A flood of spiritism converted TARES in John’s congregation (Mat. 13:24-30) into antichrists (1 John 2:19; 4:1-3; Mat. 7:22-23. 2Thess. 2:2, 7-12), demons had made their dwelling among them (Mat. 13:31-32; Rev. 18:2) to telepathically manipulate them (1 Cor. 12:1-2; Lk. 8:12. 2Cor. 4:3-4. 1Thess. 3:5; 1 Jn. 4:1 cp. Jas. 1:13. cf. 1Ki. 22:23; 2Thess. 2:11-12). This parallels the end time so exactly John declares “it is the last time”—“we know its the last time when spiritist energy the mystery of lawlessness indwells causing a rebellion against the truth of God (2 Thess. 2:10-12. 1Tim. 4:1; Jude 1:12).
Although the wording “we know it is the last hour” makes it appear John is prophesying, in context this is an inference, “the many antichrists is how we know its the last hour.” John’s exposition is meant to show “this is how it will be in the end time” without identifying his time as the end time (Mat. 24:36; Mk. 13:32). John is discussing “this time” in abstract, removing it from history to teach when many antichrists appear in history, it is the “last time”. John’s educational purpose is confirmed by his focus—not on the Antichrist and what he will do in the end time, but on the events that identify the time preceding his arrival: the spirit of antichrist and the many antichrist false prophets it inspires to leave the truth (1 Jn. 4:6; Mat. 7:21. 2Thess. 2:10-12) and deny Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Father (1 John 2:19, 22-24; 4:1-6). When you see all these things, then you know it is the last time.
The Antichrist first appears in the apostate church as a miracle working “false Christ” “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3). But at mid-week he morphs into the “Son of Destruction” the Desolator (Dan. 9:27) denying the Father and the Son, indeed he denies the very concept of God (Dan. 11:36-37) casting truth to the ground (Dan. 8:12) promoting the “ancient alien theory” where all called God or worshipped as such, were the products of extraterrestrial visitation. He exalts himself above them all, claiming the Dragon “god of forces” has so empowered him none can war against him (2 Thess. 2:4; Dan. 11:37-39; Rev. 13:4). It was given to him to speak such blasphemies against the God of Gods, His habitation and His angels for forty and two months (Rev. 13:5-6).