7508 - Spirit of Antichrists

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Audio transcript

God’s Word is so valuable. It’s compared to gold and silver. So, let’s examine the riches of a section of the Word together today.

We’ve now worked our way through the first three chapters of the First Letter of John. John was concerned for the young Church, which was about sixty years old and was beset with false teachers.

Let’s get a picture of the false prophets, who may sometimes be called false teachers or antichrists.

First, let’s look at 1 John 4, verse 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.”

Notice that John relates false teaching to the influence of false spirits or evil spirits. This alerts us to the truth that evil spirits from Satan’s domain may influence, come upon or indwell certain men to use them to oppose the Kingdom of God in all its broad extension.

John tells us here that any spirit which does not acknowledge Jesus, is truthfully the spirit of antichrist.

In this verse the word antichrist is singular. It’s used that way four times in the Bible. In 1 John 2:18 we find this word in both the singular and the plural. Let me share that verse because it gives some insight. It says: ”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.”

Overall it appears that antichrist in the singular, as a being, is the evil one who will appear in the last age with great power and authority to persecute and oppress the saints of God.

However, in the plural use, it is the spirit of influence, which applies to anyone or anything, which sets itself in opposition to Christ himself. Antichrists...”anti” meaning opposite or being against, coupled with Christ - the Son of God, God incarnate, Son of Man and His other titles. The plural applies to the many people or beings who evidence this hostile spirit of opposition to Christ Jesus.
The teaching seems to be that anyone or anything who evidences this hostile, belligerent opposition to Christ is indeed manifesting the same spirit, as the Antichrist of the last age will show forth.
What are the characteristic actions of antichrists?

Looking at history we note several areas in which they seek to influence thought or belief toward Christ.

In general, each and every person in this category is opposed to the authority of Christ as the head of the Church. This hostility also extends to the arena of Christ being the creator and as such he holds the authority and dominion over all creation.

Specifically, the spirit of antichrists attacks the validity of the humanity of Jesus Christ. They deny that Jesus was fathered by God. And then they assault the divinity of Jesus. They propose other methods of atoning for sin and finding acceptance with God. Works most often is the basis. Romans 9 and 10 discuss this error.

Underneath virtually every attack upon Jesus Christ is the refusal to accept a higher authority. Many of these antichrists claim to have personal authority to dispense with the teaching and commands of Jesus Christ. Or they reserve for themselves the power to add to, alter or even take away from Scripture.