Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”
Had the Apostle Paul’s prophecy of the church’s future already come to pass while John was alive? A few 1st and 2nd century heresies . . .. Dualism (two gods), Gnosticism (Jesus not flesh), Montanism (additional revelation), Judaism (legalism), Asceticism (monasticism), Nocolaitanism (false apostles), Balaamism (merchandising the Gospel).
Seeds of all appeared in the First Century.
So it appears that John wrote when he did to expose false leaders and false doctrines that were already in the church.
Confirmed by John 1:1-14, 2 Ti 3:6-8, Rev 2:2, 2:14-15, 2:20
So who is Antichrist?
Did you know there are only 4 verses in Scripture that mention “antichrist" by name?
1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last time.” (NAS)
1 John 2:22, “Who is a liar but the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ. He is the (Gr. definite article “te”) antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father.” (NAS)
1 John 4:3, “And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world.” (NAS)
2 John 7, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (NAS)
So do those verses say there’s going to be a future Antichrist, or is John just exposing another heresy? Look at what’s taught in the churches today.
1. Antichrist will appear during the last 7 years of this era.
2. Rule as good leader 3 ½ years.
3. Rule as bad leader 3 ½ years.
4. Help the Jews rebuild the temple.
5. Reinstate animal sacrifices.
6. Build a “talking” image on the temple mount.
7. Stop sacrifices.
8. Destroy the temple during his last 3 ½ years.
9. Turn against the Jews.
10. Persecute Christians during a “seven year” tribulation.
11. Start Armageddon.
12. Be Satan in human form.
Guess what? Not a single one of those popular end-time doctrines can be directly supported by the Bible. All are guesswork theology!
Most biblical historians believe the Thessalonians books were written by 52 A.D., but a couple of verses in 1 Thessalonians 2 make that view questionable.
1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”
So to what “wrath” do you suppose Paul was referring? The “utmost” calamity that happened to the Jews in the 1st century was the destruction of their Temple in 70 A.D.. So both Thessalonian books may have been written later than 70 A.D..
But why is that important? Because during the Christian era, God’s Temple is not a physical building on Mount Moriah!
Location of the Temple of God During the Christian Era
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
2 Corinthians 6:16 “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Ephesians 2:22 “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Satan Invades the Temple of God
2 Thessalonians 2:2-4 “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (Satan is called a “man” in Isaiah 14:16 and elsewhere in Scripture); Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called god (Satan and fallen angels do that), or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
So where is the temple of God during the Christian era? In the believer’s heart! So the “he” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is not a human! He is a demon or Satan attacking the minds of Christians by masquerading as the Holy Spirit, 2 Cor 11:14 All because the spirits are not tested as commanded by 1 John 4:1-3.
The Command We Have Forgotten
1 John 4:1-3 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (Greek, δοiιμάζω, dok-im-ad’-zo: to test, try, discern or examine. This is a command, not just a suggestion.) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
The Lord already warned us, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light,” 2 Cor 11:13. We forget it to our peril!
2 Thessalonians 2:5-8 “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let (i.e., “restrains will restrain”, NAS), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked (spirit) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
Genesis 6:3 “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man.”
False Church During the End-Times
1 Timothy 4:1-2 “. . . in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron . . .”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.”