, as we are, but not trinitarians. We can think of several non-Christian religions today that believe in one God. Jews, Moslems, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Bhakti Hindus worship one god. But John says those who do not have the Son do not have the Father either. Jn.5:23

That is to say that we do not worship the same God with other monotheists. However, we may not think of these anti-christs in the category with the The Man of Sin, despicable Beast, The Antichrist. By no means. We must extend the love of Christ to non-Christian monotheists in hopes that the Holy Spirit will lift the veil from their eyes. There is no such expectation for The Antichrist.

2:20–25 "But you have been anointed by the Holy One (Christ) and you know all."
What is the anointing (Gr."chrisma")?
•It was the seal put on the OT kings (ISam.16:3), high priests (Ex.29:7), and perhaps a prophet. IK.19:16.
• The anointing of believers is a minor concept in Scripture, occurring only here in IJn.2:20,27 (3x). A related but rare word translated "seal" is found in IICor.1:21–22: "It is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has commissioned us; he has put his seal ("chrisas") upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." It is understood that the anointing is the Holy Spirit, given to us by Christ. For anointing as a sign of fellowship, see Psa.133.

In fact, Christ as the Anointed One is the main emphasis in Scripture.
•He is God's Chosen, The Anointed (Christos) as we see in Isa.61:1–3. He is the only one who has been anointed in all three roles--prophet, priest and king.
*We have an anointing (chrisma) from the Holy One (Christ).
•He is Christos. We are christianos. (Acts.11:26).
•He is given the Spirit without measure. (Jn3:34). We are given the Spirit in measure. Rom.12:3; Eph.4:7
•He knows all things. (Jn.16:30; 21:17).We know "all" yet we know only "in part". (ICor.13:12)

A related idea is that of Spirit-baptism, one more commonly used in Scripture than anointing.
"Baptize in the Holy Spirit" is used three times in the Gospels (Matt.3:11, Mk1:8, Lk.3:16). John the Baptist's prophesied: "He (Jesus) will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire." It is quoted in Acts by Jesus (Acts 1:5) and by Peter (Acts 11:16). Paul says "By (in) one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" (ICor.12:13).

John Stott points out that in all six occurrences "in the Holy Spirit" is the preferred translation, because it is Jesus, not the Spirit, who is the Baptizer. Moreover, being baptized in the Holy Spirit is a condition of salvation (Rom.8:9) not of special blessing.

The Corinthians were baptized in the Spirit (I Cor.12:13), but were proud, contentious, sexually loose, disorderly and tempted with idols. They were not spiritual but carnal babies. (I Cor.3:1–3). They needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, which leads to singing and praising God. (Eph.5:18). Such a filling we all will need repeatedly throughout our lives. (The Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit. J.R.W. Stott. IVP,’64.)

In what sense can it be said that we know all? There is a miraculous change that occurs in the new believer, who quickly grasps concepts that were previously obscure. One new believer said "The Bible used to be Greek and now it's English." We all know the Lord as Jeremiah prophesied we would. (Jer.31:31–34). A new Christian knows enough to win another in short order. It is the Holy Spirit who does this work.

The Holy Spirit

•convinces the world of sin, righteousness and judgment Jn.16:8
•enables us to call Jesus "Lord" (I Cor.12:3) and God "Abba". Gal.4:6
•reveals to us all truth. Jn.16:13
•brings to remembrance all that Jesus said. Jn.14:26
* bears witness with us that we are God's children. Rom.8:16
*seals us for the Day of Redemption. Eph.1:13
*gives us spiritual gifts (ICor.12:4) and fruit. Gal.5:22
*conforms us to the image of Christ. II Cor.3:18
*intercedes for us before God. Rom.8:26

The danger for Christians is that they may assume knowledge in other areas of life in which they are not well acquainted. It is easy to slip over from being dogmatic about our faith to being dogmatic about politics and science and history. Then we become" Know-it-alls" and look foolish.

If we all know, why are we still students?
•Christians have some good (ICor.1:10), and some bad leaders. (IICor.11:12–15). We have to unlearn incorrect information.
•We learn over time to connect the dots. Correlations grow as we mature. A knowledge of history, science,  archaeology, original languages, etc. enrich our understanding of God's revelation.
•Applications change with the times. For example, machines dehumanize us and we are hardly aware of their effects. Before the industrial revolution, no one knew statistics or thought that we were a percent of something.
•We forget (II Pet.1:12–15). "Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life..." "Tell me the Old, Old Story"..."The early dew of morning has passed away at noon" .