John warns the disciples to be aware that there have been and will be those that are anti-Christ. The denial may be verbal, or non-verbal, but their actions will demonstrate a life-style that opposes Christ. Such people have come and are coming. They may even appear to be with the group, but their failure to commit or remain, there lack of belonging to the truth, will identify them as being opposed to Christ. Christ is the ultimate example of remaining – he appeared to his disciples after resurrection Sunday – personally appearing first to bind the broken hearted Mary Magdalene.

The believers addressed by John were shaken up by the division among their group, by those who lifestyle denied Jesus as Christ and as God the Father. John makes such a powerful point in verse 22, that those who deny Jesus as the Christ –the King sent by God to redeem – also in turn denies God as Father. One, therefore, does not get to pick and choose convictions on Jesus, on whether he is the Christ, and on God, on whether he is the Father. You either commit to the whole shebang or you don’t.

Despite the dark undertones of talk on anti-christs, John continually writes to lift up and encourage. The spotlight remains on God’s truth. Every believer, especially when rocked by division in their own fellowship, can benefit from the assurance that they know and have the truth, and the challenge to not let that truth be compromised by the actions, or lack of actions of others. John reiterates his earlier profession of the purity of God’s message -there is no falsehood, in him there is no darkness. Through his anointing, we take part in that purity, we become one with that truth, and are challenged to remain in that truth. Trust and rely on that pure truth and cling to God, particularly through the trials that try to separate believers from God and believers from one another.

{Meditations on 1 John 2:18-22}