July 13, 2017 by J.A. Hardgrave
6 Things I Did Not Learn Growing Up In Church
#6 “Antichrist” is a Term Describing Many People, Not Just One Guy.
I remember the first time I watched the “Left Behind” movies as a young church kid and grew terrified of being left behind to face the dreaded “Antichrist” figure during the tribulation period.
What I discovered is that the Bible is at odds with our common view that “Antichrist” is describing one guy at the end of time. We add “the” onto “Antichrist” which makes it appear as if this term is only referring to one single individual when we hear “The Antichrist”.
The word antichrist actually appears just four times in the entire Bible, three times in 1st John, and one time in second John.
1 John 2:18 “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.”
Notice that John states there were many “antichrist” who had already appeared in the 1st century when this letter was written, and these people were an indicator it was “the last hour.”
This indicates that “antichrist” is a group of people, not just one single individual, and they were people living in a time period known as “the last hour,” which places them around the first century time period unless we want to believe “the last hour” stretches out to over 2,000 years.
But what are the attributes of these people John calls antichrist? We find out the next time this term is used.
1 John 2:22 “And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.”
John defines “Antichrist” as anyone who denies that Jesus is not the Christ.
1 John 4:2-3 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.”
In addition to denying that Jesus was the Christ, these people also denied that Jesus came in a physical body. John also reiterates that the spirit of antichrist was already in the world.
The final occurrence of the word “antichrist” is 2nd John 1:7.
“I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
The Bible says this about “Antichrist”.
1. They are many people, not just one.
2. They were living in the first century.
3. They denied Jesus as being the Christ.
4. They denied that Jesus had a physical body.
Which people best fit this description?
I believe this is a title for 1st century Gnostics who believed “all matter is evil.” To a Gnostic, an all-powerful God would never wrap Himself in evil human flesh, thus Jesus Christ could not have been God in the flesh. The problem is if Jesus did not have a physical body, that means His blood was not shed, which means our sins are not forgiven.
The word “antichrist” is Greek for antichristos, which means “an opponent of the Messiah.”
#5 We Are Not Dying Daily to Sin.
My entire life I have heard many well-meaning people use Paul’s statement in 1st Corinthians 15:31 to promote the idea that Paul was speaking about “Dying Daily” to Sin.
I know this is a controversial topic since so many millions of Christians have probably heard this verse quoted out of its original context their entire lives, including myself.
I want to clarify right away I am not denying the importance of daily staying away from sin. Sin destroys people’s lives. The question is, which death is Paul referring to in this Bible verse?
This one is actually quite simple if we take a deeper look at the entire verse and the following verse.
1st Corinthians 15:31 “And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
That’s a little more information than the 3-word statement we often hear quoted “I Die Daily”. Paul said they were standing in “Jeopardy” every hour. The Greek word for Jeopardy is kindyneuō which means:
Look at how this word is used by Luke to describe how the disciples were in “jeopardy” on the boat with Jesus when a storm came.
“But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy (kindyneuō)”. Luke 8:23
The disciples were about to lose their lives if Jesus did not rebuke the storm. Paul is saying that he is daily putting himself in danger of death “every hour”, willing to lose his life due to his belief in the resurrection.
Many Bible translations recognize the context of Paul’s “daily death”, look at a few translations.
“I FACE death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
“For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I FACE DEATH daily.” (NLT)
“Yes, truly, by your pride in me, my brothers in Christ Jesus our Lord, my life is ONE LONG DEATH.”. (Basic English Bible)
The next verse states: “If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me?”
What “beasts” would Paul be talking about? Let’s look at the NLT.
“And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those PEOPLE of Ephesus—if there will be no resurrection from the dead?
There is division over whether Paul was referencing a literal beast, or speaking of the people of Ephesus as the NLT suggests, but it does not matter, either way, the context remains the same. Paul is speaking about being in daily danger of physical death due to his belief in the resurrection, not daily dying to sin.
Also it’s worth mentioning that Scripture clearly says we are DEAD to sin, not DYING to sin. Have you ever seen someone who is dead AND dying at the same time? It’s either or.
Romans 6:2 –WE ARE DEAD TO SIN
Romans 6:3 –WE WERE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST’S DEATH.
Romans 6:4 –WE WERE BURIED WITH CHRIST THROUGH BAPTISM INTO DEATH.
Romans 6:5 –WE HAVE BEEN UNITED TOGETHER IN CHRIST’S DEATH.
Romans 6:6 –OUR OLD MAN WAS CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST & THE BODY OF SIN HAS BEEN DONE AWAY WITH.
Romans 6:7 –WE ARE DEAD TO SIN, and FREED FROM SIN.
Romans 6:8 –WE DIED WITH CHRIST.
Romans 6:11 – WE SHOULD RECKON OURSELVES DEAD TO SIN, but ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST.
Romans 6:14 –SIN WILL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER US.
Romans 6:18 –WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN and are SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Romans 6:22 –WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN, and bear the fruit of HOLINESS & EVERLASTING LIFE.
Galatians 5:24- Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
#4 We Don’t Have a Mansion Just Over The Hilltop, Sorry.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
The Greek word for “Mansions” is monē.
a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode
to make an (one’s) abode
metaph. of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers
The definition is not a literal mansion, but rather a metaphor for God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers and abiding with us.
This is a present reality for those who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t know if there will be a literal mansion waiting for us in eternity, that would be cool, but I do know this verse is not speaking about such a mansion.
#3 The Temple & Jerusalem Were Destroyed in AD 70.
I was never taught that in AD 70 the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed. They were both completely and methodically dismantled right down to their foundation by the Roman armies under General Titus.
Who cares? One might ask.
This is kind of a big deal because this is exactly what Jesus prophesied would happen in Matthew 24:1;2.
“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
This event is significant not only because it meant there was no longer a place to give Old Covenant sacrifices meaning the New Covenant was the only covenant God is interested in now, but it also shows Jesus prophecy came true, giving even further evidence that Jesus is who He said He was, God.
Josephus the historian writes about these events in detail in “Josephus: The Wars of The Jews”.
#2 The Last Days Are Behind Us.
I spent my whole childhood and into my early adulthood believing we were living in the last days of planet earth or the last days of the Christian age.
“In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” Hebrews 1:1-2
The author of Hebrews states Jesus appeared in the last days. Hebrews was written in about AD 65…
If the last days were over 2,000 years ago, we can’t also be in the last days today.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.” 1st Timothy 1-6
Then in verse 6, Paul tells Timothy:
“If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
Why would Paul instruct Timothy to “point out these things to the brothers and sisters” if they were speaking about latter times 2,000 years in their future?
Clearly Paul did not have a future generation living over 2,000 years in the future in mind because if that were the case Timothy would be wasting his time teaching his brothers and sisters in Christ about people they would never see, nor would their kids, or grandkids, or their grandkids, or their grandkids and so on and so on.
Paul knew that these dangerous men and doctrines were currently at that time in existence, and he wanted to warn Timothy, and urge him to instruct others in “the truths of the faith and of good teaching” to help guide them during the latter times they were living in.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Have nothing to do with such people.
They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.” 2nd Timothy 3:1-8
Paul describes the attributes of people who would be living in the “last days”, and then tells Timothy “have nothing to do with such people!”.
Ummmm. If these people were 2,000 years in the future, Paul would not need to warn Timothy to “stay away from such people”.
Many don’t consider audience relevance and assume because there are selfish and boastful people who oppose truth in our day, we must be living in the end times!
The context clearly places these people as living in the last days that they were living in at that time. I believe the time period they were living in was the closing off and last days of the Old Covenant age that was made obsolete at the cross, and would be physically destroyed in AD 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed.
If we don’t consider audience relevance than the last days can be at virtually any time in any generation since every generation has people who are lovers of themselves, love money, boastful etc.
#1 The Pre-Tribulation Rapture View Denies The Kingdom Is Present In This Age
I grew up being taught there would be a soon coming pre-tribulation rapture AND the Kingdom of God was present. It was very confusing. Are things supposed to get better, or worse? Is the goal to get heaven to earth or us to get from earth to heaven?
– WATCH VIDEO BELOW!
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