November 9, 2021 - A. V. Rauf
The Spirit of Antichrist
1 John 2:18-23—Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
It goes without saying that it is of an absolute certainty that we are living in a time when the battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan is intensifying as Satan knows that his time is short……very short. I am convinced that this is because we are nearing the return of Christ—and the ultimate annihilation of Satan’s kingdom.
In God’s economy, if you will, there are three groups of people: Israel and the Jews, the Gentile nations, and the Church which consists of both Jews and Gentiles who have been “born again”.
John 3:3—Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Having already deceived the world, having deceived the Jews (who are still awaiting the arrival of their Messiah) and having deceived what I will refer to as non-Biblical expressions of Christianity, our adversary has now turned his attention towards the very elect.
Matthew 24:22-25—And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before.
There are many false prophets but one final false prophet who will be AntiChrist. (Not the AntiChrist). There are many antichrists but one final AntiChrist, also known as the man of lawlessness, who will emerge. Many Bible scholars and Bible prophecy teachers believe that this man is (or should I say both men are) alive today and it is just a matter of time before he is ushered onto the world stage to resolve humanity’s problems as they continue to spiral out of control.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-9—Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
The title “man of lawlessness” or “man of sin,” has been identified with many different individuals, including Antiochus Epiphanes, Caligula, Nero, and in the last century, Hitler, Stalin, and others. The man of lawlessness or the man of sin cannot be Satan, nor can this be a reference to a principle of evil. He can be none other than the final Antichrist. Speaking of lawlessness, as we begin 2020, it is being. reported that up to 40% of the world will undergo some sort of civil disobedience this year. Thus, the spirit of lawlessness is obviously at work.
It would take a separate post to focus on the possible identity of the AntiChrist and our focus should primarily be on the Christ. It is interesting to note that there is definite connection between the spirit of AntiChrist and the mystery of iniquity which is mentioned above in 2 Thessalanonians 2:7.
Thus, the spirit of AntiChrist has incessantly been active ever since the time of the birth of the Church and is working together with what the Bible refers to as the mystery of iniquity to further deceive the apostate church let alone the already deceived world in preparation for the arrival of the AntiChrist. In contrast, the Holy Spirit of God is convicting the world of sin and preparing the faithful remnant Church and ultimately the remaining faithful remnant of Israel for the Rapture of the Church and the return of the LORD.
That being said, let’s examine the meaning of the very word “AntiChrist”:
The word Christ is from a Greek word “christos“, which exactly corresponds to the Hebrew word Mashiach from which we get Messiah. So when we say “antichrist,” that means anti-Messiah. However this not the only meaning……..
“Anti” is a Greek preposition. It has two meanings and both of them are applicable in understanding the spirit of AntiChrist. First of all, it means “against.” So the first operation is against Messiah. Let me also mention that Jesus Christ is not only the Messiah, but He also represents truth and also represents the Word of God:
John 14:6—Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 1:1—In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14—And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The second meaning is “in place of.” The ultimate purpose is to put a false Messiah in place of the true Messiah. When you read 1 Timothy 4:2 you are now looking at a false word of God in place of the true word of God.
1 Timothy 4:2—Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Look at this in the Amplified version:
1 Timothy 4:2—But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, 2 Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), 3 Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth.
This is the word “pseudo logos” which comes from the word “pseudologon.”So the total operation is in two phases. Whereas Jesus Christ, who represents the true incarnate Logos and the Word of God and is the truth, then in contrast in the economy of the AntiChrist there exists a false logos or “pseudologon” attempting to operate in the place of the truth. When you begin to recognize that, you will see that the spirit of antichrist has been extremely active almost throughout much of the professing church.
2 Timothy 3:16-17—All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Scripture is always the primary and the only grounds for doctrine. We are to study the Holy Writ prayerfully, illuminated by the Holy Spirit through the lense of other Scripture. It is also crucial that we understand, especially in these last days prior to the Rapture of the Church that as the true Church is united, empowered and led by the Holy Spirit of God on the very basis of the true Word of God, false religions, heretical churches and even cults will in contrast, be united, empowered and led by the very spirit of AntiChrist on the very basis of a false word of God.
So the spirit of AntiChrist always begins in some way in association with the people of God. But, it does not really belong there, and in due course that will be made manifest. Antichrist does not deny the existence of God. In fact, he claims to be God’s representative.
The primary focus of a “pseudologon“ than is to act in the place of what actually is the truth and draw the deceived individual(s) from true salvation and discipleship which is only available in Christ, ultimately, with the final aim of pointing the individual(s) towards the AntiChrist to come.
1 John 4:1-6——-Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:1-6—Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Every born-again believer has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
1 John 3:23-24—And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1 John 2:18-28—Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. 26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
In the above verse, John calls the presence of the Holy Spirit “the anointing which you have received from Him…”God has given us His indwelling Spirit but John now points out that there are other “spirits” loose in the world. If we have the Holy Spirit, we ought to “test the Spirits.” The Holy Spirit will always guide us into truth:
John 16:13-15—Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Christians often measure the validity of a sermon by how it sounds, the words used, the inflection of the speaker’s voice, whether or not it makes them feel good. None of these are appropriate methods of determining a good sermon. In 1 John 4:1 the word for “test,” actually means “to approve or examine.” The term was used of gold that was to be put in the fire to test its purity.
Proverbs 4:7— Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Every man or woman of understanding, by definition indeed may have wisdom. But not every man or woman who has wisdom has yet attained understanding. It is important to know that understanding is not just intellectual. It is spiritually intuitive in the sense that we know by the illumination of our spirit by the Holy Spirit and so we understand what we know with the sanctified mind.
Someone can hear the message of the Gospel but unless the Holy Spirit illuminates the message and touches the individual, convicting them of their sins, that person cannot become regenerate. Furthermore, one must become regenerate before they can be discipled. Similarly, one cannot truly become a person of understanding unless he/she is first a disciple.
John 8:30-32—As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Thus, a carnally minded believer who still is attached to the things of the world already lacks wisdom and limits himself from gaining understanding. If those who already know the truth are willfully not living it in divinely powered sanctification, what basis is there for them to know the deeper things of God if they fail to act on what they already know or have? Just a thought. When one can make a passage of Scripture say anything one wishes, one can believe anything, including that which is of AntiChrist is of Christ. As a result, that which is false is believed to be true. Perhaps one of the reasons for the apostasy in today’s churches may be because of what I just mentioned above.
So then what was John’s definition of an Antichrist? According to the Bible, John defined an antichrist as any person (or group) who denies the Father and the Son. In 1 John 4:3, he explained, “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.” When analyzed critically, one can see that any person or group, which does not recognize that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come in the flesh, is a person or group that has been seized by the spirit of antichrist.