True Sayings Series
Antichrist Cometh:Part 2 of 2
By C. Eldon McNabb
A Sign of the End
John used the term "antichrist" a total of four times in three passages. 1 John 2:18-23, 1 John 4:1-3 and 2 John 1:7. He began by saying, "Little Children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." He then proceeded to tell us where they come from, and prominent erroneous doctrine which these many antichrists teach.
"They went out from us, but they were not of us. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father."
Some of these antichrists are more easily identified than others, but the message of these false prophets is the same: They say, "God is Jesus," or "God is God and Jesus was one of His prophets." Or they will say, "Jesus was Godís humanity manifested, while his divinity remained in Heaven." Others deny, saying, "there is no (nor can be any) ĎSon of God.í " Yet they themselves profess to believe in the coming "Messiah." The truth is, if there is no "Son of God," there can be no "Messiah (Christ of God)," either. Yet, Jesus is called Christ no fewer than five hundred times in the New Testament.
Try the Spirits
The next time John made reference to antichrist, it was a caution for us to examine every prophet (preacher), and not to just believe everything that is being taught. We must put every prophet to the test by examining his doctrine. We must determine whether the fruit of his lips is sound doctrine, or whether he is contradicting the "Word of Truth." Matt. 7:15-20.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John 4:1-3.
That spirit of antichrist, which was to come, had already come. Many "Christian" ministers had already gone out from the fellowship of the disciples of our Lord, under the influence of the spirit of antichrist. However, the controversy over the son-ship of Jesus continued on within the church itself. In 325 ad, the Nicene Council chose the doctrine of the Trinity over Ariusí "Oneness" doctrine. Considering the circumstances, it might not be prudent to assume that either of those conflicting doctrines are venerable.
It may be that there are even more antichrists today than there were when John wrote his epistle. The Spirit of Antichrist is the motivating force of several religious organizations in the world today, large and small. They profess to believe in Jesus, and many of them even call him Christ, but they are deceivers, as Jesus warned us in Matt. 24:4,5. Some of them are not Christian at all. They claim to believe that Jesus is a prophet of God, but deny that God has, would have, or even could have a son.
True Christian groups might easily develop an us and them attitude. But what about us? We would probably find some version of this doctrinal error preached either officially or unofficially in some sector of almost every Christian group. There are actually several organizations operating under the canopy of the title "Christianity" which function almost entirely by the motivation of the spirit of antichrist. They spend almost all of their religious energy proclaiming that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are one entity, and His name is Jesus.
If you are entertaining the thought that the promotion of that doctrine is justifiable, consider the words which Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17. "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God."
"You Have Heard"
To paraphrase Johnís words, "Ye have heard that antichrist cometh, and that the people who promote these doctrines are false prophets, and many of them are here already." Where did we hear this? And from whom? It was none other that Jesus himself.
When Jesusí disciples inquired of Him, saying, "Tell us of the end of the world," he said, "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." We would do well to ask ourselves who these false prophets are, where they are, and how do we identify them?
It is not my intention to offend anyone. On the contrary, I present these facts to help us to overcome the wicked one and to attain unto eternal life, which God has promised us through His Son. Paul made it clear concerning all of those who do not receive a love of the truth. "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth."
I am by no means saying that all of those who believe and promote that error are lost. However, I hear the gentle rebuff which Jesus gave unto His disciples, "You know not what manner of spirit you are of." We are all subject to going off in the wrong direction on occasion. If we see that we have missed the mark, we must quickly make the necessary corrections, and get back on track. Well did Paul say in 2 Cor. 13:5, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith."
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father." Again I say, it is time to examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith. AMEN.
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.