Summary: The antichrists have come, even come out from among us. But we are anointed by the Holy One. What does that anointing mean?
The Anointed Ones
A. The Bible gives us several warnings about troubles that are coming. Peter talks about scoffers in the last days. Paul tells Timothy that a time is coming when people will turn aside from sound doctrine and turn to teachers who tell them what they want to hear. He told the Thessalonians these words in 2 Thess. 1:1-10.
B. John's letter is probably later than Paul's to the Thes. But John writes to give a warning and to give comfort. We are living in the last days. We have been since Acts 2. There is no other "days" to come but the Christian age. But there is questions around the final days of the earth and what will take place during that time. Some hold to a reign of Satan upon the earth for a period of time. I understand some of the reason for that philosophy, but I come back to the teaching that no man knows the day or hour when the Son of Man will come back in flaming fire. Yet, the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon the writers of the NT leads us to understand that in this period of time there will come a higher degree of power of evil at some point. I don’t seek to scare Christians into thinking this is moment, that within the next year some great evil power will arise and Christians will face unusual persecution and then Jesus will return. That may be, but I am not teaching it.
C. I come to John and seek to understand two facts: (1) Those who deny Jesus is the Christ will seek to hurt the church (2) we have an anointing from God to face that troublesome time. Let us read the text of 1 John 2:18-27
A. The phrase "last hour" must have been common in John's day and they understood it. How do we know there is nothing more to come than the Christian age? The rise of antichrists. The very fact that there continues to arise people who are against Jesus as the Christ proves that we Christians have much work to do in this last hour. Some singular antichrist will rise, but the fact remains that there are many antichrists right now. John defines an antichrist as simply one who denies Jesus is the Christ.
B. How many world religions deny that Jesus is the Christ? How many denominations struggle with the deity of Jesus? Brethren, we are in trying times. It has not gotten better since John wrote this over 1900 years ago. The argument runs thus: the antichrist will come in the last hour-antichrists exist now-consequently, the last hour is now. Hence such renderings as, 'which proves to us that it is the last hour.'
C. I think it is important to realize that part of the problem is seen in who at least some of these antichrists were. Look again at verse 19. They went out from us. This phrase is used to show that had been members of the congregations. These people did not just quit going to church, they stopped believe that Jesus was the Christ. Someone leaves the Whitehall Church of Christ, does that automatically make them "the antichrists?" No. It is not simply quitting a local congregation, it taking up the gauntlet of anti-Christian teaching and behavior. John points that their new teaching of Jesus not being the Christ shows they were not really a part of fellowship to begin with.
D. Two thoughts can come from this. First, as fellow Christians we cannot make a judgment call upon another person who professes Christ. If it were that easy to spot and unbeliever who claims to be a believer, then John would not have written this passage. The second can be more controversial. I do not believe in "once-save-always-saved," but the idea of eternal security is a biblical principle. A true Christian will remain in Christ and therefore will always be saved. Some contend that those who fall way were not really saved to begin with. I think the Bible teaches too much that we can fall from grace, therefore we must have that grace to begin with. Nevertheless, John's writing here points that Christians remain because they have been anointed by God.
A. Christians have been anointed from the Holy One. But what is this anointing and how does it help? When you look at the OT, we see anointing done with oil in order to make something holy for God. It could be something used in the temple worship or it could be a person, such as the anointing of a king. Either way, it is signifying that someone or something has God's blessing.
B. Anointing was done to appoint or commission, to empower or give power, to consecrate like a lying on of hands, or to choose someone or something. As I study the passage, I come to the conclusion that the anointing we have been given as Christians is the Holy Spirit. For it is the Holy Spirit who lives in us making us God's temple. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us and gifts us. It is the Holy Spirit that is the deposit of God guaranteeing our salvation. So I read this passage as saying, the Holy Spirit did not come upon these who left from us and became a part of the antichrists, but upon you whom he has empowered, you remain in the truth you have been taught from the beginning and in doing so, you remain in the Son and the Father and have the promised eternal life.