F. Leon King
The day is soon coming when the man of sin, the antichrist, shall appear as the world's great man of peace, promising peace and prosperity. He is a deceiver and millions of unstable souls shall be deceived by his great swelling words of vanity. He is satan in human flesh - a mockery of Jesus Christ as God in human flesh. From the days of the New Testament, many antichrists have been in and among God's true covenant people - coming in privily and bringing in damnable heresies (schisms). These are cursed children deluded and driven by the spirit of antichrist - the spirit which is not merely an unbelieving spirit, but is a spirit of denial that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. What do the scriptures have to say of these emissaries of satan?
1 John 2:18 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.
1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1 John 4:3 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.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
The Apostle John's letters to the "little children" and the "elect lady and her children" are the only books of the New Testament that use the exact term antichrist. Much comes from John's pen in these four references and the contextual verses as he was moved along by the Holy Ghost to write the Holy Scriptures. Let us glean the thoughts which the Holy Ghost would have us know about this subject.
First, we shall print these verses and their context:
1st 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: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
CF: (This is the passage which teaches that antichrist shall come - of which the little children had knowledge as explained in 1 John 2:18, above) 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 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; 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. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
1st John 4:1-3
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:
2 John 5-11
And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.
This is a deceiver and an
antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Secondly, let us glean the facts from the verses in their context. Let us first look at 1st John 2:18-23.
John is writing to the little children - those whose sins are forgiven and who know the truth (2:12, 21).
They are reminded it is the last time - and that they have heard that antichrist should come (2:18). [Note: Meaning that these little children, like those of Thessalonica, had been taught that (the) antichrist should come, that is, the man of sin who exalts himself above all that is called God, etc.]
We know that it is the last time because, even now (at the writing of this book) there are many antichrists (2:18). [Note: These antichrists (plural) were not the final man of sin, but they possessed the spirit of antichrist. That spirit denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. The reason these are called antichrist is found in the verses following - for they were among the little children, but departed from the faith which they professed to have and denied that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.]
These are those who were with us, but went out from us because they were not all of us (2:19). [Note: There were some persons in the Apostle Johnís time, who had made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, were members of the church, and some of them perhaps preachers, and yet they departed from the faith, and dropped their profession of it, and withdrew themselves from the church, or churches to which they belonged, and set up separate assemblies of their own. They were of the church, and of the same mind with it, at least in profession, antecedent to their going out; for had they not been in communion with the church, they could not be properly said to go out of it; and if they had not been of the same mind and faith in profession, they could not be said to depart from it; but they were not truly regenerated by the grace of God, and so apparently were not of the number, of Godís elect: notwithstanding their profession and communion with the church, they were of the world, and not of God; they were not true believers; they had not that anointing which abides, and from which persons are truly denominated Christians, or anointed ones.]
They went out that it might be manifest (come to light) that they were not all of us (2:19). [Note: The defection and apostasy of these persons were permitted by God, that it might appear they had never received the grace of God in truth; and their going out was in such a manner, that it was a certain argument that they were not of the elect; since they became antichrists, denied the deity or sonship of Christ, or that he was come in the flesh, or that he was the Christ, and therefore are said to be of the world, and not of God, #1Jo 2:22 4:1,3-6, so that this passage furnishes out no argument against the saintsí perseverance, which is confirmed in #1Jo 2:20.]
The little children have an unction (anointing) and know all things (2:20). [Note: Meaning that those who are truly God's children have been anointed by the Holy Spirit - yea, sealed by him after they believed which is the earnest of their redemption. He is their constant companion, their helper in prayer, and their teacher who guide them into all truth. These are the sheep who hear the voice of the shepherd and the voice of another will they not hear.]
John wrote to the little children because they know the truth - and because they know that no lie is of the truth (2:21).
He that denies that Jesus is the Christ is a liar (2:22).
Any person who denies the Son, the same has not the Father (2:23).
But, the person who acknowledges the Son has the Father also (2:23).
Let us now look at 1st John 4:1-3:
Little children are not to believe every spirit (4:1).
Little children are to try (test) the spirits whether they are of God - because many false prophets are gone out into the world (4:1).
This is the way we know for sure the Spirit of God - Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come (perfect tense) in the flesh is of God (4:2).
This is the way we know for sure the spirit is not of God - Every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God - and this is that spirit of antichrist where we have have heard that it should come and even now (at the time of the writing of this letter) is in the world (4:3).
And finally, let us look at 2nd John 5-11:
John reminds the elect lady of the commandment heard from the beginning - that is from Jesus - and that is to love one another (verse 5).
Love is to walk after his commandments - to walk in that we have heard from the beginning (verse 6).
The reason we are to walk in love is that many deceivers are entered into the world who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (verse 7).
Those addressed are to look to themselves - that is to watch - that they lose not those things which they have wrought, but that they receive a full reward. This intimates that what has been wrought thus far in one's life can be lost by failing to look to oneself (verse 8).
Those who transgress and abide not in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ, do not have God - in spite of what they may profess to have or to know (verse 9).
Those who abide in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ has both the father and the son (verse 9).
If one comes to your house and does not bring this doctrine - the doctrine of Christ - receive him not intoyour house (do not let him come in), neither bid him God speed (encourage him in his teaching and work) (verse 10).
Those who bid such a person who denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh - one who knows not God - one who is antichrist - God speed becomes a partaker of his evil (wicked) deeds.
Words of encouragement and exhortation: It is a sure thing that false teachers shall find their way in and among the true people of God as we are well warned in 2nd Peter 2:1. These false teachers shall "privily being in damnable heresies (schisms) even denying the Lord that bought them." These "cursed children" shall promise liberty while they themselves are the servants of corruption. For these antichrists, hell and the lake of fire shall be a far worse place. It would be far better for them to have never known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and turned from it.
Our solemn charge as God's dear children is to "stand fast in the faith" and to "resist the devil, stedfast in the faith." Remember dear brothers and sisters, the foot of these deceivers shall "slide in due time." Take courage, for God, as the first cause of all things, doth bring such heretics along into our midst, schismatics, in order that they which are approved might be made manifest among you (1 Corinthians 11:19).
2 Peter 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
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