From where do people get their doctrine about “Anti-Christ”?
It certainly is not from John the apostle…the only apostle who wrote about the Anti-Christ.
And oh by the way, he never mentioned the Anti-Christ in the book of Revelation or in his Gospel. As a matter of Fact, we might note that the book of Revelation is self titled in the first verse of the book; “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”. Note it does not call itself “The Revelation of Anti-Christ”, so don’t bother going to the book of revelation to look for Anti-Christ. The word or phrase anti-christ is ONLY mentioned in the epistles of 1st John, and 2nd John.
In those mentions he says they (plural) were in the world in his day and that there were many who had this anti-christ “spirit”. NOWHERE Does John EVER say that Anti-Christ was a singular person, and NOWHERE in any text of scripture is there a justifiable reason to equate the “Beast” and Anti-Christ.
Let’s look at the passages in 1st John to get some perspective.
“Children it is the LAST HOUR, and as you have heard that Anti-Christ is coming, so NOW MANY Anti-Christs HAVE COME. Therefore we KNOW that it IS the LAST HOUR.” 1 John 2:18
In this text we learn many great truths. In Johns day in the first century it was already the LAST HOUR. We are not living in the “Last Days” the Apostles were and they claimed to be so. We also learn that MANY Anti-Christs were ALREADY come in to the world in the first century. Who were these people of the first century to whom John refers?
He gives us a clue in the next verse that he uses about anti-christ. In 1 John 2:22 he says;
“Who is a LIAR but he who DENIES that Jesus IS the Christ? This is the Anti-Christ. He who denies the Father and the Son.”
So John tells us that those who deny that Jesus is the Christ, that person is an Anti-Christ. In the entire New Testament do we read about any like this? Indeed we do; in the gospel of John Chapter 9-verse 22 John writes that the parents of the one born blind but who Jesus healed, said this: “He will speak for himself”. His parents said these things because they feared the Jews.
“For the Jews had already agreed that if ANYONE SHOULD CONFESS JESUS TO BE THE CHRIST, he was to be put out of the synagogue.”
Right there in John 9:22 The same writer who told us what Anti-Christ is, gives us a clear example of them existing in the first century.
In Matthew 26:62-68 the high priest scribes and elders are questioning Jesus and asked him if he were the Christ…when he admitted he was, they tore their robes and called Jesus a “Blasphemer”. They were clearly denying that Jesus is the Christ. This denial was rampant in the first century and that is why John in his epistles could say that Anti-Christ is already here.
What about 1 John 4:3…
“And EVERY spirit that does not CONFESS JESUS is not from God. THIS IS the spirit of Anti-Christ which you have heard was coming and now is in the world already.”
Here John says that Anti-Christ are people with a spirit that denies that Jesus is from God. A simple test, right? Do we find such people in the New Testament?
Yes, we certainly do, and again it is from John; the seeming first century expert on Anti-Christ. In the gospel of John 5:18, the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus for not only breaking the Sabbath,
“…but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God“. Then in John 10:33 “The Jews answered him: It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
Here again John gives the test and shows examples of how Anti-Christ was in the first century, not the 21st century.
If you could maybe you could start by giving me a text of scripture that clearly ties together the Anti-Christ of Johns day with the beast. I suspect you will not find one, as one does not exist. But the system of dispensationalism demands it so you would expect to find a text to support it. We need to get away from insisting on doctrine because of a theological system and start studying God’s word as workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth and stop dividing the people of God. Thanks for your time and your continued Berean spirit.