True Sayings Series
Antichrist Cometh:Part 1 of 2
By C. Eldon McNabb
This sermon should not be taken as just another attempt to explain "End Times." Rather it is presented to enlighten you about "Jesus Christ, the Son of God," and the great effort by Satan to convince the whole world that there is no Son of God.
I have spent my life, since I was ten years of age, searching for the truth of God in the Holy Scriptures. In my quest, I have discovered that it is not an easy task to "rightly divide the word of truth." Moreover, the task becomes even more difficult when a premise is presented using terms which are not in the text, such as adding the definite article "the" to antichrist. When we do so, we are more likely to hide the truth from ourselves than we are to find it.
Another common practice which tends to hide the truth from us is the erroneous application of a scripture to an unrelated subject. For instance, it is common to hear preachers refer to "the Antichrist in 2 Thess. chapter two." (I have wondered for many years, how they relate antichrist directly to that passage, although that wicked one probably is one of them.) In support of their assertion they refer to various passages in Daniel or The Revelation of Jesus Christ, but rarely do they make any reference to the passages in the Bible which actually mention antichrist. The scriptures which mention antichrist must be the foundation of any effort to explain the subject.
I do not desire to "make a man an offender for a word." But what better place to begin our approach to any Bible subject than where it is presented in the text? What better term to use than that used by the Holy Spirit himself, as He gave unction to the writer? That is what I shall do in this treatise.
Another important point is that in our pursuit of the truth, we cannot assume that apparent devotion and sincerity are a guarantee of enlightenment. Nor can we assume that "educated" necessarily implies "knowledgeable." (See Isa. 29:11,12.) If we assumed that, we would need to disregard all of the writings of John Zebadee, and there would be no discussion of antichrist at all, because he alone used the term antichrist in the Holy Scriptures. Acts 4:13 shows that John was "unlearned and ignorant," yet he wrote some of the deepest and most difficult-to-understand passages in the Bible. Men of all levels of education have difficulty with them unto this day. All of those things can be known and understood if we will pursue them Godís way, "not in the words which manís wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Cor. 2:13) That is, "rightly dividing the word of truth."
Jude said, "Certain men have crept in unawares." Apparently the disciples had already begun to lose the gifts of the Holy Ghost, at the
time of his administration. If the gift of discerning of spirits had been functioning, those false brethren could not have gotten in undetected. About the time of the death of John, those gifts were all but lost to Christianity. As a result, almost all understanding of the Word of Truth, beyond personal redemption, was also lost to them. It was not until just before he beginning of the twentieth century that God restored to his sanctified ones the baptism with the Holy Ghost and the wonderful gifts which accompany that baptism.
We thank God for the dedicated warriors of the cross of Jesus, who labored against great opposition during the period of time which has come to be known as the Reformation period. (That is, the 400 years or so preceding the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in 1896, in North Carolina.) Great men such as Martin Luther, John and Charles Wesley, and others restored the knowledge of the beauty and simplicity of "justification by faith" and "sanctification of the spirit." They spent much righteous energy in efforts to resolve other great difficulties presented in the Word, but without the Baptism with the Holy Spirit they were at some disadvantage. The Baptism with the Holy Ghost, is the most vital element in any effort to gain the knowledge of the truth, but it was missing. Yet with great effort, they sifted through many of the errors which they had inherited from their forebears (Jer. 16:19), and brought forth new understanding of "the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Mark 1:1)
During that time, many doctrines were formulated and prophecies "explained," including the current general promotion concerning "The Antichrist." However, any doctrine or explanation of prophecy which they passed on to us must be received with some caution, because they had not "received the Holy Ghost since they believed." (See Acts 19:2)
In Jeremiah 16:19 He said, "O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit."
In that we have now received the Spirit of Truth, He can, and will, guide us into all truth. We must take another good, inquiring look into the Holy Scriptures. It is time to "trim our lamps," and to follow the Holy Spirit along "the path of the just," as it "shineth more and more unto the perfect day." &
Next month, in part 2 of Antichrist Cometh: A Clear and Present Danger, Pastor Eldon McNabb takes us to the scriptures about "antichrist," explaining what the term really means, what to look for and why we should be alert, lest we be deceived.
This sermon is from the True Sayings Series. These sermons are available in booklet form, in their entirety, upon request. Please refer to the contact information.