*The Antichrist (2) ~Let us settle this matter* Biblically, the…
*The Antichrist (2) ~Let us settle this matter*
Biblically, the use of the word “Antichrist” ONLY appeared four times in the entire bible, all in the epistles of St John (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7). In those passages, St John was clear on what he meant by Antichrist.
I will give you a little background to what necessitated the writing of St John and the use of the word “Antichrist”.
Around the early days of the church, some people denied the true human nature of Jesus. They claim that Jesus did not have a real physical body. Instead, He only SEEMED to possess physicality. They believed that His body was an ILLUSION. This is a heresy called Docetism derived from the Greek verb dokeō , which means “seem” or “appear”.
Why was this so?
Christianity was born in a world heavily influenced by Greek thinking, and Greek philosophers tended to look down upon the physical world. For many Greek thinkers, the body was bad and the spirit which is good is imprisoned in the body. They cannot imagine Jesus who is God possessing human body as every human does.
The teaching was popular. Many people bought into it. John who lived, felt, ate, drank and walked with Jesus, knew they were not correct. He sees this teaching as contradictory. You remember he died very old and peacefully unlike other apostles that suffered martyrdom. In a bid to clear, or as we will say, settle the matter, he wrote his epistles.
The quotations below are the four places the word “Antichrist(s)” appeared in the Bible.
1. “Little children, it is the last hour: and as you have heard that ANTICHRIST shall come, even now are there many ANTICHRISTS; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2:18).
2. “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the ANTICHRIST, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22).
3. “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the ANTICHRIST, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:2–3).
4. “Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the ANTICHRIST!” (2 John 1:7)
Here, John was clear. Antichrist was not solely seen as a single person. Antichrist(s) was also seen as already here with us. Anyone who does not believe that Christ came in the flesh is an Antichrist…Anyone who teaches wrong doctrines… Anyone who deceives others about the person of Christ was seen as Antichrist following the Epistles of St John. In other words, John was fighting against the heresy of Docetism.
Why was the denial of Jesus coming in the flesh such a big deal?
It will mean that even his dying on the cross was just an illusion. It is like reducing all that Christ did to save us by dying on the cross as mere appearance. It is like saying that Christ was just pretending, he wasn’t physically real or feeling any physical pain as he wants us to believe.
By extension, it will mean the Holy Communion/Eucharist is not his body and blood but a mere symbol. Yet, Christ was clear when he said, THIS IS MY BODY; THIS IS MY BLOOD (Mark 14:22-25).
Did the book of Revelation say anything about Antichrist? Can Christians understand the Antichrist as a single person who is to come and bring the world to an end establishing what most conspiracy theorists of today call the New World Order???
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