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And Now, the Antichrist!

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by John of Japan, Nov 28, 2017.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The doctrine of the Antichrist may be the most misunderstood in all of eschatology. Here on the BB, posters quite often mock a media driven, fluffy, straw man Antichrist. Again, just a quick look at an Internet search, checking a few of the websites, reveals not only a lot of misinformation (that is, teaching not based on the Bible), but much hubris. In this thread I would like to take a strictly Biblical look at the Antichrist, who he will be (or is) and what he will do.

    First of all, consider the word itself. It is a compound word from Greek, with the preposition anti and the word for Christ, Xristos. So it has something to do with Christ Himself. The preposition anti is defined by Friberg's Anlex (accessed through BibleWorks; the Greek font did not carry over onto the BB) as: "originally with a local sense over against, opposite; used figuratively in the NT (1) to indicate a replacement instead of, in place of (LU 11.11; MT 20.28 and MK 10.45 also belong here; JN 1.16 indicates a successive replacement); (2) to indicate one thing as equivalent to another for, as, in place of (1C 11.15); (3) in the sense of u`pe,r on behalf of, for, for the sake of (MT 17.27); (4) to indicate a cause: av. tou,tou for this reason, that is why (EP 5.31); avnqv w-n because, in return for which (LU 1.20); (5) to indicate a result avnqv w-n, implying one thing for another so then, therefore (LU 12.3).

    With this in mind, the question is: Does the Antichrist oppose Christ or replace Him? Some believe he tries to become a replacement for Christ (cf Alva McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 453). However, the NT has a different word for that: false Christ (pseudoxristos; see Matt. 24:24 & Mark 13:22). Another indication that the word means one who opposes Christ is that in ancient Greece, according to TDNT (Kittel, Vol. 9 p. Vol. 9, p. 571, footnote 500), an opposing general was called an anti-general (antistrategos). The Liddel Scott lexicon of classical Greek (through BibleWorks) has this definition for that word: "the enemy's general."

    So, the Antichrist will be the final opponent of Jesus Christ.
     
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  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    There have been many antichrists, as John pointed out in 1 John 2:

    "18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."

    All of these have failed, just as the final Antichrist will fail.
     
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  3. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    I look forward to this discussion!
     
  4. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Do you believe these little antichrists and the final Antichrist are literal people? Not institutions or offices?
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I see nothing semantically either in the word or its contexts to indicate an institution or office. So I don't see the word as indicating the pope. The fact that the preposition anti is used in a compound with "general" to mean "opposing general" bears this out.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Sit back for an interesting ride. :)
     
  7. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    How so? Yes, you cited lexicons and other sources but you have not gone first of all to the most important source - the Bible.

    And there is no mention of an Antichrist being "the final opponent of Jesus Christ". Wrong on two counts:
    1. Antichrists had already come in John's "last hour" (an important, but glossed over phrase for futurists).
    2. Antichrist is never spoken of in the singular as some sort of special person.

    Here are the only places where "Antichrists" or "Antichrist" is mentioned.

    18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:18 - 19

    2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 1 John 4:2 - 3

    6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 6 - 7

    Notice the tenses: "Many antichrists have come" ... "They went out from us". They "have gone out into the world".

    Notice also that "antichrist" is a class of people, not an individual. They are those "went out from us" and "do not confess the coming of Jesus in the flesh". They denied the central initial doctrine of the Incarnation - inherent in the word itself.

    The only way someone can imagine a future Antichrist is by ignoring the literal meaning of the text. And the only texts we have are from John's Epistles. No mention of an Antichrist elsewhere.

    Edit: I see now, after having posted this, that you did cite 1 John. I figured you would, though I thought that would have been top drawer for you, not the lexicons. At any rate, my points still stands You have no proof of a future Antichrist personage. It is just not in the Bible.
     
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  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    One misconception, especially in popular media and entertainment, is that the Antichrist will rule the world. I don't think the Scripture teaches this at all. The sole passage I've found that might indicate this is when he is worshiped by the world in the Revelation of John (9 times to the Beast). However, the word for "worship" is the Greek proskuneo, meaning to physically bow down to someone or to an idol (used many times of those worshiping Christ). This indicates a religious influence by the Antichrist rather than a political ruling.

    In other words, the Antichrist will represent a worldwide religion which ends up with him being physically bowed down to by all. This recalls how Nebuchadnezzar required everyone to bow to him. In history, it recalls how the pope was a spiritual ruler (with political influence) until the Reformation.

    Note the following verse, showing that the Beast of Revelation will depend on the "kings of the earth": "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army" (Rev. 19:19).
     
  9. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Now this is interesting, because for some time I used to ponder over this very issue.

    The term was used for the pope and papists of the reformation era.

    However, the "opposing general" supported by the papist and pope might seem to fit more into my own thinking on the matter as it flows more appropriately with the actions of that bunch in history.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Here we go again. Once again I deal with the actual meanings of words in the Bible, and you then accuse me of not going to the Bible itself. This is a ridiculous, made-up false charge. If the Bible had no words in it, you might be right, but the Bible is nothing but words. If we do not understand those words, we do not understand the Bible.

    Now you need to go to the Bible. Read the verses from John you just posted.

    Note the tense in 2:18: "is coming." It is deponent verb erxomai in the present tense, having the imperfective verbal aspect. In other words, John was saying that Antichrist (singular) is on his way.

    How can there be a class of people with no individuals? If there is a class of "doctors" are there not individuals in it?

    But that is moot. The word in 2:18 has the definite article in the original Greek. That means that yes, there is one specific antichrist, an individual, in question.
    No, as I have now shown, the literal meaning of the text in 1 John shows a literal individual on his way, the final Antichrist.

    I am really, really sick of your accusations ("top drawer for you"? REALLY??) that I do not use much Scripture. I have just had several threads with many Scriptures going unanswered by you or any other preterists. That I don't use Scripture is just a completely false charge, and I'm sick of it.
     
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  11. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

    3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

    3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

    3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

    3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.


    I have a question I agree with your interpretation of the anti-Christ but are those also that are enemies of the cross of Christ in verse 18 also ant-Christ or is there a difference between the two?... Brother Glen:)
     
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  12. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    John, I am not trying to make you angry. I am doing this conscientiously as a brother in Christ. Yes, we need to know what words mean - but we are not to be automatically led down your path of what the words mean. You needlessly dissect the word "antichrist" and tell us how to think of it. But much of that, though there is a certain amount of truth in it, obscures what the Bible is actually saying about "antichrist".

    To know what "antichrist" is we should first of all take note of how it is used in Scripture. We don't need to slice the "anti" from "christ" to see the points that I brought up. And, moreover, doing what you did did not advance your contention that there is a personal future Antichrist.

    Oh, and your comment about a class not having individuals. Really? Do you actually think about what I am writing or just react in a kneejerk way? Of course a class has individuals. Please.
     
  13. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Hmm. I guess I would say that these are also antichrist. I don't see how they could be otherwise.

    I would say that the spirit of antichrist becomes more prevalent as the New testament times progresses, because there must first be an awareness of the teachings. And at first these antichrist persons are unrecognized, perhaps even to themselves, until a lapse of time and an opportunity for their real self to show itself. This is why, IMO, the later letters have much more on this.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    You say, "needlessly dissect" words. I say, "Let's learn the actual meaning." And if you don't want to make me angry, don't insult me. I'm sick of your attitude, like the time you said something like, "If you'll just study the Scripture, someday you'll be a preterist."

    So maybe you need to apologize.
    Then answer my points about the verbal aspect of the present tense of erxomai, and the definite article before "antichrist." These points prove conclusively that yes, John had a future individual in mind.

    You can't just state your opinion as if it were true. Deal with the points I've made.
    Very well, if a class has individuals, and "antichrist" means someone who opposes Christ, then in the future there will be individuals who oppose Christ. That's a no-brainer.
     
    #14 John of Japan, Nov 28, 2017
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  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The thing is, the reformers did not have a developed eschatology.

    I feel the "opposing general" point is an excellent one to help us with the concept of the antichrist.
     
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  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Now, notice that virtually all commentators equate John's "antichrist" with the "prince that shall come" of Daniel, the "man of sin" of 2 Thess. 2:3, and the first "beast" of Revelation. I think this is a quite valid point. The actions of these three characters are similar. We have several names for Satan, including the "red dragon" of Revelation, etc., so why not several names for his chief minion?
     
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  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    In the end days, there is an Unholy Trinity, satan as the father, Antichrist as His son, and False prophet as the Holy Spirit.

    In some wicked way, the antichrist will be empowered by satan Himself, and all of the world not reserved by God unto Himself shall worship and obey Him as the Christ.
     
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  18. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    At the risk of seeming to insult you more (though such is not the case) I will take you up on this.

    Yes. There is a definite article 2 John. Agreed. No, it says nothing about a future antichrist - other than there will always be people who oppose Christ. But not a special individual.

    Here is the passage in question:

    7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.

    We have the "many deceivers" linked to "the deceiver and the antichrist". And then John warns his readers to "watch themselves". Why? If he is a future person why the caution? No, it is a caution against the antichrist teachers and mindset.

    The fact that a definite pronoun is used does not necessarily mean a single person is meant. This is a common Hebrew usage carried over into the New Testament ("man of God", etc.)

    Also, elsewhere you had linked the Antichrist with the man of Sin and Beast (I forget now which) in Revelation. But you have no proof for this linkage. They are separate topics. It is your eschatology that assumes, perhaps requires, the connection.
     
  19. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. [NKJV]
     
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  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    You conveniently missed the verse in question: "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour" (1 John 2:18, NKJV, emphasis mine).

    You miss John's point and my point. There are many antichrists, so watch yourselves. And there is one biggie still to come, so watch yourselves.

    Um, no. The Greek definite article (not pronoun--are you sure you know your way around the Greek?) means that there is one particular person. As for "man of God," why would that be specifically a Hebrew usage? It's not an idiom. It does occur twice in the NT, in 1 & 2 Timothy. The first usage is "thou man of God," so it is specific to Timothy even without the article. The second usage has the article, but is a generic statement. So you have not proven anything.

    If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. The connections between these terms have been recognized across the eschatalogical board for centuries. Don't have time now to prove the connection in a more concrete way.
     
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