John distinguishes truth and falsehood, what proceeds from the mouth of God and what is purported to be truth but is a lie. That’s why John will later urge us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). How do we test the spirits? How do know truth? By holding fast to the revealed word of God, which is truth (John 17:14-19).
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either (1 John 2:23, NKJV).
What comes to mind when you think of antichrist? Perhaps a mighty demonic being or a rival to the throne of Jesus, such as described by Paul to the Thessalonians: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:9–10).
John, however, has spoken to us of many antichrists. Yet whether singular or plural, they are all cut from the same cloth and present us with the same challenge in our walk with Christ and work for Him in this world. That challenge has to do with love of the truth and acting upon it. At stake are matters of life and death.
John addresses believers as truth-holders. “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21).