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PATHWAY OF LIGHT STUDY COURSE
by R. W. Young
“But the path of the just is as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18)
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of Yahweh; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)
LESSON 158, 1 John chapter 2 (continued)
As we have seen, in this book John gives the evidences that cause us to know that we are true believers (followers of Yahshua) and, therefore, that we have eternal life. The last thing we considered is that to have the love of Yahweh in us is to not love the world or the things that are in the world, which he enumerates as the “desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life.” So, if we tend toward the love of these things, we need to turn from them and not let them rule our lives. When we do so, we, thereby, have further proof that we have eternal life.
Now we continue on from there to see what the other marks of a true believer are.
VERSES 18-19 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (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.
In this section John begins to warn about the antichrist, whose coming at that time was definitely still in the future. However, the spirit of antichrist, or anti-messiah, was already in the world. In fact, John says, even at that time there were already many anti-messiahs. John says that this fact - that there are already many anti-messiahs – shows that “it is the last time”, or “the last hour”.
How could it be that when John wrote he said it was the last hour, or last time when nearly 2,000 years have passed since then? First, we must consider that Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:9, “Yahweh is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” In other words Yahweh may have delayed some things in order for more to become saved. Peter also wrote, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with Yahweh as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8) So Yahweh sees the nearly 2,000 years as being a short time
Secondly, we need to consider that the pope, or the rise of the papal office, was considered by the early persecuted believers to be the antichrist office with each pope filling that seat as being the antichrist, individually, and collectively.
In any case, John was saying that the stage was already set for the anti-Messiah to appear, and, in fact, many such anti-messiahs were already on the scene. He will further identify what makes someone an anti-Messiah.
As far as the word “antichrist”, or “anti-Messiah”, is concerned we need to consider what “anti” means. This word or prefix can mean either “in place of” or “against”. If it is in “place of Messiah”, then, it automatically also carries the meaning of “against”, because if you try to take replace someone you are against them. However, it can merely mean “against”, without being in “place of” in the sense of replacing that one.
Thus those who strongly opposed the Messiah, such as the scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees, were considered as “anti-Messiah”, as also are those same type of religious leaders of our day are considered.
John seems to be speaking about a specific group of people that had been among them as professed believers, but who now he considered to be anti-Messiahs. He said they had left them. He says furthermore that they were really not genuinely part of them, for if they had been genuine believers, they would have stayed with them. Their leaving them - the other apostles and their congregations – made it manifested, or plainly seen that they were never really one with them anyway. They were never true followers of the Lamb and of His commissioned representatives.
They were never true believers in the Messiah. They may have been excited at first by the miracles they heard of Messiah doing and the possibility that Yahshua rose again from the dead as the apostles testified. They may have been attracted by the miraculous signs they saw from the apostles, and were, therefore, baptized as Simon the sorcerer was. But they never fully believed from the heart. They never believed enough to fully embrace and commit to the teaching of the gospel that we died in His death to sin, self, and this world system that is now under the prince of darkness.
VERSES 20-24 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Yahshua is the Messiah? He is anti-messiah, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
As contrasted with those who are anti-Messiahs the true believers to whom John is writing have the Holy Spirit, which John calls “the anointing [KJV “unction”] from the Holy One”. This anointing teaches them so that they “know all things” (as pertains to the knowledge of the gospel and salvation). They know “the truth”, and they know that no lie is of “the truth”.
What is “the truth”? Basically it is the good news that although we are all sinners (Rom3:23) and condemned to eternal punishment in the lake of fire and brimstone (Matt 25:41, 46), which is what death in it final stages includes as being “the second death” (Rev 21:8), Yahweh in His great love sent His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins so that we might be forgiven and be given the gift of eternal life. (Rom 6:23)
So to know the truth we must know this basic gospel or good news that Yahshua died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day as seen by many witnesses. (1 Cor 15:1-8) Then, we must know how this applies to us if we accept it. We must recognize that we died to the old life by being in Him who was our substitute. And also we rose again in Him as New Creatures in the sight of Yahweh. When we accepted this by being placed into Messiah by taking His name on us in baptism, our sins were washed away by His blood and we rose to receive into us His glorified life – the Holy Spirit.
Thus we are told in Ephesians 4:20-24 that this is “the truth as it is in Yahshua”: that we as being New Creatures in Messiah are now to put off the corrupt old man and put on the new man which is created in Messiah Yahshua. We do this in keeping with the fact that Yahweh counts as already being new creatures by our life in Messiah.
Indeed, Yahweh counts us as already being “saints” (holy ones, or ones who are set apart from sin) and He counts us as having died in Yahshua and risen to righteousness in Him. So this is the truth that we are learning to live according to by the power of the word and the indwelling Holy Spirit. While we walk in this light, while we are learning to change into the New Creatures we are now considered to be by being in Messiah, and while are in the process of being changed by His word and Spirit, we are in partnership with one another and the blood of Yahshua is continually cleansing us from all sin, as we have already considered from 1 John 1:7. What a wonderful way of salvation.
John says we know that “no lie is of the truth”. There is no compromise. We either fully embrace the truth and righteousness without any reservation, or we don’t. We know that we cannot willingly have just a little bit of sin and self interest in our lives and still be true followers of the Lamb. That does not mean we have reached absolute perfection yet. It does not even mean that we may never commit a sin and give over to the flesh- the old man – at some time of another.
But it does mean that if we do sin we are convicted and regret it so that we repent and confess it to Yahweh in order that we might be cleansed by Yahshua’s blood as we resolve to strive to not sin again. Yet if we do, even though we resolved not to, we again ask forgiveness and seek Yahweh’s deliverance until we are totally free from any known
All the while as we keep walking in the light of the gospel and of the knowledge of Yahweh’s own perfect being and splendor, we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6) – accepted as being perfect in Messiah – while we press on toward the ultimate perfection to which He has called us.
And it all hinges on us believing in Yahshua as being the Messiah, who is Yahweh’s own Son by the marvel of the virgin birth. Thus John goes on to say, “Who is a liar but he that denies that Yahshua is the Messiah?” Anyone who does this, John says, is an anti-messiah. Whoever denies the Son denies the Father also. They are essentially one, for Elohim (“God”) is the Father, as the one who caused the man Yahshua of Nazareth to be born of the seed of the woman by joining His own eternal life (in minute portion, but entire quality) to that seed and, thereby, cause the conception.
Yahshua made an interesting statement, which is recorded in Matthew11:27. He said “no one knows the Son, except the Father”. No one really has true the full knowledge, of who or what Yahshua (the Word and Eternal life made flesh) is except Elohim, the Father, who caused Him to become conceived in that virgin womb. Yahweh becoming flesh, is a great mystery understood fully only by the mind of Yahweh.(1 Tim 3:16)
In that same passage Yahshua is recorded as saying, “and no one knows the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him. No one has a real acquaintance with, and knowledge of the wonder of Yahweh’s being, except the Son and those to whom He chooses to reveal Him.
But those to whom John wrote he considered to know all things (that could be known) by the Holy Spirit, which is the Son indwelling us. They knew the Son and, therefore, the Father – that is, Elohim – who is made flesh in the Son. They knew Him in contrast to the anti-messiah’s who denied the Son and, thereby, denied the Father also.
So John encourages them to let this knowledge, which they had from the beginning - from the time they first accepted the good news - to remain in them. If they did so, John says, they would remain in the Son, and, thereby, in the Father.
John concludes this by assuring them of the promise that comes with remaining in the truth, and, thus in the Son and the Father. That promise, he assures them, is the promise of eternal life. As we have seen, 1 John 5:13 tells us that the very reason he - John – is writing is that they may know that they have eternal life as believers. And of course, this belief that Yahshua is the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, is the bottom line.
VERSE 26-29 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (28) And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (29) If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
Now John summarizes what he has been saying. He has made it clear that although “the anti-messiah” is coming, there are already many anti-messiahs in the world, for anyone who denies Yahshua is the Messiah is an anti-messiah. He has warned those to whom he is writing about them, for apparently they were trying to seduce or deceive those to whom John was writing into denying Yahshua as being the Messiah.
In this regard John again repeats that the anointing they had received, which is the Holy Spirit, is the truth and is no lie, and this anointing – this Spirit - taught them the truth in all things. (That is to say all things related to this matter of belief in Messiah.) And John says that because of this anointing teaching them all truth in this regard, they would remain in the Son (and thus in the Father).
Nevertheless, John again urges them to abide, or remain, in Him – in Messiah. He tells them to abide, or remain in Him, so that when He comes back, we may “have confidence, and not be ashamed at His coming”. That coming John speaks of as “when He shall appear” (not some secret coming, or some coming unseen by the world at large, as is taught by the pre-tribulation rapture teachers).
Finally, John concludes, at this point, by saying that if they know that He – Yahshua – is righteous (which surely they did) then, they know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him (and thus has Him in them). This, then, is one of the primary things that John is pointing out as evidence of who are true believers on His name and who, therefore, have eternal life.
In the next chapter John will further emphasize this matter that doing righteousness is a main evidence that you are truly born of Yahweh and, therefore, have eternal life.