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Author Topic: Who Is The Antichrist  (Read 15346 times)

Theophilus

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Who Is The Antichrist
« on: August 13, 2005, 01:44:35 PM »
Hello Friends,

In the letter of Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians he says that before the "Parousia" the "man of sin" must be manifested.  (2 Thes. 2).  This letter was written around  51 AD.  There Paul places the manifestation of the "man of sin" as a yet future event before the "gathering together" of the church (rapture).

In short, Paul says that the "man of sin" will be revealed YET (as a mistery) is already at work although not fully at work because is detained ('katargeo') by God.

Now, the Apostle John in his first letter written circa 90 AD. says:

Quote
1 John 4 (NLT)

3If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here.

1 John 4 (YLT)

3and every spirit that doth not confess Jesus Christ in the flesh having come, of God it is not; and this is that of the antichrist, which ye heard that it doth come, and now in the world it is already.

1 John 4 (KJV)

 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: 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 (NIV)

3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

He makes the following points:

1. those who do not acknowledge Jesus are not from God
2. they have the spirit of the Antichrist - of whom he says:
3. the Antichrist "you have heard that he is going to come into the world"
4. the Antichrist is already here

"IF" as many believe, the "man of sin" mentioned by Paul is the same as the "antichrist" mentioned by John (of whom he says "you heard that he is going to come into the world"), THEN my conclusion is that during Paul's time, he referred to the full manifestation of the "man of sin" as being "future".  But John refers to such manifestation (coming) as already present.  In other words, "the antichrist, that you heard was going to come has already come".

My point is:

1. that the coming (manifestation) of the Antichrist is not a future event but is an already fulfilled event of the past even when the Apostle John was still alive. The antichrist came into the world between the time of Paul's writing in 51AD and John's writing 90AD..

2. that the "antichrist" (man of sin?) was already in the world (Satan?)... ie. called a spirit of

3. that because it (satan) is a spirit (1 John 4:2-3) then it can be singular the man of sin YET manifested pluraly THROUGH "many" men who oppose Christ.

4. this coming of the antichrist has some connection with the beasts of rev. 13. (as I see it).  I had shared some of this before:

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/yabbse/index.php?topic=396.0

5. so, the beasts of rev. 13 (with the marking of the 666) and the coming of the antichrist (satan=spirit) takes place since then until the future coming "parousia".

But there is another possibility:

Maybe the "man of sin" mentioned by Paul is NOT the antichrist mentioned by Paul. Could it be? If so, then the "antichrist" has already come (as John clearly declares) but "the man of sin" is still yet future to both Paul and John (and maybe to us).

?

Your thoughts are welcome.

Blessings to all in Christ,

Jorge

Raybob

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2005, 03:52:44 AM »
Hi Jorge,
I believe the term "anti-Christ" as a person to come is a misnomer.  John spoke of a spirit that had already come, the spirit of antiChrist.

1Jo 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

That "spirit" was in the world.  Surely "man of sin" in the temple is of that spirit and very well could have been describing the papal system.  Notice that in II Thes. 2, it doesn't say "The" man of sin but simply "man of sin".

Raybob


kohathe

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2005, 12:06:00 PM »
Hi, I think it's important to note that in 2 Thess. 2:3 there are two things that will take place.

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;..."

A falling away must come first.  Then the man of sin is revealed.  The falling away has to do with the growing apostacy of the corporate church.  Then the man of sin (who is Satan himself) is revealed.  In 1 John 4:3, it does not say the AntiChrist has been revealed, only that it is already in the world. 

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

Since we are now in the time of the falling away and the man of sin has been revealed, we know that he is no other than Satan himself. 

 

Erik Diamond

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2005, 04:35:39 PM »
I want to add something to Kohathe's message.

How will we know when Satan is revealed?  We will not actually 'see' Satan in person, but he will be revealed through men. For example, through false christs and false prophets who is coming after the working of Satan:

2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

The wicked or Satan will be revealed through men who is coming after the working of Satan (false gospel, signs) in the churches everywhere. That is HOW we know he has revealed. 

Erik
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Reggie Matthews

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 09:53:09 AM »
 I am also confused as to the coming of antichrist and the man of sin. Are they the same, and how was he already there when the apostle Paul was talking, if he is to come? Thanks
"Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?" -Ecclesiastes 8:4

Erik Diamond

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 12:32:24 PM »
Hi. Have you read the following article wrote by Tony Warren about spirit of antichrist?

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/eschatology/antichr.html

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Tony Warren

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 01:02:30 PM »
>>>
 I am also confused as to the coming of antichrist and the man of sin. Are they the same
<<<

Matthew,
  It's my belief that Antichrist has been grossly misunderstood. Antichrist is a spirit, the spirit that works within the unsaved and opposes Christ in the church. The word itself even implies a pseudo-christ or a substitute Christ. It illustrates "a false Christ." Technically, the man of sin and Antichrist are not "exactly" the same, except that one (the spirit) works within the other. Antichrist is the spirit of Satan that opposes Christ, while the man of sin (the sinful man) is man with the spirit of Satan working within him.  Just as the Spirit of God works within a "man unto lawfulness," so the spirit of Satan works within "man to lawlessness," or as is Biblically known, the man of sin. In other words, sin = lawlessness and the man who is lawless is he who forsakes God's laws. He is he that will come to rule in the church, not a single man, but every single man of sin (lawlessness).

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/yabbse/index.php?topic=262.msg27155#msg27155

He is called the man of lawlessness (or the man of sin) collectively simply because that is what he is. The unrighteous man as opposed to the righteous man (Proverbs 13:5). Thus the sinful or lawless man and the spirit of Antichrist are the same only as one resides within the other. Clearly, this is how Satan rules the kings of the earth, and this is how the Apostle Paul could declare that there were many Antichrists even in his day. Because Antichrist is the sinful man, of which there were many.

1st John 2:18-19
  • "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
  • 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."

There were many men with the spirit of antichrist (men of sin) in Paul's day, and they were in the church, but fell away because they were not truly of the Christ. They were of the spirit of the anti (in place of) Christ, and that is why the apostle Paul says "they were not truly of them and went out from them." They were not truly of the spirit of Christ, but of the spirit of the pseudo christ, which is why they chose to forsake the church.

Many Christians wonder how the prophecy can be that "Antichrist should come," if Paul says that he was already there at that time? The answer is simple, because the spirit of Satan was at work in the world within man deceiving (witnessed by Paul saying they went out from them) some even then, but Christ had also bound the spirit Satan by His cross that it was restrained in its power so that His church could be built from the Gentiles/Nations. In other words, though Antichrist was going forth as a roaring lion deceiving some, he couldn't yet come in the fullness of his spiritual power to deceive the nations (Revelation 20) "until" after the period God says the nations were not to be deceived (Revelation 20:3) as the church was built in this millennial or 1000 year reign of Christ.

After the millennial reign of the nations being set free from spiritual bondage, then this spirit will be loosed from its chains to freely go forth to deceive the nations again and gather the wicked to assault the camp of the saints.

 Another thing to take note of is the word "anti."  In our day, the term anti is generally understood to mean to be against something or someone. But the literal Greek word [anti] in scripture more accurately denotes something that is 'in place of' another thing. As a substitute. True, it can rightly be translated 'anti' (as we might understand it) because by implication it can mean to be in opposition, and it is often used in that context. In other words, by extension it denotes that which is opposite by being set a substitute (in place of) the true. In this way it is a counterfeit set 'against' the original. For example, if we have something "in place of" the truth, it is a lie. Therefore those who believe in telling the truth, would be anti or opposed to lies. Or again, that which is "in place of justice" would be injustice. Therefore those who substitute injustice for justice are 'anti' or in opposition to justice. This is how this Greek word 'by extension' can mean anti. But its root meaning is "in place of" or as a substitute. a False Christ.

This word [anti] as applied to Christ is more clearly defining a substitute Christ, or that which is 'instead of' Christ. Therefore it is a synonym for "false Christ" or pseudo Christ, a substitute for the true. Those with the spirit of Antichrist are those who come as the church with the spirit of a false Christ. i.e., professing Christians who are not truly Christians or not truly saved. As the apostle Paul says (1st John 2:18-19), they went out from us "because" they were not of us. They did not have the Spirit of Christ which would truly make them one of them.

2nd Corinthians 11:13-15
  • "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
  • And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
  • Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

These are the ministers of Satan coming "appearing like ministers of Christ." They were the Antichrists or false Christs of Paul's day, as they are of our day. The difference is, in the latter days, these are those that will multiply greatly or abound, and this will be near the time of Christ's return. Then will the Antichrist be revealed in all his power to gather together the Gentiles against the camp of the saints. Those men with the spirit of the pseudo Christ, who worship a substitute Christ in the spirit of disobedience so that the sinful man is then ruling in the Holy Temple (God's house) in place of God. 

So the term "anti-Christ" as it is often understood to be "ONE" personage that is supposed to come, is a misnomer. The Bible defines it as the spirit that is prophesied to come, and yet was already in the world at the time the apostle Paul was inspired to write the text. That hardly qualifies as one man.


Quote
>>>
...and how was he already there when the apostle Paul was talking, if he is to come? Thanks
<<<

Because though the power of that spirit Satan was bound so that the nations would not be deceived and Christ could build His church out of them, he was still allowed in the world. He was only bound from thwarting the church from being gleaned from the nations during this millennial reign, or until the church finished its testimony (Revelation 11:7). An analogy would be that the spirit Satan was bound much like a dog might be bound by a great chain. The dog can roam freely only for as far as the chain is long, still he is restrained by that same chain from going any further than it allows. That is how Revelation 20 says Satan as bound with a spiritual chain for the sake of the nations/gentiles. But he is still allowed to roam and deceive. In other words, he was bound for the sake of the church, not for the sake of the world. So once the church is completed, the testimony of God's witnesses is finished and the dog will be set loose from his chain. He will thus again deceive and gather the gentiles/nations to assault the camp of the saints. This as God's judgment for its rampant unfaithfulness and apostasy. When the New Testament church is completed, all Israel will have been saved and Satan will be loosed to judge the unfaithful congregations. All of God's Israel will have been sealed or secured of God so that those who were redeemed cannot be harmed by him.

Revelation 20:7-9
  • "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
  • And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
  • And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."

Remember in the first section of this chapter of Revelation 20 God specifically told us why Satan was bound. It was for "the sake of the nations/gentiles," that they would not be deceived. But after all who are to be sealed with the name of God in their foreheads, after that task is complete, we read that Satan is again allowed to deceive the nations and gather them together against the very camp of the saints---where Satan will ultimately be defeated and judged.


"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Strangelove

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 12:35:19 PM »
Great answer Tony.

You meet countless well meaning Christians who stumble on this topic.

Let me give you an example from a dear soul on another forum who has being paying too much attention to the dispensational movie script rather than what scripture actually says. He uses 'The AC' as The Antichrist, referring to a sneaky and mysterious character yet to come on the scene:

"And you are suffering from Preterism as the 7 year Tribulation ( Daniel's 70th Seven ) has NOT already happened. Here is why, - the Battle of Armageddon happens near the END of the Trib., and the Messiah ( Jesus ) comes back to Earth to End it Before it destroys the Whole World - Matt.24:29-30 in conjunction with Rev.19:11+14. He Kills the Armies of the AC and lets the Birds feed upon their dead bodies and He tosses the AC & FP ALIVE into the LOF as per Rev.19:19-21. Then He has an Angel Bind SATAN the Devil for 1,000 years ( Rev.20:1-3 ), so he can NOT Deceive the nations during His Millennium Kingdom He sets up that the sheep of Matt.25:34 INHERIT. National Israel will NOW recognize their Messiah when they SEE Him coming at the End of the Trib. and will say - " Blessed is He who comes in the NAME of the Lord. " And as such ALL of Israel will be Saved and Enter the Kingdom as the Sheep, as well as any of the surviving gentiles that Refused the 666 Mark of the Beast ( Rev.13:14-18 ) and accepted Christ as their Lord & Savior. As for the Trib. saints that get Beheaded during the Trib., they get Resurrected so they can Rule & Reign with Christ for 1,000 years over the Sheep that Inherits the Kingdom - Rev.20:4-6! So as any one can CLEARLY SEE, the 7 year Trib. and Armageddon has NOT happend yet!!!"

As we can see, this person is applying gradiose futurism to the book of Revelation instead of trying to understand this highly metahorical book in light of the rest of scripture with the spirit of truth to guide him. As Tony has pointed out, antichrist is a verb and refers to that spirit of satan which attempts to replace the Christ. This is a good place to start with people who are new to the subject and make the basic error of ascribing the term to a specific man.

Great to be here.

Tony...love your essays, I've been reading alot.

In Christ,

Doc.

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YourBroNChristJesus

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2011, 08:41:50 AM »
Per Tony: anti - in place of................ or vicar maybe.

As John says Antichrist came out from among us. They were in the church. When we read Ireneaus (John, Polycary and then Ireneaus) we find that Nichols of Acts 6 (deacon) departed and form a group in which the priest had authority over the laity. These folks were known as Nicolaitans of which Jesus say; "15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." Rev 2:15 (KJV)  Irenaeus (Haer. 1.26.3) basically repeats the biblical material, adding the assertion that the Nicolaitans were heretical followers of Nicolaus, the proselyte of Antioch who was chosen to be one of The Seven (Acts 6:5). Hippolytus (Haer. 7.24) underscores Irenaeus, adding that Nicolaus departed from true doctrine.

I think you find the evolution of this group and additions (there are differing opinions) such as Justin Martyr, Clement and Origen such as denying the deity of Jesus (Aryan and teaching hell doesn't exist) culmination in the fourth century under Constantine to form the catholic church. Their first high priest was due to murder of the high priest in contention. They further developed into a papacy where the pope claims to be the Vicar of God. The Pope also claims to be the god of this world and owner. You can read papal bulls and his doling out land to Kings, etc.... as though it was his to give (Americas).

It is clear that the reformers referenced the Pope as Antichrist as do Christians still today.

Satan can only be at one place at a time. He entered into Judas. The evil spirit on the other hand can manifest and stay with the individual; or so I think.

This is a huge topic and much can be said. Much has been written. There are sects that self-punish and have a variety of beliefs. You will even see catholics that wear metal spikes that pierce the skin and sects that take vowels of silence and the list goes on. There are also those Arian (Aryan) that teach Jesus and Josephine came together as created beings and that Jesus is not equal with God. Adolph Hitler was devout catholic and Arian.

I think the Mystery Babylon mentioned in REV has much to say of how from that time - Baal worship - still exist today in the priesthood, authority over laity, solstice time worship or observance, even the sign of the cross or 'T' was from Babylon.

I'll drop off now - it's a long topic. Alexandar Hislop's book the two babylons is a great source and help.

Gilda

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2011, 05:03:41 PM »
Hello Friends,

"IF" as many believe, the "man of sin" mentioned by Paul is the same as the "antichrist" mentioned by John (of whom he says "you heard that he is going to come into the world"), THEN my conclusion is that during Paul's time, he referred to the full manifestation of the "man of sin" as being "future".  But John refers to such manifestation (coming) as already present.  In other words, "the antichrist, that you heard was going to come has already come".
Jorge

 The man of sin had already come, and he was coming. Just as the Antichrist was even there then, but was also coming. In other words, there would come a time in the future when Antichrist would be revealed in all the fullness of his power. We often define that as the great tribulation period when Satan is loosed.


Laura Tomlinson

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2011, 08:18:46 PM »
Agreed,

 1 John 4:3
 "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

One doesn't contradict the other. Antichrist is coming, and was already there also. Does that make sense?


Larry

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2011, 11:25:29 PM »
Laura, you are on the right track. Antichrist is a spirit. The only one who qualifies for what the Apostle wrote of Him. The same spirit that will be loosed of God is the same spirit Satan that goeth about as a roaring lion in the time of the Apostles.

The people who are looking for a single man to come and fulfill the prophecy are not reading the scriptures, they are listening to TV evangelists and authors.

Wcjciech Semkowski

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2011, 04:11:09 AM »

Satan can only be at one place at a time. He entered into Judas. The evil spirit on the other hand can manifest and stay with the individual; or so I think.



 I was always under the impression that Satan was the evil spirit. Am I wrong?


JohnDunningUK

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 07:35:12 PM »
To be honest I feel a little unqualified to say much on this subject, as it has not really been so long ago that I pretty much experienced a major shift in my understanding regarding eschatology. It's true that for many years dispensational teachings such as the secret rapture, a 1000 year millennium, a seven year tribulation period, and a whole host of other things didn't ring true to me, but unfortunately I knew no other option. Anyway, since wholeheartedly converting to amillennialism, many portions of Scripture that previously were simply gobbledygook to me, now at least make some semblance of sense. The subject being discussed now has been something that has been transformed completely in my thinking, so I would just like to share how I see Scripture speaking on this matter now. Feel free to stop me in my tracks by all means!

I believe there are a number of key texts in the New Testament that all throw light upon each other in this matter, and cannot simply be taken in isolation, one from another. The first I would bring up is:

Revelation 20:1-10
(1)  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
(2)  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
(3)  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
(4)  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(5)  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
(6)  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
(7)  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
(8 )  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
(9)  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
(10)  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


I believe the thousand year period being spoken of here to be the completeness of time that God ordains from the death and resurrection of Christ, to the time of His return in glory to judge the living and the dead. During that period, the devil will be bound, or leashed as was mentioned earlier, so as not to restrict the calling together of the elect from every tongue, tribe and nation. Verses 4 & 5, I don't think are necessarily talking about actual physical martyrs, even though they will obviously be included. But rather I believe there is a picture of all being dead to begin with, and yet some of the dead are associated with Christ personally, and because of this are given life. This I believe is speaking of all saints through all time, and is speaking of the spiritual rebirth of the Spirit of God, and our being united in the death of Christ in baptism. For in verse 5 it says "the rest of the dead", which implies to me that all were dead (spiritually) to begin with. The first resurrection I believe is spiritual rebirth in this age, for those who take part in this resurrection are not affected by the second death, which is everlasting destruction.

If this is the correct view, then all the rest of the dead will not be raised to life until the thousand years (the time of completion) is over, which will be at the second coming of Christ. It will be immediately prior to this point that the devil, as was mentioned already, will be let off his leash to deceive the nations once more, once the fullness of the elect have been called into the Body of Christ. It is at this point the revelation of the son of perdition, or man of sin etc., will be revealed, but not as a single man being indwelt by the devil. Rather I believe that it is a sort of antetype of the Body of Christ in all its unity. Verses 8 and 9 speak of the devil being free to go out amongst the nations in full force, which I believe will mean that every principality and power of the enemy will be rallied together by him, with all his false power and might in order to deceive the elect, and it will be with a strength of unity and purpose never before witnessed in history. I think what's important to remember is that the enemy knows full well that even if one saint were somehow to be deceived out of their salvation, the God Hiimself would be a liar.

I understand that the Book of Revelation is not really a text that is plain to read, but I believe there are other passages that clearly support the view I've given above. The first being the one mentioned at the beginning of this thread. However rather than stop reading at 2 Thess 2:3, I believe we should continue reading to establish the identity of the one being spoken about, and the nature of his revealing:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-12
(3)  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
(4)  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
(5)  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
(6)  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
(7)  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
(8 )  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
(9)  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
(10)  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
(11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
(12)  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


As I've read so often here, the temple of God is not made of stone, but it is the spiritual Body of Christ in the earth. But just as the church is the spiritual Body of Christ, I believe that this man of sin is spiritual also, but rather who is "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders". It will take a spiritual man to be seated in a spiritual temple as verse 4 suggests, and God ordains it for the purpose of once and for all purging His church of all unrighteousness. At that time, all those claiming to be Christians but in reality are not, will find themselves utterly dazzled by the brightness of the coming of this man of sin. They will be utterly and surely deceived by what he offers, for it is God Himself who has sent the delusion, and it is for His own purpose, which is "that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. I believe this becomes a clear and parallel case of God revealing again, what has also been revealed in Revelation 20.

I think this interpretation is also in agreement with the dialogue between Christ and the apostles in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. When Jesus was speaking about the destruction of the temple, which I am now of the opinion He was talking about the church at the end of the age, the apostles asked:

Matthew 24:3
(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?


Whilst I understand why some have a tendency of looking at the destruction in 70AD as the fulfillment, this is not the question the apostles were asking, for they were talking quite clearly about the end of the world. Even if in their own mind, they could not separate the literal from the spiritual, the question they asked was concerning the coming of Christ at the end of the world, and I believe that is the question He was answering. Reading through Matt 24:4-13 , there seems a period (which I believe to be in direct relation to the 1000 years in Rev 20 ) where the influence of Satan is restricted whilst the church is called from the nations. I believe this would be the time where the spirit of antichrist is in the world, but the fullness of the revelation of the man of sin is yet to come.

But just as in the previous passages, when a point came once the elect were complete, the devil is released from his restraint. And as was pointed out, would gather every evil spiritual power together in order to deceive the elect of God from their salvation. In reality however, this deception has been allowed and ordained by God for His very own purposes of purging the church of all unrighteousness. Jesus uses precisely the same language as Paul uses to the Thessalonians:

Matthew 24:14-15
(14)  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
(15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)


He then speaks in more detail about the immense persecution that will come as a result. And contrary to the claims of dispensationalism, His elect will remain right in the midst of it, but for their sake alone this time will be shortened:

Matthew 24:21-22
(21)  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
(22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.


Conclusion:

The bottom line for all this, is that I believe the spirit of antichrist has been at work in a limited degree for the whole church age. Where wickedness is on display in mankind, it is always the spirit of antichrist who is pulling the strings. But just as Christ is revealed to the world in one universal Body of believers, so too Satan will at the end be revealed in all his false glory and power, in one worldwide body that will attempt to overthrow the Body of Christ. Thankfully we have the promise of God Himself, that in a moment he will be utterly defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire along with all those who refused to love the Truth.

God bless,

John


It's all about Him!

Larry

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Re: Who Is The Antichrist
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 07:02:24 AM »

Satan can only be at one place at a time. He entered into Judas. The evil spirit on the other hand can manifest and stay with the individual; or so I think.



 I was always under the impression that Satan was the evil spirit. Am I wrong?


No, you are not wrong. Satan is that Evil Spirit. When the Bible speaks of Antichrist, it is speaking of that spirit Satan. Remember when Satan entered into Judas? That was the spirit of Antichrist, and it brought Judas into bondage to do his will and betray Christ.

 John 13:26-27
 "Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Satan could only enter into Judas if he was a spirit.

 


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