1 John 2:16-20
1 John 2:16 (KJB)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Lust - Desire, longing, or craving
Pride - Arrogance or boasting
Is - Abides, remains, or dwells
Here John points out the reality of what the world has to offer and its effect upon people. He states emphatically that everything that is in the world are things that remain or will abide in this world until the last day. First, the Scripture points out the lust of the flesh. This would include all the impulsive desires which have their source in human flesh. It results in illicit sensuality and passions which when acted upon will get the person into deep sin. The next point is the lust of the eyes. Here we have the trap of the eye which is the greedy lust that desires everything it sees. It is at this point that a person can turn their eyes away and resist. Whenever we look with our eyes instead of through our eyes, we get into trouble. The third problem people face is the pride of life which is a boastful arrogance beyond what a person is and can do. I remember a good example of this. In 1982 a baseball player named George Foster was traded to the New York Mets and they made a commercial with him and one of his lines in the commercial was “Come out to Shea Stadium and see what I’m going to do.” Those who came to Shea stadium that year saw him strike out more than ever and couldn’t even buy a hit. His average was 247, he was at bat 550 times with 123 strikeouts. In 1983 his batting average was 241. He boasted with the pride of life but could not deliver. All of these things are of the world system and John is warning his readers about them. Even as Christians, we could become entangled in sin through any of these three methods.
1 John 2:17 (KJB)
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Abideth - Remains
All these things of the world are only temporal and when the world is going to be destroyed, that will be the end of these things. So those who live in sin and think they are living a life which will have no end, they will be fooled and that is why there will be much shock on Judgment Day when the unbeliever will be caught up to judgment in the twinkling of an eye. The contrast in this verse is that those who are saved (doing the will of God) are aligning themselves with something eternal. The kingdom of God will not perish as the kingdom of Satan and all its snares will. The Kingdom of God is eternal and goes way beyond the end of Satan’s kingdom, into eternity.
1 John 2:18 (KJB)
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.
Time - Hour or period of time
Are there - Have arisen or come into being
Antichrist(s) - Against Christ and a false Christ
Here John is warning all believers that the end of all things is at hand, that is, it is the final days before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus even prophesied that many false Christs will appear before His return. (Mark 13:22 KJV) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. John was stating that during his times there were many antichrists who were alive. In our day there are many antichrists. In fact, you could almost peg every unbeliever as being against Christ. This verse also teaches that right before the return of Christ, there is going to be revealed a single individual known as the antichrist. That antichrist has been revealed and it is Satan himself. (Isa 14:16 KJV) They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; In Isaiah 14:12-18 it is speaking of Satan who is also called Lucifer. Notice in verse 16 he is called “the man.” Now he is not a man but a spirit. There are so many who are looking to political kingdoms for the rise of a physical leader but antichrist is a spiritual leader, that is, the leader of all the fallen spirits. (See My Study - Who is the Anti-Christ? Which goes into more detail.)
1 John 2:19 (KJB)
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.
Here is a very revealing verse and needs to be taken to heart by today’s churches. If you notice that in verse 18 John was speaking of antichrists and here he is stating that these people were among the churches and Christians. This is something which must be heeded because if unbelievers can stay among the Christians in a church, then they can influence them. However, if you notice, they eventually left the church. What could possibly send unbelievers running from a church? The answer is simple, the preaching of the true Gospel. If a church is false, an antichrist will feel at home because there is no threat to their unbelief but as soon as the true Gospel is preached, it will begin to sting and offend them and when they find they cannot reverse the teachings in that church, they will leave. John states that these antichrists can really pose themselves as Christians and can fool the real Christians. Eventually, under true teachings they reveal who they really are.
1 John 2:20 (KJB)
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
1 John 2:20 starts out with "But" which is a conjunction. It is the word "kai" in the Greek which can also be translated as "and." However, 1 John 2 is contrasting the true believers with the unbelievers. We are told that we have an "unction" from the Holy Spirit. The word "unction" in the Greek is the word "chrisma" which is also translated "anointing." Anointing is a very interesting choice of words since it deals with a symbolic anointing with oil. We see a picture of this back in Psalm 133. It is akin to the anointing Aaron received. (Psa 133:1-2 KJV) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! {2} It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; The anointing they had was their salvation which allowed them to maintain the truth. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, they had the true teachings which came from God. (John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. The Holy Spirit would guide the believers into all truth in contrast to the Gnostic teachers who believed they were the source of truth. The reason that we are able to know all things is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It does not mean that we will know everything, but we will know the truth and this would result in the true believer remaining faithful in contrast to the antichrists who left the assembly of true believers.