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1st John 2:18-29; 3:1-3

 Part 1

1st John 2:18-29, "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.  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they no doubt would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.  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.  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father, [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.  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.  And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.  These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.  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.  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.  If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him."

          1st John 3:1-3, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:  therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  [cf. Revelation 1:13-16]  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."


"We are in 1st John chapter 2, and we have come to verse 18.  We have been with our section where John is telling us not to love the world.  "For all that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father."  And the world is passing away.  "Little children" he begins, verse 18, "it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist should come, even now are there many antichrists.  Whereby we know that it is the last time."  Now some are going to say, 'Well John wrote that 2,000 years ago, and how could he have thought it was the last time?'  Well it is in the sense of it, it is the last times, and the way he's using it is true.  It is the "era" between the first and second coming of Christ, when the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon the church, and because of that, it is an era when there is a particular kind of warfare against Christ and against the church that has never happened in ages past.  Because Jesus Christ is known now, his people are indwelt by him, the Scripture now is complete and is open to us.  So there is a particular kind of assault that we come under that no other age of his people have come under.  And he says what characterizes this age 'is that antichrist will come and even now there are many antichrists, and because of that we know we are in the last of times.'  This is the last "era" before 'the day of the Lord', before he interrupts human history.  Now John uses this term "antichrist" in three different ways.  He uses it to describe a spirit or an attitude, a world flavor as it were, towards the things of God, there is an antichrist spirit or attitude, or an antichrist motivation behind much of what goes on in the world.  And certainly again, that is true.  As we look at Islam, again, as I say this I am not belittling any individual who is a Muslim, I am simply saying that in Islam, because Mohammed had no success with Jews and Christians, he called them "the people of the Book" because they had the Scripture, ah, there is an antagonism there.  In fact, on the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, around the top of that mosque in Arabic it says "God is not begotten, neither does he beget".  And to the Muslim the idea of Jesus being the Son of God, God begetting offspring is ridiculous, it's ludicrous.  So there is a very formidable force in the world today, and there are different sectors in Islam.  But that is basically "anti"-which means in the Greek against or instead of or in place of-it is antichrist and anti-Semitic.  There are the forces of Marxism and Communism and ideologies that men hold that are godless that are certainly forces to be reckoned with in the world that are antichrist and anti-God.  There are, across our own land countless times when we hear the rhetoric of mocking Judeo-Christian ethics, making fun of the fact that we want to raise our children with particular morals.  That kind of thing is throughout the media today.  And again, by the way, I believe that all of this is very well engineered and deliberately brought upon us by an ultimate conspiracy, and that is by Satan and his hordes.  That behind every other lesser conspiracy there is this greater conspiracy that continually seeks to blur any of the lines of absolutes, of right and wrong.  In fact it has come to the point, as Isaiah says, 'No longer is there no longer any right and wrong, but we've come now full-circle to the point where 'right is wrong and wrong is right.'  So there is, in the sense, that spirit of antichrist. 

          Then he uses the idea of antichrists, plural, in regards to false teachers, pseudo-prophets, false prophets, more than once he uses it in that sense too-that any false teacher, any heretic, any false prophet is an antichrist.  And there were many antichrists gone out into the world, even in his day.  And then it is also used in the ultimate sense of "the antichrist"-singular.  All of the antichrist atmosphere and spirit and false teachers, the proliferation of false teachers foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 [also Matthew 10], by Paul in 1st Timothy chapter 4, 2nd Timothy  chapter 3, Peter in 2nd Peter chapter 2-all of that ultimately will culminate in an individual.  Antichrist, the spirit of antichrist will be personified ultimately in a person who will be a world ruler, and he certainly will be against Christ.  That's one of the definitions, we see Satan's tactics in that attitude of being against Christ in our society, in the world.  But he will also be instead of, taking the place of Christ, in that the world will look to him as a messiah, as a deliverer, he will be a political genius and so forth.  So what John is saying, 'we know this is the last days, we know that antichrist, the antichrist will come, but that even now there are many antichrists, and because of that, it identifies this age, that this is the last of days,' he says to us.  "They went out from us" speaking of the false teachers, the antichrists, "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." (verse 19)  So Paul, if you remember, and this is much later, in Acts chapter 20 as he is with the elders from Ephesus on the beach at Miletus, and he is weeping and speaking to them and bidding them farewell as he moves towards Jerusalem, knowing the bonds and affliction await him.  He says "I ceased not to warn you by a space of two to three years, day and night, that after my departure grievous wolves will creep in, not sparing the flock, and that men would arise out of your own midst, drawing disciples after themselves."  So John says that, there have been those by this point, somewhere 90 to 100AD, there were already those who rose up in the middle of the church, and then divided off portions of the flock after themselves, and began to teach doctrines that put either their insights or their teaching or some Gnostic form of heresy or some other thing in place of, instead of, the Christ the Bible has presented.  [Ministers and pastors must be very careful not to do this.]  Jude said as he wrote, that he wanted to write to us in regards to our common consolation, but the Spirit moved him that he had to write that we would have to defend the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.  So immediately the Christian faith came under attack.  [And these early churches were much different from what you might expect in their days of worship formats and customs.  The early Churches of God were in many cases observing the Seventh Day Sabbath and Holy Days of Leviticus 23 out of custom, voluntarily, in the Asia Minor area under John's jurisdiction.  See and First Christians/ChristiansRomWld.htm  for some very interesting articles written about this period of early church history, written by a Christian archeologist/historic research writer.  So be sure to log onto and read these well-written articles to give John's letter the proper historic background in which is was written.]  And people, as Paul writes to the Galatians in 1:6, he says, 'I'm so surprised that you're so soon removed into another gospel, another of a different kind.'  And then he says, 'no it's not another gospel, it's the same Jesus, but it is a deformed gospel.'  And the word is "to bring something alongside."  [this had nothing to do with the voluntary choice of 'days of worship', which Paul legislated about in Romans 14].  And even as today, many false teachers like to bring alongside of Jesus healing or prosperity or holy laughter or all of these things.  Paul said 'Anybody who does that let anathema, eternal damnation, be pronounced upon them.  You read it in Galatians 1:6.  I didn't say it, Paul said it.  If you have an argument with him, hopefully you'll get to see him face to face and talk to him about it--not my idea.  But there were those early in the church, and it is a purging thing, by the way.  It will happen here, it's interesting, if persecution starts, and if the Lord tarries it will, and if people have to die and shed their blood for their faith in Jesus Christ.  One of the positive side effects of that perilous kind of existence is all the phonies leave the church--  [emphasis mine, editor]--all the guys that are in the church to get the money out of your wallets with all of their special tapes and special books and special insights that you need to have, or else you're a second class Christian.  Once people start shedding their blood for their faith, they [the phonies] seem to dissipate and move on.  But here is John, saying that 'they have gone out from us, thereby identifying the fact [that] they were never really of us in the first place.'  And sadly I think some of us who've been with the Lord for a number of years have even seen those who at one time seemed to have strong ministries.  Jim Jones started in Yreka California with a ministry teaching the Word of God, staying in the Scripture and slowly started to weave in with the Biblical teaching the things that God was speaking to him, 'God was showing this to me' etc., and started to become the central part of the message instead of the Scripture, and certainly 'went out from us, letting us know that he was never of us, in the beginning'-manifesting that he was an antichrist. [I don't believe Jim Jones was ever a part of Calvary Chapel, Pastor Joe is just using Jones as an example of a ministry that did appear to be strong in the Lord, and his usage of the term 'with us' is used in its general sense of 'us, the body of Christ.']  Here is our safety, in verse 20, "But ye have an unction"-that's King James, it should be "anointing", it's the same word down in verse 27, it says, ".but the anointing you have received", same word.  "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things."  Now take note of this.  In verse 19, "they", that's them, whoever they are, "they went out from us, but they were not of us, for they, they, they, see it all the way through verse 19.  Now the contrast in verse 20, "But ye"-different category, those of you that are born ones of God-"You" he says "have an anointing from the Holy One"-Jesus, God-"and you know"-absolute knowledge-"you know all things."  So, here is our safeguard, that you, plural-now this is not just some people that have an anointing.  We hear a lot of people in the church talking about "the anointing", "that guy is so anointing", "oh that sister is so anointed", "what an anointing".  And I understand what they're saying when they say that, "the anointing."  In the Old Testament we certainly see kings and prophets anointed with oil, which was only a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and God's anointing on their life.  But it tells us, you, plural, all have an anointing from Jesus Christ.  In fact, the word is "christa' where we get Christ from, and the term "Christians" means Christ-like, and Christ in the Greek means "the Anointed One."   So just as Christians we're all anointed of God.  Don't let anybody tell you that there is someone more anointed than you are.  You are the anointed ones, and if someone has a ministry that God called them to, that doesn't mean that they are more anointed than you are in any way.  What that means is they have more to give account for when stand before the Lord.  And maybe they haven't been as faithful in that public ministry God's given them as you have as being a mother or father, or a carpenter.  You may get greater rewards in that day because God will reward us according to our faithfulness and not according to the results of any ministry that he gave, because he does the work.  I tell you, when I come in here now, I just feel like a spectator, I feel like I'm kind of scared, I stand on the sidelines and think 'Lord, what in the world is going on around here?  Where are all these people coming from?'  I feel disassociated, because he is doing it, because he is doing it.  And all of us are his anointed.  I've got four at home, children, and I don't love one of them more than the others.  And they're all different, and they all have different ages and different make-ups, and able to contribute different things and to wreck other things, you know, they're all different.  But one is not more anointed in my eyes than the others.  They are all mine.  And we are the anointed, and we have-and it's in the perfect tense-and still possess-it isn't like we work ourselves into this anointing, 'I'm going to huff and puff and blow this anointing down, you know, I'm going to work this anointing up, you know, I'm going to fast, I'm going to be driven with oil, this is gonna freak them out.'  No, you have and are still in possession of the anointing you received from the Holy One when Jesus Christ moved into your heart and put his Holy Spirit on your life.  Yes, I think we should continually seek him for his filling and for his blessing.  I'm not belittling that.  But the tenses and the word forms John is using here tells us that all of us are God's anointed.  And we still have the anointing that we had when we got saved, God's anointing is on our lives. 

          And it is through that anointing that we know all things. And again, if I say that to you, how many of you here this evening know everything? [Let's] see your hands, please.  Come on, don't be a chicken!  You know, that's the reason you didn't raise your hand, because you know all things, and you know what would happen if you did.  [laughter]  No, look, there is, in our lives, Jesus says in John 14 when he tells us about the coming of the Spirit, he says "The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."  "The Holy Spirit, when he comes, will not testify of himself, but will take the things of Christ and show them to us."  And here's the idea, again, there are certain things we have learned in life through our senses, but there is another experience we have had when we were saved, being washed and cleansed and then indwelt by God's Spirit, and in that experience we have realized things, we have come from darkness to light, we have been enabled to see things in the Spirit that we did not see before. [cf. 1st Corinthians 2:9-12.]  Before I was a Christian, I wondered how long this whole evolutionary process took place.  You know, how long did it take, for after my great, great grandmother who was pond scum got struck by lightning and turned into a salamander?  You know, how long did this all take for my family to get here.  I used to think about those things.  And where is mankind going, Gee, I hope we sure, all these SALT treaties and nuclear test ban treaties, I hope we work all this stuff out, and you see the sci-fi movies that a thousand years from now we'll all be these guys with little arms, little skinny arms and giant heads, we'll have evolved and we'll be real smart and all live in peace.  But you know, man, when you get saved all that goes out the window.  Doesn't it?  You know exactly where we came from, and you know exactly where we're going.  You know who the Lord is, you know what truth is, you know what error is, you know what a lie is, you know what deception is, you know what Satan is.  When we get saved we know we didn't come from monkeys.  We know where our future is.  The most brilliant minds in the world are still working with DNA and still trying to figure out how this process took place.  They're still trying to figure what kind of a future man has.  Where did he come from?  You guys know all that stuff.  If they'd only come ask you, they'd be much further ahead.  And the idea is, in the framework of this oedus, this knowledge that was imparted to us when we were saved, it wasn't something we learned-as Christ comes into our hearts and we see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, we are brought then from darkness into light.  And we realize, my God all this is true.  Lord, so many years I ignored you.  You know, when I first got saved I thought 'Lord, my poor parents, I drove them out of their minds for 22 years, these poor people.  Help me make friends with them, get to know who they are, talk with them, listen to them, thank them for feeding me.'  You know, I got saved, I look around and thought, 'Boy, I was in oblivion, I was in another world.'  And he's saying that here.  'There are many antichrists, and the world is scheduled to be deceived, but you in contrast to all of this deception have an anointing from the Holy One and by that you know all things.  You are in his keeping.'  And there is a safety system, a keeping system, a sealing of the Spirit upon your lives until the Day of Redemption because of the work of God in your life.  He says, "You have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things.  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." (verse 21) He says, 'This is the whole reason I'm writing, not because you don't know, but because you do know the truth, and no lie is of the truth.'  Verse 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 we have an interesting verse here, by the way.  'Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?"  And we'll talk about that more as we get to the fourth chapter.  But then he says "He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."  It takes us, I believe, to an interesting verse in Daniel chapter 11, verse 37 when in Daniel we hear, speaking of the Antichrist when he takes his place as a world dictator-"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god.  He shall magnify himself above all."  [Focus on] "He shall not regard the God of his fathers nor the desire of women."  That is one reason that we think that he is possibly of Jewish heritage "he will not regard the God of his fathers, or the desire" not for women, it isn't the desire for women.  Some seem to think well this means he will be a homosexual.  No, I don't know that.  But I don't believe that's what it's saying.  In a Hebrew context what it's saying is "he will not regard Yahweh, the God of his fathers, and he will not regard the desire of women"-in the Hebrew culture it was a curse to be barren because every woman desired to give birth to the Messiah.  And I believe what it's saying in Daniel is, and I think this verse answers it, 'he will not regard God the Father or God the Son".  And look what it says here.  It says, "He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son."   [i.e. Jesus, Yeshua haMeshiach was "the desire of all Jewish women", they all desired to give birth to the Meshiach, Messiah.]  "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.  But he that acknowledges the Son hath the Father also."  So, we hear these people say 'I believe Jesus was a great teacher.  I believe he was anointed and he spoke great things,' or 'Yes I believe Jesus was of the ascended masters' you know.  Or 'I believe Jesus was an avatar,'  or 'I believe he was a great guy or a good carpenter' or whatever.  People have all these non-biblical ideas about Jesus and love to put him in a soup-pot with all of these other, you know, ascended masters, great teachers, spiritual personalities.  The Bible is telling us clearly that Jesus came into the world, and just by that statement, and John will say 'He came into flesh.'  And in his gospel he says "The Word was made flesh", literally "became flesh" of his own will.  And all of those places insinuate a pre-existence, that he came into flesh from somewhere else.  All of those Greek terms imply pre-existence.  And the idea is, Jesus is God, he pre-existed his physical state.  And anybody who denies that he is Messiah, that he is come in the flesh, that he became flesh, is antichrist.  "Whosoever denieth the Son the same hath not the Father."  Any Jesus we talk about has to be the Jesus of the Bible.  And if you tell me 'Well I don't necessarily believe he was born of a virgin, you know, I all that stuff.I don't necessarily believe the resurrection, you know that's a questionable.'  You know, let me tell you something, you take away the virgin birth and you take away the gospel.  You take away him dying on the cross for the sins of the world, you take away the gospel.  You take away the resurrection, you take away the gospel.  You take away the return of Christ, you take away the gospel.  [And that is why pre-millennial interpretation of prophecy is so important, because it is about the very return of Jesus Christ to set up his Millennial Kingdom of God upon this earth-that is a part of the gospel.  It is not all of the gospel, but it is also a vital part of it.  Amillennialism seeks to do away with that portion of the gospel.]  Don't tell me you believe in the same Jesus I believe in-unless you believe that he pre-existed, that he was born of a virgin, that he died on the cross for our sins, that he rose again the third day, that he ascended and he's coming back soon-now we're talking about the same guy. Now we're taking about the same guy.  If you don't believe in that Jesus you need to check out your heart-because what Jesus do you have hope in? If he was just a great teacher, his death meant nothing.  But if he was born of a virgin, if he was God come in the see, if he was just a perfect man and he died on the cross, then maybe God in heaven would say 'OK, we'll trade his life for one other life.  He was perfect, and when I weigh it in the balance, he didn't deserve to die, so we'll take one person who doesn't deserve to be forgiven and we'll make the exchange.  He was the perfect man, so we'll forgive one sinner.'  But if he was God, and Paul says 'we see God in Christ on the cross, reconciling the world to himself.'  Then his death paid for the sins of all men, in all time, and it's sufficient for the sins of the whole world-when the Creator gave his life and subjected himself to his own sinful creation-to assume those responsibilities of our rebellion and sin and died in our place.  That's the Jesus that the Bible speaks of. [For a complete study on the first coming of Jesus, Yeshua, and who he is in the Bible, log onto .  Especially if you are not sure about just who Jesus Christ, Yeshua haMeshiach was and is.  This study shows almost all the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus and their fulfillment in the New Testament, listing almost all of them, thus identifying Jesus and who the Bible says he is.  If there is any doubt in your mind about who Jesus is, you need to read that study.]

          "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.  And this is the promise that he hath promised us,"-prosperity, just confess it, blab-it-and-grab-it, it-is-yours, name-it-and-claim-it, create-it-by-your-speak.  I'm glad that's not true.  You know how many knuckle-heads there'd be in traffic if that was true?  People would drive around with big knuckles on here heads, that would be for me if I could create things while I was speaking [laughter].-"This is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life" (verses 24-25).  And John says that in his gospel, you know, "that in him we have authority, whose sins" he says "you forgive".  The idea is, those men would write the New Testament, and you have the same authority this evening, you have the authority to say to someone "If you will repent of your sins and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you, you will have eternal life."  That is tremendous authority.  You do not have the authority to say 'You will always be healthy, you will always prosper, you will never have any problems.'  This is not heaven, this is earth.  He came to save us out of this situation, because it is often filled with suffering and hardship.  But you can say to any individual in any condition anywhere in the world "If you will accept Christ as Savior and repent of your sins, you will have eternal life."  This is the promise that we have from him.  The promise, singular, "even eternal life."  "These things have I written unto you concerning them that would seduce you." (verse 26)-and try to tell you all kinds of other promises come with the bargain.  "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." (verse 27)  Now, what it is saying here, is he's writing to them as children, he's always speaking to them in the plural, what he's saying is, to the church, that God's anointing is abiding on us, on you plural.  And the tenses are 'You are not continually in the condition of needing that any man can be continually be teaching you.'  The idea is, 'The manifold wisdom of God is placed within  the church.'  We don't have a need to go to the world and have scientists and psychologists and all of these people teach us what the story is.  We have our own Chuck Missler's and our own Gail Erwin's and our own Wilder Smith's and our own pastors and our own home fellowships and our own puppet ministries and we have inside the church the manifold wisdom of God.  We don't have to go to the world to find out what the story is.  And that's what he says here, the anointing that you have from the beginning as a church, plural, it abides on you and you don't have the need that any man teach you anything.  "But as the same anointing teaches you all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it"-or "he"-"hath taught you, you shall abide in him."  What a great comfort.  'Even as this anointing has taught us everything, we shall abide in him." 

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