Verse 20b: From the Holy One
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
The Church has received the anointing of the Holy Spirit from the Holy One so that all of us may know and live in the truth as those who bear the fruit of genuine godliness. “Knowledge” in the Christian faith is not merely intellectual, it is effectual:
1st John 2:29 (CSB) If you know that he is righteous, you know this as well: Everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
Knowledge that produces no life is “dead”, just like faith that produces no fruit is “dead”.
“From the Holy One”: the Holy One from whom we receive our anointing is clearly identified in Scripture:
John 6:69 (CSB) We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.
Jesus Christ is the Holy One of God. He is the one from whom we receive the Holy Spirit:
John 1:33 (CSB) I didn’t know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The one you see the Spirit descending and resting on—he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
John 3:34 (CSB) For the one whom God sent speaks God’s words, since he gives the Spirit without measure.
The Holy Spirit is from the Lord, and he comes from the Lord to glorify him:
John 16:14 (CSB) He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
This is perhaps the clearest condemnation against many of the so-called “Spirit-led” movements in today’s Charismatic world, because they not only fail to glorify Christ, but bring him into open shame and make a mockery of his name by performing all kinds of shenanigans in his name.
Whomever has received the Spirit of God will live to glorify him in all that they do:
Colossians 3:17 (CSB) And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1st Peter 4:11 (CSB) If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
The apostle John is not speaking something “new” and “fresh” (2:7), he is speaking to them what has been true in them because of the anointing that they have received from the Holy One (2:8).
Therefore, the New Testament did not originate by the design of apostles who took it upon themselves to speak new mysteries, but came to us as the active, decisive, and clear testimony of the anointing that we have received from Christ:
2nd Peter 3:1-2 (CSB) Dear friends, this is now the second letter I have written to you; in both letters, I want to stir up your sincere understanding by way of reminder, 2 so that you recall the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through your apostles.