“By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist …” 1 John 4:2-3.
Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of Man. “Jesus” was His name as the Son of Man – a fairly common name in that time. “Christ” was He whom God had anointed to be King over Israel. Therefore, He is both Jesus and Christ. Jesus Christ. In this name the two are combined as one: the Son of God and the Son of Man.
In Jesus’ day, the scribes and Pharisees maintained that Jesus was only Jesus – He was not the Christ. They did not want to hear what He had to say. Therefore, they rejected Him and even viewed Him as a deceiver. Just think of how wrong they were! God’s Son, born into mankind, having partaken of flesh and blood as we, and yet they viewed Him as a deceiver and crucified Him. They denied that He was the Christ come in the flesh, and thus were in the spirit of the Antichrist in their day.
The spirit of the Antichrist started to work in a different way as soon as the apostles started to build the church upon the cornerstone which is Jesus. Now, instead of denying Him as the Son of God, the spirit of the Antichrist works to deny Him as the true Son of Man – a man who was born with the same flesh and blood just as we have, including a human nature with sin in the flesh. Not a sinful flesh. That would only have happened if He had given in to temptation and sinned. But sin in the flesh, which means that He could be tempted to sin. He was tempted, yet overcame every single temptation, and thus God condemned sin in the flesh through Him. No, the majority of the religious world rejects this, and sees Him only as someone who came in a kind of likeness of the Son of Man. Flesh and blood, but with divine nature instead of human nature. (Romans 8:3-4; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 4:14-15)
Recognizing the spirit of the Antichrist
This is how to recognize the spirit of the Antichrist. It explains away the work that God did in His Son for the salvation of mankind. He overcame Satan and the entire spiritual hosts of wickedness. He brought redemption for mankind, who no longer have to follow the lusts of the flesh in which dwells nothing good, but can now life a godly life! (Romans 7:18,24-25) But the spirit of the Antichrist explains all of that away, and the majority of people believe in his deception. If they don’t believe in overcoming sin and living a Godly life, they don’t have to do it. The spirit of the Antichrist reasons that if Jesus did not come in the flesh and overcome it, then nobody can overcome it. As a result, people are obliged to walk according to the flesh.
Yet it is written in Romans 1:3-4: “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” In order to bring redemption from the flesh, He had to be a partaker of that flesh. The spirit of Antichrist wants to do away with the explanation that Jesus was born of the seed of David according to the flesh. That way he can explain away the redemption from the flesh, with all its passions and desires, for all mankind. Then all we have left is the forgiveness of sins.
But Jesus conquered the sin that He has forgiven, and in which we have lived, when He died! Because Jesus conquered the sins that He died to forgive, it is now possible for us to be liberated from living in sin ourselves. This is the glorious hope of the new covenant! Sin has been condemned in the flesh, and therefore it is now possible for everyone to overcome it in their own flesh. (Romans 8:3-4) We no longer have only forgiveness for committed sins, but freedom from being bound to commit the same sins again! This is true liberation! And it is only possible because Jesus Christ came as the Son of God and the Son of Man. This is the gospel of God.
Based on a message given by Sigurd Bratlie in Oslo in 1980.