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THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT (AND ITS CHRISTIAN SUPPORTERS)

         Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. [1John 2:22]

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RIDDLE ME THIS         

         It is said that there are three major monotheistic religions in the world: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Two of these deny that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. A faction of one of these has formed an alliance with one of the deniers. This same faction hates the other denier. What is this faction?

         Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. [1John 2:18-19]

         This is one of those passages that is subjected to a strange anomaly inherent within the minds of some believers, that of the past being projected onto the future. It is something many Christians and prophecy teachers are prone to, in that they read such passages as if they refer to present times. They don’t. This passage was written almost two thousand years ago and must only be seen in those terms.

         The author of this epistle explicitly states that it is the last hour. He says it twice. These are the only times in Scripture this three word phrase appears. Some versions say the final hour or the last time. That is, way back then, in the mid-first century, it was the last hour. In the mid-first century many antichrists had already appeared and the coming of another was imminent. His arrival was just about to happen and was almost upon them. At the same time, way back then, many former believers had already left the fold.

ONLY 120? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THOUSANDS?

         As I have written here many times, it remains amazing to me that the Lord Jesus was only able to gather a mere 120 people for the original Pentecost. I highly recommend the following article: Bizarro Christianity—It’s Much Worse Than You Think (Part 1). It contains the following statement:

         “Perhaps this is why the Lord only managed to gather a mere 120 people for the original Upper Room Experience. Keep in mind, the Lord Jesus was not some podunk rambling rabbi but GOD. He had preached to tens of thousands at a time, but many of these were not sincere. He did every major miracle you can imagine, preached powerfully, taught a perfect and pure message, and then, amazingly, offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice on our behalf, ROSE FROM THE DEAD, and still only managed to convince a mere 120 people to go to the upper room for ten days and await Pentecost! That’s astonishing, especially in light of today’s easy-believism.”

         This fact reveals that there are only very few who are in it for the long haul and really interested in the truth, and will remain with the Lord through thick and thin and much persecution. Most will leave Him and betray Him, just as those did whom John refers to. The same phenomenon has happened throughout Christian history. The majority always falls away into untruth and unbelief, creates counterfeits, and embraces those who hate the Lord.

        “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” [John 6:64-69]   

         It happened throughout the first century. Just as followers of the Lord left Him and walked away on several occasions during His ministry, the same thing happened afterwards. The apostle Paul predicted it would happen in the Ephesus area when he addressed the Ephesian elders in Miletus. That original generation of real believers knew they would have to work overtime and make as big an impact as possible in the very beginning because the enemy would strike back, and that, of course, happened just as Paul said it would:

         “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” [Acts 20:28-31]   

         These are serious charges that Paul made in advance, exactly as the Lord did, especially when He prophesied the fate of Judea and Jerusalem. No one during His time could ever have imagined that the temple would be destroyed as would be Jerusalem, and that what was left of the nation of Israel would be no more forever. But it happened. And the same thing happened to His Community, in that savage wolves came in among them and men arose speaking perverse things. The Lord’s Community itself stayed intact and pure but many left. Many disciples were drawn away. Many made alliances with unbelievers and Lord Jesus deniers. The ones who left could no longer handle being real followers. They showed the lack of love of the Lord by embracing substitutes and counterfeits or running off into oblivion.

         Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. [1John 4:1-3]

THE FATHER AND SON ARE INDIVISIBLE

         Judaism does not confess that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. Islam does not confess that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. Whoever denies the Son also denies the Father. This means whatever god these people are serving, it is not the God of the New Covenant Scriptures.

         Yet, many Christians are confused on this point. They have been taught and apparently believe that it is possible to somehow serve God and be in relationship with Him while also denying the Son. The Scriptures obviously refute this. The Father and Son are indivisible. Whoever trashes the Son is trashing God. Whoever denies the Son is of the spirit of the antichrist.

         For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2John 1:7-11] [1]     

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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The Cleansing Blood of God (Part 2)

         It was through the sacrificial death of the spotless Lamb that God’s cleansing blood was shed to atone for all the sins of humanity. The author of Hebrews goes to great lengths to establish the fact that the blood of sacrificial animals could never atone for sin, but that these things were mere types of the only real blood sacrifice offered once by Messiah.

         But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

         For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. [Hebrews 9:11-16]

         For the Jews who did not believe that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah, their “salvation” could only come through the perfect keeping of the Mosaic Code, an actual impossibility. The Torah is perfect, of course, but impossible to keep properly without faith and the introduction of God’s Spirit. Besides, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. and the requisite animal sacrifices have not been administered since, going on 2,000 years. How then can one be cleansed without the Lamb of God? Within forty years of the Blood Covenant, those who rejected the Sacrifice Lamb lost everything as a result. Everything. Those who believed and signed on gained everything (See Mark 10:29-30). 

         Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [Hebrews 10:19-22]

         The apostle Peter had been instructed of all this by the Lord Jesus, and it is why he delivered a message on the Day of Pentecost featuring these very ideas:

1. Faith in God

2. Repentance (Death)

3. Water Baptism (Burial)

4. The infilling of the Holy Spirit (Resurrection)

         “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:36-39]

         The Jews hearing this message knew exactly what Peter was saying. God had been manifest in flesh. He had dwelt among them. YHWH showed up on the scene as per all the many prophecies of their ancient scrolls, and in their ignorance they killed Him. Why do so many Christians continue to do the same by not recognizing who the Lord Jesus really is? He is not merely a “second” Person of a Roman Triad, but our great God and Savior who willingly shed His blood for our salvation. He has fulfilled perfectly His half of the New Covenant, and awaits all those who would fulfill their half by accepting and honoring Him for who He really is, by submitting to heart circumcision, and by obeying Him unto life.

         “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” [Revelation 22:12-16] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

RELATED POSTS:

Real Circumcision: Hearts Sewn Up With Blue (Part 1)

Real Circumcision: Hearts Sewn Up With Blue (Part 2)

The Cleansing Blood of God (Part 1)

Jesus

The NAME Above Every Name

         Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. [Acts 20:28]   

         In his message at Miletus, while on his fateful way to Jerusalem, the apostle Paul clearly states that the Lord Jesus is YHWH, the God of the Old Testament. It is a hard concept to grasp. The apostle John also explained this very well in his Gospel. Being monotheistic Jews, as were (1) All the apostles, (2) All the 120 gathered on Pentecost, and (3) The entire community of saints for about the first seven to ten years of its existence, both Paul and John clearly revealed the fact that God became a Man.

         There was absolutely no thought or concept among Jews that God was a multiplicity of divine persons, and the very idea was heresy. This was one of the main reasons why so many Jews had such a hard time believing in the Lord Jesus as their Messiah. As the world’s only monotheists, they knew there was only one God. Therefore, they knew the apostles were claiming their one God YHWH had become one of them—a very hard concept to grasp, though the Old Testament Scriptures were filled with such prophetic fact, most notably perhaps, in the scroll of Isaiah:

         For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. [Isaiah 9:6]  

         A great, great number of Jews did believe that Jesus was the One mentioned above, however, because their hearts were right, and because they were not looking upon their God through the philosophical prism of Greco-Roman mindbenders.

         Acts 20:28 clearly states that it is God’s very blood that He used to purchase His community. God takes possession of each and every real believer through His blood. This is why the New Covenant is the ultimate blood covenant. Not only does God’s pure and perfect blood cleanse us from all sin, it is essentially the currency He uses to rightfully and legally obtain us.

         Paul referred to the Lord Jesus as YHWH many times, as seen in the following verses. Though he states a clear distinction between Father and Son, he distinguishes neither from the God of the Old Testament Himself. This is not simply a matter of semantics, and our Lord Jesus is not merely a mythical, theological “eternal Son.”

         He is God:

         For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. [Romans 9:3-5]

         He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s [1] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. [Colossians 1:15-20]

         Regarding theological concepts of the Person of God, Paul knew well that intellectuals and purveyors of cold rationality would attempt to form a god of their own understanding rendered through pure mental reasoning and head knowledge, and bypassing the heart:     

         See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. [Colossians 2:8-12]

         Speaking of water baptism, there was no such thing as “title” baptism (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in the original community of saints throughout the entire Book of Acts and New Testament epistles. All baptism was by full immersion in the Name above all names—the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul reflected this fact in the passage above after claiming that YHWH came to earth and dwelt among us in human form, that our Lord Jesus is the supreme head over all authority and rule, that all real believers undergo the circumcision of Christ, and that all Scriptural water baptism is done in His Name. He also said God resurrected His own dead human body, which is exactly what the Lord Jesus said He would do:

         “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19] [2]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2]


[1] Italicized words in the NASV95 New Testament are not in the original Greek text. Hence the word “Father” does not appear at this place in this passage.

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.