Sunday, June 5, 2011

The antichrist.

Before we begin to sort through the confusion, of today’s Anitchrist let's first establish what is generally thought as the modern day understanding of the Antichrist. The Antichrist of today's speculative theology combines the characteristics of Daniel's "prince who is to come" and other features from the Book of Daniel (9:26; 7:7-8, 19-26; 8:23-25); elements from Matthew and Daniel's "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27); Paul's "man of lawlessness" (2nd Thessalonians 2:3); The "Beast" (Revelation 13:11-18).

The Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews guaranteeing them peace and security in their own land. In the middle of the covenant period, he will break the covenant and turn on the Jews. He will then make war with the Jewish saints and will overcome them (Revelation 13:17; Daniel 7:21). Of course, during this three-and-one-half year period of time two-thirds of the Jews living in Palestine will be killed (Zechariah 13:8-9). I think you get the scenario.

Now lets look at the Biblical antichrist the one John teaches in the Bible. The word "antichrist" is only used four times in the scriptures, all by the apostle John (1st John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2nd John 7). Surprisingly, the word "antichrist" never appears in the book of Daniel, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 or Revelation.

With the use of the original Greek words, antichrist we can clearly see that they were many in the first century. (It was not a single individual, but many). In the original languages the letter (a) in the word antichrist is not capitalized. It was capitalized later by the translators. The antichrist was a movement not a single individual.

John's description of antichrist is altogether a different doctrine of Antichrist." then today’s modem image. Anyone "who denies that Jesus is the Christ" (1st John 2:22). Anyone who "denies the Father and Son" (1st John 2:23). "Every spirit that does not confess Jesus" (1st John 4:3). "Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist" (2nd John 7). There you have it. Antichrist is mentioned only four times in Scripture and only in two Epistles of Saint John. Antichrist is not mentioned at all in the book of Revelation, as some seem to believe.

None of what John writes above relates to the modern doctrine of the Antichrist as previously outlined. The modern days Antichrist is a single individual while John’s antichrist are many ( a movement). John’s first century readers knew the antichrist movement was coming. This movement was already present when John was writing and was made up of "many antichrists." John uses their presence as proof that it was then already the last hour of the old covenant. (1 John 2:18, 19) This is not John’s opinion, this is inspired writ, i.e, God’s opinion.

John's antichrist doctrine is a theological concept related to an apostasy that was fomenting in his day. John’s antichrist were contemporaries of John and former church members who had gone apostasy from the faith, i.e., in a collective sense. 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)

Many people prior to Jerusalem's destruction in A.D. 70 questioned and disputed basic Christian doctrines of Christ.. John’s antichrist was anyone "who denies that Jesus is the Christ" (1st John 2:22) Notice what Peter told the Jews. “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom you delivered up, and DENIED HIM in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go” (Acts 3:13). (PRESENT TENSE) Here in Acts they denied that Jesus was the Christ. Those who deny that Jesus is the Christ are, according to the Bible, are liars and antichrist (1 John 2:22).

John’s antichrist were anyone who "denies the Father and Son" (1st John 2:23). In Judea 1:3-4 we read, Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For (certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness AND DENY THE ONLY LORD GOD AND OUT LORD JESUS CHRIST. (PRESENT TENSE) These men are antichrist.

John’s antichrist was "Every spirit that does not confess Jesus" (1st John 2:23). "Every spirit that does not confess Jesus." Here is what Peter said about them and their denial. 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, (PRESENT TENSE) even as there will be false teachers among you, (THEIR FUTURE) who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even DENYING THE LORD who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

John’s antichrist were "Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. (2nd John 7). For many deceivers HAVE GONE out into the world (PRESENT TENSE) who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. Here we have the inspired words of John himself who tells us many antichrist deceivers HAVE GONE out (PRESENT TENSE) into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. How much more clear can John be?

Many claim to be Christians yet they DENIED HIM Christ by their works. Paul spoke to Titus about this issue. Titus 1:15-16 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works, THEY DENY HIM, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work..

The antichrist in John’s day is simply in a belief system that disputes the fundamental teachings of Christianity, beginning with the person of Christ. These antichrists are "religious" figures that loved the old Mosaic, covenant and that way of life and went apostasy. (1 John 2:19) The antichrist, contrary to much present-day speculation, is not a political figure, no matter how anti- (against) Christ he might be. The modem manufactured composite Antichrist is not the antichrist of 1st and 2nd John: "Putting it all together, we can see that the antichrist is a system or movement of apostasy and individual apostates. In other words, the antichrist was the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy that a time of great apostasy would come, when 'many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many' (Matthew. 24:10-11)."

Were many being mislead in the first century? O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not OBEY THE TRUTH, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? (Galatians 3:1) Who bewitched them after starting out in the Spirit, into thinking they can be made perfect be the works of the flesh (the law) v. 3 The antichrist Jews of that day who also believed that the gentiles MUST be circumcised according to the custom of Moses, to be saved. (Acts 15:1) So John’s description of antichrist is altogether a different doctrine of Antichrist." then today’s modem image.