What is the Anti-Christ?
The Bible uses the term anti-Christ in two ways.
The first usage refers to anything or anyone that stands in opposition to the true Christian faith. It is not one person. It is anything or anyone that is anti-, or against, Christ.
1 John 4:1-3 – Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but 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.
The spirit of anti-Christ is in the world because many do deny Jesus. Anti-Christ is plural here because it is referring back to the phrase “every spirit” in verse three.
2 John 7 – Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Again, denying Jesus is anti-Christ. It is plural again here because of the "any such person."
1 John 2:18-23 – Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
There are many anti-Christs, those who deny that Jesus is the Christ. At the same time, there is one Anti-Christ, who appears to be a type of ultimate anti-Christ.
This brings us to our second usage of the term “anti-Christ” in the Bible. Here, the Anti-Christ is a literal, individual person. This person is the culmination, or the ultimate example, of what it means to be anti-Christ.
This blog post is included in my book, Last Days: A Biblical Guide to the End Times.
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