Today the threat of antichrist is no less real than it was in John's day. To grasp both the Word and Spirt of God inwardly is our only safeguard against lies.
Scripture: 1 John 2:18-27
- John says this is the last hour because the resurrection and ascension of Jesus ended the old era and inaugurated the new age of the kingdom.
- Thus, the phrase “the last hour” is a theological reference not a chronological one.
- Jesus told His disciples not to guess at the date of the end of the world (Matt. 24:36), contrary to the practice of some modern evangelicals.
- The Bible anticipates that antichrists will appear (cf. 2 Thes. 2:1-12).
- Jesus specifically warns against false christs and false prophets (Matt. 24:5,11).
- The spirit of antichrist is a demonically-inspired aping or mimicking of the gospel. These counterfeits oppose the true gospel of Christ, having denied Christ’s person and therefore His atoning work.
- Not everyone in the church belongs to Christ; false teachers eventually leave the church and teach that which is contrary to sound doctrine.
- By leaving the church, false teachers will in time demonstrate their apostate status.
- Those anointed by the Holy Spirit have received a right understanding of the truth.
- Our anointing is not simply a ritual; it is the seal of the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (1 Cor. 1:21).
- John is confident in the orthodoxy of the church in the face of creeping Gnosticism which denied the incarnation of the Son of God (1 Jn. 2:20).
- Denial of the doctrine of the incarnation of Jesus is the hallmark of all cultish departures from the truth.
- Much of the modern liberal church rejects the incarnation of Jesus and is declared antichrist by the apostle John.
- If Christ is not the Son of God, then God is not the Father. Apart from access to the Father through the Son, there is no possibility of fellowship with God.
- Islam (i.e., Muhammad-ism) is a fierce manifestation of the spirit of antichrist. It is based on early cults, it proposes an impersonal unitarian God, and it advances itself by violent force.
- To safeguard against antichrist, we must abide in God’s Word, holding to the message we received in the beginning.
- All sound doctrine is to be conservative in the sense that it conserves the biblically revealed doctrines of God.
- The Word of God is the means of our knowledge of and fellowship with God.
- Today the threat of antichrist is no less real than it was in John’s day.
- If we abide in the teaching and anointing we need no new teachers.
- We need to follow the pattern of sound words given by the apostles and the testimony of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Tim. 1:13-14).
- Both the Word and Spirit are to be personally and inwardly grasped. This is the only safeguard against lies.
- What does John mean by the phrase “the last hour?
- What are the marks of the spirit of antichrist?
- In what sense is all true theology conservative? How should we respond to theological innovation?
- How can we abide in the truth of the gospel?
- What is the basis of our fellowship with God and eternal life?