WHAT ABOUT “THE ANTI-CHRIST”?

Wayne S. Walker

Question:  “What does the Bible say about the Anti-Christ?”

     If the question has in mind a single individual or movement known as
“THE Anti-Christ,” then the Bible says nothing.  We read in 1 John 4.3,
“And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the
flesh is not of God.  And this is the spirit of the Anti-Christ, which
you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”  The Bible
definitely speaks of “anti-Christ,” but what is it talking about?

     The common theory is that some person or movement will arise just
before the end of time which can be referred to as “THE Anti-Christ” and
will be a sign of the second coming of Jesus.  However, John here says
that every spirit who does not confess that Christ came in the flesh has
the spirit of anti-Christ.  And back in 1 John 4.1, John identifies the
spirits as false prophets who had already gone out into the world.

     In fact, John certainly does not limit the idea of anti-Christ to
the end of time just before the second coming.  He further identifies
this spirit of anti-Christ in 1 John 2.18-22, where he writes, “Little
children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist
is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it
is the last hour….Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the
Christ?  He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.”  These
“antichrists” were to come in “the last hour.”  But John said that when
he was writing, “It is the last hour.”

      The “last hour” does not refer to the end of time or the days
immediately preceding the second coming of Jesus but to the gospel
dispensation which began on Pentecost in the first century following the
death and resurrection of Christ and will last till His second coming.
According to Hebrews 1.1-2, the period known as the “last days” is the
period when God speaks to us by His Son.  During this entire time John
says that many anti-Christs would arise.

     Who are these anti-Christs?  2 John verse 7 says, “For many
deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus as coming
in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ.”  The New Testament
simply does not identify any specific person or movement at “THE
Anti-Christ.”  Anyone who denies that Jesus Christ either is the divine
Son of God or has come in the flesh is anti-Christ.

     There were those in John’s day who did so.  THere are those today
who do so.  And there will be those as long as the world stands who do
so.  So there were anti-Christs in the first century.  There are
anti-Christs today.  And there will be anti-Christs until Jesus comes.
But the Bible does NOT teach that there will be any signs of Christ’s
second coming, such as “THE Anti-Christ,” by which we can tell when it
might be.  “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the
angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24.36).  [From “Search for
Truth,” Oct. 5, 1997.]

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