Truth And Error – 1 John 2:18-27

By John Bellingham on January 4, 2015
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Truth and Error

1 John 2:18-27


– The backdrop to 1 John was a group of outspoken false teachers (Gnostics)

who had once professed faith in Christ and had commanded respect, but had

subsequently left the church.   *John is writing here to reassure those

remaining members of the church whose faith in Christ had been shaken.


I. Distinctions – Error vs. Truth (vv. 18-21)

1) The Spirit of Error

1.  The future coming of ‘Antichrist’

  • A ‘lawless one’ who will persecute the Church (cf. 2 Thes 2:1-12; Rev 13)
  • The Bible’s picture of Antichrist is rooted in historical persecutions

 2. The perennial spirit of ‘antichrist’

  • John’s main concern is to alert the Church that many ‘antichrists’ are already in the world!
  • The ‘last hour’ (v. 18) is a reference to the entire time between Jesus’ first and second coming
  • The ‘antichrists’ that John faced were false teachers in Ephesus (vv. 19, 26)

2) The Spirit of Truth

  1. The Spirit of Truth indwells us! (v. 20)
  • ‘Anointing’ from the Holy Spirit is the main mark of the New Covenant
  • Every born again believer has the anointing (or ‘baptism’) of the Spirit
    • The false teachers in Ephesus were claiming to have a special ‘anointing’ from God
    • God’s Spirit enables *all believers* to discern what is true


– Don’t be so concerned about the future ‘Antichrist’ that you fail to recognize the spirit of antichrist and the tribulation which has already arrived!

– Don’t be deceived by those who say that truth is just personal opinion – Truth is a Person!

– Don’t be surprised by ‘apostasy’ – the visible church on earth is a mixture of ‘tares’ and ‘wheat’

Perseverance is a defining mark of saving faith


II. Definitions (vv. 22-23)

1) The Spirit of Antichrist

  1. Denies that ‘Jesus is the Christ’
  2. Claims that you can have a relationship with God apart from Jesus Christ

2) The Spirit of Truth

  1. Enables us to confess the Son (Jn 16:14)
    • His full deity
    • His full humanity
    • His eternal pre-existence
  2. Enables us to possess the Father

Application: It is not enough to say you ‘believe in God’ or that you ‘believe in Jesus’! What ‘Jesus’ and what ‘God’ do you believe in??

III. Defenses (vv. 24-27)

1) God’s inspired Word – “what you heard from the beginning” (v. 24)

2) God’s indwelling Holy Spirit (v. 27)

Application:  If the Word of God dwells in your mind and the Spirit of  God dwells in your heart you have an impermeable fortress against ‘antichrist’!

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