1John 2:19 They went out from us at
some point in time, but they were not of us;
for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us;
but they went out that they might be made revealed, that none of them were of us
This is another characteristic distinguishing children of God from children of the devil. Who is John referring to as "They"? From verse 18 John is writing of antichrists. And according to verse 22,23 antichrists deny Jesus Christ the Son of God. So these people left the Christians community in the sense that they became apostates, denying the most fundamental aspect of the Christian faith - namely that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
The Perseverance of the Saints
if they had belonged to us,Once a person is a genuine Christian, they will inevitably continue to remain so.The phrase "would have remained" is in the rare Greek Pluperfect of which the Lexicon notes:
they would have remained with us
The pluperfect tense in Greek occurs rarely. It corresponds in a single Greek word to the sense of the English pluperfect, which indicates an event viewed as having been once and for all accomplished in past time.
This is not simply saying "Once saved, Always saved", though that can be logically inferred. This is saying, "Once saved, it is inevitable that such a person will remain in the faith identifying with the Christian community". (And as such, once saved, always saved, seeing as the saved never depart from the faith)
How did John know that "they did not really
belong to us."? Because they left the Christian
community. Thus if a person departs from the faith, such is
indicative that they had never really been of the faith to begin
Again I note that while some claim that this distinction should
only be restricted to identify whether oneself has or has not been
born of God, in fact we see that John is teaching here that we can
(and should) apply this principle to others.
vs 20 But you characteristically have an anointing from the Holy One,
and you have perceive all things.
vs21 I have not written to you because you have not perceive the truth,
but because you have perceived it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Everyone born of God has been anointed with the Holy Spirit. In
fact "if anyone does not have the Spirit of
Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Rom 8:9 That's
why John can make such a general statement. John elaborates upon
this in verse 27. One work of the Holy Spirit is guidance into the
truth. Jesus said, "When he, the Spirit of
truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." John
What John seems to be saying here is that those who having the Holy Spirit already have perceived the kinds of things he's been teaching here. John's teachings here are therefore more of an affirmation of what genuine believers already perceive to be true, rather than new ideas they hadn't been exposed to.
Consequently if these principles John is advocating do not
resonate with alleged believers, it may be that their allegation
of faith in Christ is in vain. Note also here that truth
is the priority. Today many Christians have been marginalized by
post-modernistic thinking in which truth is secondary to one's
subjective opinion. Among such groups, getting along despite
differences takes precedence over truth when push becomes shove.
vs 22 Who is a liar but he
who characteristically denies to himself that Jesus is
He is the antichrist who characteristically denies to himself the Father and the Son.
vs 23 Whoever characteristically denies to himself the Son
does not characteristically have the Father either;
he who characteristically acknowledges the Son
characteristically has the Father also.
Likewise Jesus said, "He who hates
me hates my Father as well." John 15:23 and, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe
in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at
me, he sees the one who sent me." John
12:44,45 This is yet another another characteristic
distinguishing the children of God from the children of the devil.
There are many people of various religions such as Islam and
modern Judaism who claim allegience to God, but in fact by their
denial of the Son of God they show themselves to be self-deceived.
And granted that the Koran acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah, but
it also explicitly denies Him being the Son of God. In these
verses the two are equated.
"Denies" here is in the middle voice indicating self
deception. The verbs are not talking about uncharacteristic
events. Under duress it may be that a genuine believer denies
Christ uncharacteristically at some point in time. John is not
referring to that here. Rather here he's restricting his comments
to those who characteristically deny or acknowledge the Son.
vs 24 Therefore let that
dwell characteristically in you which you had heard from the
If what you had heard from the beginning dwells at some point in time in you,
you also will dwell in the Son and in the Father.
vs 25 And this is the promise that He had promised us——eternal life.
I think John is contrasting these verses with those concerning antichrists who reveal themselves by leaving the faith. In particular what John is referring to as "what you heard from the beginning" is the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
In his second letter John writes a parallel passage concerning these same ideas saying, "Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." 2John 1:7-9
The promise of eternal life is only to those who remain in the
faith, and in particular in the truths of the faith revealed in
the Word of God. Thus Jesus said, "If you
hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples." John
8:31 Else we are not really
disciples of Christ. He warns, "If anyone
does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away
and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire
and burned." John 15:6
Interesting that the "dwells" in the protasis of verse 24 is
aorist referring to an event. For since once saved, always saved,
once that event has occurred, the outcome is inevitable. But why
the command if the outcome is inevitable? If the Word
characteristically dwell in one is simply descriptive of those
born of God, then why the need to command it? This is much the
same question regarding this same word "meno" (dwell or abide) as
comes up in John 15.
This is again along the lines of the perseverance of the saints.
One should not be confident they are saved if they don't continue
in the faith. Which is the same as he said in verse 19. It's about
salvation. Notice these two verses:
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me." John 15:4
"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned." John 15:6
Notice the first is a command. The second shows that failure to
comply to such command results in damnation. Thus it's about
salvation. Again this is not salvation by works, but rather those
born of God naturally comply to commands, a principle John also
teaches in 1John. (1John 2:3)
"Meno" is used abundantly throughout 1John. And the usage is
consistent with the principle that everyone born of God actually
does abide in Him. Note, for example, 1John 3:6 "Whoever characteristically dwells in Him
characteristically does not sin. Whoever characteristically sins
has neither seen Him nor known Him." Thus those who
characteristically sin don't abide in Him, and thus had never
known Him to begin with.
vs 26 These things I have
written to you concerning those who characteristically try to
vs 27 But the anointing which you have received at a point in time from Him dwells continuously in you,
and you don't characteristically need that anyone be teaching you;
but as the same anointing characteristically teaches you concerning all things,
and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it had taught you,
you will dwell in Him. (variant - so be abiding in Him)
Jesus said, "When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." John 16:13 and furthermore promised, "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26 Thus when those born of God hear the truth, the Spirit confirms it in our conscience. We embrace truth as a sheep listens to the voice of its shepherd, as Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice." John 10:27
So I have confidence that those who are of a like Spirit will listen and understand, and cease listening to those who would lead you astray concerning these matters.And what is the deception? Antinominanism. Namely the general deception is passing off of false Christians as if they were genuine Christians. Note for example:
1John 3:7,8a Little children, let no one be deceiving you. He who characteristically does righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.He who characteristically sins is of the devil.
Eph 5:5,6a For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words
1Cor 6:9,10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.This past century, the 20th century, I would characterize as the century in which Antinomian theology has prevailed among the Christian community.
"They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." (NIV)The words "out from" and "of" in this verse are the translation of the preposition ek which is followed by the ablative case. There are two classifications of the ablative here, ablative of separation and ablative of source. In the statement, "They went out from use," we have the ablative of separation. These false teachers (antichrists) went out from the true believers in the sense that they departed doctrinally from the position of the Church as to the Person of the Lord Jesus, a position which they had held only in an intellectual way. It was a mental assent to the doctrines concerning, not a heart acceptance of, the Person of Christ.
"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." (AV)
In the words, "They were not of us," we have the ablative of source. That is, the antichrists did not have their source in the Mystical Body of Christ composed only of true believers. They were merely members of the visible, organized church on earth. They did not partake of the divine life animating the members of the Body of Christ, made up of true believers. All of which means that an apostate is an unsaved person who has mentally subscribed to the doctrines of the Christian faith and who then rejects those doctrines while still remaining within the organization of the visible church and posing as a Christian.
John argues that had these antichrists belonged to the Body of Christ, thus possessing the divine life in company with true believers, they would in that case have remained with these true believers in matters of doctrine. But, he says, they departed from the doctrinal position of the Church so that it could be shown that they did not belong to the company of the saints. The words of the A.V. are misleading, "that they were not all of us," the implication being left with the reader that some of these antichrists had belonged to the company of the saints. The translation should read, "All were not of us." In the Greek text, the verb separates not from all. In such cases, accordign to New Testament usage, the negation is universal. The A.V. not all makes it partial.
With so many different translations, it becomes impossible to study the english and recognize and correlate the verses where "meno" shows up. The following are where it shows up in 1Jn where I've consistently translated it "dwell".
2:6 if Walking as Christ then dwells in Christ
2:10 if you love Christians then you dwell in the light
2:17 if you do God's will then you will dwell forever
2:19 if you are really a Christian then you will always dwell as a Christian
2:24 if The word dwells in you then you dwell in the Son and Father
2:27 The anointing dwells in you -> to instruct
2:28 if you dwell in him then you will not be ashamed when he comes
3:6 if you dwell in him then doesn't live a lifestyle of sin
3:9 if God's seed dwells in him (= born of God) then does not sin because cannot sin
3:14 if not love Christians then you dwell in death
3:15 if hate other Christians then eternal life doesn't dwell in you
3:17 if not meet basic needs of Christians then God's love doesn't dwell in you
3:24 if you keep his commandments then you dwell in him
3:24 we know he dwells in us by his Spirit
4:12 if we love on another then God dwells in us
4:13 we know that we dwell in him and he in us by his Spirit
4:15 if we profess that Jesus in the Son of God then God dwells in him and he in God
4:15 if we dwell in love then we dwell in God and God in him.
These also imply the following:
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources