v.20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
After discussing antichrists in the church, this verse now turns to the true Christians. The word know here comes from a Greek word that means to know by intuition. In other words, we simply know some things intuitively because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. John further drives home this point in v.27 when he says, But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. Our Lord spoke to this in John 16:13-14 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 shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Paul also spoke of this ability to knowin I Corinthians 2:9-12 when he said, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
v.21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
As a result of this ability to know, John says that they should be able to discern the lies that were already creeping into the first century church about who Jesus was. Gnosticism was gaining a foothold in the church at the time of this writing. For example, the Gnostics initially taught that Jesus was a phantom when He lived on the earth and didn’t have a body of flesh, but it was later developed by a man named Arias who taught that Jesus was not really God, but a created being. Arias taught that Jesus was not really God, but a created being. This heresy later became the basis for the Watchtower Society or Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Who is a Liar?
vv.22-23 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
Strong language! To deny that Jesus is the Christ is to deny the Father and that makes one antichrist. All of the “isms” and cults today have one thing in common. They deny the deity of Jesus Christ. The Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus is one and the same with Michael the Archangel and the Mormons say that He is the older brother of Satan.