Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message I would like to give a further word on the teaching of the divine anointing. We have seen that the teaching of the anointing concerning the Divine Trinity is according to the believers’ growth in life. We have also seen that the teaching of the divine anointing is for our abiding in the Triune God.
The fellowship of the divine life depends on the anointing. This means that maintaining the fellowship of the divine life depends on abiding in the Lord and in the light. To abide in the Lord and in the light is equal to abiding in the Triune God.
The Triune God reaches us as the Spirit. If God were only the Father and the Son, He would not be able to enter into us. It is only as the Spirit that the Triune God can enter into our spirit. The word “anointing” in 2:20 and 27 refers mainly to the Spirit, not primarily to the Father or the Son. Actually, the ointment is the Spirit, and the anointing is the moving of this ointment. When we speak of the anointing, we mean the Triune God reaching us as the Spirit. When the Triune God comes into our spirit, He is the life-giving Spirit. This life-giving Spirit, who dwells in our spirit, is now moving and working within us. This moving is the anointing.
The anointing has much to do with our abiding in the Lord. We enjoy the fellowship of the divine life so that we may abide in the Lord. This abiding is altogether a matter of the Lord as the Spirit dwelling in our spirit. This is the reason that immediately after the first section, which is concerned with the fellowship of the divine life, John goes on in the second section of this Epistle to speak of the teaching of the divine anointing. Apart from the anointing, we cannot abide in the Lord. If we do not abide in the Lord, we cannot maintain the fellowship. Furthermore, if we do not maintain the fellowship, we cannot enjoy the riches of the divine life. We may also say that to enjoy the riches of the divine life, we need to maintain the fellowship; to maintain the fellowship, we need to abide in the Lord; and in order to abide in the Lord, we need to take care of the inner anointing, which is the moving of the indwelling Spirit in our spirit.
In verse 18 John says, “Young children, it is the last hour, and even as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come; whereby we know that it is the last hour.” An antichrist differs from a false Christ (Matt. 24:5, 24). A false Christ is one who pretends to be the Christ in a deceiving way, whereas an antichrist is one who denies Christ’s deity, denying that Jesus is the Christ, that is, denying the Father and the Son by denying that Jesus is the Son of God (vv. 22-23), not confessing that He has come in the flesh through the divine conception of the Holy Spirit (4:2-3). At the time of the apostle John, many heretics, like the Gnostics, Cerinthians, and Docetists, taught heresies concerning the Person of Christ, that is, concerning His divinity and humanity.
In verse 19 John goes on to say, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out that they might be manifested that they all are not of us.” These antichrists were not born of God and were not in the fellowship of the apostles with the believers (1:3; Acts 2:42). Hence, they were not of the church, that is, not of the Body of Christ. To remain with the apostles and the believers is to remain in the fellowship of the Body of Christ.
In verse 22 John says, “Who is the liar if not he who is denying that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, who is denying the Father and the Son.” To confess that Jesus is the Christ is to confess that He is the Son of God (Matt. 16:16; John 20:31). Hence, to deny that Jesus is the Christ is to “deny the Father and the Son.” Whoever so denies the divine Person of Christ “is the antichrist.”
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