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FALSE TEACHERS

“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.”         1 John 2:18 NIV

 

John mentions that a distinguishing feature of this age is that the antichrist is coming and that even now many antichrists have appeared. John is the only New Testament writer to use this word, and it only occurs five times in four verses (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). But the concept of the antichrist is more frequent. Daniel 7 talks about the horn and Revelation 13 talks about the beast, both of which refer to the antichrist. Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12) mentions the person of lawlessness who will exalt himself and display himself as God. He will deceive many, who will perish. When John says that the antichrist is coming, he refers to this future evil leader. But when he says, “even now many antichrists have come”, he means that the evil spirit that will characterize the final antichrist is already working in these false teachers who have left the churches. The prefix, “anti” can mean either “instead of” or “in opposition to”. It may contain both ideas here. The false teacher may use the same label, “Jesus Christ” but will not be the same Jesus that is presented in the Bible. If a gullible person takes the bait, they will be led farther away until finally they are in total opposition to Christ. These false teachers, whom John labels antichrists, did not carry pitchforks and wear red suits with horns, rather, they arose in the churches. Paul warned the Ephesian elders, “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30).

 

PRAYER THOUGHT

Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of Truth, teach us to be discerning.

 

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of Truth, teach us to be discerning, especially in these days, so that we will know what is false and what is true. AMEN

 

I.B.R.A. Readings

Acts 9:10-18

 

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