Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month’s article is titled “The Life and Times of the Antichrist.” It is derived from a 1992 booklet by Dr. Ernest L. Martin. Although later research led him to change his understanding regarding the spirits involved with the Antichrist and his cohorts, the conclusions from the 1992 information remains provocative. Some will consider them to be controversial.
The information in this article correlates with Dr. Martin’s 1999 article “The Geography of Heaven,” 1 which was also controversial, and to his 2001 book The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine. Disagree with Dr. Martin if you will, but do so with solid biblical evidence as to your disagreement. Remember, feelings are not evidence, although they may motivate you to further study. Dr. Martin often changed his conclusions as new information was developed through deeper biblical investigation (2 Peter 3:18).
The purpose of all information from ASK is to better inform the ekklesia of God so that future problems can be avoided, problems with the tribulation from Satan, and problems of protection by God during the time of His wrath against the world.
Let us review some elementary information from the apostle John that helps define the idea of what an antichrist is. Then read Dr. Martin’s article for specifics about the Antichrist. Note below that there exists a “spirit of [the] antichrist” (1 John 4:3). This may indeed refer to a specific spirit personality or a number of spirit personalities who influence, deceive, and lead humans to believe and act out the teachings of antichrist. The definite articles in brackets are in the Greek texts:
(1) The Spirit of Antichrist was prevalent in apostolic times:
“Little children, it is the last time [hour]: and as you have heard that [the] antichrist [singular] shall come, even now are there many antichrists [plural]; whereby we know that it is the last time [hour]. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
1 John 2:18–19
John is showing that those individuals never were actually believers of the truth. Their departure from the midst of believers was evidence that they were not believers. They did not leave because they had minor doctrinal disagreements or personality conflicts. They deceptively entered into a relationship with the members of the ekklesia with the intent to deceive as an antichrist.
(2) Antichrist denies the Messiah and both the Father and the Son:
“… no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is [the] antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father: (but) he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
1 John 2:21–23
(3) The Spirit of Antichrist denies that Christ came in the flesh:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of [the] antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
1 John 4:1–3
(4) Deceit is a characteristic of Antichrist, as John repeats the characteristic of denying that Jesus came in the flesh, 2 John 1:7 (quoted below).
Those who repeat and promote the lies of Antichrist will also lie about their own beliefs. Those who are “antichrist” do not truly believe that Jesus was actually the Messiah, the Savior, who literally came in the flesh. The concept of “antichrist” encompasses those who are against Christ as well as individuals who deny of the truths about Christ. 2
We are not to act against those “who oppose and exalt themselves” above God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Our job is to instruct with meekness “those that oppose themselves” (2 Timothy 2:25), presenting “the truth … to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2). Note the apostle John’s statement.
“And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto you, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 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.”
2 John 1:5–7
Each of us has an obligation to promote the truth of God. Don’t think for a moment that the truth is something to be hoarded so you can have the knowledge of salvation for yourself alone. The truth is to be spread like seed. God will bring the increase as He wills (1 Corinthians 3:4–9).
Thank you for helping us continue Dr. Martin’s research and to spread the truth of God’s Word abroad through the internet — as He leads people to His truth, one person at a time. ASK seeks to provide and present, as Paul wrote, “the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:29). Through your help, the elements that teach the fulness of that Gospel can be studied by people at their own pace in privacy or in a group. People can learn to become “true worshippers [who] shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him” (John 4:23). God the Father actually seeks such people!
God’s word is literally the “word of life” (Philippians 2:16; 1 John 1:1, referring to John 5:24). If you neglect it, you deny yourself (and others) a wonderful gift. We cherish your financial contributions and your gracious words. Thank you for all the ways you give to ASK.
David W. Sielaff
2 At the time of the end there will be the Antichrist, an individual who will fulfill specific prescribed actions against God, Christ, and humanity. God will allow mankind to be deceived by the Antichrist to demonstrate that God is in total charge of all His creation. Even when the entire world will believe in God, it can easily be deceived. God will allow a similar thing to occur at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:3, 7–10).
3 The apostle John is referring to “the commandment” of Christ, that we are to “love one another.” See John 13:34–35:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
See also John 15:12, 17; Romans 13:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11, 23, 4:7, 11–12; as well 2 John 1:5–7.
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