Summary: Three characteristics of false teachers guided by the ‘spirit of antichrist’.
Anitchrists (those who deny that Jesus is the Christ)
This term is used by John in 3 ways:
1. A spirit in the world that opposes or denies Christ
2. The false teachers who embody this spirit
3. A person who will head up the final world rebellion against Christ
Three characteristics of false teachers guided by the ‘spirit of antichrist’:
I. Depart From the Fellowship (18-19)
A. 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”
B. In many cases, cult leaders and the leaders of false religions came out of orthodox Christian churches.
1. Mormonism – Joseph Smith had a Christian background but was influenced by his grandfather who had a deep hatred of the institutionalized church stemming from a perceived slight in the past.
2. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Charles Taze Russell was raised in a strict Presbyterian home and church.
3. Christian Science – Mary Baker Eddy was reared in a strong Calvinist environment.
4. Spiritism – Allen Kardec and the Fox sisters were all reared in good Christian homes and churches. Some smatterings of Orthodoxy remain in this particular religion, but greatly distorted.
II. Deny the Faith (20-25)
A. Unction (anointing) – a special endowment; usually from God in the person of the Holy Spirit but here, an endowment of truth (see the references to the truth in these verses)
B. The defining mark of a false teacher (spirit of antichrist) is the denial of Jesus Christ
1. 1 John 4:2-3
III. Deceive the Faithful (26-29)
B. The revelation of truth and work of the Holy Spirit guides us to abide (remain in fellowship) with Him.