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.
1 John 2:18 | NIV | Other Versions | Context
The author of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd books of John are, well, John. The same John as the one who wrote the gospel of John, but more importantly the same John as the one who wrote the book of Revelations. He wrote at length about the Antichrist – the one who would be coming at the end of the world, but in this verse, our focus is the many antichrists that already exist in John’s time, and who exists today in our time. Before we rush off with theories about the antichrist, let me first emphasize that we’re not discussing that Antichrist of the book of Revelations. Revelations is a great book that, if studied properly, reveals a lot about the world of today and the world of tomorrow. Yet, it is not a book that I wish to start an analysis on anytime soon. Hopefully, one day, but not now.
Defining an antichrist – The word is simple enough – antichrist antichrist, a person who is ‘anti’ to christ, a person who is against christ. John wrote a lot about the antichrist, a few verses down, he explains – 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 [1 John 2:22]. It is interesting to know that John equates a person who lies as an antichrist – harsh, but it pretty much underlines one of the main characteristics of an antichrist – the ability and tendency to lie. Well that doesn’t mean that we can or should label every liar as an antichrist – certainly not, but an antichrist lies about God, the spiritual realm, about Christ. An antichrist, much like the false prophets during the days of the apostles – denies God, rejects the truths, argues against it, lies about it, and attempts to influence others away from it. We see more of this in 2 John 1:7 – I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christas coming in the flesh,have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Some of them will merely tempt and and try to draw us away from Christ. Others will even claim to take the place of the Messiah – For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect [Mark 13:22]. Have wisdom. Have discernment. Do not be swayed or taken in by the lies of these antichrists.
John elaborates on another characteristic of an antichrist later on in the book – 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. [1 John 4:3] – Likewise, this is not to say that everyone who does not acknowledge Jesus is an antichrist – I don’t think its fair to draw such a hasty conclusion from John’s words. I think all he’s trying to say that antichrists have such a characteristic – they do not acknowledge Christ, the gospel of Christ, the doctrine of salvation, his grace, his love, the good faith. Do not assume that once you’ve been a Christian, you will be able to easily stay in this faith forever. No, we as humans are entirely capable of turning our backs against God and becoming his enemy. The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons [1 Tim 4:1]. Be very careful. Test every spirit [1 John 4:1]. A lot is at stake.
Ultimately, the antichrist is one who denies the Father and the Son. It basically is what it is very literally – anti (against) – Christ. Are you an antichrist? Probably not – hopefully not. Watch ourselves that we wouldn’t call ourselves Christians and yet exhibit the characteristics of the antichrist. Watch our own hearts. And guard ourselves against the antichrists of this era – lots of them, in various types. Just like the false prophets of the days of John, and certainly not comparable or half as formidable as the Antichrist of the end times, the antichrist of the book of Revelations, but let us stand strong against the attacks of today’s antichrist.
Dear Z, Thought you might pick up on this: there is no antichrist of REVELATION. Please do find him if you think I’m wrong. Antichrist, as you pointed out, is just a general term, not a name for a man. There is the beast of REVELATION, but using Scripture to interpret Scripture, it is clear the beast is not a man either, but a demonic principality behind the NWO. Please see my post ‘The Beast’ (5/11/13).
I appreciate your clarification ^^ This verse really isn’t about revelations or the beast. It’s just about the deceivers of today. In my attempt to separate the term ‘antichrist’ from the heavy end-times associations that I believe it carries, I may have been too hasty in my phrasing of it, but I wasn’t about to write a lengthy explanation of that because my focus in this study isn’t about that at all.
I’m sure that, since you were able to correctly point out that I was referring to the beast, you are also aware of those annoying connotations that the term antichrist carries along with it. Ultimately, I was probably unsuccessful since instead of drawing attention away from it, I caused you to focus on that topic, but if anything, I am desperate, in this study, for this verse, to draw attention away from the beast, from the end times, from revelations. These antichrists exist today. Now. Today. The urgency/currency of this was what I really wanted to highlight.
But I’m no expert and I’m severely lacking, and I often stumble over using the correct terminology. Hence, if anybody gets stumbled because of that, I would refer them to your post, too.
Thank you, but above all, thank God for you ^^
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