Tag Archives: gospel

Spirit of Anti-Christ

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“And this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

The four passages in the New Testament that use this term are unique to the apostle John (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7). The term itself is a transliteration of the Greek compound word anti plus christos, meaning one who is “against” Christ.

John distinguishes between “the” Antichrist (1 John 2:18) and the “many” antichrists against whom we are continually fighting today.

“And this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

Although a sincere Christian should be aware of the Antichrist (the “man of sin” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10), far more caution is urged to identify and fight the spirit of antichrist that is already here!

To begin with, it should be noted that there is no specific word for “spirit” in 1 John 4:3. The English word is supplied by the translators to clarify the obvious meaning of the text, that it is the attitude or character of antichrist of which we are to be wary. Those who have this spirit are liars (1 John 2:22), mainly because they refuse to accept the truth that Jesus is the Christ.

Further rejection of that truth centers around denial of the incarnation of Christ, that Jesus is the Creator God come in human flesh (1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7). Those who would deny that truth embrace the very core of all lies and become anti Christ.

Such persons are like the thief and the robber who harm the sheep (John 10:1), embrace another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), and teach other doctrines (1 Timothy 1:3-7).

From such as these we are to turn away (2 Timothy 3:5). HMM III

The God/Man

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“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1)

It has been said, quite cogently, that John’s gospel assumes the humanity and undertakes to prove the deity of Jesus Christ, whereas John’s first epistle assumes His deity and then seeks to prove His humanity. The Lord Jesus Christ was both fully God and perfect man.

John, in his gospel, says: “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). In his epistle, he says: “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John 4:2-3).

His deity had been fully demonstrated by His mighty miracles, by His bodily resurrection. However, there were many who questioned His true humanity in John’s day, as they do in ours. Even today, many cultists, as well as liberals, try to make a distinction between the man Jesus of Nazareth (whose absolute deity they reject) and “the Christ,” an ideal spirit or idea of some sort, who is not actually a living being but who may come upon or indwell certain people at times.

Such a concept John vehemently rejected, attributing it to the spirit of antichrist. They had heard Him; they had touched and handled Him. There was no doubt whatever that, both before and after His resurrection, He was a true man—in fact, a perfect man—as God intended man to be. He could die for our sins because He was sinless man; He could take away our sins because He is omnipotent God. HMM

The Power of the Gospel

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“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

This verse contains important information. We are told God’s power resides in the gospel, and that the purpose of this power is the salvation of both Jew and Greek. This passage is intended to incorporate spreading the gospel to all humanity and is specifically stated by the Lord Jesus: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Evidently, the event that takes place when one is twiceborn is nothing less than a supernatural creation by the Creator Himself (Ephesians 4:24)! There is no need for salesmanship or psychology or finesse or technique; the dunamis (power) of the Living God is transmitted, applied, and exercised as the gospel is spoken and a person listens.

• Ephesians 2:8—“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
• Romans 10:17—“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
• John 6:63—“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
• 1 Peter 1:23—“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
• 1 Corinthians 15:3-4—“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

To be successful (not to mention obedient) to the Lord’s command, we must surely use the power of God that has been made available to us in the Scriptures! HMM III

The Branch of the Lord

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“In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” (Isaiah 4:2)

One of the fascinating titles of the promised Messiah is that of “the Branch.” Here He is called “the branch of the LORD,” along with “the fruit of the earth.” As the first, He is “beautiful and glorious.” As the second, He is “excellent and comely.” “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem [or ‘stump’] of Jesse [that is, the father of King David], and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1).

In addition to the two references in Isaiah, there are two in Jeremiah and two in Zechariah. In both Jeremiah passages, He is a Branch of David. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch” (Jeremiah 23:5). See also Jeremiah 33:15.

In Zechariah’s prophecy, He is called God’s servant and God’s man. “For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH” (Zechariah 3:8). “Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD” (Zechariah 6:12).

This fourfold presentation of the Branch of David, the Branch as a servant, the man who is the Branch, and the Branch of the Lord beautifully corresponds to the fourfold gospel depiction of Christ as King (Matthew), Servant (Mark), Perfect Man (Luke), and Son of God (John).

Just as a branch when it first begins to shoot forth appears small and fragile and easily broken, so would the Messiah first appear to be inconspicuous and unattractive. “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2). Yet this same fragile branch will one day become a great vine with innumerable branches (John 15:5) that will spread its excellent fruit throughout all the earth. HMM

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