What Is The Spirit of the Antichrist?
The “spirit of the antichrist” is the phrase which is found in 1 John 4:1-3 which says: 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, 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.
Part of the background of why John had written this letter was because of false teachings which were infiltrating the early church. One of the false teachings in particular was the false doctrine which denied that Jesus Christ actually came to earth in the flesh or as a human being. The divinity and humanity of Christ was being attacked and distorted by false teachers.
According to Scripture we learn that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. However false teachings which were focused on distorting or denying both the deity and humanity of Christ had already begun to infiltrate the church.
In 1 John 4:1, we are told to “test the spirits” because of false prophets who have gone out into the world. Therefore John links the false teachings or doctrines of false prophets as being inspired by evil spirits. So according to Scripture, false teachings are inspired by evil spirits and their teachings are conveyed through false prophets.
In 1 John 4:3, we are told that every spirit that does not confess Jesus or that denies the true essence and nature of Jesus Christ is actually “the spirit of the antichrist”.
John then also states that the spirit of the antichrist is already operating in the world (verse 3). Therefore the spirit of the antichrist has already been at work for centuries since the time that John had written the letter.
The word “antichrist” means against Christ. The spirit of the antichrist is anyone or anything that works or preaches against Christ Jesus and either distorts or denies the true Biblical nature and character of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the antichrist also distorts or denies the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Therefore the spirit of the antichrist can be a culture, a movement, a doctrine, a philosophy, a religion, a person or actual demonic spirits that introduce false teachings and concepts which attack the true character and finished work of Jesus Christ.
What Is The Objective of the Spirit of the Antichrist?
1 Timothy 4:1 says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
So from 1 Timothy 4:1 we learn that demonic spirits can inspire and promote false teachings and philosophies.
It’s important to note that the aim of satan and his demonic spirits is to literally always attack Jesus Christ in terms of His true nature and the work He did for mankind on the cross.
Jesus Christ is literally the only way for salvation for mankind (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and therefore the devil’s objective by introducing false teachings, false gospels and false ideologies, is to ensure that as many people as possible deny Christ and deny the cross so that they eventually enter hell.
This is why Paul would warn and write such scriptures as Colossians 2:8 which says: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Therefore the spirit of the antichrist which also involves the work of demonic spirits, has already been working in the world by introducing all kinds of deception and doctrines, with the objective of bringing spiritual condemnation and eternal punishment on those who would be deceived.
Many of the world’s ideologies are under the control of the spirit of the antichrist. The devil is also known as the “god of this world” and he is at work to deceive and blind the minds of unbelievers from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4).
This is why Jesus said that the world hates Him and that the world will also hate true Christian believers (John 15:18-19).
So the systems and values of the world are against Christ. Many of the systems and values of this world are inspired and controlled by the spirit of the antichrist. It is also the very reason why we should not conform to the standards of this world (Romans 12:2).
Examples of False Doctrines Promoted By The Spirit of The Antichrist
1 Timothy 4:1 says that we should beware of the “doctrines of demons”. Throughout the Bible we are warned against false gospels and following false teachers who are numerically rising in the world today (Matthew 24:4-5).
Through introducing all kinds of false doctrines the devil is at work to prepare the world for the eventual arrival of the Antichrist, also called “the beast” or “man of lawlessness” who will be the full satanic embodiment of all things that the spirit of the antichrist has been promoting (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
Some examples of doctrines promoted by the spirit of the antichrist, include many secular, cultural, spiritual ideologies and even religious doctrines which have managed to infiltrate the church today.
Some examples of cultural ideologies which are changing society include the promotion and acceptance of homosexuality, transgenderism, narcissism, greed, corruption and violence.
Other ideologies include humanism, materialism, atheism, agnosticism to teachings such as pantheism, New Age spirituality and occultism. Therefore the spirit of the antichrist has been at work for many centuries by introducing such philosophies and cultures in order to change the thinking of the world.
Within the church there have been many examples of false doctrines which have infiltrated Christianity. These include teachings which deny the deity of Christ or the false teachings of the Word of Faith Movement who among other things teach that man is a “little god” – or the NAR movement, who promote religious ecumanism and other false beliefs – to the prosperity gospel movement who promote the idolatry of mammom, and spiritual covering doctrines which promote mere men as false christs.
There are many other false doctrines which all serve the purpose of either distorting or denying the true Biblical character and nature of Jesus Christ. They also attempt to pervert or undermine the purpose of Christ’s finished work on the cross.
All these false ideologies and doctrines and many others have one source – satan – whose objective is to eventually prepare the world for a mass deception and rebellion, or a “strong delusion” so that many minds would be prepared to accept the leadership and arrival of the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul warns us that we must not be deceived even if a spirit being like an angel should try to teach us a different gospel than the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1:6-9 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
2 Corinthians 11:4 – For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
The key to avoiding all kinds of antichrist deception is to have a genuine relationship with God through becoming a born again Christian (John 1:12-13; John 3:1-8; Romans 10:9-13).
Furthermore, understanding the essentials of the true gospel message and the purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection is critical to avoiding the spirit of the antichrist deception.
It’s also important to know God’s word and obey His word as the infallible authority in relation to all human issues. Furthermore we must always rely on the direction or guidance of the Holy Spirit whose mission is to always glorify Jesus Christ and to point people to Christ alone (John 16:14). We must also beware of any doctrines which undermine, distort or deny the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5 Paul says: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
So avoiding any kind of antichrist deception involves people abiding in Christ and in His word.