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2 John 1:7 Antichrist

Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. One of the terms used in 2 John is antichrist. Antichrist is a well-known term within Christianity. When we consider the popularity of the term antichrist, we might think the term is used many times throughout the Bible. However, that is not correct. The term antichrist is actually used only five times in the Bible. It is used four times in 1 John, and it is used once in 2 John. The word is never used in the book of Revelation. 

We usually think of the antichrist as a future adversary who is coming in the end times. That is true, but that is an incomplete understanding of how the term antichrist is used in the Bible. 

In this lesson I’m going to start by looking at some passages in Daniel and 2 Thessalonians to get a broad overview of this future adversary who is coming in the end times. Then I’m going to look at how the term antichrist is used in the book of 1 John. We’ll see that the term antichrist does indeed refer to the end time adversary mentioned in Daniel and 2 Thessalonians; however, we’ll also see there is more than one antichrist. Then I’ll look at 2 John to see what you and I need to do in light of the existence of antichrists. 

Watch the video below or scroll down to read a transcript.

Transcript:

Hi. Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. One of the terms used in 2 John is antichrist. Antichrist is a well-known term within Christianity. When we consider the popularity of the term antichrist, we might think the term is used many times throughout the Bible. However, that is not correct. The term antichrist is actually used only five times in the Bible. It is used four times in 1 John, and it is used once in 2 John. The word is never used in the book of Revelation. 

We usually think of the antichrist as a future adversary who is coming in the end times. That is true, but that is an incomplete understanding of how the term antichrist is used in the Bible. 

In this lesson I’m going to start by looking at some passages in Daniel and 2 Thessalonians to get a broad overview of this future adversary who is coming in the end times. Then I’m going to look at how the term antichrist is used in the book of 1 John. We’ll see that the term antichrist does indeed refer to the end time adversary mentioned in Daniel and 2 Thessalonians; however, we’ll also see there is more than one antichrist. Then I’ll look at 2 John to see what you and I need to do in light of the existence of antichrists. 

As I said, I’m going to start by looking at some passages in Daniel and 2 Thessalonians to get an overview of this future adversary who is coming in the end times. Here is a timeline to establish some context for Daniel and 2 Thessalonians. On the far left of the timeline is 4000 BC. That’s when creation happened. 

Noah lived roughly 2500 BC. That was when the great flood happened. 

Abraham lived roughly 2000 BC. Abraham had a son named Isaac. Isaac had a son named Jacob. Jacob’s descendants became the Israelites. After Jacob died, his descendants, the Israelites, lived in Egypt for about 400 years and ended up becoming slaves. 

Around 1500 BC Moses delivered the Israelites out of slavery and took them towards the promised land. After Moses died, the Israelites entered the promised land under the leadership of Joshua.

Around 1000 BC David became king. For the next several hundred years, David’s descendants ruled over the kingdom of Judah. There was a constant problem with sin and idolatry. Eventually, God decided to punish them. He brought in the Babylonians and they took the Jews into exile. That was around 586 BC. 

It was during this time that Daniel lived. Daniel was one of the exiles. Daniel was a good man. He was morally upright. God delivered many prophecies through Daniel. One of them is found in Daniel 7. In this passage Daniel gave us some information about a future adversary who’s coming in the end times. Let’s read this passage. 

Dan. 7:23   “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 24 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 25 ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, 

times, and half a time. 26 ‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. 27 ‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’

In the future there’s going to be this person spoken about in verse 25. The pronoun he is singular, so it’s going to be a single person. He will speak out against the Most High. He will wear down the saints of the Highest One. He will intend to make alterations in times and in law. They, the Israelites, will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. This passage tells us there will be a future adversary.  

We also see this in Daniel 9. This is from a passage that is known as Daniel’s 70 weeks.  

Dan. 9:26     “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

In verse 26 we see a reference to the people of the prince who is to come. The word prince is singular, so it’s a single person. 

In verse 27 we see the pronoun he, which is singular. He will make a firm covenant with the many for one week. In the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering. This passage is a reference to an adversary who is coming in the future in the end times.

Let’s go back to the timeline. We talked about Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Daniel. About 500 years after Daniel was when Jesus Christ came to earth. 

Jesus was God himself. He came to earth as a man. He taught. He performed miracles. He was crucified. He was buried. He rose again and went back to heaven. Then His 12 apostles went out and shared the good news of Jesus Christ with the world. We also read in the New Testament about another Apostle named Paul. He wrote a letter called 2 Thessalonians in which he talked about the adversary who is coming in the end times.

2Th. 2:1   Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Paul made a reference to the man of lawlessness. This is the future adversary who will come in the end times. The man of lawlessness will exalt himself above every so-called God. He will take a seat in the temple of God.He will display himself as being God. 

There’s also a reference to the future adversary in the book of Revelation. I’m not going to take the time to read those passages because I don’t believe the Book of Revelation had been written when 1 and 2 John were written. That means the information in Revelation about the end time adversary does not help us understand 1 and 2 John. 

Now let’s go to 1 John and see how the Bible defines the term antichrist. What is the Antichrist? Who is the antichrist? As I said earlier, the term antichrist is used five times in the New Testament. It is used four times in 1 John.

1John 2:18   Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

First, let’s talk about the term itself. The greek word that is used in the original text is antichristos. That is a combination of the word anti and the word Christos. The word anti means against. Therefore, an antichrist is someone who is against Christ. 

Notice the phrase, “just as you heard that antichrist is coming.” The original recipients of 1 John knew the prophecies in the book of Daniel. They probably knew what Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians. They knew about the adversary that is coming in the future. The author of 1 John was making reference to their knowledge of the adversary. He called this future adversary the antichrist. 

Notice he went on to say, “even now many antichrists have appeared.” As I said earlier, in contemporary Christianity we usually think of the antichrist as a future adversary in the end times. That’s correct, but it’s not quite complete, because in the Bible there’s more than just one antichrist. 

We see here the word antichrist is plural. At the time 1 John was written multiple antichrists had already appeared. We see that this term antichrist does not merely refer to the future adversary in the end times. It actually refers to a broader group of people. Let’s go down a few verses. 

1John 2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

Here we see a definition of an antichrist. An antichrist is someone who denies that Jesus is the Christ. An antichrist is someone who denies the Father and the Son. We see something similar in chapter 4.

1John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

Here we see again the concept that an antichrist is anyone who does not confess Jesus. 

Also, this verse repeats the idea that there are many antichrists, not just one. As we saw previously in 1 John, we see again that the antichrist was already in the world.

With that as some background, let’s go to 2 John and see what that book tells us about the antichrist. Then I’ll talk about what all of this means to you and me.

2John 7   For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

Again, we see the definition of an antichrist. An antichrist is someone who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in flesh. An antichrist is someone who denies Jesus. 

Notice it also says “many deceivers have gone out into the world.” The word deceivers is plural. Notice the word many. This means there are many antichrists. 

As I said several times, in contemporary Christianity our concept of the antichrist is a future adversary who is coming in the end times. That is not wrong, it is incomplete. Yes, there will be a future adversary who will be opposed to Christ. He will deny that Jesus is God. Because of that, the future adversary will be an antichrist. However, when we look at what the Bible says about antichrist, it’s more than just this one adversary who’s coming in the end times. There have always been antichrists. There were antichrists at the time 2 John was written. There are antichrists in the world today. Antichrist is anyone who denies Jesus, and there have always been people in our world who deny Jesus. 

Now let’s read beyond verse seven to see what you and I should take from this and what this means for you and me. 

2John 7   For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deed.

Notice in verse eight there is a command: “Watch yourselves.” We need to watch ourselves because there are antichrists in the world today. 

Let’s go back to the word deceivers. Some antichrists are deceitful. They hide the fact that they don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. They deceive people into thinking it is okay to deny Jesus coming in the flesh. These are the antichrists you and I have to be most vigilant against, because it is not obvious that they are an antichrist. 

Then in verse 10 and 11 there’s a command. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deed.” We have to be careful that we do not bring antichrists into our house or give a greeting to antichrists. Antichrists are opposed to Christ. Antichrists deny Jesus. Antichrists deny that Jesus came in flesh. 

Those of us who are true followers of Jesus need to make sure we differentiate ourselves from so-called Christians who deny Jesus. I said multiple times we tend to think of the antichrist as a future adversary; therefore, we think the antichrist is not something we have to worry about right now. However, what we see in 1 and 2 John is that there are multiple antichrists, and they exist right now. They are already in the world. We have to accept the fact that they exist right now, and we need to be on our guard against them. 

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