You Know The Truth (1 Jno. 2:18-23)
“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrist have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 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 it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1 Jno. 2:18-23).
A.W. Tozer once wrote: “…there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.”
It did not take centuries for men to form and advocate error about the Father and the Son. At this place in his first epistle John begins to address this vital issue. When the truth about God and Jesus is distorted and proclaimed, those “who know the truth” are compelled to respond.
In John’s time there were “many” who did not believe the truth about the Father and the Son. It wasn’t that they hadn’t learned yet. They were in denial of the Father and the Son, yet apparently were among Christians – then “went out.”
It is also critical to observe in this passage, John doesn’t speak of antichrist as a singular historical figure who would some day have a role to play in the end of the world. He said, “so now many antichrists have come.” There is a tendency in modern times for people to reach into this passage and lock into “antichrist” and project into the present or future. That’s not a fair use of the term. The take-away for us is, as Tozer implied: guard against error about the Father and the Son.