1John 2:18-21 Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 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. But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).
‘The last time’ this is an end-time expression that refers to times just before the rapture through the tribulation, the Millennium, and the last dispensation to follow. There are various such statements that cover these periods: Latter times (1Tim. 4:1); latter years (Ezek. 38:8, 16); latter days (Num. 24:14; Deut. 4:30; 31:29; Jer. 23:20; 30:24; 48:47; 49:39; Dan. 2:28; 10:14; Hos. 3:5); latter day (Job 19:25); last days (Gen. 49:1; Isa. 2:1; Dan. 8:19; Mic. 4:1; Acts 2:16-21; 2Tim. 3:1; Heb. 1:1-2; Jas. 5:3; 2 Pet. 3:3; Jude 1:18); last day (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24; 12:48); last times (1Pet. 1:20); last time (1 Jn. 2:18; 1Pet. 1:5).
‘And as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time’ this is the 2nd New Testament prophecy in 1John unfulfilled. Antichrists refer to anyone against Christ. In this sense, there are many (1Jn. 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2Jn. 1:7), but the one referred to here is yet to come.
Many titles are given of the Antichrist: the Assyrian (Isa. 10:20-27; 30:18-33; 31:4-32:20; Mic. 5:3-15); the King of Babylon (Isa. 14:4); the spoiler and extortioner (Isa. 16:4); Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezek. 38:2-3); the little horn (Dan. 7:8, 24; 8:9, 23): the king of fierce countenance (Dan. 8:23); the prince that shall come (Dan. 9:26-27); the King of the north (Dan. 11:5-45); that man of sin (2Thess. 2:1-12); the son of perdition (2Thess. 2:1-12); the wicked (Isa. 11:4); that wicked (2Thess. 2:8-12); the beast (Dan. 7:11; Rev. 13:1-18).
‘Unction’ the Greek word chrisma meaning anything smeared on; a scented unguent or ointment of a thicker consistency than sweet oil or perfume. The ointment here refers to the Holy Spirit from who flow all the gifts and graces of the body of Christ. He is typified in Exodus 29:7; 30:23-25 (cp. Ps. 45:7).
‘You know all things’ all things necessary to salvation and the Christian life in general, so you do not need the so-called superior knowledge of the Gnostics and others who seek to deceive you (1Jn. 2:26-27). When you read the Word of God yourself, no one can deceive you as the Holy Spirit will work this knowledge into you as living waters. When we allow others to teach us the Word of God, seducing spirits will bring us the doctrines of devils that will seduce us and eat away the Truth as a canker (1Tim. 4:1; 2Tim. 2:15-17).
‘I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth’ John wrote to confirm the truth that is already known, and to warn us against those who will seduce us given any chance (1Jn. 2:26-27).