What is the spirit of the Antichrist? “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because 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 of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3. That Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, means that He has come in a human nature just like us human beings.
“… every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.” That spirit is the spirit of the Antichrist. That spirit works to make people believe that Jesus did not have a human nature just like ours. That is a spirit that we meet everywhere. It was already alive and active in John’s day, and it is even more active now.
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29 (NLT).
People can see the life of Christ in us when we become like Christ. Satan wants only his own life to be seen in people. When a person gets easily angry, offended, loves money, is selfish, worried, jealous, etc., then it is Satan whom the people will see in that person. God wants us to be saved from all of this, and that Jesus’ life may be seen in us instead.
“A dangerous teaching”
This is where the spirit of the Antichrist starts working. When the Bible tells us: “This is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and gave you an example, so you should follow in his footsteps. He never sinned, he never lied” (1 Peter 2:18-23, FBV), then the spirit of the Antichrist comes with this message: “You cannot take this word for word as it is written. We cannot follow in Jesus’ footsteps who never sinned, because then we would have to be without sin. No, we are sinners, and we must ask for the blood of Jesus to cover us, etc. etc.” We hear this teaching everywhere. “The forgiveness of sins is possible, but people seeing the life of Christ in us? No! That is a dangerous teaching – being perfect without sin – a false teaching.”
Can you see what the spirit of the Antichrist is trying to do? It is trying to show that it is not possible to follow in Jesus’ footsteps so that people see the life of Christ in us, and not the life of Satan. Who do you think would be the most unhappy if you were set free from sin? The answer, of course, is the devil! If you are afraid of making Satan unhappy, then don’t believe that Christ’s life can be seen in us – a life of overcoming sin.
But listen to this: “The devil has been sinning since the beginning, so anyone who continues to sin belongs to the devil. The Son of God came for this purpose: to destroy the devil's work. Those who are God's children do not continue sinning, because the new life from God remains in them. They are not able to go on sinning, because they have become children of God. So we can see who God's children are and who the devil's children are.” 1 John 3:8-10 (NCV).
A sharp sword
John really wanted to make sure that we should not be tricked; therefore, his letters are like the sharpest sword. Those who work in the spirit of the Antichrist do not deny the name of Jesus; they still “work” for God. But we can see if anyone is in this spirit – those that don’t confess that Christ has come in the flesh, in a human nature just like us.
John gives us some examples how to see these people. “If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don’t tell the truth.” 1 John 1:6 (WEB). “He who says ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4 (WEB). John gives more examples like these in his first letter. We know them by their fruits. Those who bear good fruits (Galatians 5:22-23), the life of Christ life is seen in them, they are in the Spirit of God. Those who only want to look good on the outside, but don’t have any good fruits are in the spirit of the Antichrist.
Open your eyes and test the spirits, and you will see a scary thing. It is so scary that most people are afraid to look at it. They close their eyes and say, “We must not judge; after all, we are only human,” and so these “antichrists” can lie to them and lead them on the wrong way.