Sermon #17                                                                                                                               1 John Series


            Title:                           Saving Knowledge


            Text:                            1 John 2:20

            Subject:                     A Saving Knowledge of Christ

            Date:                          Tuesday Evening—September 11, 2012

            Tape #                       1 John #17

            Readings:     Merle Hart and Don Raneri



My text is 1st John 2:20. My subject is Saving Knowledge. Do you have a saving knowledge of Christ? Do I? Let’s look at 1st John 2:20, asking God the Holy Spirit to show us what a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is.


Three Statements


Here are three statements that go right to the heart of my message. Be sure you get these three statements.

  1. You cannot be saved if you do not know Christ (John 17:3).
  2. You cannot know Christ except by the preaching of the Gospel (Romans 10:13-17).
  3. This saving knowledge of Christ is not carnal knowledge, but spiritual knowledge (2 Corinthians 5:16), a knowledge that comes to chosen, redeemed, called sinners by the revelation of God the Holy Spirit as we are taught of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).


1 John 2:18-19


In 1 John 2:18 the Apostle tells us that there are many antichrists in the world, many deceiving false prophets who speaking in the name of Christ are opposed to Christ and seek to turn us away from Christ. As Paul puts it in 1st Corinthians 11, these messengers of Satan, transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness, incessantly seek by their doctrine to turn us away from the simplicity (singleness) that is in Christ Jesus.


Then, in the 19th verse John tells us that many depart from us, depart from the fellowship of the saints, depart from the worship of God, depart from Christ, because they are not of us, assuring us that “if they had been of us they would no doubt have continued with us”.


1 John 2:20


Now, in our text, in 1st John 2:20, the inspired Apostle assures us that none of God’s elect shall be deceived by false prophets, none of God’s elect shall depart from the faith of the Gospel and the worship of God by faith in Christ because we have the Unction of God upon us and, being taught of God we who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ “know all things”.


(1 John 2:20) “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things”.


That knowledge which preserves a man’s soul, that knowledge which arises from and is the basis of saving faith is not a natural knowledge of the head, attained by natural processes. It is a supernatural knowledge of the heart, imparted to immortal souls by Divine revelation.


John has given us a warning concerning those seducers, those antichrists who have crept into the Church. They claim to be sent of God and claim to be teachers of Christ. But they are really adversaries of Christ, denying the dignity of His person and the efficacy of His work. These antichrists are found everywhere. They have led many away from the faith of the Gospel. But the true children of God have something which secures them against the heresies by which antichrists deceive the multitudes: — “Ye have an Unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things”. Because of this Unction and the knowledge given to us by this Unction, it is not possible to deceive God’s elect.


Perilous Times


We live in perilous times. The spirit of antichrist is so thick in this day of will-worship religion that you can cut it with a knife! The warnings in this Book against antichrist are not to be put off to some distant age. — “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” (1 John 2:18). It is a grave mistake for us to be always setting up some kind of a phantom antichrist that is to torment and try the Church in the future. Antichrist is everywhere. Antichrist is found throughout Christendom. Antichrist is in the seminary. And antichrist is in the pulpit of most any church you may visit, Baptist, Protestant, Papist, or otherwise! Multitudes follow the teachings of antichrist. The vast majority of religious people walk through the wide gate of worldly wisdom and walk to hell in the broad way of will-worship religion.


Only yesterday some of those now in the path of destruction were numbered among us. They were one with us in name, privilege, and profession. The most discerning eye could not discriminate between us and them. But now they have been drawn away, and have become the adversaries of Christ.


This fact causes God’s true people much concern. Who shall be next? —— (John 6) —— If this one has fallen away, and that one, how shall I hope to be preserved? The apostasy of professed believers often causes the true born child of God much anxiety.


“When any turn from Zion’s way,

(Alas, what numbers do!)

I think I hear my Savior say,

‘Wilt thou forsake me too?’


Oh, Lord, with such a heart as mine,

Unless Thou hold me fast,

I feel I must, I shall decline,

And prove like them at last”.


John knew that we might have such fears. Therefore, he writes, But ye have an Unction from the Holy One,” an unction which they do not have, and ye know all things,” while they have no real true knowledge of anything spiritual.


Proposition: Here in verse 20 the Apostle John shows us that — All true believers have an Unction from the Holy One, the Lord Jesus Christ, to enlighten our hearts, confirm in us the truth of the Gospel, and preserve us in the faith of Christ.


(1 John 2:20) “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things”.


Three Reasons


It seems to me that there are at least three reasons for this word of assurance here given to us by God the Holy Spirit.


1.    First, He would have us ever be aware of the reason for our standing, when others fall. — We do not stand against perverse deceptions by our own sharpness of mind and discerning intelligence. We stand in the truth by the enlightening grace of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God Who confirms in us the truth of the Gospel, the doctrine of Christ.


2.    Second, our Divine Comforter here comforts our hearts with the assurance of His grace. Multitudes are swept into hell by the delusions of antichrist (the delusions of will-worship, works religion —— 2 Thessalonians 2:11-14), not being taught of God. Therefore, John tells us that we have a Teacher near at hand; and He keeps us in the knowledge of the truth.


3.    And, third, He would have us to be aware of the dangerous perversions of the Gospel that abound on all sides. If we are seduced, we must not give way to vain speculation. We have sufficient evidence of the truth of the Gospel written upon our own hearts’ experience of the grace of God. — We know that Jesus is the Christ. — We have the evidence and assurance of the truth of the Gospel in our own experience. — “We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God”!


Divisions: As the Lord will enable me, I want to raise and answer four questions concerning this Unction of the Holy One by which we have this confident, assuring, preserving saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. What is this Unction?
  2. How do we have this Unction?
  3. Who has this Unction?
  4. Why is this Unction given?


What is this Unction?


God the Holy Spirit tells us“Ye have an Unction”. So my first question is — What is this Unction? The word “Unction[1] simply means “anointing”. This “Unction” is the thing which the apostates mentioned in verse 19 lacked. They had a form of godliness, but no power, no “Unction from the Holy One”. They had a profession of Christ, but no “unction from the Holy One”.


Exodus 30:25


This “unction from the Holy One” refers to that holy anointing oil spoken of in Exodus 30:25 —– “An ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil”. Throughout the Word of God oil symbolizes God the Holy Spirit. This anointing oil was a type of the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit upon Christ, His Church, and His preachers.


In the Old Testament, the anointing with oil was symbolic of great honor and privilege. Prophets, priests, and kings were anointed with oil to inaugurate them in their offices. Aaron and his sons were anointed as priests over Israel. This signified that they were set apart for their work by God.


Our Lord Jesus Christ was anointed by God when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. He is called by the Apostles — “Thy holy child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed” (Acts 4:27). The descending of the Spirit upon Christ was His public anointing, or inauguration, manifesting His authority and power as God’s Messiah. — “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power” (Acts 10:38).


As our Lord was anointed, so were His Apostles when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. This was the once for all public demonstration of the Messiah’s kingdom.

·         His Apostles were anointed and given the gifts of tongues and miracles.

·      The Church as a whole was anointed. — “Now He that stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God” (2 Corinthians 1:21). Thus, we are made kings and priests to God.

·      Every true preacher of the Gospel is anointed by the Holy Spirit, and given gifts and graces suitable for his work.


The anointing with oil was also used to distinguish honored guests, signifying great privilege. You will recall how that Mary came to Simon’s house and anointed our Lord with very precious ointment. David considered himself to be greatly honored of God, so he sang, “Thou anointest my head with oil”. Our Lord, we are told, was “anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows”.


This Unction, which every believer has, is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is that Anointing which is given as a solemn testimony of the truth of the Gospel and the Divine approval of Christ. The very name Christ means “Anointed One”.


External Witness


God the Holy Spirit gave external, outward, and visible testimony of the truth of the Gospel in the beginning of the Gospel Age.

  • He came upon Christ publicly and visibly (His Baptism).
  • He also came upon the apostles and the early Church in a public and visible manner (Acts 2).
  • The signs and wonders demonstrated by Christ and the apostles were for the purpose of assuring men that Jesus is the Christ and that we are to submit to Him in faith as God’s Messiah. — “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so also is the holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:31-32). — “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation: which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and with gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3-4).


Internal Witness


If there were no more than these things, a man would be utterly foolish to deny the facts of the Gospel. But there is much more. We have a much surer knowledge. We (we who are born of God and taught of God, we who trust the Lord Jesus Christ) have the internal revelation of the Gospel in our own hearts by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The written Word of God is the sure and final rule of our faith. But, until the Gospel is revealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, until it is written upon our hearts by the finger of God, we cannot and will not believe the Gospel.


It is God the Holy Spirit Who enlightens the hearts of sinners and causes us to know the Gospel. This is a work which can be accomplished only by the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we pray — “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling…” (Ephesians 1:17-18). — “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).


If our faith in Christ is built upon human opinion, and human logic, and human emotion, it will be soon shaken. But, if it is built upon the revelation of God in our hearts, it will stand against all contradiction (1 Corinthians 2:2-6). It is only the Spirit of God Who can make this revelation of the Gospel in us. — “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). — “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).


Not only does the Holy Spirit enlighten our hearts, He changes our hearts, converting and sanctifying us to God. Not only do we know the truth, it is stamped upon our hearts. — “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3).

  • The believer knows truth from error, because it is written on his heart.
  • Sheep follow their Shepherd, because they know His voice; and a stranger they will not follow.
  • Our hearts are biased. — We have received the love of the truth.


With us the Gospel is more than mere theory. It is the motive and rule of our new life in Christ. This is the source and basis of our faith.


(2 Corinthians 5:14-21) “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”.


“16 ¶ Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more”.


“17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.


As Paul puts it in Hebrews 11“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). I do not have as much evidence of the world to come as I do of the world around me; but I have a persuasion of the certainty of eternal glory, and live upon the promise of God.


Comforting Unction


This unction we have teaches us and also comforts our hearts. — This oil is not only the oil of grace; it is also the oil of gladness too. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter as well as our Sanctifier. The word of the truth of the Gospel has come into our hearts, and we know the grace of God in Christ. Others have notions about the Gospel. We know the Gospel. The sweetness and power of the Gospel floods our souls.


We may not be able to answer the arguments of our adversaries. But that does nothing to damage our faith in the Gospel. For our faith is not built upon argument, but upon revelation and experience. My very heart is persuaded of the truth of the Gospel, because, I have “an Unction from the Holy One”.


How does this Unction comfort our hearts? Those who are anointed are sanctified and consecrated to God. In the Old Testament certain vessels were anointed with oil to signify that they were set apart for God’s service. Being consecrated to God, we are under His protection. He says, “Touch not mine anointed” (Psalm 105:15).


It is by this blessed Unction, the Spirit of God, that our interests in Christ and eternal life are sealed and secured to us. — “God hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22). —— “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13-14). —— “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).


·      As the Holy Spirit’s anointing of Christ was the seal of His Sonship, testifying that He is the Son of God; so He is the witness to us that we are the sons of God. — “Hereby, know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).


·      If you have this Unction, your own interests in Christ and eternal life are sealed and secured to you. — God hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22). “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13-14). — “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).


·      A seal is given to preserve something. You ladies can your beans and you make certain that they are sealed; otherwise your labors are vain. Even so, God has sealed us with His Spirit until the day of resurrection.


·      And a seal is put on something to attest ownership. We belong to God. His seal is upon us. — A Seal of Blood! — A Seal of Grace!


Thus we see what this Unction is. It is the gift of God the Holy Spirit to enlighten, convert, sanctify, and comfort our hearts.


How do we

have this unction


Now, in the second place —– How do we have this unction? John says, “Ye have an Unction from the Holy One”. The term “the Holy Onemay refer to the Triune God or it may be used in reference to any of the Persons of the Holy Trinity: — The Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. But the sense of this passage is: — “Ye have an Unction, the Holy Spirit of God, given in your hearts, from the Holy One, Jesus Christ”. Jesus Christ is that Holy One Who is to be reverenced and worshipped by us.


This is but one of those many passages in Scripture which seem, almost incidentally, to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as Divine. The Apostles of the New Testament did not attempt to prove the Deity of Christ. They simply stated it as an indisputable fact. Being Himself God the eternal Son, Jesus Christ is the Holy One. It would be blasphemy to apply this title to any but the Lord Jehovah. — “Holy and Reverend is His name”.


But this title, “the Holy One”, is expressly used with reference to Jesus Christ as a man. Though He took our nature into union with Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ was all the while God almighty, “the Holy One”!


·      Even before His incarnation, the prophets spoke of that One, Who was to come as the Holy One, and worshipped Him as God. — Daniel called Him “the Most Holy”. — David spoke of Him as God’s “Holy One” (Daniel 9:24; Psalm 16:10). Others spoke of Him as “the Holy One of God” and “the Holy One of Israel”.


·      During His life of humiliation upon the earth, He was acknowledged to be the Holy One. — The angel told Mary, — “That Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). — Even the devils acknowledged His Divinity, saying, — “I know Thee who Thou Art, the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24).


·      And after His exaltation, Peter declared that King Jesus, Whom the Jews despised and crucified, Whom God had exalted to the throne of glory, was indeed “the Holy One” (Acts 3:14).


Christ’s Kingdom


By telling us that we receive the Holy Spirit from Jesus Christ, John assures us that Christ is God’s Messiah and that His kingdom has come. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit was the sure testimony of Christ’s finished work as our Redeemer King and the result of His exaltation in His kingly office. — “Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men; yea for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them” (Psalm 68:18).


(Joel 2:28-32) “And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come”.


But how do we know that this great day has come? Because the next verse is fulfilled.


(Joel 2:32) “And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call”.


  • The work of redemption is finished.
  • The Spirit of God is poured out upon all flesh, Jew and Gentile alike.
  • The Lord God dwells in the hearts of men.
  • King Jesus reigns over all the earth.
  • And, now, wherever men call upon the name of the Lord, they are saved.


Is it any wonder that God our Savior said to His disciples, — “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:7-8). It is Christ the exalted King of Glory Who gives us this Unction, the Spirit of God. Our Savior was first anointed with the Spirit without measure. He has all the fulness of grace in Himself. And from Him this Unction is given to all His people.


The allusion is to the anointing of Aaron as God’s high priest. The oil was poured upon his head. Then, it ran down his beard, and down his garments to cover his entire body. Even so, our Head, our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, was anointed with the Spirit. And from Him all His members have this anointing. From Christ, our Head, the grace of the Spirit flows freely and abundantly to all His people.


As our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus purchased this Unction for us. It is the sure result of His substitutionary death. — “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree:…That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14).


(John 4:14) “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life”.


(John 7:38-39) “38 He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”


As our gracious King, Jesus Christ gives this Unction, His Holy Spirit, to all who trust Him. This Unction is the Holy Spirit, “which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:6). —— “Of his fulness have we received grace for grace” (John 1:16). —— King Jesus anoints us with the very same anointing that He received, and thereby makes us kings and priests to God.


Who has this unction?


Thirdly, Who has this unction? I have already indicated the answer to this question. So I will be brief here. Is this a special grace limited only to a favored few? Is this something that is given to a higher class of believers and kept from others? No! It is this unction which distinguishes true believers from those who are only hypocritical professors. Every man, woman, and child, who bows in submission to King Jesus, trusting Him for all things, has this holy, preserving Unction. We share, with Christ, His own Unction. It is this Unction given to us by Christ in saving grace, this Unction, God the Holy Spirit, by which we are identified and distinguished as the sons of God (Romans 8:1-16; Galatians 4:6).


(Romans 8:1-16) “[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”.


“10 ¶ And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”.


(Galatians 4:4-6) “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father”.


Why is this

unction given to us?


Fourth, in the last place, — Why is this unction given to us? — “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things”. (1 John 2:20). Do you see that? As the result of Christ sending His Spirit into our hearts, we have a true saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We could never know Him otherwise. But now, since we are born of God and taught of God, since we have the “Unction” all who are born again “know all things”.


This was the promise of God in the New Covenant, secured for His elect by the sin-atoning sacrifice of Christ, and given to us by His all-prevailing intercession. We are taught of God. —


(Isaiah 54:13) “All Thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of Thy children.”


(Jeremiah 31:34) “They shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”


Our Lord Himself declared the fulfillment of this covenant. — “It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me” (John 6:45).


The Apostle Paul tells us that this new covenant is now fulfilled in us by Christ. —— “He hath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). —— “This is the covenant…they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest” (Hebrews 8:10-11).


These covenant promises are fulfilled in us by the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Unction which we receive from Christ. — “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things”. —— “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 14:26; 16:13). — “The Anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man should teach you: but…the same Anointing teacheth you of all things” (1 John 2:27).


John’s statement, “Ye know all things,” must be understood in the light of this passage. He does not say that believers know everything that is knowable. He does not say that our knowledge of all things is perfect. He does not say that our knowledge of anything is perfect. And he does not suggest that we have no use for and need of teachers in the things of God. John himself was teaching them. What John does say is this: — We know all things that are necessary for our salvation. We know all that we need to know to secure our souls from the delusions of antichrist.


We have all saving knowledge, such as none but the Spirit of God can give. This is an intuitive knowledge. It is not acquired by deep learning, constant study, or precise logic. It comes to us by Divine revelation. It is the result of a living union of faith with Jesus Christ. This is an inward, assured, undoubted knowledge.

1.    We know ourselves to be sinners deserving of God’s just wrath.

2.    We know the holy, righteous, and just nature of God.

3.    We know the whole truth of God concerning His Son, Jesus Christ.

  • We know who He is. — The God-man.
  • We know why He came.
  • We know what He has done. — He died under the wrath of God to put away the sins of His people.
  • We know where He is. — Exalted to the throne of glory.
  • We know that Christ alone has the power to save us, or send us to hell.


4.    We know —

  • The Love of Christ
  • The Hope of His Calling
  • The Riches of His grace
  • The Greatness of His Power


5.    We know the will of God. The whole will of God is that we believe on His Son, and that we love one another. It is this Unction from Christ, the indwelling Spirit of God, which directs us day by day in the knowledge of God’s will.


6.    This knowledge is sure and satisfying. We may not be able to explain them; but we know that these things are so. This is a practical, experimental, thorough knowledge of Gospel truth. It is the firm persuasion of our hearts. We know!


Once more, this unction which Christ gives is a sure preservative. It is this sure knowledge which keeps us from the fatal error of apostasy. In trying times, others will depart and fall away, many will deny Christ, many will be deceived. But, if we have this unction, we cannot deny Him. Can a man deny that which his heart is convinced of? Can a man deny what he has most surely experienced? Many will go away. But, for us, the Gospel is not guess work. With Peter we say, — “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69).




1.    Be that you have this unction. — “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). Do not be satisfied with a mere form of godliness.

2.    See to it that you grieve not your blessed Comforter. Seek to know more and more of Christ and His redeeming love.


This knowledge that God gives, and only this, is saving knowledge.


(1 John 2:20) “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.”


(1 John 2:27) “The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”


(1 Peter 5:10-11) “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you]. 11 To him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”








Don Fortner



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[1] The word that is here translated “unction” is translated “anointing” in verse 27; but this particular word is not used anywhere else in the New Testament except in these two verses. — “But ye have an Unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (1 John 2:20). —— “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as It hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him” (1 John 2:27).