This topic has come up recently, so I thought that it was about time to post on it.
There is a bogeyman is that lurking int he hearts and minds of many who profess Christianity – the Antichrist. Like most bogey man, the antichrist is a myth, a creation, a stretch. We find a phrase succinctly put in Latin,
Scriptura Scripturae Interpres
It means that we allow the scriptures to interpret themselves. So, let us apply that to the antichrist.
In Greek the word is found four times in Scripture:
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18 NKJV)
Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22 NKJV)
and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:3 NKJV)
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7 NKJV)
This word is found only in the Epistles by John. He applies it to those that had denied Christ coming in the flesh. This would imply a pre-existence of Christ, defeating what later became Arianism and lately, the Jehovah’s Witnesses among others including the Church of God General Conference. Note, both Trinitarians and Modalists both claim that Christ came in the flesh, implying a pre-existence, but Unitarians do not – neither the Trinitarians or the Modalists are antichrists.
An antichrist, by only John’s definition – and since he is the only one to use the word we should use his assigned meaning – is one who denies the deity of Christ and denies the pre-existence of Christ. This is important to understand for several reasons, one of which is:
And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am He,’ and will deceive many. (Mark 13:5-6 NKJV)
- An unreal understanding of the ‘antichrist’ could lead many to believing that the False Prophet of Revelation is one who denies Christ. Although the False Prophet will stand against Christ, is it more than likely that he will not deny that Christ came in the Flesh. Christ says in Mark,’The great deceiver will come’, as Christ says, in the name of Christ, proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ. Matthew 24.5 says that those that come will say ‘I am the Christ.’ Further, we know that these false prophets, and the False Prophet, perform many signs and wonders. (Matthew 24.24) These false christs and false prophets are so convincing in their demonstration that they come close to deceiving the very elect of God. Can one who denies Christ actually do this? Or would it be one who has a doctrine so similiar to the elect and while proclaiming the name of Christ performs signs and wonders?
If we understand that antichrist is different than the False Prophet of eschatology, then we know that while Obama may be antichrist (in that he has not confirmed his believe in the diety and pre-existence of Christ) he is not the False Prophet for the exact same reason.
What are your thoughts?