Does anyone know what this passage is in reference to. Thanks
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.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out ,that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth , but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
…the Apostles were working from the perspective of Christ’s imminent return (St. Matthew 16:28), which would follow the the persecution of the Church, the emergence of the anti-Christ and Judgment Day (St. Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2).
…the warning seems to make a little more sense in this version:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]18 Little children, it is** the last hour**
; and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is** the last hour**. (DRA)
St. John is speaking of the eschatological time… from what the Church was experiencing, it seemed evident that that Hour (what Jesus warned about and the Parousia) had in deed arrived.
There are various passages in Scriptures that demonstrate that the Church was being assailed by those who sought power and glory… they were wolves disguised as sheep who turned from the Fold because they were not Christ’s disciples but, as the Church has experienced them throughout the centuries, men who let their ego pervert the Gospel and not only that but then they purposely mislead the Believers with their contentions and heresies…
Right from Scriptures we can witness the battle that the anti-Christ wages against Christ and His Followers (Apocalypse 12 and the various chastening found in Scriptures).
Interestingly enough, some Protestant groups attempt to use this passage as text proof against the Church’s Authority–claiming that somehow she moved away from Christ, almost at the very time of her Inception; they purposely refuse to accept that this passage speaks about those who leave the Church and attempt to corrupt the Word of Christ.
…there are still other groups that attempt to use this as proof of osas–claiming that the true Believer can never lose his/her Salvation–that those who do do so because they did not really belong to Christ in the first place; yet, Scriptures are clear about what transpired… they not only sinned or rejected sound Doctrine but they actively pursued to hinder the Gospel Taught by the Apostles.
…if you look into the history of Protestantism you find that the reasons for its genesis and its proliferation was not so much the correction of Church errors but of disobedience, self-governance, and political/territorial power… the mayor players Henry VIII and Luther made their stance against the Church for similar reasons (self-governance) and their various followers/supporters/comrades sought that same goal, along with other material gains.
…the spirit of Protestantism is its own witness as Protestants continue to “reform” the Body of Christ into thousands of splinters (schisms); though I would not characterize their goals as that of the original movers and shakers because they are caught in the web of dissention created by their various denominational founders…
…in essence, in their quest to return to the One Body, they defend the Faith from the Truth.
Sadly, since there’s only One Body their efforts lead them further and further away from the what they so fondly seek, as their are compelled to reinvent the Church Founded by Christ.