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Paul and what (or who) is antichrist?"
© 2011 A. J. MacDonald, Jr.
First: what/who is "antichrist"? then who is "the man of sin", which I explain a little of (but not all) near the end. Question 3 Who is "the man of lawlessness [sin]" spoken of by St. Paul? "Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God." (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) [add: "Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming" 1 John 2:18 Answer As I said, first: what or who is "antichrist"? Here are ALL the passages in the Bible, which are found in St. John's letters to the early church, wherein the word "antichrist" appears: "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. 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. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us, if we keep his commandments, eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him" 1 John 2:18-27. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for 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, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error" 1 John 4: 1-6. I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning— that we love one another. 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. 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. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching 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 or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works" 2 John 1: 7-11.
Now, what or who is "antichrist"? St John tells us doesn't he? He says "antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come . . . this is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son." He, in this sense, as John says, is anyone (i.e., female/male, many/one, group/individual) "who denies the Father and the Son" (together). Not necessarily one, particular person. Rather, St. John is speaking of everyone in general or anyone who is against the Father and Son. Such a person or people group is antichrist, or "an" antichrist. Many Christians speak of "the antichrist" or "The Antichrist" (I would prefer the "AntiChrist" myself, much more trendy!:) by personifying John' s "spirit of antichrist" (πνεῦμα ηοῦ ἀνηίσπιζηοu) which is found in 1 John 4:3, and turning St. John's "many antichrists" (πολλοὶ = polloi = many; ἀνηίσπιζηοι = antichristoi = antichrists), found in 1 John 2:18, and fashioning this into what they imagine to be a single, embodied, male, human person--a personification of evil, or evil incarnate, that is only ONE man (a true anti-Christ, in that Jesus is God (= love) incarnate and this is a reversal of who he is: Christ). An interesting idea perhaps, but this very unique, individual personification of “the antichrist” as one, individual person—as opposed to the very general evil and spirit of antichrist, which St. John spoke of—has no biblical support. This anti- or opposite Christ-like figure, this embodiment of evil personified, evil incarnate, is become (in the minds of some Christians) a sort of inverted, perverted, upside down Christ, which is certainly a blasphemous (and, in my thinking: demonic) idea, but I don't see it in the Bible. These Christians often confuse or conflate "the antichrist" St. John speaks of with "the man of sin" spoken of by St Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, because it does sound singular, like one person, or man. But the two are NOT the same, and I think this obvious. The same word ἀνηίσπιζηορ (antichristos) is certainly not used by St Paul, and there is no logical or biblical reason to conflate the two, although many well-meaning people seem to be drawn, by well meaning (but lousy) Bible teachers to posit the notional (imaginary and unbiblical) existence of a supposedly biblical "figure" that will soon appear on the world stage. An individual, person, a "man" of sin: the AntiChrist. In fact, St. John tells us that "many" (Greek: "πολλοὶ" (polloi) meaning: "many") "ἀνηίσπιζηοι" (ἀνηίσπιζηοι = antichrists) have gone into the world. The "οι" ending at the end of makes it the plural form of the word ἀνηίσπιζη, which is: "antichristoi" or "antichrists" and not "anitchrist" (ἀνηίσπιζηορ) as in "one person" (both the "οι" ending and context of the word make it: "antichrists", plural; thus what St. John is telling us, here, is that there are "many antichrists" who are gone out into the world, and not just one; although one can certainly be "an antichrist person", depending upon what one believes about the Father and his Son, Jesus. Greek: ἀνηίσπιζηορ (antichistos = antichrist) ~ St. John Greek: ἄνθπωπορ (anthrōpos = man) ηῆρ (tēs = of) ἀνομίαρ (hamartia = sin) ~ St. Paul As I say, the two words or phrases are (obviously) NOT the same. To begin at the beginning, let's look at the word "antichrist" and ask ourselves if we know what the word is, means, or represents. It's a compound word isn't it? anti-christ. like two words hooked-together, for a reason. What's the first word? anti? what does it mean? Anti- what? Anti-establishment ? (I like being that.) Anti-war? (I like being that too.) Anti-abortion? (I like that as well.) Antichrist? Well, not so good; right? A person who says: "Christ? NOT!" is against what? Against who? Christ? What were most Jewish people in Israel 2,000 ago saying about Jesus? "Christ? NOT!"? What would one call Jewish people today (in Israel or anywhere else) who do NOT accept the sacrifice made by Christ for the remission of our sins ("Christ? NOT!") who choose to reject the fact that Christ has conquered death, hell, and the grave through his glorious resurrection and that at HIS NAME (Jesus) EVERY knee will bow under heaven and in earth? Anti- (against) Christ? Any person or people-group can reject Christ. That's their choice; everyone’s choice; including Israel's. What was the early Church made up of? All Jewish people, right? Right up until Acts 10? I have no problem with Jewish folks, I love Jewish folks, because I love everybody, but I cannot allow my human love for a fellow creature, made in the image of God, to cause me to ignore or overlook someone’s (Jewish folks or anyone’s) rejection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, whether someone is an atheist ("God? NOT!"), Muslims (who are antichrist, from their own book), or Jews (from their own
non-canonical writings, which scorn the bastard, false prophet Jesus), or a Hindu. EVERY knee now MUST bow to CHRIST and to him alone (Atheists, Jews, Muslims and, Hindus too). When it comes to language, words, and translations, this one is too easy: the English word "antichrist" is a direct translation, almost a complete transliteration, of the Greek word: ἀνηίσπιζηορ into English. Watch: ἀνηίσπιζηορ antichristos ἀ=a ν=n η=t ί=i σ = ch π=r ί=i ζ=s η=t ο=o ρ = s (at the end of a word, otherwise ζ = s)
The word "anti" (ἀνηί) and the word "Christ" (σπιζηορ) appear together, here as "ἀνηίσπιζηορ" (anitchristos) a compound word, in English: antichrist (we drop the -os, which simply means: "of" or "the person of Christ"). To break the word down it looks like this: "ἀνηί" (anti) "σπιζηορ" (Christ) refering to being "against the person of Christ". See more here. To prepare for the next study, which is a continuing study of St. Paul's "man of sin" (in 2 Thessalonians 2:2:3), read and study the text and the context of the passage, and check out biblos for help (online bible study tool website). If you're interested, see also here and here. Also, check out more Greek language helps here. A first lesson is a simple translation of a small portion of St. John's Gospel from NT Greek into English (in one (not hard!) easy lesson!).
Here's the English and NT Greek text of 2 Thessalonians 2:3, "Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction" μή ηιρ ὑμᾶρ ἐξαπαηήζῃ καηὰ μηδένα ηπόπον. ὅηι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθῃ ἡ ἀποζηαζία ππῶηον καὶ ἀποκαλςθθῇ ὁ ἄνθπωπορ ηῆρ ἀνομίαρ, ὁ ςἱὸρ ηῆρ ἀπωλείαρ
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