From the commentary on 1John 2

Verses 18-23, Warning about the spirit of antichrist through
              the presence and influence of false teachers.
1. children: paidion, emphasis on involvement in the growth
   process. At verse 2:1, the word is teknia and the
   emphasis is on the writers relationship and affection for
   the recipients. And then at verse 2:12, the word is
   teknion where the emphasis is on progress in growth
   viewed as beginner or baby believer.
  A. When this word is used, the writer wants to impress the
     recipients with the urgency to be under instruction,
     whether in general or for specific information.
  B. In this case it is for specific orientation to the
     advance and nature of false teachers. Verse 2:26.

2. It is a last hour:
  A. Hour (h
ōra) refers to a specific point of time within a
     time period (kairos).
  B. The specific hour may be a short or extended point of
     time, but it is a distinct event within an established
     time frame.
  C. It is used here to indicate a pivotal and critical
     event in the progress of God's plan. It does not refer
     to the "end times."
  D. Other examples of this use.
     1. Christ's messianic sacrifice. John 2:4; Mk. 14:35;
        Mt. 26:455; Jn. 2:23.
     2. Change in worship perspective. John 4:21, 23
     3. Change in salvation perspective. John 5:25
     4. The resurrection program. John 5:28-29
     5. The apostolic period of persecution. John 16:2
     6. Christ's 40 day resurrection ministry. Jn. 16:25-26
     7. Hour of divine judgment during the Day of the Lord.
        Rev. 3:10; 14:7, 15
     8. The 3 days of the scattered disciples. Jn. 16:32

  E. Kenneth Wuest says of this:

"The article is absent before, hour, and the emphasis is not therefore upon the fact of a particular, definite time, but upon the character of that particular, definite time. Vincent says that John uses the word, hour, as marking a critical season. He says, '. . . Hence the phrase here does not refer to the end of the world, but to the period preceding a crisis in the advance of Christ's kingdom, a changeful and troublous period, marked by the appearance of many antichrists.'"

While they both see the issue of this referring to a "critical season," they fail to realize that it is not the rise of the many antichrists that constitutes "a last hour," but rather it is the ARRIVAL of this "critical season" or TIME that has caused Satan to intensify his efforts to destroy the integrity of the inspired revelation of God.

  F. There has been previous teaching about the rise of
     false teachers.
     1. Just as: kath
ōs, establishes a standard of previous
     2. you heard: akou
ō as an aorist active indicative
        which indicates a previous point in time.
     3. It corresponds with what Paul taught at 2Tim. 3:-5
        (in the eschatos h
āmera; in the (last)days to come).
     4. It corresponds with Peter: 2Pet. 2:1 and 3:1-4
        (eschatos h
     5. Corresponds with Jude 17-19 and verse 4.
        (eschatos chronos - in the (last) time to come)
     6. Thus, John's vocabulary for the same time period is
        eschatos h
ra with emphasis on its present arrival.

3. All this previous teaching about false teachers can be summed up by John's vocabulary; an antichrist is coming.
  A. antichristos without the definite article (the) =
     an antichrist or simply antichrist.
  B. is coming: present middle indicative of erchomai.
      It refers to the arrival of a person or time which will be
      characterized by speech and lifestyle that is antagonistic
      to the Messiah (Christ).
  C. Anti: means against or instead of. It thus refers to
     both false prophets and false messiahs.
  D. The word antichrist refers to false teachers in general and is
not a title for the beast of Revelation 13 or the man of
lawlessness of 2 Thessalonians 2. Yes, traditionally, the title
has been almost universally applied to the beast, but the word
only occurs in John's letters and never is there a hint that it
refers directly to the future dictator of the tribulation.

  E. What have they heard concerning what is coming into the world?
If we go back to what has been written, then we go back to
several things, realizing that no one else uses ANTI so we have
to find its equivalent.
1. Jesus: Mat. 24:24, "for many FALSE christs and false prophets
will arise." 30 AD
2. Paul: the deceitful spirits of 1 Tim. 4:1. c. 65 AD
3. Peter: the false teachers of 1 Pet. 2:1. c. 68 AD

F. And yet the apostles acknowledge that there were false prophets who had infiltrated even as they wrote. And then Jude (which is more difficult to date, but is probably between 68 and 80 AD) writes that certain persons HAVE secretly infiltrated,
indicating there presence "already" just as John tells us.

4. John's vocabulary for the fulfillment of that previous teaching is "many antichrists."
  A. even now: kai nun, recognizes that the present rise and
     INCREASE of the false teachers indicates that something
     crucial and pivotal is about to occur in the progress
     of God's plan.
  B. many antichrists: described at v. 22; 4:3 and 2 Jn. 7.
     "the one who denies the Father and the Son."
  C. have arisen: ginomai as a perfect active indicative.
     They have become; have arrived on the scene - and probably
     are not going away.
  D. None of the apostles make any claims that THE man of
lawlessness has arrived, but simply that the "spirit" behind
the man of lawlessness has arrived. Thus we are warned of this
"spirit of antichrist" (based on John 4:2-3) as a CONCEPT rather
than a specific person.

  E. John continues telling us about the "spirit" who denies the
incarnation of Jesus, "and this is the one (spirit - based on
context) who is OF the antichrist, concerning which you have
heard that IT (spirit) is coming and NOW is in the world

  F. Even though the definite article is now used, it points
BACK to what is in context and not forward. John uses the
definite article at 2 John 7 also, where it very clearly refers
to what is NOW present in the world.

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the
flesh (again - the issue revolves around the doctrine of
the incarnation).
THIS (what is then present) is THE deceiver and THE
antichrist." Ie, this is the "spirit" of antichrist which
he previously taught about.

  G. There is nothing in this context which should take us
forward to "the end times" (which have not presently arrived)
and have us apply the term antichrist to the man of lawlessness
and the two beasts of The Revelation.

  H. And of course believers overcome these false teachers by faith
and love - that is, they overcome the FALSE DOCTRINES of these
false teachers, but have ever been the recipients of great
physical persecution and can not boast of any PHYSICAL victory
over them.

5. from this: the rise of many false teachers.
6. we know: gin
ōskō as a present active indicative. We have
   experiential knowledge that the present unparalleled rise
   of the false teachers portends the arrival or imminent
   arrival of a unique, critical and pivotal time in God's

7. that it is a last hour: It is not the rise of antichrists that is "the critical hour." It is the unusual (although predicted) increase of the false teachers that INDICATES a critical hour is at hand.

8. This is NOT the last days of the church age. There are still 1900 years to go even though John does not know it.
  A. Under the principle of inspiration, John would not
     erringly say that it is time for Christ's return.
  B. But what he could know is that God's plan for the
     completion of His written revelation to the church is
     presently at hand.

9. John has in mind a pivotal event in the progress of God's plan. List of pivotal events.
  A. Birth of Messiah.  B. Baptism of Messiah
  C. crucifixion/resurrection.  D. birth of the church.
  E. Fall of Jerusalem. F. completion of the canon.
  G. rise of the man of lawlessness.
  H. Christ's return/rapture & start of the day of the Lord.

10. But what is THIS last hour?
     1. It is a period of time that was present at the end
        of John's ministry (c. 90 AD).
     2. It was not the end of the church age; IE. the time
        for Christ's return. John's dealing with that
        (verses 2:28; 3:2) is not different from how Paul
        and Peter deal with it.
11. In 90 AD, the only pivotal event in the progress of God's plan and which would elicit a major attack from Satan via false teachers would be the imminent completion of God's written revelation within about 7 years.

12. Thus, John actually addresses this issue in vs. 19-27.
  A. He brings attention to the truth and his reason for
     writing. Verse 21.
  B. He reminds them of an already established standard.
    Verse 24.
  C. He brings up the reality of those who are trying to
     deceive. Verse 26. That is to distract from the
    integrity of the already established doctrinal standard.
  D. Verse 27 refers to the ministry of the Holy Spirit
     who formerly taught what the established standard is.

Verse 19, A specific & unique origin of the false teachers.
1. They went out from us: aorist active indicative of erchomai + ek + us.
  A. Recognize fulfillment of Acts 20:29-30 (ek + you).
  B. Indicates the reality of Jude verse 4. secretly

2. Those who secretly infiltrated thus become "ek us" but at the same time, NOT (ouk) "ek us." This is because they do not establish genuine fellowship and doctrinal rapport with us. (2nd class condition if clause).
  A. If they had been of (ek) us: ei introduces the if
     clause (and they were not).
  B. They would have remained with us (and they did not):
     menō as a pluperfect active ind. + an + meta + us.
     The particle "an" completes the 2nd class if clause.
  C. The contrast in the whole section is between believer
     and unbeliever. The infiltrators of Jude are
     unbelievers as well (Jude 19).

3. But: alla introduces the historical reality of non compatibility between truth and error.
4. in order that: hina is used as a result clause to indicate the manifestation of false teachers based on their inability to hang with the truth.
5. That they all: hoti pas - there are no exceptions. Truth will always expose, convict and divide.
6. they might be manifest: aorist passive subjunctive of phaneroo. In other words, to establish their true colors.
7. that they all: hoti pas - no exceptions. Truth will always expose, convict and divide.
This is what Jesus meant when He said, that he came to bring a division and not peace on the earth (Luke 13:51-53; Mat. 10:34-37).

8. are not of us: eimi (present indicative) + ouk + ek + us.
Indicates no identification with believers who are following the truth.
  A. no compatibility, no rapport, no fellowship.
  B. They separated from us and still continue trying to
     neutralize us from the outside with their message of
     deception (V.26). Titus 1:10-11;
     Acts 20:30, "draw away disciples after them."
  C. Compare the two factors.
     1. 1 John 2:19, they left.
     2. Jude 4, they infiltrated.



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