Summary: Sometimes we find the devil attending church.
Living in Jesus
Last week, we were introduced to the Antichrist. In fact many antichrists had come already. John goes further do describe them as coming out from the church itself. The source of their teaching might have come from the pit of hell, but the actual antichrists were those who had left the fellowship of the church, indicating they had no part in the life of God. The source of their being was rooted in the world and was demonstrated by the selfishness which is the rule of the world—Me first!”
This week, we shall see John expand on this idea of antichrist and say in more idea who the Antichrist really is. This will be followed by the positive promise given to the church who remains faithful and lives in Him. In other words, the life of Christ likeness is portrayed opposite the selfish life and lies of the Antichrist.
Exposition of the Text
Verse 22: Who is a liar if it isn’t the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
Again we have the word “liar” used in conjunction with the Antichrist. Jesus called the devil a liar and a source of every lie in the Gospel of John. Last week when we discussed the idea of antichrist, it was someone who stood in the place of Christ and claimed to be the Christ. So obviously then, if someone would be so bold to claim to be the Messiah, then what would that person have to do with Jesus? Obviously there can not be two Messiahs. An impostor would have to make Jesus to be something other than He claimed. This is what Mohammed did. He reduced Jesus to being a man and a great teacher and prophet, but not God. He had to be less than Mohammed, as Mohammed is considered by the Muslims to be “The Prophet of Allah”. And for since Mohammed clearly indicated that he was not God but only the greatest of Allah’s prophets, this would make Jesus less than Mohammed and less than God as well. And Allah would never be called “Father” in any sense by a Muslim, so they have to deny that title as well.
Others like Sun Yung Moon claim that Jesus failed in His mission because He died on the cross before He could marry and introduce perfect children into the world. Obviously, Moon was sent to fix this situation by replacing Jesus and finishing the mission that Jesus intended to fulfill, to make the human race perfect by putting God’s genes into the gene pool rather than dying for our sine on a cross. These are only a couple of examples of antichrists in history. Either they claim to be some reincarnation of Jesus, a superior replacement to Jesus, or in some way to represent the true Jesus. So then, the Antichrist is not an Atheist. He might even use the lingo of the Christian faith as a means of deception. The Antichrist does not directly ridicule Christ, but uses Jesus to fit his purpose of deception, truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Such are groups like the Mormon’s too. They use both the Father and the Son. But the Father has a Father who created His world and gave birth to the Father of Scripture and sent the Father into His universe to create and have a Son, Jesus, who also has children, etc. The Mormons are not at all unlike the people who had left the fellowship in Ephesus.
Verse 23: Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either.
How can a father be a father without a child? If one denies the Son of God, the Only-Begotten, they are denying the Fatherhood of God. Jesus made it abundantly clear that He who has seen Him has seen the Father. Hebrews 1 calls the Son the Express Image of God, an exact likeness. Jesus says in John 14:6 that no one can come to the Father but by Him. There is not other way to God than through Jesus. Anyone who claims such is both a liar and an antichrist. Anyone who claims there are many ways to God is a liar and and antichrist. Anyone who claims that there is any way to be saved except through the shed blood of Christ and faith in His name is a liar and an antichrist. So much for tolerance! I am not going to persecute anyone in this world, but neither am I going to compromise on this point. Jesus is the only way.
Verse 24: But YOU have heard this all along. And this truth must be alive in you. If you all are living what you have heard all along from the beginning, then you are living in the Son and the Father.