Lairs & Deniers: I John 2:18-25

Lairs & Deniers: I John 2:18-25
Pastor John Nicholas
Sunday February 13, 2022

Draft, Not a Transcript

18 Παιδία, ἐσχάτη ὥρα ἐστίν, καὶ καθὼς ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἀντίχριστος ἔρχεται, καὶ νῦν ἀντίχριστοι πολλοὶ γεγόνασιν· ὅθεν γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐσχάτη ὥρα ἐστίν. 

Children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard antichrist is coming, and now many antichrists have arisen by which we know that it is the last hour

On the heels of the world passing away is the continued warning of the last hour.  John telling his children.  Those who have come to faith through his teaching, or his church.  We don’t know for sure but we do know the relationship is close.  As we have said before, grandfatherly.  As one to whom these are his beloved.  That he cares greatly about.

The last hour.  The last hour.  Repeated.  The importance here.   The warning.  They have heard that there will be deniers.  There will be mockers.  2 Peter 3:3 (NASB95) 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts.  So it is not a surprise the language that John is using.  

Unique to John, the anit-Christ.  Here in two fashions.  Without the article would indicate an overall look at those who are anti-Christ.  Not the one who will come at the end of the age.  Combined with the statement that there are many, paints the picture of what is happening.  

There are many Christ deniers.  Those that deny that Jesus is the anointed one.  That He is the messiah (key idea here is that He is because the one who was dead, Lives!)  

Turn to 2 Peter 2:1 (NASB95):

 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 

This is how John knows it is the last hour, the signs are all there.  Beforehand, before the Messiah, there was always the anticipation of the messiah, but none would have existed that denied the messiah, because He had not come.  But now, the deniers are exposed.  John is the last remaining apostolic witness to the risen Christ.  Seeing, eating with the risen savior.  And now there are those that deny what they know, or doubt that Jesus was the one.  

The fact is, that since there are deniers that He has come would indicate, to some degree, that He has actually come.  And like the passages before, these antichrists are the ones that lure people to their destruction.  They take them away from the salvation through Christ, by denying that He has come.  They are the ones in whom the world is the all in all.  They are the ones walking in the darkness.  Seeking to lure those seeking the light back to dark alleys.  

These are not ones that don’t know, but ones that positively deny Jesus.  They are AGAINST CHRIST.  That’s what the name means.  Heretics.  Deniers.  Those who don’t hold to orthodoxy.  They are worldlings and world lovers.  Children of the devil himself, even if they don’t recognize it. 

And John’s going to give us some more information in the next verse.

The big takeaway from this verse is those that don’t believe Jesus is Lord and Savior are Anti-Christs, they are by definition against Christ.  These are not people with doubts, but active deniers.  The message has been heard, Jesus of the Cross has been proclaimed as dead and risen, and they deny it.  

You see, Jesus is a historical message, bound in history with the life and work on the cross then.  But now and forever too.

To find oneself in this position is to be on the wrong side of history in modern parlance.  

If you deny this Jesus I urge you to reconsider your views.  Because this is a fact that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of.

19 ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐξῆλθαν, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἦσαν ἐξ ἡμῶν· εἰ γὰρ ἐξ ἡμῶν ἦσαν, μεμενήκεισαν ἂν μεθʼ ἡμῶν· ἀλλʼ ἵνα φανερωθῶσιν ὅτι οὐκ εἰσὶν πάντες ἐξ ἡμῶν. 

From us they went out, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us, but in order that it might be shown that all  of them are not us

Here is how this against Christ people have been identified.  They were part of the fellowship and they left.  They have not persevered.  They are sowing doubt.  They have left to never return. They are trying to convince others too.  

These are not the ones of the previous passages.  They have identified themselves as worldlings, son’s and daughters of darkness by the fact that they left the congregation.  It is a logically sound argument, although to our ears it may sound a little circular.

John makes the statement of them leaving, that they left the congregation.  That seeing these members leave may cause some to question what is believed.  Because weren’t they of us?  Didn’t they claim to believe the same thing?  And now they are denying Jesus?  Or maybe they are not denying Jesus, but denying who Jesus is?  Maybe he was a man.  Maybe he didn’t actually die.  This is the issue.  Those that have left are causing a problem.  Their wrong thinking, their believing about Jesus is leading others astray.

But as John will note this is not a bad thing.  It proves the truth.  By the fact that they left proves that they were not believers.  And had they believed they would have stayed.  They would have remained.  They would not have left.  And was all for a reason.

The sovereignty of God was on display.  They left to show that just because some were there does not mean that all are the same.  They left with their bad thinking.   And that is a good thing.  A little leaven spoils the lump.  

Turn to Galatians 5:7–9 (NASB95): 

7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 

8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. 

9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 

 False thinking.  Bad beliefs.  Heterodoxy leads to apostasy.  And the warnings go further back too. 

Turn in your bibles to Deuteronomy 13, a treatise on false belief.  A warning against false prophets, false teachers, those that serve false Gods.

Please understand that you cannot just say you believe in Jesus.  It was a common name.  There would have been many named Jesus at this time.  And do you know why?  Jesus is the Greek for Joshua.  Therefore, it would have had a certain level of popularity among the Jews.

The same as these believers, there is only one Jesus who saves.  The Jesus who lived the sinless life and died on the cross as a propitiary substitutionary atonement.  And three days later He rose again.  And ascended to the right hand of His Father in Heaven.  It is this Jesus we must believe in.

A Jesus who was just a man does not save.  The Jesus the is a good teacher doesn’t save.  The Jesus , who was a nice man and helped people, doesn’t save.  The Jesus who heals and remains in the grave doesn’t save.

And these sorts of Jesus’s exist, even now, in the minds of men.  And none of the save.  

The issue is that men won’t have a Jesus of their own making.  They don’t want the true Jesus.  They don’t want Jesus as their Lord.  And therein lies the problem.  The scripture says that you must confess Jesus as Lord to be saved.  

Romans 10:9 (NASB95) 

9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 

These people that left John’s church could not confess this and that would be to their destruction.  And there may be some here today too.  I would encourage you to examine yourselves.

20 καὶ ὑμεῖς χρῖσμα ἔχετε ἀπὸ τοῦ ἁγίου καὶ οἴδατε πάντες· 

And you have an anointing from the Holy One and you all know.

But those that remain should not fear. In  this regard they are those that have the anointing, ones that have been consecrated.  Consecrated, set aside for the purpose of God’s sovereign will.  Exodus 29 tells us about the anointing of the priests.  Exodus 29:7 (NASB95) 7“Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.”  That they would be set aside for the work of the priesthood. 

And these too had been set aside, just as Jesus had said to the disciples.  That the helper would come – John 15:26–27 (NASB95) 

26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 

27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. 

There is no longer a need for the priesthood because we have a high priest that lives forever.  

Hebrews 4:14–16 (NASB95) 

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 

15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 

16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

John is reminding them that they have had the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit testifies so that they know.  They don’t need to question it.

They are not the same as the others.  They would not leave the fellowship.  They would persevere to the end.

Do you realize that you too have been anointed, set aside for sanctification, to proclaim the gospel to a lost and dying world.  Maybe you don’t feel the anointing.  Maybe your assurance is waning.  When this happens you must examine yourself.  Are you in the scripture?  Are you praying? Or is there some sin (a pet sin) that is robbing you of joy and assurance. 

21 οὐκ ἔγραψα ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐκ οἴδατε τὴν ἀλήθειαν, ἀλλʼ ὅτι οἴδατε αὐτήν, καὶ ὅτι πᾶν ψεῦδος ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας οὐκ ἔστιν. 

I have not written you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it and every lie is not of the truth

John’s reference is not to another writing but to this one.  It is a reminder that they know the truth.  That Jesus is the Christ.  The High Priest. Their Intercessor.  They are not like those that left.  The ones that deny the truth about Jesus.  They are the ones who know and believe the truth.  

They are not the deniers and the liars.

22 τίς ἐστιν ὁ ψεύστης εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀρνούμενος ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ χριστός; οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀντίχριστος, ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὸν υἱόν. 

Who is the liar except the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ, this person is the antichrist the one who denies the Father and the Son

These liars are those that deny the truth about Christ.

23 πᾶς ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν υἱὸν οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει· ὁ ὁμολογῶν τὸν υἱὸν καὶ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει. 

Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either, the one who confesses the Son also has the Father

And the result is that those who deny the Son cannot claim the Father.  This is the triune God.  Three persons in one God.  Homoousios, they are Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all of the same substance.  To deny one is to deny them all.  John is telling them that.  Be careful.  As he said before there is only one Jesus who saves.  And to deny that Jesus is to deny the Godhead.

There is danger here.  You cannot just say I believe in God and therefore I am saved.  It is only through Christ Himself.  There is no gray area salvation.  There is only one way.  and it is Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life.  

24 ὑμεῖς ὃ ἠκούσατε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, ἐν ὑμῖν μενέτω· ἐὰν ἐν ὑμῖν μείνῃ ὃ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ἠκούσατε, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν τῷ υἱῷ καὶ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ μενεῖτε. 

You have heard what was from the beginning must remain, if in you what you heard from the beginning remains, also you will remain in the Son and in the Father

This harkens back to the beginning of the epistle.  Now he is reminding them of what they had heard (from him).  To abide in this truth is to remain in the Son, and as was noted above, because of this, they would abide in the Father too, with the Holy Spirit testifying to this truth.

25 καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἐπαγγελία ἣν αὐτὸς ἐπηγγείλατο ἡμῖν, τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον. 

And this is the promise which He himself promised us, life eternal.

The result is the life eternal.  Linked to the previous passages, to not love the world, to stay in fellowship, to have the confirmation of the truth through the Holy Spirit is to have the assurance of salvation eternal.

It is about the truth of Jesus the Christ.  He is the one that saves, they are still in the fellowship, testified and confirmed by the Spirit.  Those that have left are the anti-Christs.  The deniers of Jesus, the liars about the truth.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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