Things to Come, Lesson 9, The Person of the Antichrist, Part 3, I John 2:18
The Spirit of Antichrist was introduced to this world when Satan seduced Eve with the words, Ye, Hath God said?
This was the first questioning of Godís word that took place on Earth and this questioning has continued through the centuries until this day and will continue until God ushers in eternity.
This question "Ye, Hath God said" was said by Satan, not trying to spread Godís word, but to question Godís word with the intent of instilling doubt into Eveís mind.
This is the mission of the Antichrist.
The mission of the Antichrist is to come alongside and whisper in ears, words that are contrary to Godís word, words that promote doubt.
This is the spirit of Antichrist and this spirit is rampant in our day for this spirit has pervaded all aspects of this worldís culture and this worldís systems.
Churches, schools and colleges, hospitals, places of power, in most cases were founded by obedience to Godís word but it has been Satanís purpose to infiltrate those places, always with the question, Ye, Hath God said?
In carrying out his purpose he is making the world ready for the introduction of Satanís crowning achievement, his Christ whom those who believe Godís word call the Antichrist.
Since the garden, Satanís plan has been to bring to this Earth his Messiah, his Christ.
His message is that His Christ will not require those hard things such as recognizing oneself as a sinner and the humbling and repentance that Godís Christ commands.
He operates on the broad way, the easy way, the way made attractive in the realm which he has been given for he is the prince of the power of the air.
That is the realm only known by the senses.
That is the only realm known by the walking dead.
So his message is only received by hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting.
Remember what Eve responded to in the garden.
Genesis 3:6, And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
She responded with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
All of these things Satan uses in his realm for they are that which attracts those whom are spiritually dead.
Satanís Christ will operate in the realm of the dead for he is Death, being the opposite of Godís Christ who is Life.
The Apostle John is the only one who uses the title Antichrist but there are many references to Satanís Christ throughout scripture.
Johnís use of this title occurs in these verses.
I 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.
I 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.
I 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.
II 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
Note the emphasis of the last three references.
All identify the mark of the spirit of antichrist as being a denial of Godís Son, Jesus Christ.
So Antichrist is the One brought by Satan to replace any recognition of the Saviour sent by God the Father.
To the world Antichrist will be the Savior, the true Christ but to those alive spiritually he is the false Christ.
Satanís goal is that he will be the only Christ, intending to banish any knowledge of the true Christ.
Johnís title of Antichrist reveals to us in two ways what he is.
Both ways concern the definition of the prefix "anti" in the name Antichrist.
The first definition of anti means against, opposed to.
Everything this "epitome of evil" does is opposed to Christ.
He is in opposition to the man Christ; he is against Christ's Church; he is against Christ as the Word, and he is against the Holy Bible, Christ written.
He is against God himself for he is against, in every way, the mission of the one God sent to redeem those whom Satan claims as his own.
He is against Love, real godly love but brings about in the world another love.
It is not hard to notice that the world in its way promotes love.
For Satan has a form of godless love.
And this he offers to the world.
It is not the love of God, who is Love.
Satanís love, and therefore Antichristís love, is expressed in a concern for humanity and pity for the oppressed.
But Satanís love is a love that does evil in order to do what appears good.
But it is simply an invented love for in all that he does he is motivated by a hatred of Jesus Christ for even in love he is opposed to all that the true Christ stands for and to all that stand for Him.
It is easy to see this kind of love pervading our own country as little antichrists fill powerful offices of our government.
The message today is to tear down the image of God which is displayed in individuals versus Satanís way of downgrading the role of the individual and instead glorifying the importance of the group.
Satanís program, which will be clearly promoted by his Christ, is out with anything that distinguishes the individual and in with anything that distinguishes the group as a whole.
His realm is a realm which tears down excellence in favor of equality.
Out with individual reward and in with group reward even if it means confiscating it from the individual.
Out with anything that puts one individual above another for this is not acceptable in Satanís program.
So whatsoever the group wants is supreme.
Morality is a fluid thing according to the group.
Antichrist is the god of the group for in him there are no absolutes.
We see this in the controversial health care plan which is a group thing as it pushes aside anything religious or principled in order to satisfy the group and it does it the name of love, Satanís love.
Satan uses every advance of technology to move toward group thinking and in this erases the work of the hands which is the work of individuals.
Satanís love is love for cookie cutter people who will be controlled by the senses and operate according to emotions.
God says in His Word, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
Satan, the counterfeiter, takes this and says, let this mind be in you which is in my Christ, who the Bible tells us is the man of sin, the man of perdition.
So the multitudes are being groomed today for his coming and their minds will be prepared to be deceived.
The second use of the prefix "anti" is using it as that which describes: in place of Christ.
Antichrist also indicates substitution.
Antichrist opposes our Lord Jesus Christ in order to take His place as Christ.
Jesus Christ died for His people.
He was our substitute and in the Greek, one of the prepositions used in this phrase is "anti" indicating that He died as a substitute for His people
So Antichrist purposes to be "in the place of," or "a substitute for" Jesus the Christ.
God sent forth His Son to seek and to save a people for His name.
A remnant will respond.
Satan will send forth his Son to destroy for Daniel 8:24 tells us, he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
The multitudes will respond as this destroyer comes to destroy any vestige of God or Godís people.
Antichrist will come as an imposter of the true Christ sent from God.
Jesus Christ was revealed in the tabernacle and the temple.
Antichrist will take his seat in the temple.
Christ is God Himself but Antichrist will claim that position.
Christ performed signs and wonders.
Antichrist too will perform signs and wonders.
Christ has a kingdom; and thus Antichrist promises a kingdom.
Christ comes by the power of the Spirit; Antichrist will come by the power of a spirit, who is the devil himself.
Of course in all of this there is a sharp contrast between Godís man and Satanís man.
Godís Christ came down from heaven, according to John 6:38.
Satanís Christ will ascend out of the bottomless pit according to Revelation 11:7.
Jesus Christ, Godís Son, humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cruel cross.
Antichrist, the son of Satan, will exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped.
We read of this in II Thessalonians 2:3-4, 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; 4Who 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, showing himself that he is God.
Jesus Christ came into the world to do His Fatherís will;
Antichrist will do his own will, exalting and magnifying himself.
Jesus Christ is the true vine, and God the Father is the husbandman.
Antichrist will, according to Revelation 14:18,19 be the leader of the vine of the Earth.
He is the ideal of the men of the Earth, the perfect product of darkness.
Christ is the Light, Antichrist is the darkness.
The Christ is the Truth, the Antichrist is the Lie.
He is the result of all the lies of the Earth for in darkness there is no truth.
Christ, although tempted in all points as we are, is without sin.
Antichrist will be the man of sin who exalts sin, who celebrates sin.
Christ humbled himself and has been exalted and has been given a name above every name.
Antichrist, who will exalt himself will be brought low, will be brought down to hell.
He will be cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
He will be to God as a mosquito is to us.
The world will marvel at this man but with one breath from Godís mouth God will move him off the scene.
Jesus Christ came into this world and proclaimed himself to be the Truth.
Antichrist will come on the scene proclaiming himself to also be the Truth but we who believe Godís word will know him as the Lie.
For II Thessalonians says that he comes with all deceivableness of unrighteousness and God sends the world strong delusion that they should believe the Lie.
By this scripture we see that Antichrist will not be using the guns and tanks and bombs of this world to bring people into submission but will be using the power of ideas broadcast with great swelling words of oratory.
In his initial attempts to destroy the cause of God, the devil used a serpent to deceive the woman with crooked speech: "You will be like God."
Now he uses his Christ who will speak crafty, lying words.
His speeches will be heard by millions who will hang on his persuasive rhetoric.
The content as well as the form of his speech will attract.
Like most false prophets, he will even be sincere and passionate.
But he is a liar. He may pepper his speech with hints of truth, so that his lie tastes like truth.
He will use all the right words, tickling ears with what the groups, the masses wish to hear for they will have been programmed to receive the Lie.
For he is the ultimate Liar, and will deceive many.
He will use every tool available: school teachers, politicians, news broadcasters, artists, musicians, scientists and doctors, lawyers and businessmen.
All will be pressed into the service of Antichrist to deceive men.
But especially he will use those whose calling it is to persuade and to teach -- men who claim to be preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Men who claim to be on the Lordís side but now are open to recognize the perversions of the world as right and true.
He will use the gospel of humanism which promotes as the highest virtue, the happiness of man, the glory of man, the peace and prosperity, the health and wealth of man.
His message will be that man is the ultimate and he, Antichrist, is the ultimate of the ultimate.
He will come as the worldís Messiah promising an earthly life of peace and prosperity with health and happiness which will be his salvation offer.
He will perform miracles, following the line of miracle workers of the Bible, and establish himself as Godís anointed.
Matthew 24:24, For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
This is also the teaching of II Thessalonians 2:9, "even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders...."
The works of Antichrist will be the works of Satan, who has power beyond the natural ability of man.
The acts of Antichrist will be nothing less than the superhuman power of the devil himself.