Saturday, November 14, 2015

Who is the Anti-Christ?

1 John 2:18-27

Warnings Against Denying the Son
18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[e] 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

As John has warned the believers what the false teachers are trying to do, he now warns them of the exact nature of the false teaching and it's source. John starts out by saying, "as you have heard the anti-Christ is coming." Many people wonder if the antichrist is the same person as Satan. Some think he is, but I think there is more evidence that the anti-Christ is an agent of Satan, who will be involved in bringing about the end times. However, the word "anti-Christ" only is mentioned four times in the bible. Twice in 1 John, and twice in 2 John.

Literally the word means "against Christ". Then John says, "Many antichrists are even among us now, but have gone out from us". This is most likely referring to the false teachers, who entered the church and distorted the truth of the Gospel about Christ. So you can see anything that diminishes the work of Christ, or seeks to deceive his believers is of the anti-Christ.

But this might have led them to wonder who is truly from God, and who is not. John reminds them that they have "anointing of the Holy Spirit". Meaning they are sealed by the Holy Spirit, who guides them in the Truth and assures them they are truly believers. It is in this sense that he says, "you do not need anybody to teach you because His anointing remains in you and teaches you about all things."

So John wants them to be aware of these false teachers who are against Christ, but not be in fear of them. And also how the Holy Spirit assures us of our authentic relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity that creates the fellowship between us and God the Father, through the Son. This same Holy Spirit creates the fellowship between you and I, as brothers and sisters in Christ.

In John's day he was already seeing the anti-Christ at work against the early Christians and their beliefs about Jesus. And we can be sure that he is certainly at work today trying to deceive Christians and cause all kinds of evil doing. As we have seen the horrible and atrocious acts that happened in Paris over the last couple of days, one has to conclude in some fashion that Satan was a part of it. This does not excuse human behavior, but may be evidence of its evil and dark nature.

John reminds us that we need to be aware of those forces that deny and are against Christ today. As we seek to move Jesus' kingdom here on earth, there will be pushback from Satan and his minions. This is why the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit is so important as we live our lives in this world. Thank you God that you have anointed us in the power of Holy Spirit, as we were baptized and set apart for your work in the world.

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