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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2006

Biblical Evidence That Antichrist Is Now Revealed

The only place in the entire Bible where the word "antichrist" is ever mentioned is in the New Testament epistles of I and II John, where it is used a total of five times. These references are: I John 2:18, 22; 4:3; and II John 7. Given this fact, it is important to re-examine the biblical basis for much of the popular thinking on this extremely intriguing subject.

First, we should note that nowhere does the Bible depict the scenario of a future personal one-world-government leader, "Roman Antichrist," making and breaking a peace deal with the Jews for seven years. That notion derives, not from the New Testament itself, but from the nineteenth century English Plymouth Brethren, Sir Robert Anderson's, misguided theory of interpreting Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.

Granted, this may be a new thought to some folks, in which case it might need to "soak" on them awhile. Nevertheless, given the above fact, when once we remove the obstruction of modern dispensationalism's false theory of interpreting Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, the biblical teaching on the topic of antichrist clears up immeasurably. Now here is the central outline of that teaching:

First, John says that there are "many" antichrists, and that these many antichrists already existed in the first Christian century (I John 2:18). This affirmation, taken at face value, at least must diminish the prominence of "Antichrist" as relating only to one single person at the end of the age. True, John's readers had heard that antichrist would come, yet John said that many have already come, the implication being that over-preoccupation with the one will only lead to an eclipsing of the many, and, further, that the appearance of "many antichrists," not "THE (singular) Antichrist," was a pertinent indication of the last days. The last time is here, John says in 2:18, because many antichrist are now revealed, not because "THE Antichrist" has arrived.

The fact is, friends, that it is not apparent from what is said in his epistles that John himself expected a single (lone) Antichrist figure to arise at all. Rather, the more likely possibility from the evidence at hand is that what his readers had gathered from extra-revelatory sources he is now correcting by his own more proper Christian understanding.These many antichrists, John goes on to say, do not arise from the outside heathen world at all. In other words, they are not the secular, political figures that so many of we moderns think. Rather, they arise from among believers as apostates from the Christian faith (I John 2:19).

Then comes John's clear definition of who the Antichrist really is. It is "every spirit" that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (I John 4:3; II John 7). Antichrist, according to John, is everyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, meaning the Messiah (I John 2:22), More specifically, it is a denial that the Messiah has appeared on earth as man. Antichrist is a DENIER of the revelation of God in Christ. That's it, period!

Now let us make the relevant issues perfectly clear. (1) John nowhere says that Antichrist will have a career of seven years; (2) he nowhere says that Antichrist will make any peace treaty with the Jews, or that he will break any such agreement in the middle of seven years. None of that preconception (all derived from Darbyism's false theory of interpreting Daniel 9:27, --which false theory, in turn, is sought to be superimposed upon the New Testament) is taught by John, the only writer in the entire Bible who even mentions the word "antichrist."

Friends, the fact is that the "spirit of antichrist" was revealed in the first Christian century, and has continued to be revealed down through the Christian ages by those who have distorted and opposed the New Testament revelation of the Messiah and his kingdom. Today that same spirit of antichrist is revealed, particularly (though certainly not exclusively), through the teachings of dispensational premillennialism, which, when properly understood, is a system of ideological antinomianism that returns its devotees to the spiritual and moral bankruptcy of a first century Christ-rejecting Judaism.

Friends, this fact at least partly explains why there is such wholesale backsliding from the biblical standards of holiness among professed American evangelical Christians these days. The professed Wesleyan Holiness movement, too, has had its share of worldly backsliding, with many among us loosing our kids and grand kids to immorality, materialism, and cultural paganism. The "conservative" Holiness movement was raised up thirty plus years ago to stem the tide of perceived apostasy, yet ironically, many of us, too, are still steeped in the antinomian ideology of Darbyite dispensationalism. Thus, the on-going attrition into apostasy continues, and will continue, until enough people get their proverbial heads out of the sand, as it were, and do something about it

Dispensational teaching is antinomianism, and antinomianism is the manifestation of Antichrist. Please wake up!

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