Temple Baptist Church - 5-7-2014
1 John 2:18-19
A. When we think of the word “antichrist,” our thoughts more often than not go to a person: Satan incarnate.
1. In our text, we find the prophecy of the coming of antichrist in the end time. Is he alive today? Possibly. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8, he called “that Wicked” and will publicly be revealed after the rapture of the church. Though he is not yet revealed or in the fullness of his power, there is a spirit in this world that is setting the stage for his revealing and power.
2. Our world has progressively grown more wicked and anti-God over the years. In our day, old fashioned Christianity is mocked while progressive liberalism is flourishing. I even look at the mindset of some of the kids that I grew up with. We were raised in the same town; educated in the same school system; subjected to the same basic environment; and yet, hold totally opposite, polarized views.
B. In these last days, we are seeing 2 Thessalonians 2:3 being fulfilled before our very eyes.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
C. This falling away is two-fold:
1. We see the “falling away” of the world and especially our great nation. America was founded upon biblical principles (no matter what the liberal historians are now telling the people) and has turned her back upon the God of Israel who gave us this blessed land. America is quickly becoming a reprobate nation where God and Israel have been booed at the Democratic National Convention and the god of Mormonism has been exalted at the Republican National Convention! This should certainly disturb God’s people.
2. We see the “falling away” of the “Christian” denominations and especially that of the once fundamental churches. Few are standing in the “Old Paths” of Scripture and Sanctification while the vast majority have deteriorated from the pulpit to the pew and gone the way of the world. This is even more disturbing to those of us who are saved and know the truth.
D. We need not be discouraged though people with whom we once walked have departed from the faith. This Bible is RIGHT! This “falling away” has been PROPHESIED! Our Lord and Savior is COMING! And we who know Him are LEAVING!
E. Our text declares that 2,000 years ago, there were already many antichrists. “Antichrist” means one who denies or opposes Christ. Verse 19 says that they were once with us. Thus, it is not talking about the general spirit of antichrist found in the world that will usher in this personification of wickedness but a description of false preachers that have apostatized and the spirit of church members that make their false teachings popular.
F. Several simple things are found in these verses:
1. They were AMONG us! We evidently did not recognize them among us: we take them upon their profession of faith just like we expect others to do for us.
2. Their True character showed up when they WENT OUT FROM US!
3. If they had been OF US, they would have continued WITH US!
4. Their apostasy makes it MANIFEST that they are not OF US!
1. The People of Apostasy - Two dangerous types are found in Acts 20:29-31 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
a. Grievous Wolves – those who were not of us that, through deception, entered into the flock with evil intentions. Wolves know that they are wolves! These wicked televangelists who make a mockery of the things of God while making filthy lucre.
2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
1) They are well disguised - Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2) They are articulate and well educated - Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
3) They are well thought of in religious circles - Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
4) They are heretical - 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
b. Of your own selves – those who made professions of faith but never got saved and eventually apostatized.
2 Peter 2:17-22 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (18) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
1) These are not saved – “wells without water”
Titus 1:15-16 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
2) These eventually go back to their old life – “the dog is turned … the sow … to her wallowing”
2. The Progression of Apostasy - 1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. (Notice with me the wording of these verses: “faith...seducing spirits...doctrines of devils...speaking lies in hypocrisy...conscience seared”)
a. Departing From The Faith (body of truth from which we get our doctrine)
1) They Minimize the Importance of God’s Word - Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (God magnifies the Word [Psalm 138:2] while false prophets Minimize it.)
2) They Humanize the Inspiration of God’s Word - 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Psalms 56:10 In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.
Isaiah 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.
Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
John 10:35 The scripture cannot be broken;
3) They Rationalize the Interpretation of God’s Word. (Through the use Human Reasoning and do not give a literal rendering of the Scripture)
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2 Timothy 3:5-9 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
b. Giving Heed To Seducing Spirits
1) The Spirit of Error - 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2) The Spirit of Deception - 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is n Christ.
3) The Spirit of Hypocrisy - 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
4) The Spirit of Questioning - Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
c. Giving Heed To Doctrines of Devils
1) New Doctrines That Attack The Veracity Of God’s Word
2) New Doctrines That Attack The Singularity Of God’s Way of Salvation
3) New Doctrines That Attack the Precious Blood Of Christ
4) New Doctrines That Attack The Reality and Necessity Of Biblical Repentance
5) New Doctrines That Attack Faith In Christ Only For Salvation
d. Speaking Lies In Hypocrisy
2 Peter 23 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Titus 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
Jude 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
e. Having Their Consciences Seared
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
2 Peter 21-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they withfeigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
f. Bringing Men Back Under The Law And Tradition
1 Timothy 4:3-4 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (4) For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
3. The Prevention of Apostasy - “remembrance of these things”
a. We Must Learn To Identify Apostasy! 1 Timothy 1:18-20 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (How do we recognize them? By measuring their ministry by God’s Word.)
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
b. We Are To Mark Apostasy! Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (This goes over like a “lead balloon” today. Naming names is a vital part of “marking” the apostates. Without naming them, they remain safe from discovery. Wolf hunting is a vital part of the pastor’s ministry!)
MARK - AV-mark 2, take heed 1, look on 1, look at 1, consider 1; 6
1) to look at, observe, contemplate
2) to mark
3) to fix one’s eyes upon, direct one’s attention to, any one
4) to look to, take heed to thyself
c. We Are To Avoid Apostasy! Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
1 Timothy 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
2 John 10-11 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
d. We Are To Reprove Apostasy! Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Ephesians 5:8-12 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
1) Once again, let me remind you that we are to be Biblicists first and foremost! This blessed old book that I hold in my hand and preach to you comes before and overrules everything else!
2) It is our Anchor in the shifting sands of human theology and our Final Authority for both faith and practice.
3) It alone will prevent you and I from the deception and apostasy that has come upon most churches.