Archive for May, 2011

The Antichrist: Who And When?

Posted in Antichrist, Bible, Christianity, End Times, Rapture, Religion, Truth with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by willnotbesilent

Since the early days of Christianity, scholars and layfolk have been on the alert for the Antichrist. The Antichrist is, according to most theological prognosticators, an individual who takes over the world in the End Times, the exact antithesis of God. Some have suggested that it will be Satan himself indwelling a human being and wielding incredible, almost godlike powers. Some believe that he is represented by the beast in Revelation.

Just as in the case of the Rapture and other related topics, so much confusion, myth, and assumption has evolved around the subject of the Antichrist that the far simpler truth has been obscured. This is another case in which we must fall back to the Scripture and find out what God has to say on the matter, tossing aside the conjectures of men.

First, the most basic thing to do is examine the Scripture that specifically mention the Antichrist. Notice as you look at these references that the only place where the Antichrist is mentioned is in the Epistles of John. One of the first things to realize about the epistles of John is that they are not prophetic. They are purely instructional, written to edify and encourage believers in the tenets of the Way.  Keep this in mind as you read.

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 2:18

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 2:22

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. — I John 4:3

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. — 2 John 1:7

These are the only passages in Scripture in which the antichrist is mentioned. There is absolutely no reference to the Antichrist in the prophetic book of Revelation, or any other book of prophecy. These are the only direct references to the antichrist. Therefore we should take these verses as a starting point.

First, let’s look at the word “antichrist” itself. It is a transliteration of the Greek “antichristos”, which is a compound word consisting of “anti” and “christos”.

Christos” is the word from which we derive the term “Christ”, and means “anointed one”. “Christos”, of course, in Scriptural terms, is a reference to Jesus.

Anti” means “opposite to, opposing, instead of, or against”. It implies being on the opposite end of the pole or spectrum from the person or thing to which “anti” refers.

Thus it is that “antichrist” means “opposing or opposite to the Anointed One” — or, “against Christ”.

WHEN WILL THE ANTICHRIST ARRIVE?

Refer to my previous post regarding the Last Days. The Last Days began with the ascent of Christ to Heaven and the advent of Christianity (Acts 2:17). John only confirms this when he says,

Little children, IT IS THE LAST TIME: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, EVEN NOW there are many antichrists; whereby we know that IT IS THE LAST TIME. — I John 2:18

John wrote his First Epistle sometime around 100 or 110 AD. The Last Days had begun. He adds, “EVEN NOW there are many antichrists.” He goes on to say that the appearance of these antichrists was a sign that the Last Days had come.

We know from this that (1) The Last Days have begun, (2) The appearance of the antichrist is a sign of the arrival of the Last Days, and (3) there are MANY antichrists!

Whoa. Even now this is starting to sound a LOT different from Tim LaHaye’s ideas of what or who or when the antichrist is or will be. Let’s keep going.

In I John 4:3 he says,

. . . this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

The early followers of Jesus had heard that the spirit of the antichrist would come — and John is saying, in the first century AD, that IT HAD ALREADY ARRIVED! They sit around, wondering when it would show up. IT WAS ALREADY HERE!

In 2 John 1:7 he says,

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 antichrist has been around for 2000 years. And yet people even now point to some future day when the antichrist will show up. It’s like trying to warn people that a flood is coming, even while water swirls through the neighborhood and everyone clings to their rooftops.

WHO IS THE ANTICHRIST?

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 2:22

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. — I John 4:3

John is very clear as to who the antichrist is: The liar who denies that Jesus in the Christ and that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Where have you heard this lie propagated? You’ve heard professors, authors, celebrities, television, radio, comedians, public speakers, and even average folks deny that Jesus came in the flesh and that he is the Son of God. This isn’t a specific individual — it’s a specific TYPE of individual.

HOW MANY ANTICHRISTS ARE THERE?

“. . . there are many antichrists. . .” — I John 2:18
“. . . every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. . .” — I John 4:3
“. . . many deceivers are entered into the world. . .” — 2 John 1:7

Tim LaHaye and others of his ilk would have you watch for a single individual who takes over the world singlehandedly, is possessed by Satan, and has incredible miraculous abilities. But John was already warning in his day that MANY — PLURAL! — antichrists had come into the world. Is there only one person on the planet who does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? Of course not! There are at least millions of people who do not confess Jesus, if not billions!

SO WHO EXACTLY IS THE ANTICHRIST?

First of all, there is no “the” antichrist. There is no “arch antichrist”.

Anyone who is against Christ, who denies his authority and sonship, is antichrist. Do you remember the literal meaning of “antichrist”? It literally means “against the anointed one”.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and AGAINST HIS ANOINTED, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. — Psalm 2:1-3

In short, anyone who is opposed to God and His Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is an antichrist. There are many antichrists, and they have been around for a long, long time.

So if anyone tells you they’re waiting for Nicolae Carpathia to take control of the UN, just keep these passages in mind. It may save you from the confusion of the dispensationalist, premillennialist fallacy!

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The Last Days: When Are They?

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Christianity, Bible, Truth, End Times, Religion, Salvation, Truth with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2011 by willnotbesilent

In this era of political upheaval all over the world, of constant wars, of famine, disease, earthquakes, storms, and more widespread abandonment of God’s principles, many people are proclaiming our era as “the Last Days”. There is a great deal of debate over this. The return of Jesus Christ has been predicted for countless dates for a thousand years or more. In the case of each prediction, people thought their society had reached a moral and spiritual zenith, and that surely Jesus would come to take His kingdom back. Indeed, even during the days of the apostles, people were waiting for Christ’s return, as illustrated in Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians.

The question is, WHEN ARE THE LAST DAYS?

Some hold that the “Last Days” will begin once the “Rapture” has taken place, but as pointed out in my previous posts, the “Rapture” is a fallacy and a fraud. Some look for signs of the Antichrist, some mysterious individual possessed by the devil himself (We’ll go into the topic of the Antichrist in a following post). The most recent “prediction” for Christ’s return is May 21, 2011.

These folks who try to give an exact date are wasting their time. Jesus Himself said,

 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. — Mat 24:36
 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. — Mat 24:42
 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. — Mat 24:44

This is important to remember: ONLY GOD HIMSELF KNOWS WHEN JESUS WILL RETURN! Men cannot predict it through any means, whether theological, mathematical, or otherwise. God is the one and only being who knows when the Second Coming will take place. If anyone tells you Jesus is returning on a specific date, ignore them. They are mistaken, and arrogant to think they can discover what God has specifically kept secret.

But can we at least know when the Last Days are?

YES! In fact, we don’t need to speculate or wonder, because the Bible is very, very specific about exactly when the Last Days begin.

In Acts 2, when the apostles are baptized by the Holy Spirit (verses 1-4), they begin preaching to the crowds that have filled Jerusalem for the Day of Pentacost. When the people hear these uneducated Galileans preaching in various languages, they are skeptical, suggesting the apostles are drunk (verse 13). At this point, Peter speaks for all the apostles:

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, “Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ” — Acts 2:14-21

STOP! In quoting Joel, Peter says that all THIS which the people are seeing, only days after Jesus has ascended to sit at God’s right hand, is a sign of the Last Days!

The Last Days began roughly 2000 years ago, when the Holy Spirit was poured out and the Kingdom of Christ was established through the apostles. A sign of the Last Days is the opportunity for salvation through Jesus Christ.

So why are we wondering if we are in the Last Days when the they have been in full swing for millennia? Because false prophets have been preaching lies, telling us to expect a Rapture and support a political state of Israel, to watch for a mystical Antichrist and wait for a spaceship-esque New Jerusalem to descend from the sky. In actuality, THE LAST DAYS ARE NOW, which is why we are told to be vigilant and faithful. This is why we can expect Jesus to return when we least expect it.

So with this in mind, let’s focus on spreading the truth of the Gospel and preparing ourselves as a bride prepares herself for the groom. We don’t know when He’ll knock. But when He does, let’s make sure we’re ready, rather than simply wondering when He will return.

PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!

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