John is clear in his epistle that false teaching – teaching claiming to reflect the divine light but which is in reality contrary to the witness of Christ’s authentic Apostles – is anti-Christian. John describes the false teachers troubling the Christian communities he was writing to as ‘antichrists’:
Children (addressing true believers in the real apostolic Jesus Christ), it is the last hour (before the return of Christ and the day of judgment), and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us (churches in fellowship with Christ’s Apostles), but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us (1 John 2v18-19).
The antichrists within the visible church are recognisable by their departure from the Apostles’ teaching. They are ‘liars’ (1 John 2v22) who deny the apostolic truth of God’s Son who became truly incarnate in Jesus.
That is why false teachers who inveigle their way onto decision-making bodies in the visible church must be exposed and opposed. The perfect love that casts out fear demands it.