Posted by: John Gilmore | October 16, 2006

Who is the antichrist? Part 1

As I’ve mentioned in other postings, most Christians today believe that the antichrist of the Bible will be a man who rules over a future one world government. This person will be dynamic, well spoken, good-looking, a gifted politician….and evil. I have to say that until earlier this year, I believed this as well. It’s hard to take a step back and re-evaluate your beliefs when you’ve been told something over and over your entire life. It’s even harder to take a fresh look at end time Bible prophecy when the prevailing interpretation of end time prophecies by popular Christian teachers is all that you see and read. The question we must ask ourselves is this – are these interpretations accurate according to Scripture? Although the topic of the antichrist is one of the most talked about prophecies, I believe that most Christians in the world today have been sold an interpretation by many teachers of God’s word that is untrue. It’s not that these teachers are willfully deceiving people, but nonetheless, they are incorrect in teaching that the antichrist will someday be one evil world ruler.

This discussion will require you to have an open mind. You will need to put away your preconceived notions of what the antichrist will be. The truth is that the antichrist is here among us today…..preparing for the day when the “beast…out of the sea” mentioned in Revelation 13 will return. It will take some time to cover this topic, so I’m going to discuss this over multiple postings. I will warn you…..it is highly likely that you will not want to believe the truth. You must overcome the world and its deception. Most of all, pray about these topics. Ask God to reveal the truth to you and ask Him for wisdom. “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). I now pray about anything I’m told before I accept it as the truth.

Although Jesus warned us to “Take heed that you are not deceived” (Mathew 24:4) during the last days, I believe that the world today is being deceived at a level unprecedented in human history. Why is this happening now? Because the political ‘beast’ and the religious ‘beast’ of Revelation are almost here. Satan is deceptively ushering in both of these ‘beasts’. Why are we allowing ourselves to be deceived? Many people don’t believe in the Bible and its truth and therefore, don’t read God’s words of prophecy and warning (“my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6). Many of us who believe in God, simply are too busy to take time to read God’s word and pay attention to what is going on around us (again, our enemy is very deceptive). And lastly, fear has overtaken us on many levels. We simply don’t want to believe the truth of what is happening in the world because it scares us. We disregard the truth because believing the truth would require us to think and pray about what is really important and what God wants us to do about it. It’s much easier to focus on material things, our jobs, where we’re going on vacation this year, etc, etc. Due to fear and/or complacency, we have allowed our government to take away many of our freedoms (Patriot Act) and have even allowed our government to essentially remove the Bill of Rights (Military Commissions Act of 2006). Whether you believe it or not, we are being setup for future ‘events’. “while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:13

Many of us take a look at what’s happening in the world and we think “how can I do anything significant to help this? How can I fight the good fight? I’m just one, insignificant person. I’m putting my faith in Jesus returning in a secret rapture to take me away from all of this.” These thoughts are from our enemy…plain and simple. The fact is, each of us can do incredible, amazing things….but not by ourselves. “With man this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Mathew 19:26) I’m writing about these things because I have thought these thoughts and allowed the enemy to shut me down for a very long time. No more. It’s time to pick up our rod and our staff and fight the wicked one who deceives. God is looking for warriors. You are one of them. The choice is yours. Do you want to follow God or continue on your own path? I say this because if you are reading this, in all likelihood you are going to face the antichrist, the ‘beasts’ of Revelation and the mark of the beast (we’ll discuss the mark at a later time). Are you ready? Have you put on the full armor of God? (Ephesians 6:10-20) When the ‘day of evil’ comes, will you be able to stand?

The following discussion is from Steve Wohlberg’s book “End Time Delusions”. Steve has done a great job of researching these topics. I highly recommend that you purchase this book. Let go of what you’ve been told in the past about end time prophecy and read this with an open mind.
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‘Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.’ –Winston Churchill

What does the Bible really teach about this mysterious subject? The word ‘antichrist’ or ‘antichrists’ is found only five times in Scripture and all of these references are found in two small books right before the Book of Revelation. The two little books are 1st and 2nd John. The exact verses are 1 John 2:18-22, 26; 4:3-4:6; and 2 John 7. That’s it. When we read these verses (and others near them), we certainly don’t read about any future Mr. Bad guy. On the contrary, we find:

1 John 2:18 The early Christians had heard that antichrist was coming.
1 John 2:18 Even now there are many antichrists
1 John 2:18 This is evidence that the last time has come
1 John 2:19 These many antichrists “went out from us”.
1 John 2:22 Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is antichrist.
1 John 2:26 These antichrists are trying to seduce us away from Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:3 There is a spirit of antichrist.
1 John 4:3 The spirit of the antichrist denies Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
1 John 4:3 The spirit of antichrist is already in the world.
1 John 4:4 True Christians must overcome every form of antichrist.
1 John 4:6 The spirit of antichrist is the spirit of error.
2 John 7 There are many deceivers and antichrists in the world.
2 John 9 To overcome these antichrists, Christians must abide in the doctrine of Christ.

After an objective look, what have we discovered? Do any of these verses describe a solitary Mr. Sin who only shows up after we’re gone? Definitely not! The Word of God describes not just one, but many antichrists. According to 1 John 2:19, these many antichrists “went out from us”, which means out from inside the Christian church! They are subtle, deceptive and at war with true Christians. They may profess a certain faith in Jesus, yet their faith is superficial. They actually deny the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22, 26). According to the Bible, the goal of these many antichrists and of the spirit of antichrist is to deceive Christians away from God’s love, from the gospel, and from the true doctrine of Jesus Christ (2 John 7, 9). Genuine Christians do battle with these spiritual enemies of truth; and in the strength of Christ, overcome them (1 John 4:4).

This is everything God’s word actually says about “antichrist”, “antichrists” and “the spirit of antichrist”. None of these insightful passages point toward only one person – like Nicolae Carpathia (Left Behind books)– who appears as a cunning politician only after we’re gone. The truth is quite different. In reality, they all refer to seductive and deceiving elements which are here now and which true Christians must face and overcome.

It’s true, God’s Book reveals other prophecies about the emergence of an evil “little horn” (Daniel 7:8), a dreadful “beast” (Revelation 13:1), and the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). It is primarily these prophecies that are now being used to support the idea of a future Mr. Abominable – one who will rise up outside of Christianity after the rapture. Yet consider this – the definite trend of the Bible’s literal “antichrist” passages clearly points to things that are here now and which true Christians must face and overcome. So why would its other antichrist prophecies about the “little horn”, “the man of sin”, and the “beast”, suddenly reverse this trend and apply to things which Christians will not face because they will first vanish in the rapture?

We may trust that today’s much-respected prophecy teachers know their stuff and won’t lead us astray, but in the final analysis, we must look to God’s Word for ourselves. So far, as we have done this, we’ve seen that all of the Word’s clear “antichrist” statements apply to deceptive elements inside of Christianity – elements we must face and overcome. The problem is that most prophecy books don’t tell us this. As we continue this discussion, checking God’s Word closely and listening to His voice, you will discover many other things you won’t learn in popular prophecy books or movies.
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Are you starting to feel uncomfortable yet? Over the past year and a half, the Lord has brought me out of my comfort zone time and again to show me the truth and bring me closer to Him. As I mentioned in my very first letter to friends and family (August 2005), I now check everything against God’s Word. As we continue our study of His Word and end time prophecy, you’ll be amazed at what the Bible truly says about the “antichrist”, “little horn” and the “beast”. I’ve mentioned many times that there are no coincidences in our lives. You are reading about these things for a reason. The Lord has chosen to reveal the truth to you…….

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