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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 28

[Continuing a discussion of end-times prophecy.]

The Antichrist

Another idea of dispensationalists is that of an antichrist – an evil world ruler. Again, this belief rests on skimpy foundations. The word, Antichrist, does not occur at all in the book of Revelation. Here are the passages, where it does occur, with some context:

1 John 2:18 Little children, these are the end times, and as you heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen. By this we know that it is the final hour. 19 They went out from us, but they didn’t belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have continued with us. But they left, that they might be revealed that none of them belong to us. 20 You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn’t have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.

1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit who doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who don’t confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist.

John (who also wrote Revelation, of course!) doesn’t seem to be prophesying that a powerful world leader, an Antichrist, will come, near the time of Christ’s return. He seems to be referring to an attitude. That attitude is to deny the Lordship of Christ. Apparently this type of attitude could be found in people, and also in spirits. John was talking about such an attitude in his own time. If there is going to be an Antichrist, in the sense that dispensationalists believe, that is, a powerful anti-Christian world ruler, presumably he (or she?) will deny the Lordship of Christ. Based on what John said, it is important to make sure that we don’t deny Christ’s deity by our own lives. It is also important to be careful that our view of God is not influenced by those who deny Christ’s deity. Worrying about a possible powerful future world leader is of lesser importance, and John doesn’t seem to have been talking about that at all, in the passages quoted above.

The above is an excerpt from my recently published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.

The previous post in this series is here. God willing, the next post in this series will continue a discussion of this topic, prophecy. Thanks for reading.

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