The Last Hour
The basis of this message I am writing is found in the first epistle of John. He writes, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But their departure made it clear that none of them belonged to us. You, however, have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” 1 John 2:18-20
John tells us we are in the last hour – 2000 YEARS AGO, which would most likely mean that we are possibly in the last minute of time right now.
John says that “antichrist (ἀντίχριστος) is coming (ἔρχομαι). In the very same sentence John states, “…and already many such antichrists have appeared. This is how we know that it is the last hour.”
"Appeared" = γίνομαι. And is a very common Greek word in the NT and fundamentally means "become" (becoming, became). Therefore, I think the emphasis in this verse is on the fact that there were many antichrist[s] already presently there.
John, the apostle. One of the original 12 disciples picked out by the Lord Himself. Author of: The Gospel of John; 1, 2, 3 John (epistles of); and (most likely) the book of Revelation or "Apocalypse" (ἀποκάλυψις), which is a Greek word meaning "an unveiling, uncovering, revealing, revelation."
John therefore had the authority to say assuredly, “They went out from us, but they did not belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But their departure made it clear that none of them belonged to us.” (1 John 2:19)
Children of the devil called Jesus evil. And as the Lord stated, "If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!" Matthew 10:25 And so we will see antichrists call born again children of God, antichrist.
But as Isaiah says, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness to light and light to darkness, who replace bitter with sweet and sweet with bitter." Isaiah 5:20
Blasphemy against the holy Spirit is a very similar [but unforgivable] crime against God. (see Mark 3:30 and Matt 12:22-31)
“And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” — Romans 8:9b
I’m writing this because I have seen representatives of churches, sects and cults quoting this scripture when someone leaves their group. But I say that in most cases, they have no authority to do so. The apostle John was a proven leader in the body of Christ. NOBODY else can lay claim to this kind of authority. Therefore, people should be very careful when they try and call someone “antichrist” because someone left their group. People who carelessly accuse people of being antichrist can often wind up looking more like the antichrist than the one they are accusing. I say this because of the reasoning they employ when drawing their conclusions. The accusers/slanderers (διάβολοι), are imagining that their group is the one and only bonafide church of God and anyone who leaves it is antichrist. In other words, they are putting their faith into this idea and not putting their faith in the person of CHRIST. This very work puts them in place of Christ. Or instead of Christ. Which is the very definition of “antichrist.”
The reason why someone would imagine that their little cult, group or sect is the one and only body of Christ is because they are deceived. And most likely due to pride. Of which, God says He is at war with those who are proud. “But gives His grace (gift of unmerited favor) to the LOWLY.” (Proverbs 3:34 LXX; 1 Peter 5:5; James 4:6).
The opposite/antonym of pride is humility, and is a prerequisite for properly serving Christ and is the signature of authenticity of a true born of the Spirit follower of Christ. The true believer full well knows his unworthiness and therefore is always looking for Christ’s guidance. As the true believer knows who and what he was before Christ saved him. This guidance, John refers to in the very next verse. The word is often translated as “unction”, but is more properly translated as “the result of the anointing” (χρίσμα) and is where we get the English word charisma.
John says, “You (authentic followers), however, have an unction from the holy One, and all of you know the truth.” (~1 John 2:20. - And see 1 John 2:27 to review all the usages (3) of this word (χρίσμα) in the New Covenant writings.)
John then says, “I have not written you because you lack knowledge of the truth, but because you have it, and because no lie comes from the truth.” 1 John 2:21
John is talking to members in Christ’s body, firstly. People who have never truly been saved like to imagine they are anointed leaders of God and that all the Bible verses apply to them in a context that was never intended. They throw around heavy duty verses and accusations and they feel that makes them look important. These are the ones who never truly entered into God’s fold through faith in Christ and the initial immersion in God’s holy Spirit at the time of conversion. These are the “antichrists” John is talking about! And their day of judgment and negative verdict is coming very soon. These are the ones who have entered into the fold, not through the Gate (Christ), but “some other way.” The same is “a thief and a robber.” John 10:1
Just as John is warning in his epistles (“they did not [ever] belong to us.” And “their departure made it clear that none of them [ever] belonged to us.” ~1 John 2:19); These antichrists were never saved! Then, when someone who IS saved visits their group and depart when the spiritual bankruptcy of the hypocrites is manifested, the wolves in sheep’s clothing begin pacifying the others by incorrectly quoting John’s words about antichrist. Except the roles were actually reversed. The antichrists rejected a true born of the Spirit converted follower of Christ and therefore “departed” from Christ’s body without even knowing it. (2 John 1:7; Luke 10:16; Matthew 10:40; John 13:20)
John then says, “Who is the liar, if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.” 1 John 2:22
“Denies” is the English translation of the Greek word ἀρνέομαι and means: “(refuse); hence, contradict, refuse to affirm or to confess (identify with); disown (repudiate).”
Those who never knew Christ are easily deceived and manipulated by demons. They naturally repudiate, deny and disown JESUS and those who belong to Him. And before we knew Christ, we all did the very same thing! (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:3; Colossians 1:21) But when we were confronted with God’s truth, we, through God’s mercy, accepted it. The antichrists on the other hand, denied it, repudiated it and contradicted it (Matthew 21:44; Luke 20:18). And again, John fills in the pertinent information in the all-important third chapter of John. He says, “And this is the verdict (“condemnation” - KJV): The Light has come into the world, but men loved (chose) the darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:19, 20
Those who are Christ’s go to Him every day and confess their faults and express to Him their need of God’s grace and forgiveness. This allows God to exercise His mercy to us (1 John 1:7). This shows that we are affirming and confirming God as the good and gracious God He is, while we are displaying our humility and need for God’s forgiveness. And THIS is the most important part of God’s work in Christ. As Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but [I came to call] sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:31, 32
Jesus WAS BORN into this world for sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15; Matthew 9:13; Luke 19:10; John 3:16, 17).
But the antichrists will hardly ever admit they are wrong at all. And therefore, these types do not need Christ. And therefore, reject, deny and repudiate Him.
Paul also often speaks of these deniers of God, but does so very specifically in 2 Thessalonians 2. Paul says, “The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and false wonder, and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10
And because they refused, denied, repudiated and were hostile toward “a love for the truth,” “For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie,” (The lie that THEY are the anointed of God and everyone who leaves them are antichrist!) 2 Thessalonians 2:11
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
The holy Spirit tells us all the same things so many times and in so many ways in God’s old and new covenant writings. And I tell you, and echo the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and all His messengers, apostles and prophets; And that is the fact that we need to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We need to seek Him persistently. To read His word prayerfully. And to constantly commune with Him in our heart. And to never stop doing these things until we breathe our very last breath or the LORD returns to commence the final age!
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."