Monday, December 28, 2009

Johnny Poppin' 7; The Antichrist(s)

1 John 2: 18-29
Warning Against Antichrists
18Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what he promised us—even eternal life.
26I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
Children of God
28And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
29If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

A lot of people like to use the concept of an antichrist to make people afraid.

Movie makers of 'the Omen' concocted a story about Satan's baby switched at birth with the stillborn child of a British diplomat who kills his nannies and priests who try to stop him.

Those who subscribe to mistaken doctrines of the millenialism and dispensationalism have tried to interpret the Revelation of John , chapter 13 to warn of an antichrist who will lead some kind of one-world government under Satanic control to try to thwart the coming 1,000 year earthly reign of Christ before the final judgment day. In fact, the term antichrist only appears in Johns letters, not in the book of Revelation. This kind of thing was declared heresy by the mainstream church by the 4th century. Still, whether because people like to think that they know or can predict how the end times will play out or because they want to scare people into becoming Christian, these false teachings persist. The irony is that John was writing against these very kinds of false teachings when he wrote 1 John.

Incidentally,  millenialsim may have it's roots in pre-Christian religions like Zoroastrianism, not to mention an unhealthy fascination with Nostradamus. Hitler offered a "Reich" or 1,000 year reign ushering in peace and good and a defeat of all evil (presumably Jews).

Most recently, political opponents of candidate Barrack Obama tried to spread rumors, mostly by viral emails, that he was the antichrist. They claimed that the according to Revelation, the antichrist would be in his mid forties, Muslim, and have huge popular appeal . Islam wasn't founded until 400 years after John wrote Revelation, and Obama repeatedly and openly proclaimed his belief in Jesus Christ.

Some of the types of teaching that John was warning his original readers about might have included those of Marcion of Sinope, a Greek Bible teacher who believed in two separate gods, Yaweh was the god of the old testament- which Marcion pretty much through out, and "God the Father," of the new testament.

Notice John explains that antichrists went out from us in verse 19? How many false teachers and false prophets operate under the guise of being "Christian?" 

"Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son." Who is an antichrist? Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

At John's time there was a movement called Gnosticism, or the "secret knowledge," a belief that we're all offspring of an imperfect god and can transcend the material world and become more god-like. Gnostics didn't believe that Jesus was the only begotten son of God, some thought He was an embodiment of the supreme being who came to Earth to bring this secret knowledge, others thought He was just an example of someone who managed to perceive the higher reality.

This false teaching is still showing up today, whether in things like 'the Da Vinci Code,' or various sects and cults like Scientology, that claim that salvation comes from the light within.

But John comforts us by reminding us to hold onto what we were originally taught and that our anointing being set aside for God's purpose in baptism still holds. We don't need some new secret, mystic knowledge, all we need is Jesus.

We don't have to be afraid of an antichrist or antichrists, all we have to do is to remember who the real Christ is and to trust in Him.

A final word, I should've included this in the original post-
"Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:3

That verse is one of the ways I "tested" to be sure that President Obama is NOT an antichrist!

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