Category: Sin, Word: ANTICHRIST
October 16, 2015 | by: Kendell Easley, prepared by Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: 52 Words
Children, it is the hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)
DEFINITION: The Greek antichristos means “against Christ” or “instead of Christ,” and therefore refers to an enemy of Christ or one who attempts to usurp His position. Although the term is found only in John’s epistles, the concept is found in a number of passages.
Surprisingly, the term “antichrist” appears only five times in four New Testament verses: 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7. Whoever the antichrist turns out to be, these passages emphasize the spirit of antichrist already in the world. The Apostle John wanted Christians of his day to be on guard against that kind of antichrist. Likewise, today’s believers are to be more diligent about identifying those trying to lead them astray from Jesus Christ than about trying to figure out who the final antichrist might be.
The Old Testament contains several passages about a potent end-time evil person or power that will attack God’s people and that will be crushed eventually. Ezekiel 38-39 (the defeat of Gog) and Zechariah 12-14 are often cited. Much of what Daniel prophesied along these lines was fulfilled during the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the Jews (second century BC). Yet some of Daniel’s visions find parallels in the New Testament and are therefore still in the future. Examples include these:
Jesus warned against false Christs and false prophets who try to lead astray His elect (Matt 24:24; Mk 13:22). He also mentioned “the abomination that causes desolation” spoken of by Daniel (Matt 24:15; see Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). In history, two events have already fulfilled the conditions for such a horror. First is the desecration of the Jewish temple by the Greek forces of Antiochus (around 168 BC); second is the destruction of the Jerusalem temple by the Romans under Titus (AD 70). Some—but by no means all—Bible students believe that there will be a similar future event caused by the forces of the final antichristian power. The most explicit teaching in Paul’s letters is his description of a coming “man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:3) who will claim to be God. John’s language suggests that believers of his day expected a last-days antichrist of some sort (1 Jn 2:18).
The monstrous beast coming out of the sea in Revelation 13:1-10 is similar to the horned beast of Daniel 7-8. He wars against God’s people and is finally destroyed at the glorious coming of Christ (Rev. 19). Whether this figure is a single individual or a symbolic representation of political power organized against God or something else has generated much debate. Frankly, no one can know for sure until it happens. Whatever happens, God will be victorious through the Lord Jesus. Our responsibility is to stand firm against today’s antichrists (such as leaders of cults or pop cultural figures who mock Christ by their lifestyles). Our faith in Jesus the true Christ will enable us to overcome them.
REFLECTION: What sources of information should people turn to for information about antichrist? Why is it more important to be concerned about present antichrists than the future antichrist?
PRAYER: Lord Christ, keep me safe from deception by the spirit of antichrist already present. May I always be loyal to You, my Savior, the Son of God who came in the flesh. Amen.
Dave Maniquis is a Teaching Elder at Restoration Church. He holds a BA in History from Rutgers University and an MA in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He enjoyed a 23-year career in the U.S. Government, working and traveling extensively in Western and Eastern Europe. He has been a Christian for most of his adult life and has been involved in church planting, overseas as well as here in Port Orange, teaching the Bible and speaking into others’ lives with the Gospel. He is married to Maureen and they have two wonderful sons, Dylan and Evan.