Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Will the real antichrist please stand up.

There are volumes of books written TV shows like the history channel, on the Antichrist today. People have tried to name the Antichrist from among the men of their day. Just about every Pope has been given the title of Antichrist. Adolf Hitler, Henry Kissinger, Bill Gates, just to name a some.

Most of these men are dead and presumably off the hook, But what does the Bible about the Antichrist? The word "antichrist" is only used four times in the scriptures, all by the apostle John. Antichrist is a term used exclusively in two ...books of the New Testament: 1 John and 2 John. Contrary to popular assumption the word “antichrist” does not appear in the book of the Daniel or Revelation. John uses this term specifically in his first two epistles, with a specific definition. Let us consider these verses.

The Apostle John, writing to those living in his current time and his present generation said, "Little children, it is the last time: and as you 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) John specifically says that the antichrist has come (as had been prophesied) John’s audience was already aware of the antichrist probably from Jesus. John was acquainted with the Greek for “false Christ’[Gr. pseudochristos], but he chose not to use it. He used “antichrist”

John uses their presence as proof that it was then already the last time. This verse clearly indicates a period of time called “the last time" which certainly was present back then at the time of John’s writing. Obviously, it was the last times of the Old Covenant age that the writer of Hebrews said was vanishing away. “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews. 8:13) John and the writer of Hebrews were both living at the (end of the Old Covenant age) and in order to have the start of the New Covenant there must be last days or a vanish away of the Old Covenant that John and all the disciples were writing under.

The new covenant has NO last days or end as clearly seen in scripture. Ezekiel 37:26-28 "Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. "My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore." Hebrews 13:20 says Christ's kingdom will never be destroyed. In Isaiah 9:6-7 it predicted the establishment of the rule of Christ on the throne of David and "of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end." Christ's throne is endless. See Daniel 4:3, 34, 7:14, 27.

These antichrists were contemporaries of John and former church members who left the faith. John’s antichrist was of Christian origin. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it may be shown that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19) History records that the Jewish apostasy from the faith was already underway in the early 60s. Some followers of Christ who remained zealous for the law and Temple system were departing from the new faith and falling back into the old ways. The antichrists’ departure from the church was evidence that they did not truly belong to the church.

The antichrist continued trying to deceive believers. 1 John 2:22- 26 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. There antichrist were trying to deceive these first century Christians.

The antichrist in NOT a single individual but many. With the use of the original Greek words, (antichristos) we can clearly see that they were many in the first century. (It is not a single individual). In the original languages the letter (a) is not capitalized in antichristos. It was capitalized later by the translators. In other words, John’s antichrist are collective. We cannot ignore John’s use of these words, antichrist with a small (a) because it supply us with important information to the interpretation of these two epistles.

John never told his first reader one time that the antichrist was a single person that flowed many antichrist. That is a assumptions that has been read into scripture. John specifically told his readers, as you have heard that antichrist shall come (as had been prophesied) even now are there many antichrists. There is a big difference in the wording you have heard (the antichrist) shall come. Then you have heard (that antichrist shall come). One is a single person and the other is a movement. John never mentions a person but a movement of antichrist. (The Antichrist) is not a person, but any person that fits the description of a movement John (gaves) in his Epistle. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 7.

John uses the term “antichrists” above to describe a movement Jews who deny that Jesus was the Christ and that He had come in the flesh The word antichrist (Greek. antichristos) mean “against Christ” The antichrist was a movement and already present when John was writing and there were "many antichrists."

The antichrist heresy was a system of belief opposed to orthodox Christianity. The term antichrist as used by John in his epistles is used to describe a movement of those who had left the Church and did not believe Christ had come in the flesh (the Messiah had come) and were spreading false teachings within the Church. This leaves us with one conclusion. It is unbiblical to use the term ‘antichrist’ for a present-day or future political ruler. The proper eschatology is pre-A. D. 70