1 JOHN 2: 20, 27 EXPLAINED
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: Please explain 1 John 2: 20, 27.
Answer: 1 John 2: 20 reads, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” This verse and v. 27 are addressed to the Little Flock. The word “unction” is the translation of the Greek word chrisma, and refers to the anointing of the holy spirit which the Little Flock received. Chrisma carries the thought of fragrance or perfume, which is fitting, since the anointing of the holy spirit developed love in its possessors, a sweet perfume indeed. God has also used oil as a type of the holy spirit, for instance, the kings and priests of Israel were anointed with oil. Just as oil has a smooth, lubricating effect, so the holy spirit brings a smoothness and lack of friction to the characters of its possessors. The “Holy One” refers to the Heavenly Father, for the Little Flock members received the holy spirit from the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, the expression “and ye know all things” is a poor translation. The oldest manuscripts render it “you all know it.” In other words, every one who had received the anointing knew it. The anointing was an evidence to them that they were members of the Body of Christ.
Verse 27 reads, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” Let us consider the expression “and ye need not that any man teach you.” Many have been stumbled by this expression, and have turned aside from the instruction which the Lord designs should be given through teachers whom He would raise up. This expression carries the same meaning as was explained for v. 20, that those who had received the anointing had no need that any one teach them that fact, for they had the evidence of it in their own hearts and experiences. This passage has no reference whatever to general instruction in righteousness and in the Word of God and in the plan of salvation; and it does not mean that teachers are not to be recognized, and that none are needed. John does not contradict other Scriptures which show that God has appointed teachers in the Church.