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Sabbath School Lessons on 1, 2 & 3 John
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 6: Walking in the Light: Rejecting Anti-christs *
Introduction: Last week we learned that the smart people had their
focus on eternal matters and eternal wealth. Why are they smart to
do this? Because this world is going to burn while those with a
heavenly focus will have eternal life enjoying eternal treasures.
That focus divides the "worldly" from those who are believers. This
week John turns his attention to an unusual sounding problem. He
warns us of "anti-christs." What is an "anti-christ" and how do we
avoid one sneaking into our home (or our mind)? Is there more than
one of them? Let's plunge into our Bible study and find out about
these anti-christ characters and how to avoid getting into anti-christ trouble!
- The Last Hour
- Read 1 John 2:18. Who are these "dear children?" (1 John
2:1 started out with the same phrase, "dear children." We
decided before that these are followers of Jesus. Recall
from last week that "children," as opposed to "fathers" or
"young men" (see 1 John 2:12-14), refers to new believers.
These are people who have a lot to learn.)
- "Last hour." What does John mean by this? The last
hour of earth's history?
- Read Deuteronomy 18:20-22. If John means to tell his
readers the end of time is at hand, does that reveal
he is a false prophet and we should immediately stop
reading his letters?
- You have heard "the end of time," "the end of the
age," "last days" and similar phrases. "Last hour"
seems to be the very end of the end, right?
- Read Matthew 24:30-34. What is Jesus saying: that those
who were listening to Him then would see His Second
- If so, was John just repeating the wrong thing that
- Since we cannot toss Jesus out as a false prophet,
should we toss out all of Christianity?
- Read Matthew 24:1-3? What do you think of the quality of
the disciple's private question?
- Is it compound? (Yes. The disciples ask both about
the destruction of the temple and the end of the
world. They wrongly believed they were the same
- Which question is Jesus discussing? (The destruction
of the temple in Jerusalem. This took place in 70
A.D. If Jesus is still talking about that
destruction, the "this generation" statement is
- Jesus seems to merge His Second Coming with the
destruction of the temple. Is this just "helpful
misdirection," "beneficial lying" (so we won't get
discouraged), or is something else going on? Is
Jesus' statement something that helps us understand
John's "last hour?" (Put yourself in the sandals of
the listeners. The temple was the center of the
existing worship. The temple worship system was
symbolic of Jesus' death, life and intercession for
our sins. The destruction of the temple shortly after
Jesus was crucified began a new time for God's
followers - the last days, the end of the age, the
- Is this the reason why the disciples could not
imagine a world without the temple? (Yes. If the
system of worship for the true God disappeared,
then God was no longer in charge. That could not
be the case. The disciples did not yet grasp
that Jesus was the reason the sacrificial system
was set up in the first place.)
- Let's continue on with 1 John 2:18. How are the anti-christs connected with the last hour? (This turmoil in the
changes in thee system of worship creates the opportunity
for false teachers.)
- How many of these anti-christs do we have? (It seems
- What do you think John means by "the anti-christ" and
"many anti-christs?" (It seems that there must be a
single, primary anti-christ. But, there are lesser
anti-christs as well.)
- "Anti-christ" is an odd term. Let's read 1 John 2:19-22 to
figure out what this term means.
- Are anti-christs formerly "good guys" who were
walking on the path to light? (They were associated
with the company of believers. John says their
leaving shows they were never really part of the
group. But, they seemed to be with the group.)
- What is the primary way to identify the anti-christ?
(Someone who lies about the truth. The primary truth
being that Jesus is God. If you deny that Jesus is
Lord, then you deny the Father God as well.)
- Why is that true? Why could we not believe (as
do Jews and Muslims) in a "single God" of the
Old Testament and not have to agree to this
"multi-part" God the Christians promote? (If you
did not understand that Jesus was entire reason
for God's "temple plan" for the elimination of
sin, you obviously would not understand the
truth or be able to tell the truth about God. In
70 A.D. the final hour came when people either
understood God's plan and made the transition
from the symbolic to Jesus, or they were left
behind in ignorance.)
- Read 1 John 2:23. Does this make sense to you? (If
accepting Jesus and His sacrifice is the newly clarified
way to be rid of sin, then it is the only way to approach
a Holy Father God.)
- Read 1 John 2:24-25. What is the connection between
eternal life and Jesus? (Since Jesus' death on our behalf
(we died with Jesus when He died) is the key to remission
of sin, His death is also the key to our eternal life!)
- The Anointing
- We just learned that it is essential to retain "what you
have heard from the beginning" ( 1 John 2:24). What makes
that truth stick? (Re-read 1 John 2:20: the "anointing
from the Holy One.")
- The "Holy One" has to refer to God. What is this
- Read 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. What does this explain is the
anointing? (The Holy Spirit.)
- We understand the idea of putting down a deposit on
something we are going to buy. How is the Holy Spirit
a deposit for Jesus' Second Coming? How is the Holy
Spirit a deposit which keeps us believing in Jesus?
(A deposit is part of the purchase price. It is a
small sample of the rest. When we go to heaven at the
Second Coming we will live in the presence of God. We
can begin to understand right now how it is to live
in the presence of God when we are filled with the
- What is your greatest fear about your belief in God? (That
we believe something that is not true. I regularly read
popular scientific books and the general theme is that
there is no God, we have simply evolved.)
- How does the Holy Spirit provide us with a guarantee
that God exists? (If you know the Holy Spirit is
working in your life, then you have positive
assurance that God exists and that the Bible is
- Read John 16:13. In what way can the Holy Spirit
guide us into knowing the truth about God? (Sometimes
I marvel at how dumb these smart scientists can be.
They write books talking about all the exact rules
that govern the operation of the creation. They
acknowledge that they know most of the rules simply
through measurement - they do not understand the
logic or the reason behind the rules. Yet in this
precise, rule oriented universe, they believe
everything came about by chance! The Holy Spirit
gives us clear, logical minds to see the folly of
such confused thinking.)
- Read 1 John 2:26-27. Does this mean you don't need me? You
don't need the lessons? We don't need the epistles of
John?(I think John is saying that we don't need the false
teachers. As you have probably noticed, the way I write
these lessons is to have you read the Bible, and then ask
you questions about what you have read. My goal is to help
you think about God's word and let the Holy Spirit guide
- Read 1 John 2:28-29. What is our duty? (To continue our
walk on the path of light!)
- Friend, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, if
you accept His sacrifice on your behalf, then you are on
the road to eternal life. If you need help (and you do)
will you pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you? Will you
begin experiencing life now in the presence of God? Why
not ask for that right now?
- Next week: Living as Children of God.
* Copr. 2009, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.