The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
I John 2:18
+ Mistaken Identity +
Today, there are many prophesy teachers who are obsessed with identifying antichrist. Most believe that there will be a world leader to arise in our near future to rule the globe in whom they call antichrist. I was introduced to this teaching in the 1970’s. But, John’s description of antichrist is quite different from what we hear today. May we consider what God has plainly said in Holy Scripture and stay clear of the speculations and guess work of men. Thus saith the Lord must be our authority and guide to Biblical truth, Amen.
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” I John 2:22-23
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” I John 4:3
This article we will consider three things: The Delusion, The Definition, and the Description of antichrist in the Holy Scriptures.
The Delusion of Antichrist
This obsession and speculation concerning antichrist is endless. Many books have been written trying to identify antichrist and have come up with an endless list of possible names from Nero to ISIS. The debate over his nationality is exhausting also, in trying to determine whether he is Jewish, Gentile, Syrian, Italian, Muslim, etc. The theory with most is that antichrist is some satanic political leader who shall arise at the end time and rule the world. They say he will persecute the Jews and Gentiles. According to Daniel 9:27 they believe he will make a covenant with Israel and then break it and in the final seven years before the second coming of Christ will be destroyed. This is an insane assumption and is contrary to Biblical teaching. The covenant of Daniel 9:27 is not antichrist’s covenant but the New Covenant confirmed by Messiah the Prince, the Lord Jesus Christ. Many have a diluted view of who antichrist is.
The Definition of Antichrist
The word antichrist is found only in four verses in the Bible. The apostle John is the only writer that uses the term. It is clear that antichrist is anyone who does not believe in basic Christian doctrine. The doctrine of antichrist was a theological issue related to apostasy in John’s day. The antichrists that John spoke of in the first century were religious figures, not political. They are Christian apostates. The word antichrist is used in the New Testament in reference to those who oppose Christ, not necessarily a rival claim or substitute. The Lord Jesus foretold the coming of antichrist in Mt. 24:24, when he spoke of false Christ’s and false prophets, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” These are enemies of Christ which are spoken of by all the New Testament writers.
The real issue at hand when discussing the subject of antichrist can be summed up in the word incarnation, which speaks of the divinity and humanity of Christ. This theological term shows the wonderful and mysterious process through which the eternal Son of God became a man in order to redeem mankind (God became flesh). The person and work of Christ is the foundation of Christianity. This is called the doctrine of Christ in Heb. 6:1 and II John 9. As one writer said, “The Son of God became the Son of man that he might make the sons of men the sons of God.” The mystery of Godliness in I Timothy 3:16, speaks of God becoming flesh, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” This doctrine must be received in order to become a child of God, if rejected, one becomes antichrist. Again, the real issue in relation to the word antichrist is apostasy.
The Description of Antichrist
Here, we will consider a brief description of each time the word antichrist, is used, which will show the particular characteristics. In these verses, please notice the words: many antichrists, they went out from us, but were not of us, liar, deny the Father and Son, confess not that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, deceiver, etc.
1. I John 2:18 “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
In this opening verse we see antichrist and not the antichrist. The King James Bible does not include the definite article (the) in this text or in any other. This is not true of the New International Version. When you put the in front of a word it becomes more specific and not general. The apostle John is speaking of many antichrists in the text, for this is not a singular person or a particular individual. John clearly debunks the theory of antichrist being one man only, for antichrist is applied to many persons existing in the first century. Also, in vs. 19, these were Christian apostates who abode not in the church and the doctrine of Christ but went out, “They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us: they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
2. I John 2:22, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”
In this verse, antichrists are identified as anyone who is a liar (one who is false) and who denies that Jesus is the Christ. In other words, holding an incorrect view of the Father and Son. According to vs. 23, to deny the Son is to deny the Father and to receive the Son is to receive the Father also. You cannot have one without the other.
3. I John 4:3, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
This verse speaks of antichrists as anyone who denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh that, is denying that He is the God-man. In vs. 6, these antichrists would not hear God nor the apostles.
4. II John 7, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
The fourth mention, and last, refers to many deceivers who are antichrist who abide not in the doctrine of Christ (these are apostates). There are many (not a few or just one) and they are deceivers (false prophets as in I John 4:1-3).
1. There are many antichrists (not one individual), I John 2:18.
2. They were present in John’s day (the first century), I John 2:18.
3. They were Christian apostates (left the church), I John 2:19.
4. They deny that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), I John 2:22.
5. They deny the incarnation (that he came in the flesh), I John 4:3-4.
6. They deny that Jesus is the Son of God, I John 2:23.
7. They are false prophets, I John 4:1-3.
8. They are not political figures (but religious apostates), I John 2:19.
9. They are liars, I John 2:22.
10. They are deceivers, II John 7.
There is no such thing as one man who is called “the” antichrist that makes a covenant with Israel and rules the political world for seven years in our near future. This is not biblical truth, but the imaginations of the doctrines of men.
In other words, anyone who denies what the Bible says about the Lord Jesus Christ is antichrist. If He is rejected as Lord and Savior, you are antichrist. Repent and receive Jesus Christ as Messiah today, Amen.
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 7
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523