I John 2: Teachers versus False Teaching


But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (2:27, NKJV)


This verse, taken out of context, has been foolishly used by some Christians to reject the need for teachers in the Church and even to promote false teaching. But as Ephesians 4 tells us, Christ “gave some to be…teachers, for the equipping of the saints…”


Continuing from the last post [Who are “They”?], we now have the primary context in mind, along with some sense of the spirit of those times. The immediate context of this verse (2:27) begins at verse 18:  “…many anti-Christs have come…” Among them are  “they” who “went out from us” (v. 19).


In contrast to these apostates (with their ‘new’ knowledge), “you have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things” (v. 20).


In the Gospel of John (16:13), Jesus told his disciples that when “the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth…”


In this epistle, John reminds his hearers that they already “know the truth” (2:21), and that they are to allow that truth to remain in them which they “have heard from the beginning” (v. 24; cf. 1:1,2). [That teaching of the Apostles.]


Verse 26 tells us “these things I have written concerning those who try to deceive you”  [with new ‘knowledge’], which brings us, now, to this post’s opening verse about needing no one to teach them (v. 27).


In contrast to these false teachers who present new teaching/knowledge which puts forth a lie about Christ, John’s fellow Christians “know” what “is true” from the “beginning.” They have “no need” for these new teachers.


In his Explanatory Notes, Wesley makes the vital point: “Ye need not that any should teach you, save as that anointing teacheth you – Which is always the same, always consistent with itself. But this does not exclude our need of being taught by them who partake of the same anointing.” [underline, mine]


And Calvin says, point blank: “Absurdly, then, do fanatical men lay hold on this passage, in order to exclude from the Church the use of the outward ministry.” [of teaching]


One comment on “I John 2: Teachers versus False Teaching

  1. Freedomborn says:

    Sorry Michael my comment seems to have gone into cyber space, so I thought I better post again. We do indeed have to be careful of False teachers as you said, that is why we need God’s wisdom, without it we cannot understand the Scriptures, their just words that we can read into so they agree with our own fleshy feelings or understanding or what we have been taught by others that is not fully confirmed fully in Scripture.

    On our Blog we have Posted The Gaining of Wisdom which overcomes this deception, we need to have the Big Picture otherwise we will think there are contradiction’s in Scripture and there never is.

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    1Corinthians2 we see who our Teacher really is, Jesus tells us more then once that He is our Teacher by the empowering of The Holy Spirit in our lives, but yes as you said Michael, we can indeed lean from others but only if they are sharing His Truth not their own understanding. [And this does not negate or contradict the Scripture of Ephesians 4, that Christ “gave some (to the Church) to be…teachers…” MS]

    This is why we not only have to read in context but we need to see the Big Picture, sadly even some well known Theologians past and present didn’t, they only had partial understanding.

    Matthew23:8-10 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in Heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. NKJV

    The gift of Teaching is not about man’s fleshy worldly understanding, it is as Paul shows us in 1Corinthians2 that we share what The Lord leads us to share by the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we are not the Teachers and we have God’s Authority not our own and it is shared freely without profit .

    God does tell us that He uses the foolishness of man’s Preaching but it’s His seeds that are planted that bear good fruit, we need the Holy Spirit for the roots to go deep down and God’s wisdom in Christ Jesus and yes a workers worth their wage and we thankfully remember… God’s work done in His way never lacks His supply, we don’t have to beg, He provides all our needs and if needed yes we are to support each other but willingly and in Love.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

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