7438 - Antichrists - 1 John 2:18-19 & 22

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Audio transcript

Welcome. Today let’s dig into a portion of God’s Word together.

In our study through the book of 1 John, we have come to chapter 2, verses 18-19. Listen as I read them as well as verse 22.

“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. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (22) “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist --he denies the Father and the Son.”

Let’s discuss this expression ‘antichrist’ today. Literally it means one who is against Christ, or an opponent of Christ.

Many scholars see the first use – in the singular – as reference to that one who in prophesy is declared to appear in the great tribulation and boldly declares that he is the foretold one, in whom God’s promises and men’s expectations are fulfilled. He is called by some a ‘false-christ.’ Thus, this false one will fulfill the passage in 1 Thessalonians (2:4-9) and Daniel, of a person who will display all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders. This false christ will lead many astray who are looking for the return of Christ. This false christ will be a tool of Satan and it will be Satan’s power as a fallen angel who allows such miracles to be performed.

Notice in this sense the Antichrist will not oppose the doctrines of the Bible, nor does he deny that there is to be a Savior-Christ, rather he sanctions all these truths, but then seeks to erroneously have the masses believe that he is the fulfillment of Scripture – that he himself is God.

But most scholars see the term ‘antichrist’ as a spirit of opposition to Jesus Christ. In this sense they are not in any way claiming to be Christ; but rather, they are actively opposing Christ. They are seeking to change the very teachings in Scripture regarding the Messiah –– the Christ. They seek to undermine the very body of Christ, the Church. Their intent is to cause confusion, to lead astray, even to destroy the Church –– the body of Christ.
In this manifestation the term is properly in the plural – antichrists. There have been many such anti-christs, people who oppose Christ, who are openly and plainly enemies who oppose His deity and His doctrine here on earth.

Down in verse 22 of chapter 2, John says that any person who denies that Jesus is the Christ is the antichrist and that such a person not only denies the Son but also denies the Father.

Consider that the 27 books of the New Testament were written down by nine different authors, seven of whom give warnings that there will be false teachers who appear in the Church. The only two who omit this warning are Mark and James. Furthermore, Jesus also warned of false christs and false prophets, who would seek to deceive even the elect – if that were possible.

Clearly the New Testament teaches that there would appear winsome, charming, intelligent people who seek to undermine the welfare of the Church. They often are presented as people who have secured a following within the Church, and who have a devious purpose of leading people to embrace their false teachings. The intent of some is to draw these members of the Church to follow them, even to reap a monetary reward from those who are led astray.

Be aware that every description of those antichrists and those who follow them, show they are not true believers in Jesus Christ. They are only pretenders. They never had faith in Jesus. Their going out from the body is an evidence of this truth. They are truly opponents of Christ who deny true doctrine. Some deny that He is divine God. Others that He is the Creator. Many dispute that He was truly man while here on earth. Their errors are extensive, but are all products of the human intellect, and without foundational truth.