Should We Be Looking For The Antichrist?
There are many today that speculate about who the antichrist is and when he will begin to rule the world, but is all this talk about the antichrist based on Biblical truth or just the twisting of the Scriptures by those with vivid imaginations? Those who believe in the false doctrine of premillennialism claim that the antichrist will appear on earth just prior to the return of Jesus. They distort the Scriptures (especially the book of Revelation) to say he will take over the newly revived Roman empire and rule the world from Jerusalem after all the Christians have been raptured to heaven. They also believe that he will fight with Jesus Christ at the battle of Armageddon. Some of the self appointed prophets who believe this theory have speculated at different times that Hitler, Ronald Reagan, Saddam Hussein, and many others were the antichrist. The theory is widely accepted as truth among many professing “Christians”, but it is completely foreign to the Bible. The apostle Peter spoke of those who are “untaught and unstable” that would “twist” the scriptures to their own destruction (1 Pet. 3:15). The doctrine may seem harmless to some, but when intently studied it is found to severely contradict the teaching of Christ and God’s Word.
The word antichrist is only found in four verses of the Bible, and none of those verses have anything to do with the book of Revelation or the second coming of Christ. The word antichrist only appears in the books of First and Second John. In order to discover what the antichrist is, we must understand the context in which John spoke of it in his books. John was attacking the false teaching of Gnosticism. Many false teachers were already strong at work teaching the Christians that Jesus Christ was only a spirit and that he had never came in the flesh. If Jesus had never actually come in the flesh; then the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus could have never really happened. The writer of Hebrews stated that Christ was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). It would be impossible for him to have been tempted in all points as we are if He had never come in the flesh. John had to counter this false teaching, and that is why he wrote his epistles.
John was telling those first century Christians that anyone who had denied that Jesus had come in the flesh, was an antichrist. John wrote, “and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:3). John made the point that any person could be an antichrist. He also made the point that the antichrists already existed in the world, so this would make it obvious that the antichrist is not going to be a single individual evil ruler that appears before Christ’s coming. John said, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:28). Many antichrists had already appeared in the days of John. John had also stated, “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). John states that an antichrist is anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ or denies that Jesus actually came to earth in the flesh. The antichrist is not an evil man who will rule the world, but instead anyone who at anytime speaks out in an effort to deny Jesus Christ. -Ed