The anointing from Jesus, which is the Holy Spirit of God, is what remains in us and teaches us. The Spirit is true and real and is not counterfeit. Be open to questions and challenge. Filter skepticism and inquiry through the anointing you have…
18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.
26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
What is an antichrist? According to John, ‘it is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.’ We hear about THE antichrist, yet John is speaking more generally about an antichrist.
He has some strong words for people who were in the church of Jesus and who then go out from the church and deny that Jesus and the Father are one. And he points out that his audience is different. The readers of John’s letter are people who hold to the teaching that Jesus and the Father are one and they have the anointing from the Holy One.
The anointing from Jesus, which is the Holy Spirit of God, is what remains in us and teaches us. The Spirit is true and real and is not counterfeit, which is what John implies the false teachers are in these verses.
So hold to the truth. Hold to the teaching. Watch for those who would lead you astray from the truth. Hmmm… that sounds like I should insulate myself in the Christian bubble and not listen to rational and skeptical voices from outside.
I’ll disagree. I think more appropriately it means that we ought not to be led astray by those voices. Filter skepticism and inquiry through the anointing you have. Who is that? The Holy Spirit.
In practical terms, God expects us to take what we read and hear and see, and bring it before the Holy Spirit for his influence and his wisdom and his insight. The Spirit will make things clear to us and validate the truth.
Spirit, guide me and teach me. Fill me with your anointing.