Identifying Antichrists
31 March 2019 PM – 1 John 2:18-23 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs

Introduction: We have all heard of the Antichrist that will deceive the world during the Tribulation, but in our text this evening, John speaks of man antichrists. It is important for us to know whom he was describing. The word “anti” means against. Thus, an antichrist is one who is against Christ or we could say he is against the Bible definition of Christ. An antichrist may deny any of the following: Christ’s deity, His incarnation, His virgin birth, His miracles, His Word, His atoning death, His bodily resurrection or His personal return. A person who denies any one of these Bible facts is an antichrist. An antichrist obviously cannot have true fellowship with Christ.

Transition: As we examine our text (1Jn 2:18-23), we find that John focussed on four aspects of antichrists that help us identify them.

1.        The Existence of Antichrists, v.18
a.         Antichrists will exist in the last time
1)         John said that the close of the first century was the last time. Wow! That was more than 1900 years ago. God’s “last time” is a long period.
2)         Marvin Vincent makes this helpful comment. “The dominant sense of the expression last days, in the New Testament, is that of a period of suffering and struggle preceding a divine victory.” Victory is coming! Amen!
b.         More antichrists exist today than in John’s day
1)         In John’s day, there were already many antichrists. That is how John knew (experientially) that it was the last time.
2)         Today antichrists abound. Many cults boldly deny that Christ is God and co-equal with the Father. Some claim that God created Christ.
3)         Many preachers today water down the doctrine of Christ and preach a feel-good false gospel.
2.        The Origin of Antichrists, v.19
a.         They went out from us
1)         The words “out from” translate the word exerchomai. It means to come out from within something.
2)         Antichrists come out from among religious circles. They try to pose as spiritual. Jesus called them sheep in wolves clothing. (Matthew 7:15) “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
b.         Never in the past were they ever of us
1)         John goes on to say that they, BUT they were not of us. The word “but” is that strong contrasting conjunction, alla. The word “of” translated the word ek. It denotes motions from the interior. It speaks of coming from a source. Antichrists are not from the same source as we are. They never truly knew the Lord (Mt 7:21-23).
2)         The fact that they went out made it clear that they were not all of us.
3)         It is always sad when someone leaves our church over a doctrinal issue. It is particularly sad if they turn against Christ Himself. If they become antichrist, it is because they were never a believer to begin with.
4)         Those who once professed Christ but now totally reject Him, did not lose salvation. They never had it!
3.        The Deficiency of Antichrists, v.20-21
a.         Only true Christians have an unction from God
1)         The word “unction” speaks of an anointing.
2)         The unction that true Christians have is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God Himself anoints every true Christian at salvation when He baptises them in the Holy Spirit. At that point, the Holy Spirit indwells that believer until he goes to heaven.
3)         The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to know (factually) all things.
a)         This does not mean that we become omniscient. It means that the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us and enables us to understand all that God wants us to know. (John 14:26) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
b)         The Holy Spirit is the revealer of truth (1 Corinthians 2:10-16) “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11)For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12)Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13)Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14)But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15)But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16)For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
b.         True Christians know God’s truth
1)         John was not writing to those who did not factually know the truth about Christ. He knew that was not the case. They knew the truth. The indwelling Spirit of God reveals truth nestled in the Word of God.
a)         The natural man (unsaved) does not enjoy nor understand the Bible because does not have the Holy Spirit to teach him.
b)         If you know Christ, the Spirit of God lives in you to enable you to enjoy, understand and learn from personal Bible study.
2)         By knowing the Bible, they also knew that no lie is of the truth. The lie believed and promoted by antichrists did not come out from God’s truth.
4.        The Doctrine of Antichrists, v.22-23
a.         Antichrists deny that Jesus is the Christ
1)         Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah (Virgin-born, eternal God with us) is a liar. (Matthew 1:23) “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” He who denies this does not believe or teach the truth.
2)         He is antichrist who denies the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He may say he believes in Christ, but his Christ is not the Christ of the Bible. Many of the cults are antichrists.
3)         In our day, there are other types of false teachers that may not all be classed as antichrists, but their teachings are extremely misleading, confusing and may be just as damning. I speak of false teachers like Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Joel and Victoria Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Andrew Wommack, Rick Warren, Benny Hinn, Robert Schuller, and scores of others. Their messages may be appealing, warming and even appear to be biblical, but do not be deceived. Be discerning as to whose sermons you hear. Later in 1 John we read, (1 John 4:1) “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” I will read you some quotes once I finish.
b.         By denying the Son, they have not the Father
1)         When a person denies that the Son, Jesus Christ, is who the Bible says He is, that person does not have a relationship with God the Father either.
2)         If you have wrong beliefs about God the Son, you also have wrong beliefs about God the Father because they are two Persons of the same Being.
Conclusion: If you know Christ as your Saviour, you have the Holy Spirit in you to help you understand the Bible. Study the Bible carefully. Its contents will protect you against the antichrists and false teachers of our day. Learn well Bible doctrine. Learn to be discerning. Before listening to the teaching or preaching of a person, investigate what they believe. Do a YouTube search of their teachings. Never base your assessment on your feelings. Feelings deceive. Let the Bible be your guide. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337