Despite the plain, simple teachings of God’s Word on the subject of the antichrist, men continue to wrest the scriptures and picture a super human dictator who will rule the entire world, demanding all, both small and great, to receive a mark in their hand or forehead before they can buy or sell. This theory is without scriptural foundation. The Bible does not teach that one man known as the “man of sin” or the “antichrist” will ever rule the entire world.
“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.” 1 John 2:18. The first epistle of John was written before the turn of the second century and the apostle states definitely that there are many antichrists (at the time he wrote his epistle, or centuries ago) and still supposed-to-be-ministers of the gospel in our present day are preaching the antichrist will come in the future.
Every generation since Jesus Christ was on earth has been plagued with false prophets who have taught the antichrist would come in the future and many have ventured to point out the person who would rise to power and become this super human dictator.
During the reign of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president of the United States, some labelled the NRA as the mark of the beast. In an effort to bring the nation out of an economic depression, this president created many governmental agencies to provide work for the millions of idle hands. NRA was one of those agencies and it carried with it a stamp of a blue eagle and the letters NRA. This stamp was carried on many items on the market for sale to the public. Many preachers declared this as the mark of the beast, saying the time will soon come when you’ll be compelled to have this stamp in your right hand or forehead, or you can’t buy or sell anything. Sad indeed, that preachers will try to point out the mark of the beast when they can’t identify the beast. Today the NRA and the blue eagle cease to exist, so then that was not the mark of the beast.
During World War II many preached that Benito Mussolini of Italy would rise to power and become the antichrist, while others were preaching Adolph Hitler of Germany would be the antichrist, and still others were proclaiming Joseph Stalin of Russia was the man. But all three of these have gone on to their eternal reward, never rising to such power. Many other personalities have been pointed out by preachers and labelled the one who will rise to power and become the “antichrist.” The Bible does not teach the antichrist to be one particular man or person, but rather a spirit. That spirit of antichrist may dwell in any person’s heart and they constitute a part of antichrist as well as anyone else.
In teaching about the antichrist, Bible students have taken the “man of sin” spoken of in II Thessalonians 2, and the beast which gives the mark in the forehead or right hand found in Rev. 13:11-18, and tied them with the antichrist and come up with the theory of one super human dictator ruling the entire world known as the “antichrist.” But the Bible does not identify these three together, nor link them in any such wise. These three are distinct one from the other, yet they all constitute an integral part of the devil’s over-all scheme to deceive humanity. The “man of sin” and the beast that gives the mark are agents of false religions, namely Romanism and Protestantism, through which the spirit of antichrist works to deceive mankind.
ANTI-CHRIST IS A SPIRIT AND NOT A MAN
The Bible does not teach the antichrist as one man who will rise to power and rule the world, whose coming is yet future. This is a deception from the devil. In 1 John 2:18, the apostle said, “Even now are there many antichrists.” These words were written in A.D. 90, and the apostle lets us know there are many antichrists, not just one, as so many are teaching. How can we say the coming of antichrist is yet future when John says, “Even now are there many antichrists?”
The prefix “anti” means to oppose something or someone. Placing this prefix “anti” before the word Christ, merely means a spirit that is opposed to Christ. This anti-spirit may dwell within the heart of any person or organization.
In 1 John 4:1-3 the apostle writes, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: [He is saying in reality, this is the way you will know the Spirit of God and the spirit of antichrist] Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 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.”
Note in verse 2 he said, “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” He did not say every person who confesses, but every spirit. There are many people who confess intellectually that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, while within their heart dwells a spirit that is opposed to Christ and His doctrines and is that spirit of antichrist.
Any person or organization (religious or non-religious) that opposes the doctrine that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, and/or, that opposes any of the doctrines that Jesus Christ taught, is of the spirit of antichrist. Remember, antichrist is a spirit and not any particular man; any person or organization that does not believe in the existence of the living God.
THE SPIRIT OF ANTI-CHRIST AT WORK TODAY
As we view world conditions, we see humanity in the grip of the spirit of revolution, anarchy, and rebellion against law and order. People have thrown off all respect for decency and uprightness. The fear of God is not in their hearts; they respect not His commandments. The younger generation has arisen declaring they are going to overthrow the establishment, destroy the society we know today and rebuild a new order. This spirit of revolution and rebellion that is so prominent in the hearts of mankind comes from the spirit of antichrist. It is a devilish spirit that is “anti” or “opposed to” God and His Son Jesus Christ, and the principles of righteousness which He brought into the world. Also, it is opposed to everyone who stands up for God and His righteousness.
Any intelligent person knows the philosophy of communism is anti-god, antichrist. It makes sport of the idea there is a living God and the possibility of man making any contact with that God. Multitudes recognize the fact that communism is opposed to God and Christ and righteousness, yet fail to recognize the fact that the same anti-god, antichrist spirit has invaded professed Christianity today.
Many people are blinded by the spirit of antichrist as they contend for, and work feverishly to promote their denomination or organization. That organization may acknowledge Christ as God’s Son, while at the same time oppose, resist and fight against some of His doctrines and be as much antichrist as the organization that denies His divinity.
It makes no difference what name the organization may carry, or what we as an individual may profess, or be affiliated with; if there is a spirit within that resists any Bible truth, we are of the spirit of antichrist. True Christianity lies in the miracle of the new birth. Until men have come under the convicting power of the Holy Ghost and actually repented of their sins, confessing them, forsaking them and believing in their hearts that Jesus Christ is the propitiation for their sins, thus being born of God, they have not become a Christian.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13. A Bible Christian is one who has confessed and forsaken his sins, repenting of them from the heart, believing in Jesus Christ and has been born of God. A miraculous change has been wrought in one’s heart, a new spirit has been put within them and they delight in the words (teachings) of God.
Jesus said, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47. This just means if we are born of God we will not oppose His words, but rather love them and obey them. It is obvious that people and organizations who oppose the teachings of God’s Word do not have the Spirit of God reigning within their hearts. They have an antichrist spirit, an unbelieving, rebellious spirit, which causes them to oppose His words.
Do not be deceived by the many false teachers who are propagating the doctrine that one super-human dictator will rise in the future and rule the world and he will be the antichrist.
“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.” 1 John 2:18. “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.” II John 7.
Dear reader, have you repented of your sins and been born of God’s Spirit? Does the spirit within your heart say amen to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God? Does your soul delight itself in the pure teachings of the Bible? Better try the spirits whether they be of God, for many false, antichrist spirits are gone out into the world.