We Have An Unction — 1 John 2:18-29
Passed From Death Unto Life
God says, in verse 20, “Ye have an unction from the Holy One.” Dr. Vance Havner is quoted as saying, “We cannot function without this unction.” That was a rather unique way of saying it. He has given us something that is so vital and so significant, but yet so sadly neglected.
The Bible says in 1 John 2:18-28, “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 would no doubt 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.”
The Lord Jesus spoke of the anointing of the Holy Spirit in John 4:14-20, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about…And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all…And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read…And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written…The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised..To preach the acceptable year of the Lord…And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.”
Notice in verse 18, the words, “…he hath anointed me…” The Lord Jesus said that He had an anointing that enabled Him to teach and preach God’s Word. The Bible says in 1 John 2:20, “Ye have an unction from the Holy One.” Remember that the greatest commentary on the Bible is the Bible. God tells us with the Scriptures what we need to know about the Scriptures. As we read this passage in 1 John, the Lord speaks of this anointing by bringing a summary or a survey to us. He references the truth that we have an unction.
In John chapter 14, the Lord taught His disciples about the work of the Holy Spirit; who He is, and what He is in the world to do. He gave great truth about the Spirit of God. Read at your leisure chapters 14 through 16 of John’s gospel record. If you are truly interested in knowing God the Holy Spirit, you ought to read those chapters and meditate upon them.
Let us look at a portion of Christ’s teaching in these chapters. The Bible says in John 14:23-27, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him…He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me…These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you…But 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…Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Our Lord tells us here that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things. As believers, we can get alone with God and His Word, and God Himself will teach the Bible to us. This is the way the Lord intends for it to be accomplished.
I read some things about the life of Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest theological minds in the history of the United States. He did not have as large a library as you might imagine. He took his Bible apart page by page. Then he put it back together with a blank page between each printed page. He spent hours up hours reading and studying the Bible, making notes on the blank pages in his Bible. He was truly a man of the Word. That is how he came to know the Lord in such a wonderful way.
Look back at 1 John 2. There is really no way for us to fully understand the context in which John was living. Jerusalem had been destroyed in A.D. 70. The people of God were scattered. There was false teaching everywhere, and John wrote to believers, encouraging them to follow the truth. There was great peril and tremendous disappointment with all that had happened to the Jews and in Jerusalem. So John wrote in 1 John 2:18, ““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.” Antichrist is made up of two words: the title Christ and the preposition anti. It is important to see that anti has two meanings. It can mean “against.” Anti can also mean “instead of, an imitation of.” Therefore, it can be a substitute.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” 1 Timothy 4:1.