Introduction: Last week we learned that the smart people had their
focus on eternal matters and eternal wealth. Why are they smart to
do this? Because this world is going to burn while those with a
heavenly focus will have eternal life enjoying eternal treasures.
That focus divides the “worldly” from those who are believers. This
week John turns his attention to an unusual sounding problem. He
warns us of “anti-christs.” What is an “anti-christ” and how do we
avoid one sneaking into our home (or our mind)? Is there more than
one of them? Let’s plunge into our Bible study and find out about
these anti-christ characters and how to avoid getting into anti-christ trouble!

  1. The Last Hour

    1. Read 1 John 2:18. Who are these “dear children?” (1 John
      2:1 started out with the same phrase, “dear children.” We
      decided before that these are followers of Jesus. Recall
      from last week that “children,” as opposed to “fathers” or
      “young men” (see 1 John 2:12-14), refers to new believers.
      These are people who have a lot to learn.)

      1. “Last hour.” What does John mean by this? The last
        hour of earth’s history?

      2. Read Deuteronomy 18:20-22. If John means to tell his
        readers the end of time is at hand, does that reveal
        he is a false prophet and we should immediately stop
        reading his letters?

      3. You have heard “the end of time,” “the end of the
        age,” “last days” and similar phrases. “Last hour”
        seems to be the very end of the end, right?

    2. Read Matthew 24:30-34. What is Jesus saying: that those
      who were listening to Him then would see His Second

      1. If so, was John just repeating the wrong thing that
        Jesus said?

      2. Since we cannot toss Jesus out as a false prophet,
        should we toss out all of Christianity?

    3. Read Matthew 24:1-3? What do you think of the quality of
      the disciple’s private question?

      1. Is it compound? (Yes. The disciples ask both about
        the destruction of the temple and the end of the
        world. They wrongly believed they were the same

      2. Which question is Jesus discussing? (The destruction
        of the temple in Jerusalem. This took place in 70
        A.D. If Jesus is still talking about that
        destruction, the “this generation” statement is

      3. Jesus seems to merge His Second Coming with the
        destruction of the temple. Is this just “helpful
        misdirection,” “beneficial lying” (so we won’t get
        discouraged), or is something else going on? Is
        Jesus’ statement something that helps us understand
        John’s “last hour?” (Put yourself in the sandals of
        the listeners. The temple was the center of the
        existing worship. The temple worship system was
        symbolic of Jesus’ death, life and intercession for
        our sins. The destruction of the temple shortly after
        Jesus was crucified began a new time for God’s
        followers – the last days, the end of the age, the
        last hour.)

        1. Is this the reason why the disciples could not
          imagine a world without the temple? (Yes. If the
          system of worship for the true God disappeared,
          then God was no longer in charge. That could not
          be the case. The disciples did not yet grasp
          that Jesus was the reason the sacrificial system
          was set up in the first place.)

  2. Anti-Christ

    1. Let’s continue on with 1 John 2:18. How are the anti-christs connected with the last hour? (This turmoil in the
      changes in thee system of worship creates the opportunity
      for false teachers.)

      1. How many of these anti-christs do we have? (It seems

      2. What do you think John means by “the anti-christ” and
        “many anti-christs?” (It seems that there must be a
        single, primary anti-christ. But, there are lesser
        anti-christs as well.)

    2. “Anti-christ” is an odd term. Let’s read 1 John 2:19-22 to
      figure out what this term means.

      1. Are anti-christs formerly “good guys” who were
        walking on the path to light? (They were associated
        with the company of believers. John says their
        leaving shows they were never really part of the
        group. But, they seemed to be with the group.)

      2. What is the primary way to identify the anti-christ?
        (Someone who lies about the truth. The primary truth
        being that Jesus is God. If you deny that Jesus is
        Lord, then you deny the Father God as well.)

        1. Why is that true? Why could we not believe (as
          do Jews and Muslims) in a “single God” of the
          Old Testament and not have to agree to this
          “multi-part” God the Christians promote? (If you
          did not understand that Jesus was entire reason
          for God’s “temple plan” for the elimination of
          sin, you obviously would not understand the
          truth or be able to tell the truth about God. In
          70 A.D. the final hour came when people either
          understood God’s plan and made the transition
          from the symbolic to Jesus, or they were left
          behind in ignorance.)

    3. Read 1 John 2:23. Does this make sense to you? (If
      accepting Jesus and His sacrifice is the newly clarified
      way to be rid of sin, then it is the only way to approach
      a Holy Father God.)

    4. Read 1 John 2:24-25. What is the connection between
      eternal life and Jesus? (Since Jesus’ death on our behalf
      (we died with Jesus when He died) is the key to remission
      of sin, His death is also the key to our eternal life!)

  3. The Anointing

    1. We just learned that it is essential to retain “what you
      have heard from the beginning” ( 1 John 2:24). What makes
      that truth stick? (Re-read 1 John 2:20: the “anointing
      from the Holy One.”)

      1. The “Holy One” has to refer to God. What is this
        essential anointing?

    2. Read 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. What does this explain is the
      anointing? (The Holy Spirit.)

      1. We understand the idea of putting down a deposit on
        something we are going to buy. How is the Holy Spirit
        a deposit for Jesus’ Second Coming? How is the Holy
        Spirit a deposit which keeps us believing in Jesus?
        (A deposit is part of the purchase price. It is a
        small sample of the rest. When we go to heaven at the
        Second Coming we will live in the presence of God. We
        can begin to understand right now how it is to live
        in the presence of God when we are filled with the
        Holy Spirit.)

    3. What is your greatest fear about your belief in God? (That
      we believe something that is not true. I regularly read
      popular scientific books and the general theme is that
      there is no God, we have simply evolved.)

      1. How does the Holy Spirit provide us with a guarantee
        that God exists? (If you know the Holy Spirit is
        working in your life, then you have positive
        assurance that God exists and that the Bible is

      2. Read John 16:13. In what way can the Holy Spirit
        guide us into knowing the truth about God? (Sometimes
        I marvel at how dumb these smart scientists can be.
        They write books talking about all the exact rules
        that govern the operation of the creation. They
        acknowledge that they know most of the rules simply
        through measurement – they do not understand the
        logic or the reason behind the rules. Yet in this
        precise, rule oriented universe, they believe
        everything came about by chance! The Holy Spirit
        gives us clear, logical minds to see the folly of
        such confused thinking.)

    4. Read 1 John 2:26-27. Does this mean you don’t need me? You
      don’t need the lessons? We don’t need the epistles of
      John?(I think John is saying that we don’t need the false
      teachers. As you have probably noticed, the way I write
      these lessons is to have you read the Bible, and then ask
      you questions about what you have read. My goal is to help
      you think about God’s word and let the Holy Spirit guide

    5. Read 1 John 2:28-29. What is our duty? (To continue our
      walk on the path of light!)

    6. Friend, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, if
      you accept His sacrifice on your behalf, then you are on
      the road to eternal life. If you need help (and you do)
      will you pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you? Will you
      begin experiencing life now in the presence of God? Why
      not ask for that right now?

  4. Next week: Living as Children of God.