First John, chapter 2, part 8
Jan 13, 2018
The anointing that we have received as believers, insofar as its quality, is the same anointing that Jesus received. This is not to say that the body of Christ is the same as the Head. Positionally, Jesus Christ will always be the Head, and we will never replace Him as such. As believers, we recognize His authority over us and, indeed, over the whole earth. We support Him as the rightful King and believe that all things will be put under His feet by the time the story ends.
Yet as Christians we are “little christs,” as the word implies. We are being processed now and in past ages during our time on earth, with the hope (expectation) that we will be like Him and fully conformed to His image. When we are fully like Him, then the Head can be transplanted onto the body in the fullest sense without needing spiritual anti-rejection drugs.
There were many anointed ones in Scripture. All were types of Christ. Though each was imperfect, their lives and actions revealed aspects of the character and ministry of Jesus Christ. When Aaron was anointed, he became a type of Christ in His priestly role. When David was anointed by Samuel, he became a type of Christ in His governmental role. Both Aaron and David, then, were christs (Hebrew: messiahs), for they were anointed ones. So Leviticus 4:5 KJV speaks of “the priest that is mesheakh,” anointed, or messiah-ed.
We too have that anointing, says 1 John 2:20, and so we “will be priests of God and of Christ” (Revelation 20:6). Jesus was The Anointed One, and so we know Him as Jesus Christ. Knowing that we are anointed ones means that, technically speaking, the apostle himself was John Christ, or Peter Christ, or James Christ. We could say the same of ourselves, but such a practice could easily be mistaken for pride and arrogance by others, so it is probably not a good idea to do so.
Nonetheless, we have an anointing from the Holy One, and we are called to live accordingly.
Truth and Lies
1 John 2:21 says,
21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
The anointed ones have received the Spirit of truth, as Jesus said in John 14:16, 17,
16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.
Here Jesus implies that the Spirit of truth had been abiding “with” His disciples already, but in the near future was to “be in you.” The Holy Spirit had been in the earth previously and had filled Moses’ tabernacle and Solomon’s temple. But Pentecost was designed to give the Spirit of truth a new residence in us. We are now the temples of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). This was the divine purpose from the beginning. The external dwellings of God were only types and shadows and were never meant to be permanent. Neither will God return to such dwellings in the future.
To have the Spirit of truth indwelling us is to know the truth. Of course, no one knows the entire truth, for we have been learning truth for a very long time and still have much more to learn. But the revelation of God ought to be ongoing, slowly filling our hearts until we are like Jesus.
Truth replaces lies, even as light replaces darkness. 1 John 2:22, 23 says,
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
John was not prophesying of a future antichrist, but of the antichrist that was alive and well in his own lifetime. There were many antichrists who had denied that Jesus is the Christ, each believing the lie of the antichrist that they supported. Who were they? John 1:11 tells us,
11 He came to His own [tribe, nation], and those who were His own did not receive Him.
The requirement is to believe that Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:16, 17) and that He is the Son of God (Luke 22:70). The Jewish leaders did not believe in Him, but denied that Jesus was the Christ. And so they usurped His throne. In doing so, they became the antichrist, having the same spirit as seen in Absalom. Likewise, while claiming to worship the Father, they denied the Son. John says that this is not possible. “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father.”
Jesus Himself said in John 12:44, “He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me.” Further, Jesus said in John 12:48,
48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
The Jews claimed to believe Moses as well as God Himself, but Jesus said in John 5:45-47,
45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. 46 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?
Many Christians today have been tricked into believing that Judaism believes both the Father and Moses, but only rejects the Son. Apparently, such Christians do not believe Jesus’ own words, and so the truth is not in them. They have believed a lie, as John says, and this discredits their claim to have the anointing.
When John spoke of the antichrist in terms of denying the Son, he was speaking specifically about the Jews who rejected the Son but claimed to have the Father. That system of worship, which today is known as Judaism, is what John termed “the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). And since Judaism exists today, continually rejecting Jesus as the Son of God, the antichrist is with us now. The only reason men today search for an alternative antichrist is because they do not believe what John wrote plainly in his letter.
The main difference between the first century and today is that the conflict is no longer limited to the scepter of Judah and the throne of David. It now includes the birthright of Joseph and the who has the right to the name Israel. The battle is now being fought in the forests of Ephraim, as it were. And when this battle is done, if the pattern of Absalom’s fate proves to be prophetic, the Jewish leaders will not repent, but will be destroyed. The antichrist will not be converted, nor will they rule the Kingdom as God’s chosen people.
Of course, keep in mind that many individuals among them repented, both in the first century and in later centuries. Repentance has always changed everything. The Apostle Paul is a prime example, along with all of the original apostles, other than Judas. Repentance, however, means that a person must claim a different “mother,” as defined in Galatians 4:25, 26. Many claim that the earthly Jerusalem is the “mother church” and that it will be the capital of the Kingdom in the age to come. Such people have the wrong mother and are supporting the Old Covenant city. Salvation is found in the New Covenant, the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly city.
This is the clear word of God. There are many passages in Scripture that have been interpreted in a way that contradicts the word in Galatians 4. Most of the time, people are deceived because they do not realize that Jerusalem literally means “two Jerusalems.” The Hebrew word Ierushalayim (“Jerusalem”) has the dual ending, ayim, which means PRECISELY TWO.
Hence, when the prophets speak of Jerusalem, we must discern which city (heavenly or earthly) the prophet is referencing. When they speak of Jerusalem being judged for its wickedness, they speak of the earthly city. When they speak of Jerusalem being restored in glory, they speak of the heavenly city. We know this, because in Revelation 21, John cites many Old Testament passages about Jerusalem, applying them to the heavenly city.
This is one of the great keys of understanding truth. Yet few teach this today. John, however, tells us that “no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21), and then he proceeds to tell us about the great lie of his day—the lie that one can have the Father without the Son. That lie has caused large portions of the church to think that the antichrist will be converted and is chosen to rule with Christ in the coming Kingdom.
1 John 2:24, 25 continues,
24 As for you, let that [word or truth] abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
The word of truth is that Jesus Christ is the son of God. It is the same truth that caused Peter to make his great confession in Matthew 16:16. It was a life-changing truth, which ultimately put him on a collision course with antichrist. But if we believe the lie that says men can have the Father without the Son, or that men can be saved by the Old Covenant apart from Christ (as many teach today), then, John says, the truth does not abide in them.
To support the antichrist is to oppose Christ. It is to play the role of Judas, who both loved Jesus and betrayed him. How can Judas remain numbered with the apostles? Will he not be replaced by another? Is it important that we support Jesus’ claim to the throne and the birthright? Or should we join with those who once usurped His throne and now have usurped His birthright?
This is part 11 of a series titled "Studies in First John." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones