We Have An Unction — 1 John 2:18-29
Passed From Death Unto Life
We have “an unction from the Holy One.” By the unction of His Spirit, the divine enabling by which we are equipped, we are able to recognize evil and error. We know the truth when we hear and see it. It is this unction from the Holy One, this anointing that God gives us, that allows us to recognize what is evil and wrong, and what is true and right.
We Recognize By This Unction
This is not only important; it is essential. It is vital. We live in a world of darkness. The Devil’s greatest work, his most damnable work, is in making things look like the truth when the are not the truth. We need discernment to recognize things.
The Bible sys in 1 John 2:18, “…as ye have heard that antichrist shall come…” (1) This word “antichrist” could mean any doctrine or teaching that is given instead of or against Christ. (2) It could also be anyone who embodies that teaching. In other words, God assigns this scalding word to the person who is teaching something that is against Christ or instead of Christ.
God’s Word says that if you are teaching something that takes the place of Jesus Christ or is against Christ, you are an antichrist. There are many who are teaching some way to God other than the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone. Most of them are saying that it is Christ plus someone or something else.
The third way this could be used is for the person that shall be referred to as “the Antichrist.” God also has other names for him. He is called in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, “the man of sin.” In 2 Thessalonians 2:8, he is called “that wicked.” In Revelation, he is referred to as “the beast.” There is a person who will step onto the stage of human history who shall lead a Christ-rejecting world. He is the Antichrist.
How do God’s people recognize error that looks like truth? How do God’s people have the ability to recognize truth and perhaps say something about it so early on that someone may call us divisive? The truth is we are not dividing; we are recognizing that the divide is already in existence because of error. How are we able to do that? We are enabled with an unction form the Holy One. God, by His Spirit, enables us to recognize.
The Bible says in 1 John 2:19, “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.”
I believe that as we move further into this wicked age there will be more and more of this with which to deal. Of course the example that comes to mind most quickly is the example of Judas Iscariot. He was numbered with the disciples, but he did not continue with them. The fact that he was not one of them was manifested by the fact that he did not continue with them.
There is a difference between a backslider and an apostate. A backslider is a Christian who is not following close to the Lord Jesus Christ. An apostate is not a Christian. He has turned from revealed truth while still appearing to follow it. He possibly gave some indication early on that he was going to be identified with the cause of Christ and with Christians, but he rejected Christ and turned from revealed truth.
If you could look deeply into the heart of a backslider, you would find the Lord Jesus Christ. The backslider needs to turn to the Lord and repent of his sins. If you could look beneath the surface of an apostate, you would not find Christ; you would find the devil.
How do we discern?
1 John 2:10-20 says, “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.”
The most dangerous evil is the evil that most resembles the truth. The Bible says the Holy Spirit will teach us all things. That does not mean that we have complete knowledge, but it means God will teach us the things we need to know about Him and His Word if we are willing to spend time with Him in His Word.
There is so much damage done today by mixing truth with a lie. Remember that no lie is of the truth. It is either all true, or it is not true at all.
1 John 2:22-23 says, “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.”
What we do know to be true about the Lord Jesus Christ? He was not created. He did not begin at Bethlehem. God incarnate, robed in flesh, became a man without ceasing to be God. He was born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life. He had a real body, He suffered, bled, and died in that body. The billows of God’s wrath rolled on the Son of God; He tasted death for every man as He bore our sin debt. He was buried, and He rose again from the grave bodily. He ascended to heaven in that body. The nail-prints are on that body in heaven. He is coming again.
How can we recognize truth? We have an unction from the Holy One. Because of this unction we are able to recognize what is true and what is a lie.
“Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things” Proverbs 28:5.