1 John 2:18-25
18 “ Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 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. 22 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. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.”
Verse 19 of 1 John 2 is perhaps one of the most misused verses against true believers in Scripture by the ‘church’ and by individuals within the ‘church’. It is generally used against anyone who leaves a certain denomination or leaves the institutional church as a member altogether by saying that because of their leaving they prove themselves to be an unbeliever. But if we read the verse in context we will see that those who are talked about here left because they were antichrist and did not believe the truth, the truth about Jesus Christ.
They didn’t believe the truth, instead they believed a lie. The liar denies that Jesus is the Christ and the liar denies the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son. This is the antichrist, the ones who go out from amongst the elect. It isn’t a going out from a certain denomination, but a going out from the Truth. The truth of who Christ is, the truth of the doctrine of salvation found only in Him and the simplicity of the Gospel. It is always beneficial to us to note when the word BUT is used for it follows as instruction to us. In this case after verse 19 it explains to us that a true believer has an anointing from the Holy One so that they cannot believe this lie. It is the anointing by the Holy Spirit which has come to us in regeneration and conversion that protects the elect from being deceived as to who Jesus Christ is and what He has done.
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” Matthew 24:24
Before regeneration Titus 3:3 tells us that “we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers’ lust and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.”
I was deceived when left to myself, left in my flesh only;
“BUT, after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared: Titus 3:4
You see, by the gift of faith the kindness and love of God was revealed to me in regeneration/conversion, and the coming to the knowledge of Christ and what His work had already accomplished for me. My mind was changed (metanoia/repentance) and I came to know my God and Savior who had elected me before the foundation of the world and in that election was the promise of eternal life through Christ the Son.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13