Mike, a hard topic to write upon. Thanks for spelling this out.
BTW. J A Wylie’s work tells in great length what has happened from the early church until his own day. Online copies can be from for free. One example is: THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARY
HISTORY THE HISTORY OF PROTESTANTISM VOL. 1 by Rev. J. A. Wylie
Three volumes total, Tyndale is only one of many.
As to the 1 John passage, it tells about the extent in that early church, and like you said this applies through the ages, even today. I love the way old John Gill comments upon it. V2:19….. “but the sense is, that there were some persons in the Apostle John’s time, who had made a profession of religion, were members of the church, and some of them perhaps preachers, and yet they departed from the faith, and dropped their profession of it, and withdrew themselves from the church, or churches to which they belonged, and set up separate assemblies of their own: “
…”but they were not truly regenerated by the grace of God, and so apparently were not of the number, of God’s elect: notwithstanding their profession and communion with the church, they were of the world, and not of God; they were not true believers; they had not that anointing which abides, and from which persons are truly denominated Christians, or anointed ones:”
…”The defection and apostasy of these persons were permitted by God, that it might appear they had never received the grace of God in truth; and their going out was in such a manner, that it was a certain argument that they were not of the elect; since they became antichrists, denied the deity or sonship of Christ, or that he was come in the flesh, or that he was the Christ, and therefore are said to be of the world, and not of God, 1Jn 2:22, so that this passage furnishes out no argument against the saints’ perseverance, which is confirmed in 1Jn 2:20. “
Just as true today as it was almost 300 years ago.
by Mike Ratliff
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it…
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