1 JOHN 2:18-27


Real Christianity #9, Studies in 1 John


Wouldn’t it be nice if each one of us had a built in “lie detector” so we would know who was lying and who was telling the truth?


The need for a “lie detector” is more important than you may think. John 8:44


People are especially good at lying because of the influence of Satan.

As the “Father of lies”, what do you think the Devil would lie most about?   


Religion, of course!


The way to Heaven

The road to salvation

Eternal life

The deity of Jesus Christ

Satan is an enemy who wants no one to find eternal life.


In our text we find that Satan is at work promoting lies that will keep people from believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.


Thankfully, we as Christians have a lie detector that can keep us from succumbing to the lies of Satan.




1 John 2:18-19 - 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.


It is the last time or “the last hour” according to Vs. 18.

This is not a literal hour, but a period of time.

It is the time when anyone can be saved who puts their faith and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal life.

It is also the time when Jesus Christ can return at any moment for His saints, and set the stage for the last great events of history.


After Jesus does come for his saints there is the promise of the appearance of the character that John says his readers have heard that he would come.  John calls him the “antichrist”.


I view Antichrist as Satan’s greatest and culminating effort in this age to overthrow the Lord Jesus Christ.  Of course, it will not work.  Lord Jesus will destroy Him.


Satan is not idle, waiting to reveal his antichrist.

In Vs. 18 John says that we know it the last hour because there are already antichrists around.


They are not as powerful.  They are not as dangerous. They are not as persuasive.  But they are powerful, dangerous, and persuasive enough to lead many people astray!


The word “anti” we think of meaning against.

So naturally, an antichrist is one who speaks against Christ.

No matter how well he speaks of Christ, He is against him.

Some of these antichrists sound so flowery and nice talking about the Lord Jesus.  But if you listen carefully to what they are saying you discover that they are denying Him as Savior, as Christ, as Messiah, as the Son of God.


This preposition, “anti”, has another meaning besides “against”.  It can also mean “instead of” or “imitation”.

The antichrists of today are an imitation of Christ and of true Christianity.

They are designed by Satan as a means of deception, as a lie!


Vs. 19 - They went out from us, but they were not of us;


In other words, many of these antichrists, these false teachers started in the church, started among believers, but they were never really saved.


Vs. 19 continues …they would no doubt have continued with us:


And why not?  If they stayed right within the church they could have peddled their false teaching much easier.

But God spared us.


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


They separated from true Christianity so that it might be obvious  that they were not with us.  Of course the world still tries to group false teachers under the title of Christianity.


There is deception out there!


Satan has his antichrists.

Be careful.  Be concerned for those who are being deceived.


DETECTION – Vss. 20-21


Is there a way of telling the true from the false?

Can a Christian tell which teachers are right and which teachers are wrong?

Can a Christian avoid being fooled? These false teachers are certainly out to “convert” Christians.


The answer, of course, is “yes”!

God has provided a detection system for us.


1 John 2:20 - But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.


This word, “unction” means “anointing”.

There is an anointing that has taken place the moment a person was saved.

God’s Holy Spirit baptized, immersed, or placed each believer into the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:13


And when the Holy Spirit baptized us He came inside us to dwell.  We have the Holy Spirit of God living inside.

God’s Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity is a teacher. John 16:12-14


The teaching of the Holy Spirit allows us to discern when there is a false teacher. Vs. 20 concludes and ye know all things. These words can actually be rendered, and ye all know. In other words, every true Christian can discern between what is truth and what is false doctrine through the influence of the Holy Spirit. 


Vs. 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.


John assures his readers that he is writing not because they did not know the truth, but because they did know the truth.

And because they did know the truth, he wanted to remind them that the truth contains no lies.


John further reminds his readers that no lie was caused by the truth.


This means that none of us should sit back and look at the cults, and say, “Well, there’s some truth there, that makes them all right.”  The falsehood of the teaching overrides any truth.


These cults do not need to be wrong in all their doctrines to lead people astray. It only takes a little poison in some perfectly good grain to kill a mouse.


If there is a lie in the basic teaching of Christ and salvation, there is no truth there, and we as Christians should be able to detect it.




DENIAL – Vss. 22-23


1 John 2:22 - Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Now John tells us who the liars are.

These are the ones who play fast and loose with the doctrine of Christ.


They deny that Jesus is the Son of God, that is, God the Son in the flesh.

They deny that Jesus is the Messiah.


1 John 2:23 - Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.


To deny the deity of Christ is to reveal that you do not have the Father living inside of you.

To confess the Son as Savior shows that the Father dwells within you as well.   John 14:21


The Muslim people do not acknowledge the deity of Christ, they do not have the Father.

The Jewish people do not acknowledge the deity of Christ,

They do not have the Father.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not acknowledge the deity of Christ. They do not have the Father.

The Mormons do not acknowledge the deity of Christ in the same way we do. They do not have the Father.   

Liberal theologians often do not acknowledge the deity of Christ. They do not have the Father.


Look at what a teacher is saying about Christ, and if he is a false teacher, an antichrist, you will see the denial of Christ somewhere in his teaching.


DEFENSE – Vss. 24-27


So how do we guard against false teaching?


What is our defense against this onslaught of Satan?


1 John 2:24 - Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.


There should be some non-negotiables in your faith.

There should be truths that you believe, that you have heard from the beginning of your Christian faith.

If these non-negotiables remain in you, you’re relationship and fellowship with God the Father and God the Son will continue and abound.


These non-negotiables are the Gospel.

G – God loves you.

O – Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ

S – Sin, all have

P – Precious blood of Christ shed for our sins

E – Ever-living Savior

L – Let Him in


1 John 2:25 - And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.


The one who is truly born again will stay with the Gospel and receive the promise of eternal life.


1 John 2:26-27 - These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. [27] But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.


John wrote these things because of the ones who would seduce or lead Christians astray.


In Vs. 27 he assures us that we have an anointing of the Holy Spirit that abides in us. It is continual

It is the work of the Holy Spirit that defends us against the seduction of false teachers.

It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us, so that we don’t need false teachers haranguing us.


This passage doesn’t mean that we don’t need Bible teachers.  That’s what John himself was doing, teaching the Bible!


Jesus Himself told us to teach in his Great Commission. Matthew 28:19-20


Paul appointed teachers.

Paul told Timothy to teach others who would teach others. 2 Timothy 2:1-2


I think John’s point is that you and I have a defense against false teachers.  It is the teaching work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will use God’s Word, His own personal insights, and the teaching of Godly teachers to keep us on the straight and narrow.


And the more we allow the Spirit of God to teach us, the more we will abide in Him.   


So God has equipped us with a lie detector.