Tuesday Night Bible Study
January 26, 2021
Zoom Conference Call # 1 646 558 8656,
Meeting ID: 804 615 8216, Passcode: 812594
Dr. James A. May, D. D., M.R.E., Th.M., – Facilitator
Lesson 5- "The Battleground of the spirit of the Antichrist””
1 John 4:2–3 (NLT)
“This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.”
The battleground of the “spirit of the Antichrist.” This is the prevailing spirit in the world which has been working since the earliest days of the church. (1 John 4:3). Satan’s whole ambition is to be like God in power and might, and he works for this with all of his might, night and day (read Matthew 4:8-9). “He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT. His intention is to replace God, and he will send the Antichrist as a means to do this. The Antichrist will deny mankind’s necessity for God, and assert himself as ruler of this world. The spirit of Antichrist can be summed up as every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
The antichrist is the end-times false messiah who seeks, and likely achieves, world domination so that he can destroy Israel and all followers of Jesus Christ. The antichrist denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22), does not acknowledge Jesus (1 John 4:3), and denies that Jesus came in the flesh (2 John 1:7). There have been many “antichrists,” as 1 John 2:18 states. But there is also coming “the Antichrist.” He will perform signs and wonders to prove to the world once and for all that mankind is self-sufficient. (Revelation 13:13-14).
Revelation 13:5-8 NLT tells us, “Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. 6 And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. 8 And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.”
Note: It is likely that most people who are alive when the Antichrist is revealed will be very surprised at his identity. The Antichrist may or may not be alive today. Martin Luther was convinced that the pope in his time was the Antichrist. During the 1940s, many believed Adolph Hitler was the Antichrist. Others who have lived in the past few hundred years have been equally sure as to the identity of the Antichrist. So far, they have all been incorrect. However, those listed above and many more may have been operating in the “spirit of the antichrist.”
The spirit of Antichrist
The word antichrist means “against Christ.” It is everything that opposes Christ and the Gospel of Christ. The spirit of Antichrist allows the sins that separate us from God to live by covering them with tolerance, "love," and freedom. God’s word clearly states what is right and wrong, what is sinful and what is pure (see Isaiah 5:20). But when enough people live in sin, it is no longer considered sin. God’s laws are rejected, and the laws of society, and eventually even the laws of the nations, change to accommodate this adjusted view of what is right and wrong. Therefore, impurity and sin are allowed to live, and mankind grows farther and farther away from God – which is exactly Satan’s intention.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of the world has given over to this spirit, because it allows them to live comfortably, without a guilty conscience. This has been done under the covering of “religion,” and “forgiveness of sin” without ceasing from sin, in the past. In other words, asking God for forgiveness and continually committing the same sin without repentance, consciences or remorse are traits on the antichrist.
In Mark 4, in “the “Parable of the soils” or the “Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed,” Jesus said, in verses 3-4, “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path; and the birds came and ate it.” In verse 15, Jesus says, “The seed that fell on the path represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.” These “seeds” are people who are not rooted in the Word of God. They hear God’s Word; however, it is not hidden within their hearts so they sin against God (Psalm 119:11). The spirit of the antichrist (Satan’s imps) are the birds that eat the seeds along the path (see 1 Peter 5:8).
Our Identity Crisis
One of the reasons that we fall for the “schemes of the devil” and submit to the spirit of the antichrist is because we have an “identity crisis.” We do not know who we are in Christ, and the devil uses our ignorance to destroy us (Hosea 4:6). He attempts to sound like God, and we must be alert to his craftiness in these last days. We are the “children of God.” John 1:12-13 NLT says, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”
Jesus did not die for us because of our sin, He took the punishment upon Himself because of his love for us (John 3:16). We are his “first fruits.” “…we, out of all creation, became his prized possession (James 1:16-18 NLT). We are specifically and eternally valued by God. He values us as His belonging. We are His! God’s love for us is unconditional. We know how God feels about us, but how do we feel about God? This is important because, our view of God impacts our view of everything else. The spirit of the antichrist wants to distort your views and beliefs about our Lord.
Combating the “spirit of the Antichrist Spirit”
We can prevent ourselves from being under the influence of the antichrist the same way we prevented ourselves from coming under the influence of a “Jezebel spirit.” This is done by “testing the spirits to see whether they are from God,” (1 John 4:1-21). In order to determine a crooked stick from a straight stick, we measure it against a straight stick. That straight stick is the Word of God.
Since we are children of God (His seed), then we have conquered the spirit of antichrist and the teachings of the false prophets. What these antichrists say is from the world, and only the world listens to them. Only those “of the world” listen to false teachings. Those who know God listen to the true apostles. Those not of God will not heed sound doctrine. Either we are going to listen to the devil’s lies or God’s truth. It’s that simple!
In 1 John 4:4, following our introductory verse (1 John 4:1-3), the Apostle John tells us, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” First, John addresses our identity crisis, “You are of God, little children.” He reaffirms that we belong to God. Second, he says, “we have overcome them.” We have already won, we are victors, we have "overcome" these antichrists. God gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 15:57). Third, John reminds the reader that the power of Christ, who lives in the believer, is greater than the power of the world. The Holy Spirit living in the Christian is far stronger than any attack by the Devil. “…Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” The Apostle John’s words, the Word of God, should empower believers (Christians) not to fear Satan, but rather trust the Lord and obey His commands. By doing so, we can overcome the powers of darkness and walk with boldness in this life.
The spirit of antichrist is everything that opposes Christ and the Gospel of Christ. It is the fundamental ways of the “world” where God’s laws are rejected, and the laws of society, and eventually even the laws of the nations, change to accommodate this adjusted view of what is right and wrong.
The spirit of the antichrist blinds the minds of unbelievers, keeping them from seeing the “Light of the World,” which hinders them from receiving the” living bread that came down from heaven, (John 8:12; John 6:51).
The Word of God warns Christians not to accept every claim they hear. Instead, believers are to compare what they hear to the basic truths of the gospel. Furthermore, God has not only given us the weaponry to defeat the spirit of antichrist, “the armor of God,” Ephesians 6:10-19, He has proclaimed us as victors and has given us the winning strategy. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” 1 John 4:1-3.