Posts

Showing posts with the label Deceivers

The False One(s!)

Image
In his first epistle, John declares it is the Last Hour , a period elsewhere in the New Testament called the “ Last Days .” As evidence of this, he points to the presence of false teachers who are disrupting the congregations under his care. These deceivers are the products and instruments of the “ Spirit of Antichrist ” that is active already in the world, and these very same men are forerunners of the final “ Antichrist ” who is yet to come.

Preaching a Different Gospel

Image
Paul’s Letter to the Galatians begins with a stern warning. What some believers were contemplating amounted to replacing the true Gospel with a false one. To turn from the “ faith of Jesus Christ ” to circumcision and other “ works of the law ” as the basis for justification meant abandoning the Gospel preached by Paul and the other Apostles. And there is a lesson here for all followers of Jesus, a warning of the dangers posed by any deviation from the apostolic tradition.

In His Assembly

Image
In the New Testament, the term “ antichrist ” occurs only in the second and third letters of John. Moreover, the Apostle applies the plural form of the Greek noun to deceivers who were causing dissension and spreading false teachings in his congregations. The presence of “ antichrists ” in the Assembly constituted irrefutable evidence that the “ Last Days ” were underway. These troublemakers were manifestations of the “ Spirit of the Antichrist ,” and forerunners of the final “ Antichrist ” who was (and is) yet to come.

Key Predicted Events

Image
The New Testament warns the disciples of Jesus about several things that will characterize the period between his first and second comings, ones that will intensify as the end approaches. They include a great many deceivers that will infiltrate the church along with deception, apostasy, the rise of an especially significant deceiver just prior to the end, and Satan’s final assault on the church.

Rumors and Disinformation

Image
D isinformation about the return of Jesus is causing alarm among some believers .  In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul addresses rumors and even claims that the “ Day of the Lord has set in ." False information and incorrect expectations about his “ arrival ” at the end of the age are disrupting the assembly. Moreover, this false information is being attributed by some either to a “ spirit ,” word ( logos ), or a letter “ as if from ” the Apostle Paul and his coworkers.

Preaching Another Jesus

Image
When certain “ super-apostles ” began undermining his authority, the Apostle Paul warned the Assembly in Corinth not to heed anyone who was “ proclaiming another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or a different spirit, or a different gospel .” Instead, Paul pointed to the same Jesus that he first proclaimed in the city, the “ Crucified Messiah .” He was the measuring rod against which all other messianic claimants and beliefs must be compared.

Howling Imposters

Image
In his final recorded discourse, Jesus included several warnings about coming “ deceivers ,” “ false messiahs ,” and “ false prophets ,” men and women intent on misleading his disciples. His warnings were reiterated and expanded in the writings of the Apostles. He began his discourse on the Mount of Olives with a stern warning - “ Beware lest anyone deceive you! ” - “ MANY ” deceivers are coming who will “ deceive MANY .” Deception working its way through the Body of Christ is  NOT  a new phenomenon.

The Spirit of Antichrist

Image
The Antichrist is viewed as a political tyrant intent on world domination in many interpretations. Whether this proves to be true, Jesus and his Apostles expressed more concern about the deceivers who will ply their trade in the Assembly. Where the term Antichrist is found, it is applied to false teachers who were infiltrating the Body of Christ, distorting apostolic teachings, and raising false expectations about the future. The “ Spirit of the Antichrist ” manifests itself in deceivers, false prophets, and their deceptive activities.

Stand Fast!

Image
After explaining the coming “Apostasy” and the “Man of Lawlessness,” Paul instructed believers in Thessalonica on how to avoid the coming deception and thereby find themselves standing “blameless” before Jesus when he “arrives.” To do so they must “stand fast” by adhering to the teachings and “traditions” of the Apostles. The conclusion to his discussion includes verbal links to his first letter to the Assembly. The second letter was written within a few weeks or months at the most of the first letter.