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NOTES ON ANTICHRIST

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Notes on Antichrist - May 15, 2006

Greetings Brethren;

There are only four verses in Scripture referring to "antichrist" by name and one has to ask why the apostle John -- and only John -- mentions him. Well, when were Johnís books written? Around 95 to 105 A.D.. The other apostles had all been martyred and John was the only one still alive. By that time, many heresies had entered the church: the Marcionites, the Gnostics, the Nicolaitans, the Balaamites, etc., etc., and John knew about them all.

In my opinion, Johnís Gospel and his epistleís were written primarily to combat those heresies. For instance, John 1:1-18 directly refutes the Gnostic view of the nature of Jesus while the rest of Johnís Gospel flatly declares Jesusí deity and His oneness with God the Father. In my opinion, the four versus in 1st and 2nd John referring to antichrist were written for the same purpose: to combat false views that existed in the early church. The phraes "you have heard" shows that the idea of a coming super bad character called "The Antichrist" was already in the Church. . . .

1 John 2:18, "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last time." (NAS)

1 John 2:22, "Who is a liar but the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ. He is THE antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father." (NAS)

1 John 4:3, "And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world." (NAS)

2 John 7, "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is THE deceiver and the antichrist." (NAS)

So obviously the spirit of Antichrist already existed in Johnís time and he makes no mention of one to come. John also said the church had "heard" antichrist was coming, but then, the Church had also heard another heresy, that Jesus had not come in the flesh, which John straightened out in 1 John 4:1-3. You see what the apostle was doing, donít you? The 1st century idea of a coming antichrist was just another heresy John was addressing.

In 2ndThessalonians 2 we read about a "man" that "sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Many believe that "man" to "THE Antichrist" and surely he is against the Lord, but is he the Antichrist of popular belief? Well, letís look at the Temple of God. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Many believe 1st Thessalonians was written before that destruction, but Scripture indicates otherwise.

1Thessalonians 2:16 "Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost." Look at the tense of the verb -- past tense, so to what "wrath" could Paul be referring if it wasnít the fall of Jerusalem? Consequently, Paul wrote 2nd Thessalonians after the destruction of the temple. Now lets look at where Godís Temple is located after the physical temple in Jeruslaem was destroyed:

1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

2 Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

Ephesians 2:22 "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

Once we know where the temple is, we can then look at 2nd Thessalonians 2 in a new light . . .

2 Thessalonians 2:3-6 "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, showing himself that he is God."

Now that we understand where the temple of God is during the Christian Era, this "he" that takes his seat in the human heart is obviously not a human being at all, but a spirit, the same "spirit of antichrist" mentioned in 1st and 2nd John . . . and who is the man of sin if it isn't Satan?

Ellis Skolfield