27. "ANTICHRIST" CHEFS
John calls them "antichrists". They feed a diet of poison milk, of pretend pablum, of corrupted meat. Just as God wants us to live as Christ, having His mind, His nature, His works, so the devil seeks to have many of his cohorts among mankind to be like the Antichrist. They are deceptive as the final antichrist will be, and serve a diet that seems to be good, but is really horrible.
John tells us that "many antichrists... have already arisen."
They were already preparing meals of untruth, of distortion, of deception,
of attack, of ... etc etc.. in the days of John, and in these last days of the last days, they are still preparing meals that can kill.
There are still many today. These people embody the anti-Christian spirit, and are like forerunners of the eschatological antichrist. The falsehoods of these ‘many antichrists’ are prevalent in our time. John who was the one most close to the Lord, and is also the one who is most concerned with warning us against those who are farthest from this Jesus that John loved so much.
"Antichrist" comes from two words, "anti" which when used with another word, means "opposition to", and "opposition in the guise of similarity."
The "antichrists" of all ages are people who have assumed the guise of Christ, tried to assume the authority of the Lord, counterfeited Christ, tried to rival Christ, have usurped the position of Christ, and have been adversarial to Christ. Jesus warned of such "false christs".
Mark 13:22-23 (ESV)
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
And yet today, we find that many Christians are shocked at the idea that there are ‘antichrists’ already in the church, in the world.
In John's day, these ones who had such incentive to counter the Lord’s teachings themselves, that they spread heretical doctrines that threatened Christianity. John was adamantly opposed to not only their doctrine but also to their presence.
The Antichrist himself cannot be revealed until we, the saints, have been removed from this earth by the rapture. Yet, too often, unlike John, we have not hindered the other "antichrist" personalities within the congregations of today. John did not warn us of their presence for us just to watch them work, we are to hinder their work, preach the truth, wake up the church.
John not only taught the truth, he attacked the error and the heresy, and he warned strongly against these "antichrists", these false chefs..
These "antichrists" "went out from us", according to I John 2:19. This indicates that they had before claimed to be Christians, were pretending to be part of the faith. John says that "they were not of us", indicating that their membership in the congregations was outward, and they were Christians in name only. There are many who the devil has placed within the Christian circles, and have made great play-acting imitation of saints.
When the Word of God is preached in uncompromising, rhema filled fashion, the Spirit of Truth begins to work. Then these hypocrites begin to be uneasy, and will depart. They depart from the midst of the revival. John says that "if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us" (2:19) Continuance, in the presence of the revival of the Spirit of Truth is a mark of true discipleship.
"...If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free..."
The reason the Holy Spirit of Truth drives out such "antichrists" is that He is manifesting truth, and His work of manifesting truth, and uncovering deceit and falsehood.
There are many congregations that need such a move of the Spirit of Truth. These congregations have unrecognized "antichrists" who offend and cause harm.
The revelation of truth from the mouths of the Lord’s disciples make these ‘antichrists’ very unsettled. They squirm, yell ouch, attack the preachers of the Word, try to counter with false doctrine, and if revival continues anyhow, they depart.
God has always desired to make manifest the ones who are fake, false, and hypocritical. Somehow, someway, God seeks to unmask these ones, but the sleeping , apathetic saints hinder such attempts of the Lord. Here in the time of John, the group was exposed and left the revival congregation.
"they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us..." (I John 2:19)
These "antichrists" have distinctive persuasions.
They are LIARS.
They tell the ultimate lie, that Jesus is not the Christ, that is the Sent One, the Chosen One of heaven Who was sent by God to earth to provide redemption for mankind. This is a lie that is more horrible than any other they could tell. Some teach that Jesus was a mere human Who had the "spirit of the Christ" come upon Him at His baptism, and left Him before the crucifixion. To deny the Lord, is the same as denying the Father.
I John 2:23
"Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father..."
Some want to assume the authority of Jesus. They want to be the mediator between God and men. They want to speak what God wants you to know, and not want it tested by the Word, or confirmed personally by the Holy Spirit. Christ Jesus is the only access to the Father, and those who deny Him, denigrate Him, or seek to down-grade His Person, will lose the Father.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
I John 2:23 b
"He that confesses the Son hath the Father also."
They have an evil purpose.
The intention of these "antichrists" is to seduce the people of God from the truth. They intend to mislead. The ‘food’ from them is seductive, tasty to the spiritual palate, but poison when digested and consumed.
I John 2:26
"These things have I written unto you, concerning them that seduce you."
Their intention is to deceive, and they enjoy such deceptions. Their joy is increased if they can frustrate, aggravate, and disturb the saints. They start debates, create hassles, and split friendships, and enjoy it. Most saints in congregations have seen such events often, and our desire to believe that these "antichrists" are "Christian" allow us to be deceived.
Yet, we, the believers, have security.
I John 2:26-28
"But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him."
This "anointing" is the same word as "unction" in verse 20. It is from the Greek word "chrisma". We are to have this anointing "upon us." John is saying that the true anointing is upon the saints, not the "antichrists" who may claim (as did the gnostics) some great anointing.
When John says that "ye have not need that any man teach you" does not mean we do not have the ministry of teaching still in effect today, but it means that our real Teacher is the Holy Spirit, and He may use some with the gift of teaching to aid His work, but it is His work, not the human teachers. All teaching from human teaching should be tested by the Spirit and by His written Word. We can know "all" the things we need to know, via this Great Teacher, the Spirit, Who abides within and upon us.
Search the Word, and keep the Word as the authority.
Maintain a union and a fellowship relationship with the Lord. We are told many times in Scripture to "abide in Him." It is an imperative.
The truth will flow from the mouths, from the pens, from the keyboards, of the ones following the Lord. The lies and heresies of the devil will come from others. We are to preach the Truth, His name is Jesus, His Word is written for us to study, and to then preach. The Spirit of Truth will anoint our efforts, and give us spiritual gifts with which to do our ministries.
So, can you imagine a world today full of antichrists? Well, you don’t really need to ‘imagine’... open your eyes, they are in many places.
These false ANTICHRIST chefs want to prepare our meals, but our real TEACHER is the Holy Spirit, and all we hear from others, is to be tested by the Word, and by the Holy Spirit...