(1 John 2:18-27)
Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32. In John's day false teachers, docetic Gnostics, had entered the fellowship of the church to seduce believers. A word of warning had spread that "the Antichrist is coming." Throughout the years much has been written and preached about the Antichrist. He has been identified as the pope, Hitler, Judas Iscariot, and others. Those to whom John wrote had experienced the attempted deception by "many antichrists."
Such false teachers often bring a negative message. They attempt to destroy the truth as related to Jesus. Fortunately, believers have a knowledge of God's truth. They also know that "no lie is of the truth." According to John's epistle, the antichrists bore an erroneous message of denial. They denied "that Jesus is the Christ." Who is a liar and antichrist? "He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son."
There are those who claim to believe in God, but reject Jesus Christ. They may be sincere theists, but "whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either." Jesus Himself said, "All should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." John 5:23. Those who believe in the Son also believe in the Father. "He who acknowledges the Son has the Father also."
Those without the truth do not remain with those who know the truth. Darkness cannot abide the light. False teachers do not remain in the presence of believers who live in the light of the word of God. The antichrists came and went. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us." Error has no enduring quality among those who know the truth.
Almost everyone knows somebody who used to be a "Christian," but for one reason or another no longer is part of the fellowship of believers. We have heard it said, "He's saved, but...." Take heed to the words of Hebrews 10:39. "But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul." Truth has an enduring, sustaining, and enabling quality in the life of the believer, who walks with God.
The apostle Peter wrote that we have been given "exceedingly great and precious promises." 2 Peter 1:4. False teachers never quote promises recorded by John in his gospel. For example, read John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:47. The believer's hope of salvation is based upon God's promise. A promise is something to be believed. "And this is the promise that He has promised us---eternal life."
Those who have never been born again of the Spirit of God do not know the truth. "But the natural (unregenerate) man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14.
On the contrary, believers have an "anointing," as mentioned in 1 John 2:20, 27. This anointing "teaches you all things, and is true." The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth," who guides believers "into all truth." John 16:13. Jesus taught His disciples, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." John 14:26.
"You do not need that anyone teach you." This statement has often been misunderstood. It has often been used as an excuse for those who wish to excuse themselves from Bible studies. The truth is that the Holy Spirit teaches through godly men. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy, "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit (teach) these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." 2 Timothy 2:2. Among the spiritual gifts that God has given to the Church are "pastors and teachers." Read Ephesians 4:7-16. Even this epistle, 1 John, is a teaching instrument of the Holy Spirit.
As we know the truth, we walk in its light, and walking in the light, we know by practical experience what it is to walk with God. The truth does set us free to fellowship with Him.