7441 - The Liar - 1 John 2:22-23


Audio transcript

Friend, we rejoice when you join us in studying God’s Word.

We are now in a close study of the first Epistle of John. This book was written by John late in life –– in the decade of the 90’s. In it he is repudiating the false teachings which were coming forth in the church.

Today we are examining 1 John 2, verses 22 & 23.

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist --he denies the Father and the Son.
1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

These verses follow John’s words assuring believers that they can know without doubt that they are true believers in Christ, because God has anointed them with the Holy Spirit. So there were many in the church who truthfully and rightfully shared the truth about Jesus Christ – the only Son of God – true deity himself.

They kept sharing that Jesus was the Christ, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. They readily shared that the mission of Jesus, even before His birth, was to be the atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sins. They did not hide the truth that anyone who placed their faith in Jesus was instantly born as a new spiritual person, with all the benefits promised in the Word of God. Notice, John was emphasizing that these people were telling the truth which was now rooted in their hearts.

However, there were false teachers who had by their charm and cunning, forced their way into certain local churches and were denying these true facts about which believers were so thrilled.

So in verse 22 John asks “Who is the liar?” The word was out. Some of these preachers were not truthful. They were actually liars. And John is giving a measuring rod by which the liars could easily be spotted.

John then answers his own question. He says: “The liar is the man (or woman) who denies that Jesus is the Christ.” Many were claiming that Jesus was a fraud. Many whose leadership positions in the established religions were threatened by this newcomer called Jesus, openly attacking His message as well as attacking Him as a person. In fact they had arranged for His death.

But the death of Jesus some 60+ years before the writing of 1 John did not silence the truth. In fact the Church was growing and reaching out to the world with the message of truth.

Perhaps you noticed that the drama for the decade of the 30’s extended into the 90’s, and has continued to play out different acts of the drama throughout history. Today the curtain opens on many acts of violence and persecution of the Church, but the Church continues to grow by the power of God. Jesus promised ( Matt 16:18) that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

Back to 1 John. We notice that John expands his measuring rod to be used to identify liars. He comes down hard on these pretenders. He even says that anyone who indulges in such lies is the antichrist –– is truly anti-God.

Furthermore anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ actually denies the Father and the Son. Plainly he states that anyone who denies the Son does not have a relationship with the Father either. To deny the Son is to deny the Father.

Did you notice as I read these verses that John, in behalf of God, ended on a positive note. The end of verse 23 says: “whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

Friend, the truth of God’s message in these verses is echoed throughout this epistle. We will find restatements of these truths in many verses as we progress through 1 John.

The truth is that Father and Son are of the same essence and Jesus said (John 10:30), “I and the Father are one.” We may not have the capacity to understand, but we may accept God’s truth that to deny Jesus as the Christ, the Savior, is to become a liar.