New American Standard Bible
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.
King James Bible
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Darby Bible Translation
Little children, it is the last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is the last hour.
World English Bible
Little children, these are the end times, and as you heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen. By this we know that it is the final hour.
Young's Literal Translation
Little youths, it is the last hour; and even as ye heard that the antichrist doth come, even now antichrists have become many -- whence we know that it is the last hour;
1 John 2:18 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Little children - See 1 John 2:1.
It is the last time - The closing period or dispensation; that dispensation in which the affairs of the world are ultimately to be wound up. The apostle does not, however, say that the end of the world would soon occur, nor does he intimate how long this dispensation would be. That period might continue through many ages or centuries, and still be the last dispensation, or that in which the affairs of the world would be finally closed. See the Isaiah 2:2 note; Acts 2:17 note; Hebrews 1:2 note. Some have supposed that the "last time" here refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the Jewish economy; but the more natural interpretation is to refer it to the last dispensation of the world, and to suppose that the apostle meant to say that there were clear evidences that that period had arrived.
And as ye have heard that antichrist shall come - The word "antichrist" occurs in the New Testament only in these Epistles of John, 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 1:7. The proper meaning of (ἀντί anti) in composition is:
(1) "over-against," as ἀντιτάσσειν antitassein;
(2) "contrary to," as ἀντιλέγειν antilegein;
(3) reciprocity, as ἀνταποδίδωμι antapodidōmi;
(4) "substitution," as ἀντιβασιλεύς antibasileus;
(5) the place of the king, or ἀνθύπατος anthupatos - "proconsul."
The word "antichrist," therefore, might denote anyone who either was or claimed to be in the place of Christ, or one who, for any cause, was in opposition to him. The word, further, would apply to one opposed to him, on whatever ground the opposition might be; whether it were open and avowed, or whether it were only in fact, as resulting from certain claims which were adverse to his, or which were inconsistent with his. A "vice-functionary," or an "opposing functionary," would be the idea which the word would naturally suggest. If the word stood alone, and there were nothing said further to explain its meaning, we should think, when the word "antichrist" was used, either of one who claimed to be the Christ, and who thus was a rival; or of one who stood in opposition to him on some other ground. That which constituted the characteristics of antichrist, according to John, who only has used the word, he has himself stated. 1 John 2:22, "who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." 1 John 4:3, "and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist." 2 John 1:7, "for many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
From this it is clear, that John understood by the word all those that denied that Jesus is the Messiah, or that the Messiah has come in the flesh. If they held that Jesus was a deceiver, and that he was not the Christ, or if they maintained that, though Christ had come, he had not come in the flesh, that is, with a proper human nature, this showed that such persons had the spirit of antichrist. They arrayed themselves against him, and held doctrines which were in fact in entire opposition to the Son of God. It would appear then that John does not use the word in the sense which it would bear as denoting one who set up a rival claim, or who came in the place of Christ, but in the sense of those who were opposed to him by denying essential doctrines in regard to his person and advent. It is not certainly known to what persons he refers, but it would seem not improbable to Jewish adversaries, (see Suicer's Thesaur. s. voc.,) or to some forms of the Gnostic belief. See the notes at 1 John 4:2. The doctrine respecting antichrist, as stated in the New Testament, may be summed up in the following particulars:
(2) that there would be a spirit, which would manifest itself early in the church, that would strongly tend to some great apostasy under some one head or leader, or to a concentration on an individual, or a succession of individuals, who would have eminently the spirit of antichrist, though for a time the developement of that spirit would be hindered or restrained. See the notes at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7.
(3) that this would be ultimately concentrated on a single leader - "the man of sin" - and embodied under some great apostasy, at the head of which would be that "man of sin," 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10. It is to this that Paul particularly refers, or this is the view which he took of this apostacy, and it is this which he particularly describes.
(4) that, in the meantime, and before the elements of the great apostasy should be concentrated and embodied, there might not be a few who would partake of the same general spirit, and who would be equally opposed to Christ in their doctrines and aims; that is, who would embody in themselves the essential spirit of antichrist, and by whose appearing it might be known that the last dispensation had come. It is to these that John refers, and these he found in his own age. Paul fixed the eye on future times, when the spirit of antichrist should be embodied under a distinct and mighty organization; John on his own time, and found then essentially what it had been predicted would occur in the church. He here says that they had been taught to expect that antichrist would come under the last dispensation; and it is implied that it could be ascertained that it was the last time, from the fact that the predicted opposer of Christ had come. The reference is probably to the language of the Saviour, that before the end should be, and as a sign that it was coming, many would arise claiming to be Christ, and, of course, practically denying that he was the Christ. Matthew 24:5, "many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Matthew 24:24, "and there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets; and they shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." This prediction it is probable the apostles had referred to wherever they had preached, so that there was a general expectation that one or more persons would appear claiming to be the Christ, or maintaining such opinions as to be inconsistent with the true doctrine that Jesus was the Messiah. Such persons, John says, had then in fact appeared, by which it could be known that they were living under the closing dispensations of the world referred to by the Saviour. Compare the notes at 2 Thessalonians 2:2-5.
LibraryThe Commandment, Old yet New
'I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.... Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you.'--1 John ii. 7, 8. The simplest words may carry the deepest thoughts. Perhaps angels and little children speak very much alike. This letter, like all of John's writing, is pellucid in speech, profound in thought, clear and deep, like the abysses of mid-ocean. His terms are such as a child can understand; his sentences short …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John
The Difference Between Walking by Sight, and Walking by Faith
Add to This, and Here is Cause to Cry Out More Piteously...
(On the Mysteries. Iii. )
"For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
1 Timothy 4:1
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
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