Antichrist

Let us begin with a definition. Antichrist simply means against Christ or opposed to Christ. The word is only found in four scriptures in the epistles of John. The first is quoted at the top of this page. Here are the others.

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. John 2:22
 

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.  I John 4:3
 

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 1:7

What does it mean to “…confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh”? Most religions teach of a coming world redeemer. The following is an excerpt from The Reappearance of the Christ by Alice A. Baily.

Throughout the ages the coming of an Avatar, the advent of a Coming One and the reappearance of the Christ have been the keynotes of the prevalent expectancy. The reappearance of the Christ, the Avatar, has long been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheres--not only by Christians, but by those who look for the Maitreya and for the Bodhisattva as well as those who expect the Imam Mahdi. The doctrine of Mediators, of Messiahs, of Christs, and of Avatars runs like a golden thread through all the world faiths and scriptures. When the times are ripe, the invocation of the masses is strident enough and the faith of those who know is keen enough, then always He has come and today will be no exception to this ancient rule, a universal law.

Alice Baily says there is a universal law that messiahs or christs come throughout history “when the times are ripe” and that today is no exception. She is not talking about the one and only Jesus Christ; she is saying that He was just one of many. The following is from the Lucis Trust (formerly Lucifer Publishing) website. Lucis Trust is the United Nations version of the Theosophical Society.

Today there is an increasing expectancy regarding the return of the “World Teacher,” the Coming One Who will return to lead humanity into a new age and into a heightened consciousness. In fact, some claim that the Christ has already reappeared in physical form and has been “sighted” in various parts of the world. Yet the teachings of the Tibetan Master, given in the books of Alice A. Bailey, make it clear that humanity itself must first produce the conditions in consciousness and in world affairs essential to the eventual physical appearance of the Christ.

In other words, “if they build it he will come.” They deny that Jesus Christ has come in “physical form.” Neither do they refer to the only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but to a sort of generic “christ” who they say will “lead humanity into a new age and into a heightened consciousness.” Would you find it odd that Judaism holds an almost identical view of the coming of “messiah” (moshiach) as the Theosophical Society? This is from the website Judaism 101.

The moshiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The moshiach is often referred to as “moshiach ben David” (moshiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments. (Isaiah 11:2-5) He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being. It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the moshiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person’s lifetime, then that person will be the moshiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the moshiach, then that person is not the moshiach.

This is another denial that Jesus was the moshiach in the flesh. Pagans and Jews alike are looking expectantly for the “world teacher.” They are right about one thing. All of these religions are looking for the same “world teacher” - the antichrist. According to Micheol Drazin, in his essay “The Messiah and the Messianic Era in Prophecy,” in order to determine whether a particular person is the Messiah, he must:

1. Be a King i.e. a spiritually eminent world Jewish leader.
2. Constantly be learning both the Written and Oral Law.
3. Do the commandments that are applicable to him.
4. Cause all Jews to be fully Torah observant.
5. Cause Israel’s hostile neighbors to become friendly, and cooperative.
6. Cause the Third Temple to be built on its site in Jerusalem.
7. Cause all Jews to live in Israel.
 

If he does these things and is fully successful, rebuilds the Third Temple on its location, and gathers the exiled Jews, he is beyond doubt the Messiah. But if he is not fully successful, or if he is killed, he is not the Messiah. Maimonides

According to Maimonides, Jesus was killed; therefore, He could’t be the messiah. There is a problem with this method of proving if a particular person is the messiah. Should you wait before you follow him; until you are convinced that he has successfully fulfilled all of the qualifications of messiah or is killed? What if you follow him, and he turns out to be an evil imposter? What if he is the messiah, and you hesitate to follow him until you feel sure? Either way you have made a mistake.

The Bible says there is an imposter coming to rule the world a few years prior to the return of Jesus Christ.

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. II Thessalonians 2:1-12

In the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar - the king of Babylon - had a dream of a giant statue whose various body parts represented empires that would rule the world until the end of time.

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Daniel 2:41-45
 

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. Psalm 118:22

That “stone cut out of the mountain without hands” is Jesus Christ, the Messiah, coming to “…break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.” Daniel had his own revelations of the end time. The ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream correspond to the ten horns in Daniel’s vision.

Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. Daniel 7:19-28

The horns represent kings. This passage speaks of "ten kings that shall arise" and of “another” that will arise after them. These ten kings prepare the world for the coming of antichrist. Jews and the pagans alike are looking for a “messiah” who will come when “the times are ripe,” and world conditions are right for him. This anti-messiah will “wear out the saints of the most high.”

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. Revelation 13:5-7
 

And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. Daniel 11:32-37
 

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. Daniel 8:23-25

Jesus Christ, the “Prince of princes”, is coming to destroy the “king of fierce countenance.” The true messiah is coming to destroy the false messiah. Christians are not looking for Jesus to return as a man. He has already “been there and done that.” Is there any Biblical evidence that the mission of Messiah would involve death, resurrection and a later return?

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9:24-27
 

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:1-12
 

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Psalm 16:10

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns there will be no wondering if it is Him.

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:23-27
 

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:6-11
 

Be careful to choose the genuine Messiah. A mistake will result in grave consequences.

…If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Revelation 14:9-12

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