Blowing Up Your Antichrist
Most Christians, when thinking about the Antichrist, have visions of a future filled with trials: Christians being persecuted by a man filled with Satan, a one world government, the mark of the beast and many other terrifying things.
What does Scripture really say about Antichrist? How Biblical is the belief that this Antichrist will be a person who will come and afflict God’s church? To answer these questions, we need to look at the passages where Antichrist is mentioned in Scripture. In fact, the word Antichrist is only mentioned in 4 places in the Bible. We will look at all four passages and we will see that Antichrist is not the scary person we have been taught to believe in. It is alarming to think that many of us have more faith to believe that Antichrist has the power take over the world, than to believe that Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth and He has given us this authority when He commissioned us to disciple nations!
Below are the four Antichrist texts mentioned in Scripture. The word Antichrist is not mentioned in the book of Revelation, or in any place in Scripture besides these passages. So to understand what Antichrist is, we need to look at the 4 places that mention Antichrist in Scripture.
To properly understand a subject, one needs to understand the context of the statements or situations of the subject to properly interpret what is being said. The backdrop of the book of 1 John & 2 John is the first century, when the church was embracing teachings about the Person of Jesus that were not correct and leading many to believe errors about the Person of Jesus. The error that John corrects in these Epistles is the error of Gnosticism. Without going into too much detail and boring us all, Gnosticism basically says the spirit, or spiritual things are good and pure, and the flesh is corrupt. It is easy to see that this line of thinking or teaching denies the truth that Jesus Christ is God incarnate and that He is fully God and fully Man. A Godman! About a third of the Christian churches at this time were embracing these types of teachings.
Now let’s look at the four passages in their intended context.
1 John 2:18 – “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.”
The first thing we can see in this verse is that antichrists were already present at the time John wrote this. We can conclude that there are many and some have already come, and others are coming. Antichrist is not defined, but we get a sense that antichrist will be present in the world throughout the ages.
The last hour refers to God’s timeline in that there is no more work to do in regards to the salvation that He worked thru the cross. Right now Jesus is enthroned and His church is expanding His rule in the world. We have been trained to think that the last hour is a very dark period of the history of mankind, when it is really poetic language describing epics and times. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross ended the necessity to animal sacrifice in regard to sin. That time or “hour” ended and the last hour in God’s redemption plan and a new approach to God has come thru the cross.
1 John 2:22 – “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist-denying the Father and the Son.”
In this verse we see Antichrist defined as a person who denied that Jesus is Messiah. Antichrist is a mindset according to this verse. In fact having this mindset denies the Father because it rejects the salvation He gave the world in His Son Jesus. The person who denies that Jesus Christ is Messiah is defined a liar by this verse.
This is what the Gnostics were actually teaching. It is very easy to see that John is defending the true identity of Jesus the Christ. The One who he had touched, spoke to, and was taught by. John at this time had an understanding of Jesus by real life experience. The Gnostic cult denied all that John knew about Jesus to be true.
1 John 4:3 – “…but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”
In this verse we see that Antichrist can be a spirit as well. This is consistent with what Christians believe about spiritual conflict. Prophetic utterances and revelations are discerned by the content of their messages and determined to be true by the way Jesus is exalted. Historically at this time the New Testament was not yet organized in an easy to read book like we have today. The gift of prophecy had the main place in presenting what God was communicating to the local church. Today we are blessed. We have the Scriptures organized in a way we can reference them easily, and we have the gift of prophecy present too!
2 John 1:7 – “I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
Again we see Antichrist is a person who does not teach truth about the Person of Jesus. We see John saying there are many individuals who are Antichrist and Antichrists were present in the times that the readers of this Epistle were alive.
A historical perspective and a contextual approach to Scripture reading keeps us from being swayed into believing such negative prospects for the future of the Church.
Next blog will define the “Man of Lawlessness” – Blowing up your Antichrist to be continued!