The spirit of the Antichrist part I: Denying that Jesus came in the flesh
Did you know that whatever we do, it is either Christ or Satan that is being manifested in our lives?
What is the spirit of the Antichrist? “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of 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 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, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3.
“Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” Consequently, the spirit that does not confess this is the spirit of Antichrist. This spirit is against Jesus come in the flesh. This is a spirit that we meet everywhere. It was already active in John’s day, and is even more so now.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29.
Christ is manifested in the flesh when we are conformed to the image of the Son. Satan wants to be the only one who is manifested in the flesh. When people are ill-tempered, offended, lovers of money, selfish, anxious, envious, etc., it is Satan who is being manifested. God’s call to us is to be saved from all this, and that Jesus may be manifested in us instead.
“A dangerous doctrine”
This is where the spirit of Antichrist rises up. When we have the exhortation “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth,” 1 Peter 2:18-23, then the spirit of Antichrist comes with this message: “You cannot take this literally. We cannot follow in Jesus’ steps who committed no sin, because then we would have to be sinless. No, we are sinners, and we must plead the blood, etc. etc.” We hear this teaching everywhere. “The forgiveness of sins is possible, but Christ manifested in the flesh? No! That is a dangerous doctrine – sinless perfection – a false doctrine.”
Can you see what the spirit of Antichrist is trying to do? It is trying to prove that it is impossible to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, so that Satan is manifested in the flesh, rather than Christ. Who do you think would be the most upset if you were set free from sin? The answer, of course, is the devil! If you are afraid of upsetting him, then resist Christ manifested in the flesh – a life of overcoming sin – as much as you can. But listen to this: “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest.” 1 John 3:8-10.
A sharp two-edged sword
John was particularly concerned that we should not be deceived; therefore, his letters are like the sharpest two-edged sword. Those who work in the spirit of the Antichrist do not deny Jesus’ name; they continue to work for God. But we can recognize anyone who is in this spirit by whether or not they confess that Christ has come in the flesh. John gives us some examples to show us how to recognize these people. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” 1 John 1:6. “He who says ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4. And he gives more examples besides these in his first letter. We know them by their fruits. Those who bear good fruits (Galatians 5:22-23) – Christ manifested in the flesh – are in the Spirit of God. Those who only have a good outward appearance, but don’t bear any fruit are in the spirit of the Antichrist.
Open your eyes and test the spirits, and you will see a terrible sight. It is so terrible that most people do not dare to look at it. They close their eyes and say, “We must not judge; after all, we are only human,” and so they are helplessly led astray by these “antichrists.”
This is an excerpt of the chapter “The Spirit of the Antichrist” from the book “The Bride and the Harlot and the End Times,” first published in Norwegian in September 1946 by “Skjulte Skatters Forlag.”
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.