Tuesday, October 13, 2009

“The Antichrist”

“In the last days, The Antichrist will rise to world power.”

The Bible makes no mention of a “capital-a”, one person, Antichrist but many “antichrists” who had gone out from the first century church (yes, I checked the Greek). The term comes from John’s epistles in which he warns of the “Many deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 7) Certainly there are also many today who persist in unbelief and those who “deny that Jesus is the Christ” (1 John 2:22) and/or “who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (2 John 7)—these have the same spirit of antichrist.

But these are the criteria, not as many believe today--having influence or being a persuasive speaker. This misinterpretation of the Scriptures has led to slanderous accusations of nearly any man who has been an international leader, whether political or religious, in last 100 years or so. If you’re a follower of Jesus going around fearfully pointing a finger at such men just because they have influence or a good speaking style—you need to stop it! You will have to answer one day for every careless word. (Matthew 12:36)

Instead, make sure that you aren’t one of the ones who “runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ…” and that you don’t welcome the one who “does not bring this teaching”. (2 John 9,10) The Church is all too willing to welcome false teachers these days. Don’t be distracted by non-Biblical paranoia—just make sure you’re obeying Jesus’ teachings and urge others to do the same.

Rebuilding The Temple

“The Jerusalem Temple must be rebuilt before Jesus comes back.”

The Bible doesn’t say this. There are some people who, in past 150 or so years have built a template of eschatology through which they interpret the Bible. They project Ezekiel’s vision of rebuilding the Temple thousands of years into the future (as in any year now) but in fact, “Ezekiel’s” Temple was already rebuilt after the Babylonian exile. (Ezekiel chapters 40-43; see also the books of Ezra and Nehemiah)

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, there is no longer a need for the Temple and its sacrificial system. (Hebrews 10:1; Ephesians 2:14) Instead, those who follow Jesus are “God's temple” and “God's Spirit lives in you”. (I Corinthians 3:16see also Acts 17:24,I Cor. 3:17, 6:19)