Summary: Many people have set themselves up in direct opposition to Christ, but the most successful opponent is yet to come.
Antichrists and THE Antichrist
1. We were all shocked to hear of the horrible massacre at a Colorado movie theater.
2. I don’t know if violence is growing, but it seems to be. If it things continue to deteriorate, society will probably surrender some of our freedoms for security. This will create an impetus for stronger government control.
3. Europe already has a common currency, and is moving toward a common bank.
4. All of this may have nothing to do with end time prophecy; but it might.
5. The Scriptures are clear that a world ruler will one day arise who will unite mankind; we call this man the Antichrist.
6. In Jewish literature, the Antichrist was sometimes referred to as Belial. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, “in Jewish circles in the pre-Christian period the expectation was prevalent of the appearance of Belial (one of Satan’s lieutenants) if not of Satan himself; and that his activity was imagined as being almost identical with that expected of the Antichrist in Thessalonians.”
7. In Jewish literature after the time of Jesus, the Antichrist is given a number of names, like Haramlet, Tarmila, and Armilus. “They call him Armilus….[he will] say to them, “I am your Messiah, I am your god!” And he will mislead them and they will instantly believe in him.” [T’fillat R. Shim’on ben Yohai, BhM [Bet haMidrash] 4:124-126]
7. Indeed, the theme of the antichrist has tendrils throughout the OT as well as the New.
Main Idea: Many people have set themselves up in direct opposition to Christ, but the most successful opponent is yet to come.
I. The General PRINCIPLE of Antichrists
A. FALSE Messiahs
Mark 13:22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
Luke 21:8 And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.
B. Overt DENIERS and Deceivers
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
1 John 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
C. False PROPHETS within the Church
1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
Application: False teachings abound: atheism, JW’s, New Age, Neo-Paganism; within Judaism, Jews started to think the Messiah appeared repeatedly in various incarnations