A word before my discussion. I know that topics related to religion, and faith are important to people. I want you to know that it is also important to me. The internet is a difficult place at times due to us not knowing what a persons intentions are on the other end of the screen. As my blog states, I am a work in progress, and I believe that we all are. If I say something that offends you I would encourage you to just move on as I am not attempting to make anything personal. I am just attempting to be better in my own life through understanding. Now that we got through that let me present my argument on the Antichrist.
For those of you who have seen the movie Constantine you’d know, the Antichrist is a godlike figure that arises from hell. Instead of bringing about the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of man like Christ, the AntiChrist will bring about the end of time. This Antichrist title has often been given to those we deem evil. The Rothschilds, Obama, Bush, Bin Ladin, Hitler, Stalin, the Clinton’s and now the latest, Trump. This Hollywood ideal of how the end times exists for Christianity has become rather mainstream in our own lives, and faith.
I can’t count how many times I have sat through a lesson on the great deceiver. How it’s the last hour. The Antichrist is near, and he comes closer each day. Watch out for the end times, as that is when we know he will be here. It is constantly brought up, and I don’t think that the AntiChrist of Constantine, and Hollywood are good examples. I believe that this has tainted our understanding of multiple teachings by breaking them up and taking them out of context.
The term Antichrist was used by the apostle John in his letters 1 John, and 2 John. If we just look at the sections that contain the term Antichrist (1 John 2:22, and 2 John 1:7), and mix in Paul’s 2 Thessalonian’s Chapter 2, and top off with some Revelations we have ourselves the convincing proof that the Antichrist is the lawless bringer of the end. Yet what else was John saying in his letters?
One of the most important things to remember about early Christianity is that it was a rather chaotic time. The Roman Imperial Cult dominated the empire, Jewish believers of Christ were being cut off from their synagogues, and the rise of Gnosticism threatened to end the Church as we know it today.
John addressed in his letter the issues of Gnosticism and false teaching. For those unfamiliar with Gnosticism the basics of it are that it stands for secret teaching meaning Gnostic knowledge. These early believes, and other false teachers were stating that the world (matter, and flesh) were evil, not the spirit. So, while the body (matter) did evil, the spirit did not, and once you are dead the spirit releases to heaven. This goes against Christian teachings as the only way to heaven is through Jesus (Again crash course not the full detail).
John highlights in Chapter 2 that one cannot sin and state that he is not a sinner. For if one does so that makes him a lair, and not truly apart of Christ. In the later part of Chapter 2 John states that those who went out from us were never really apart of us, for if they were then they would have remained. Then in Chapter 2: 22 John begins the definition of Antichrist: Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the Antichrist-Denying the Father, and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Johns first letter seems to be a direct thesis against Gnosticism (false teaching), not a discussion of how the world will end.
This definition of the Antichrist alone should be enough proof that our mainstream idea of the Antichrist is already incorrect for even John states that many Antichrists have already come. If the only requirement to be an Antichrist is the denial that Jesus was Christ then one could argue that many people who have lived on the earth were indeed Antichrists. This means that the “Antichrist” is not a singular person, rather this warning against Antichrists is a warning of false teaching, and a warning of falling away. It is a great example of how when we take pieces of the Bible we can make it say whatever we want. Like that there is a son of Satan that will rise from the bowels of Hell to destroy the world.
Context is everything, perspective is everything, and so is the importance of communication. When we dip in and out of different books we can make the Bible say whatever it is that we want. I believe that when taken into context the great deceiver in Paul’s 2 Thessalonian’s should not be used in conjunction with John’s Antichrist. They are separate, and different. To take part of one book, and mix it with another is ludicrous. The context of each book in the Bible comes from a completely different perspective, to mix these perspectives without the context leads to false teaching. Ironic, as John warned against such teachings.
Why are there five books in the Bible that focus on Christ? Think about it. Jesus is central to Christianity, and we have five perspectives to gain an idea of who Jesus was. Why just look at the simple differences, and you begin to understand why things taken out of context throws off teaching. Take for example the gospel of John 13:7. It states that as soon as Judas took the bread from Christ Satan entered into him. This is the only book that states that Satan entered Judas. What an interesting perspective that this adds to the betrayal of Jesus. Yet, there are four that show a different side to the story. Perspective gives new meaning. Why does one say that Satan entered and the others don’t?
Now I’m not saying that there won’t be a Hollywood style end of the world brought about by an Antichrist figure. What I am saying is that the term Antichrist doesn’t mean what many mainstream Christians thinks it means. I am also saying that out of context teaching shouldn’t be what we base our understanding of God on. The message of the Bible is complete without us attempting to take apart different pieces and put them together. Besides the anxiety of the end of the world shouldn’t be the focus of our walk with God. That is tomorrow’s issue and that’s for a later discussion.