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)
As John continues his teaching to his little children, we come to the topic of the antichrist. As believers we need to understand who the antichrist is and what is meant by the spirit of antichrist so we are not deceived when we encounter them.
- It is the last hour: The closing period or dispensation; that dispensation in which the affairs of the world are ultimately to be wound up. The apostle does not, however, say that the end of the world would soon occur, nor does he intimate how long this dispensation would be. The identifying point of the last hour is the appearance of many antichrists.
- The antichrist is coming. Who is this antichrist? The Antichrist: One who is to come; a political leader who will falsely set up a covenant with Israel and lead the world during the tribulation. But there will come a day when one world leader will rise to power who will be the embodiment of evil, one who is empowered and directed by the devil himself. This will be the Antichrist.
- Is he alive today? Is he in power somewhere in the world? More than likely, yes he is. This is because the devil is not omniscient; he knows no more about when Jesus is coming than we do. He needs to have a person ready if Jesus should come tomorrow. It may have been Nero during his time or Hitler during his time, or Obama during his time…oops! 🙂 (just kidding!) But the devil will need to have someone ready.
- Antichristos is from two root words: G473 anti (an-tee’) A primary particle; opposite, that is, instead. Often used in composition to denote contrast, requital, substitution. The second word is G5547 Christos (khris-tos’) anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: – Christ.
- Many antichrists have come. From the etymology of the word translated antichrist, we can come up with two different interpretations of this phrase. This can be one interpretation of this phrase: he is coming as a substitute or replacement for Jesus. The other is that he is opposed to the Christ. This can also be called having the spirit of antichrist. (1 John 4:2 also)
Excerpt from the sermon Little Children and the antichrist*. You can listen to the full sermon here.
*I understand this is not proper grammar but I refuse to give the devil any honor, even by capitalizing his name