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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.”—1 John 2:18 (NKJV)
The Bible forecasts the coming of a male figure, a world leader, who will be personally empowered by Satan in the final days prior to Christ’s physical return to earth. The prophet Daniel tells us he will blaspheme God (Daniel 7–8). Paul tells us he will compel the world to worship him (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Jesus even tells us he will work miracles and deceive many (Matthew 24:24).
He’s referred to throughout the Scriptures by various titles, but is most commonly recognized as “the Antichrist,” and he represents all that’s opposed to God and His people. Now notice that John makes a direct reference to this individual in the passage above. He acknowledges that his audience had heard of this prophetic person. But, he goes a step further by also recognizing that “many antichrists” had already come!
See the difference here; there’s the ultimate figure of the Antichrist (capital “A”), but then there were also antichrists (small “a”), who foreshadow this figure. They were different, but similar in the sense that they were also in opposition to God. They were on a mission to infiltrate and undermine God’s work in His people. Watch what John goes on to say next: “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 they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us” (1 John 2:19 NKJV).
These antichrists were able to blend in and hide within the Church for a season, but this didn’t last. Eventually, they were exposed for who they really were. They went out revealing their true nature and intent. Although they were masters of spiritual disguise, time told the truth—as it always does.
What was true in John’s day is true today, as well. Satan hasn’t stopped his attack against God or the work He desires to do through His Church. If that sounds a bit scary, remember that time always tells the truth. In fact, for those who desire and aspire to walk in truth, time is among the greatest allies. Spiritual darkness and deception will eventually be exposed with time.
As Christians, we should take great comfort in this because time is a force that only God can stop—not Satan, not the Antichrist, and not antichrists. For those who walk in truth, time is always on their side!
DIG: How does Satan attempt to attack the church today?
DISCOVER: What reveals this tactic? How could your perspective towards time change?
DO: Pray for the Church today. Pray that we would lean into the Lord, that He would deliver us from the attacks of the enemy, and that He would lead us into all truth.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.