From the first letter of John we read,
- “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (I John 2:18 – NASB)
Yesterday in our worship service our pastor, teaching through the gospel of Luke, expounded upon Jesus’ Olivet Discourse. Afterwards, in our group that meets on Sunday mornings, we got into the texts that pastor taught on. Whenever Christians get to talking about the end times there never seems to be a lack of varied responses regarding what Jesus had to say about His return.
Following our get-together, I couldn’t help but think about this term that John used in his letter, the term “antichrist.” When one is in a discussion about the last days, about Christ’s return, this title always seems to come up. And then there begins the speculation regarding him.
John says to the believers he is writing to, “you heard that antichrist is coming,” and so they had, and so we have likewise “heard.” But he also notes that “many antichrists,” the title now in the plural, “have arisen.” The Son of Thunder was making it known that a specific “antichrist” was on the horizon, but right now, we are dealing with “many antichrists” in our very midst.
John is the only New Testament writer that uses this term, “antichrist” (note I John 2:22; 4:3; II John 1:7). It is the Greek word, antichristos, meaning, “against the Messiah,” or “opposed to Messiah.”
Within the body of believers that John was writing to “many” who were “opposed to Messiah” had “arisen.” They were in the church, and they were spreading their heresy amongst believers, carrying out the work of Satan to try and turn the church away from the truth. What truth would that be? Note . . .
- “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” (I John 2:21-22 – NASB)
And so we note that “antichrists” are those that deny “that Jesus is the Christ,” the Messiah. An “antichrist” is one that distorts “the truth” of God’s written revelation. They are, John says very pointedly, “a liar!”
These “antichrists” come in among us and in their own self-serving manner attack the very faith of Christians, of those belonging to Christ. If we who are His are in the Word and know the Word of truth (John 17:17) we will thwart their heresy and we will be able to challenge their “lie” and be able to say of them as John reported of those that he had exposed,
- “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 might be shown that they all are not of us.” (I John 2:19 – NASB)
Why is it so important that believers be established in the faith (Colossians 2:7)? So that when “antichrists” come, and they will come, “they” can be exposed and driven out from the assemblies of true believers. Sound doctrine exposes them, shows “that they all are not of us.”
Brethren, be warned! Be warned that there are antichrists who predate the Antichrist, men and women who not only come from the outside but also from the inside and they are “liars,” distorting the “truth,” and God expects that you should know that “no lie is of the truth.” It should be our witness that because we are of the “truth . . . they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.”
Have a good day . . . . and strive to be one who is set apart by sound doctrine, established in the faith, so that, if necessary, you can spot any antichrist, any liar who seeks to pervert the truth of God’s Word.
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