The Spirit of AntichristDec 27th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Special Features (click on Article name)
The Spirit of Antichrist
While the world and its spirit are quite contrary to Christ and the Spirit of Christ, and might therefore without impropriety be termed anti-Christ (against Christ), yet this term as used in Scripture is never applied to the world, but always to professed Christians who have turned aside from the truth, and who, by becoming advocates of error, are in Christ’s name opposing him, his followers, and his doctrines.
We are well aware that many regard it in a contrary light,–considering the term antichrist as belonging to worldly opponents of all who profess Christ in any manner–infidels, heathens, Muslims, etc. That this view is incorrect we can prove readily by citing here every text in the Bible containing the word antichrist, and pointing to some statement in the context which unmistakably fixes it upon some professing to be Christ’s followers. This is an important point, as it overthrows completely a wide-spread belief, and opens our eyes to look for antichrist in a quarter in which many may not have thought to look hitherto. In fact, the prefix anti, signifies more than against, it contains the double thought of instead and against.
The word antichrist occurs five times, 1 John. 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 John. 7. The class meant is easily discerned from the general tenor of John’s epistles and from the following pointed statements: “They went out from us, but they were not of us.” They are [really] of the world [though professing otherwise], therefore speak they of [or according to the spirit of] the world, and the world heareth them.” (1 John. 2:19; 4:5.) Other scriptures mention and describe the same class, but by different names. Paul in 2 Thes. 2:3, following the same vein of thought as in Rom. 6:6, personifies the system of error which he saw would arise, and speaks of it as the “Body of Sin,” counterfeiting and opposing the “Body of Christ,” naming it here as an organized body, “The man of Sin.” He makes no reference to a sinful individual; for there are and have been in the past, and were in and before Paul’s day, horribly depraved creatures of the human race, than whom worse could scarcely be conceived of; and the Apostle was not passing all these by to speak of some individual pre-eminently vile and vicious. No, he sees and tells us of a system of evil and error, the embodiment of evil, the opponent and counterfeit of the Body of Christ,–the antichrist Body. But only those who have learned that the true church is the “Body of Christ” can appreciate how the counterfeit nominal system, the “Man of Sin,” is the antichrist. But we refer to this merely to note the fact that the Apostle Paul mentions that this “Man of Sin” system arises in the church, and professes to be in and of the true temple –the Church of the living God (Compare 2 Thes. 2:4 with 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:21.) and not of the world. He declares this to be an apostasy, a falling away from the truth.