Let’s continue our study through 1 John
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
John saw Jesus die and resurrect and then ascend into heaven. He was not disillusioned into thinking he had all kinds of time left to just do what he wanted. He knew that the time was at hand and that Jesus could return at any moment. Do we live like that today? Or do we believe that it has been 2,000 years and He has not returned yet so we have the time to live like we want to and we will just get right with Him later? Jesus tells us that He is coming like a thief in the night to ransom His church back to him. In Corinthians Paul tells us it will be in the twinkling of an eye. We need to live for Christ now and make the most of every opportunity.
There is also this idea that the Antichrist is going to be pure evil and the exact opposite of Christ. And that is true in a sense, but how Hollywood has played that out has warped our sense of scripture. The Antichrist is going to be cunning and sly. Yes his ultimate goal is an all out war with Christ in which he thinks he can win. But in order to do that he is going to need troops and armies on his side. He is going to deceive many into thinking that they are doing the right thing, when in reality they are joining his side. He will fight for unity and peace and even help the Jews rebuild the temple. He will want one world money and what he says will seem to fix all the world’s problems, but the truth is it will only exasperate them.
I urge you to know the scriptures, to know them well and to apply them to your life, so that you will not be counted among the deceived.
This verse might be a little confusing because it talks about the Antichrist, but then also mentions many antichrists. The truth is the spirit of Antichrist is already on the move, but the actually singular Antichrist as a person is yet to be revealed. The many antichrists are those false teachers who swoop in and try to preach another version of Christ that is not Christ. They preach another way to heaven, a way that is often expressed as easier and for the people. Often these antichrists will take enough of the truth to get you hooked and then add a bunch of things that are not Christ and it is wicked and, sadly, deceives many.
Knowing these truths should impact us as Christians. We should want to make the Lord known and the truth that He reveals in scripture to all people. We should care about the direction that the world is going in and do whatever God tells us is our part to do. For some of us He will call us out of our comfort zone and into the crowds to proclaim His goodness. Some of us it will be those one on one conversations we have with friends, family, and co-workers that will be our part to do. And there is a whole range of in between that God could ask you to do. No one job is better than another, each is of utmost importance and we are each individually called to do whatever it is the Lord requires of us. He is orchestrating all things together and lovingly asks us to participate. Will you ask God what part He wants you to play, then be obedient to whatever he asks?
20 But you have a anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
The anointing from the Holy One is His Holy Spirit that resides within each one of us. It is because of His spirit that we do know things, that we can distinguish between a truth and a lie. John is not writing these things to the churches because they do not know the truth, but rather because they do know the truth. It is a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that allows us to know the truth of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Without His working in our lives we would be just as lost and confused as the world is. It is good to be reminded of the truths we know. Hard circumstances in life can come up and deceive us into thinking things that are not true. The way that satan attacks me most in that regard is by telling me that God is not good, Something hard will come up and satan capitalizes on it and begins to try and weave this lie into my life that states that God is not good and that He does not have my best interest at heart. It is easy to sit there in that situation, with my eyes looking at that situation, and believe him. We need to know how satan attacks us personally and then learn to combat it. I know when I am going through something hard it is easy to look and say God is not good. To combat this in my life I have learned to look back over my own life and see how past hard situations God has used in my life. I also look back over scripture and remember the hard situations people found themselves in and the good God worked out from them. The number one person I look back to is Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers, thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit, helped others out of prison through interpreting a dream and was forgotten about. He spent over two years in prison for a crime he did not commit. I think it is far to say he was in some tough situations. But look at how God used it. Without those tough situations Joseph would not have become second in command in Egypt where he was able to provide food in the famine that saved his family. God does not place the bad in our lives, but He does allow it, and then He uses it in mighty ways. However, if we sit in it and become bitter we do not allow God to work on His end of things and make good come from it. Trust Him in the situations you find yourself in, He will prove Himself trustworthy. It is His very nature and He cannot deny His own nature.
22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
Jesus and the Father are one. Jesus spoke similar words while He was here on earth. John 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. If we separate Jesus from God making Him just some teacher, not God and not part of the trinity we have removed the basis of our faith. It is crucial that we have a right understand of who Jesus is. That He is both fully man and fully God. He was a man who came and lived the perfect life that we could never live, dying the death we deserved in our place, thus ransoming us from hell and placing us in heaven with Him. He was also fully God. He did not quit being God when He came down, rather He choose to take off aspects of His deity to live among us. To understand Christ in any other way, to make Him not a God, the Holy God, the One true God, is to have another religion entirely. If we deny Jesus as who He truly is we have also denied God the Father as well. That is a truly dangerous place to be. God being three in one is something that we will never be able to fully wrap our minds around, but it is something that we must come to agree to on His terms. If the idea of Jesus being fully God and fully human is something that is messing you up I earnestly ask that you would seek God asking Him to show you, to give you understanding. Ask Him to do His work in your heart and help you understand the trinity in a way that allows you to believe it in faith.
24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
That childlike faith we had when we first came to Christ is the same faith we need to approach Christ with now. We will not understand everything, but as we trust Him He does expand our understanding. As we go about our days we simply need to abide in the Father. That looks like being in the word daily and applying what we learn to our lives.
25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
God makes us promises! As we read His word He will have verses jump out to us that He highlights just for us and that will speak into specific areas of our lives. These promises are great and we need to be asking God to speak directly into our lives. We need to read His word with expectancy, reading believing He wants to speak to us. But whatever He promises for here on earth is not as great as the promise He has made to all believers. He promises us eternal life. If that were the only promise He would ever speak to us it would be enough. But He loves us so much that He speaks into our here and now and blesses us! He often gives us more because He is a good Father who knows how to give good gifts and loves to bless His children. We need to realize just how deep the Father’s love for us truly is, He gives us exceedingly abundantly beyond what we could imagine. When we truly surrender to His lordship in our lives we will be blown away by what He does in us and through us. I can speak from experience, He blows my mind every day. I sit back and look at what I was and where I am now and cannot help but praise Him! He uses the broken things and calls us beautiful and useful ad goes about making it so. We truly serve a good good Father! All of the is true, but that should not be our motivation for serving God, that is just the added benefits. We do not want to approach God simply for the gifts that He will give us though He certainly will shower our lives with them. We want to approach God in relationship getting to know the One who has created us.
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
This is why we need to know the Word of God, so that we cannot be deceived. Bank tellers do not go and study every fake bill that was ever created to figure out fraudulent bills. Instead they study the real thing. They handle them often and when a fake comes across they know something did not seem right about that bill so they will examine it more closely and find the fault in it. The same thing happens with the truth of God’s word. We need be in the truth of it so much that when someone tells us something that does not line up with Scripture we can look back a see where it is off. We do not need to go study every false teaching out there. We need only to know the truth and let everything in our life we filtered through that.
27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
The key is to just abide in the Lord. John is not speaking of going against teachers or not needing teachers. He is simply saying that we do not need to rely on teachers, but on the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. John is sending this letter out as a teaching, he would go to the local churches and teach. John is not against teaching. Teaching is a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is good and necessary for our lives. We are told not to forsake fellowshipping with other believers. John’s point is that what is important is that we abide in Christ.
29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
God is righteous and whoever is born of God will practice righteousness. The question that this raised in my heart and mind is do I display acts of righteousness? Is my life marked by righteousness? If not what areas of my life needs to change? God shine your light into our lives and show us area of growth that we need.
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
We are children of God! How awesome is that? We are children of the most high God. We get to see Him as He really is. We are greatly loved. Our focus needs to be on what God has done. The world did not know Christ so it should not surprise us that the world does not get us. I can sometimes want to be liked and understood by the world and in my attempt to gain that go against something of God. the world will not understand us, or always like us. We need to find our love and acceptance through the Word and not in others. When we get to that point what others say and do will not affect our lives like it had in the past. There will be times when things still hurt because we are still human, but the affecting past that moment will be minimal.
3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
We are pure! I don’t know about you guys but that is awesome news. I saw myself as so dirty because I saw my sins. We have hope in Christ and He washes us clean and pure.
4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Lawlessness is a disregard for the law. It is truly at its core a disregard for God as the law maker. That is what sin is, going against what God says.
5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him
As John has said previously we will all sin. What he is talking about here is that habitual sinning. The sin that you commit knowing exactly what you are doing and willfully choose to do it anyway living contrary to the word of God. If we are abiding in Christ our life will not be marked by sin. Yes we are human and will still have sins that we commit. But there is difference in having habitual sins. As we live before the Lord and lay our lives bear before Him He will point out those things and help us to change them.