1 John 2: 20-23
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 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. 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. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the fourteenth session of the 1 John lecture series. In the last session, I talked about the antichrist that will appear at the end time.
We believers must be on the alert and not be deceived by the anti-Christ.
Today’s Scripture 1 John 2:20-23 explains what the believers have to do in order not to be deceived.
It tells us that we have to discern between the truth and falsehood in the works of the Holy Spirit and stand on the gospel that we heard in the beginning and act in the truth.
1 John 2:20 says, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.”
Here, to have an anointing from the Holy One means they had received the Holy Spirit.
To say that the children of God who had received the Holy Spirit all know means that the Holy Spirit teaches us everything that we have to know.
What specifically does the Holy Spirit teach us-
First, He tells us that we are God’s children.
Those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will receive the Holy Spirit in their heart.
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”
The Holy Spirit who has come into our heart teaches us that Jesus is our personal Savior.
He convinces us that we are children of God who have received salvation.
Also, He lets us understand and believe the things in the Bible that cannot be understood through the normal thinking of man.
In fact, God being eternal and limitless and existing throughout eternity, and God creating all things with His word, cannot be understood within the general cognitive abilities of man.
Reviving the dead with His power, stopping the sun and the moon and parting the sea are not consistent with human thinking.
But if the Holy Spirit teaches us, then we can understand all these things are true.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit teaches us about the sin, righteousness, and judgment.
He lets us know about what sin is and what righteousness is, and He lets us realize and believe that there will be judgment according to the word of God.
He teaches us that it is imperative for God’s children to cast away sins and live in righteousness.
He speaks to us in our heart at each moment to help us act in the truth.
He gently teaches us saying, “Even though you don’t like their actions, you must not hate others. You have to pursue peace and holiness with everyone. You must not stop praying no matter how busy you are. You must not lie to seek your benefit. You have to sacrifice yourself and serve others.”
If we just obey the teachings of the Holy Spirit, namely if we follow the desires of the Holy Spirit, we will always be filled with the Spirit.
We will have unending joy and thanksgiving and we will abundantly bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
On the contrary, if we do not obey the truth that the Holy Spirit is teaching us, He will lament deeply.
He will let us feel that we have to repent and turn away quickly and depart from sins.
But if we keep on rejecting the voice of the Holy Spirit, at one point He won’t be able to speak to us.
The voice of the Spirit will increasingly become fainter, and finally we won’t hear it at all.
If we keep on disobeying and dwell in sins, it’s not just that we won’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit in us will be quenched.
A person will be cut off from salvation if this should happen.
On the other hand, if we keep on obeying the teachings of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to hear His voice more clearly.
We will be able to discern between the truth and untruth, and we can be guided even in small things of our daily lives.
Of course, when we still have more of untruth in our heart, we cannot obey the Holy Spirit’s voice all the time.
The desire to follow the Holy Spirit and act in righteousness will struggle against the desire to follow the lust and commit sins.
In order to win this battle, there has to be effort on our part.
We have to meditate on the word of God day and night and pray and fast to ask for the grace and strength of God. Then the Holy Spirit will help us.
He will not only teach us the truth but also give us the strength to follow it.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit teaches us the ways of blessing in our lives.
The Holy Spirit is very gentle and delicate.
If you acknowledge God in all things and leave everything to Him in prayer, you can be guided by the Holy Spirit even in very small things.
When David had battles, God taught him whether he had to confront the enemies or avoid them, and if he had to fight, He taught David what kinds of tactics he had to use.
When the apostle Paul was ministering, the Holy Spirit taught him which area to go and what kinds of things would happen when he got there.
It’s same with you. To the extent that you rely on God and live in the truth, the Holy Spirit will let you know everything.
For example, even when you preach the gospel, He teaches you how to do it.
When you pay a visit to new believers or pray for them, the Holy Spirit can teach you what kind of message they really need.
Also, even in your worldly business, you can easily receive blessings only if you can be clearly guided by the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Likewise, the Holy Spirit dwells in us and teaches us everything in detail like a tutor.
He lets us know about the spiritual realm, lets us realize the truth, and guides us in our ways.
So, those who are taught by the Holy Spirit will not be deceived when some others try to deceive them with the ideas of the anti-Christ.
For example, what would the Holy Spirit tell you if somebody says, “You can still go to Heaven if you just live a good life even though you are not a Christian.”-
He will remind you of the verse in Acts 4:12 saying, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Also, if somebody says, “If you accept Jesus Christ, you can receive salvation even though you commit sins, so you don’t have to try to cast away sins,” then, the Holy Spirit will immediately give you the answer.
He might remind you of the verse in Matthew 7:21 saying, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
Even though you cannot remember the exact verse, those who pray will receive a sense of discernment of the heart.
Because the Holy Spirit is not pleased, you feel somewhat discomforted in your heart.
You can feel in your heart that others are not speaking the truth but falsehood.
Those who receive the works of the Holy Spirit can discern between things through the voice of inspiration in the heart.
1 John 2:21 says, “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 book of 1 John is a letter of the apostle John to the believers who heard the gospel and accepted it.
They knew about God the Trinity and the way of salvation through the cross.
John was telling the believers that since they had the knowledge of the truth they needed to discern falsehood with it.
Here, the falsehood is the lie that the anti-Christ is telling, as I explained in the last lecture.
1 John 2:22-23 says, “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. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.”
The antichrist denies the Son, namely Jesus Christ the Son of God.
They do not acknowledge that Jesus is God Himself in origin and He came in a human body.
They deny that Jesus had both the humanity and divinity at the same time.
They don’t accept Jesus Christ as the Savior, but they say they serve God.
But God does not recognize that as faith.
The Bible clearly tells us that there is salvation only through believing in Jesus Christ.
Jesus also said if we really believe in the Father, we have to believe in the Son whom the Father sent.
John 3:35-36 says, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
It means that, even though we believe in God the Father, we cannot gain eternal life as long as we don’t respect and obey the Son.
Then, how can we believe that Jesus Christ is really the Son of God-
We cannot believe just anybody who comes and says he is the Son of God. What is the evidence with which we can believe-
The Jews at the time of Jesus also had such a question.
About this, Jesus said in John 10:25, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.”
Also, He said in John 14:11, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
Jesus proclaimed the word of God with authority in the word and confirmed His word with the power.
We can believe that Jesus is of God when He performed the miracles and signs that men cannot do.
We can believe even when He says, “I am the Son of God the Creator, and the Savior for all mankind.”
It’s the same with the apostles.
Mark 16:20 says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.”
When the disciples preached the gospel, God confirmed their words through the manifestation the power of God.
Even today, when we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the works that are written in the Bible take place.
We can testify that Jesus is the Christ through these miracles.
If a person will not believe, even after seeing the works of God manifested by the Holy Spirit, it means he is denying God..
Especially, if anybody condemns these works as Satan’s works or as heresies, then we should know that this is standing against God Himself.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Do you believe and confess the Father and the Son-
Those who confess the Father and the Son will confess the Word, too. We cannot say you believe just because you know the Word of God.
If we really believe the Word as the truth, there will be deeds of action that will follow the believing.
James 2:20 says, “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless-“
Today, numerous people go to church and lead a life in faith.
Nevertheless, we have to remember the word of Jesus saying, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth-“
How many believers would struggle against sins having true faith to the point of shedding blood to live by the word of God-
They just think like, “I was raised as a Christian. I have a title in the church and do the voluntary works in the church. I attend all worship services and give tithes.” Because of these reasons, they think they have faith in action.
When they pray, they also say, “Holy God, thank You for saving us through the works of cross and giving us the heavenly kingdom!”
They might also sing in praises that they love God and they will live for the Lord with emotions and shed tears.
But what is the use of it if they don’t show any evidence of faith in their actual lives-
For example, they do the voluntary works in the church, but they dwell in sins in the world.
They get angry, commit adultery, become jealous, and lie.
They sing with tears in the church, but when they go outside the church, they soon speak foul language and use profane worldly expressions.
They speak words of judging and condemnation, spreading bad news and gossip about others.
They don’t consider the church of God holy. When you hear their conversations, you wouldn’t recognize whether it’s a gathering of believers or unbelievers.
Those who lead such a Christian life cannot have true faith.
If they get a serious disease or face a disaster, they don’t rely on God but on the world.
They prove that their profession of faith was false.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Those who do not confess the Son do not have the Father.
Those who confess the Son will certainly live by the Word.
If they just say they believe in the Lord and love Him but live in unrighteousness like the unbelievers, they will bear the fruit of unrighteousness just like the fruit of the anti-Christ.
I hope you will always dwell in the word of the Father and bear only the fruit of righteousness and fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus tells us the greatest among all commandments.
It says, “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
How confident are you in reflection before this message-
Are there any of you who mistakenly think that you are keeping the commandments just because you know the Word-
If you just accumulate more knowledge without changing your heart with it, it might even be disruptive to you in becoming sanctified.
It means that you don’t change yourself with the word but you use it to judge and condemn others.
You act in untruth but you justify yourself giving some good reasons.
For example, there are some who easily say things like, “This person has this shortcoming, and that person cannot really do those things he is supposed to do.”
Certainly it is to talk about other people’s faults, and it is based on envy and jealousy.
But they don’t realize this fact themselves.
They just think it’s OK saying, “I have no intention of saying something bad by this. I am doing it with my love for God and having the concern for the church.”
Sometimes, they violate some traffic rules or do something do cause discomfort to others, but just think like, “I had to do the work of God urgently. I couldn’t afford to be late for a meeting in the church.”
In fact, these people do not have even the most basic goodness and they cause hardships for others.
Nevertheless, they cannot realize their shortcomings themselves by thinking they have a good reason.
Some people break promises, do illegal things, or break peace because of their greed for money and fame.
They cause harm to others even among brothers in faith.
But then, they say, I did it to receive blessing and give glory to God and to provide strength for the church and the shepherd.
They don’t acknowledge their greed and evilness saying they love God and the shepherd and they are living a diligent Christian life.
When these people act like they have goodness and speak like they have faith, God cannot recognize them.
Since you long for holiness, you must never have such an attitude.
I hope you will love God and the Lord and keep the commandments completely.
I urge you to love your neighbor as yourself, and seek others’ benefit even though you might have to absorb some loss.
Like the early church, I hope you will become one family and a church united with love.
I pray in the name of the Lord that God who is pleased with you will acknowledge you as His lovely sons and daughters and answer to all the desires of your heart.