But the anointing which ye have received of him
The Spirit, and the grace of the Spirit, which they had received out of the fulness of grace which is in Christ; and is compared to oil or ointment; (See Gill on 1 John 2:20); for Christ, the anointed, is the fountain of it all, and it is had from him in a way of giving and receiving. So the second "Sephira", or number in the Jews' Cabalistic tree, which is wisdom, has for one of its surnames, the fountain of the oil of unction F9 this
abideth in you;
the Syriac and Arabic versions render it, "if it abideth", which spoils the text, for the words are not conditional, but affirmative: grace is an internal thing, it is oil in the vessel of the heart, and where it once is, it abides; as does every grace of the Spirit, as faith, hope, love, and every other: grace can never be taken away; God will not take it away, where he has once bestowed it, and men and devils cannot; it can never be lost as to the principle and being of it; it is an incorruptible seed, and a living principle, which can never be destroyed, notwithstanding all the corruptions in a man's hart, the pollutions of the world, and the temptations of Satan:
and ye need not that any man teach you;
not that they were perfect in knowledge, for no man is absolutely, only comparatively so, in this life; or that they needed not, and were above and exempt from the instructions of Christ's faithful servants; for John himself taught them, and to teach and instruct them was the end of his writing this epistle to them; but the sense is either that they needed not the teachings of these men before mentioned, the antichrists, liars, and seducers, being better taught, and having an unction by which they knew all things; or they needed not to be taught as if they were babes in Christ, as unskilful in the word of righteousness, but so as to increase in spiritual knowledge, and go on to perfection, and be established in the present truths, at least so as to be put in remembrance of them; or rather they needed not, nor were they to regard any mere human revelation and doctrine, for the whole Gospel was come by Jesus Christ, and no other is to be expected or received by men, nor any doctrine but what is according to the revelation of Christ; wherefore saints under the Gospel dispensation are taught of God by his Spirit, according to the word of truth, and by the ministry of it, and have no need of learning every man from his neighbour, or from his brother, any separate revelation; so that this passage does not militate against the external ministry of the Gospel, or human teachings according to that perfect rule and declaration of the whole mind and will of God by Christ under the Gospel dispensation:
but as the same anointing.
The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions read, "his anointing"; that is, God's or Christ's; and so the Syriac version renders it, "that unction which is of God"; meaning the same as before: the Ethiopic version renders it, his Spirit, which, though not a true version, is no improper or impertinent sense of the phrase: and this
teacheth you of all things;
truths and doctrines necessary to salvation, as in ( 1 John 2:20 ) ;
and is truth, and is no lie;
or true and not a liar; which is a just character of the spirit of truth, in opposition to the spirit of error; and holds good of the grace of the Spirit, which is truth in the inward parts, and is genuine and sincere:
and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him;
in Christ, from whom they received this anointing, (See Gill on 1 John 2:24); or in the anointing itself, in the grace of the Spirit, in which they stood. Some versions read in the imperative, abide in him, or it, as in ( 1 John 2:28 ) .