The Egghead Session
If you are the visual type, then you probably have some sort of an image pop into your mind—probably not unlike some graphic that you have seen in the past. It could be of a man-like figure with horns, or a suave and debonair businessman. Different extremes, no? But certainly not unlike what we have been presented with over the years.
If you are more the intellectual type, then all the stories you’ve heard and read come flooding through your mind, but probably not without images attached.
Therefore, I will ask the question differently: what is your definition of “antichrist?”
I venture to say that, for most people, the definition goes something like this: the antichrist is the main figure in the end times who opposes God and His people, and leads the world into deception. I probably won’t argue with you on that.
It is obviously a compound word, that is, it is made up of two separate words combined to make one word. Those two words are “anti” and “christ.” Each of those are English words for which most of us have a simple and correct definition.
· Anti = against
· Christ = another name for Jesus
This word is a transliteration from the Greek, that is, it is the same word in Greek rendered with English letters--ἀντίχριστος. There is a difference between a “translation” and a “transliteration.”
A translation renders the original language letters into an English word with the meaning of the original. For instance, the Greek word λόγος is translated into “word,” but its transliteration would be “logos.”
Since antichrist is a transliteration, it would help for us to know if there is a suitable translation. If there is, then we may stumble onto a somewhat different understanding of the word.
The Greek word “ἀντί”, which is transliterated as “anti”, occurs 22 times in the New Testament of the King James Version. It has a basic meaning of “instead of.” In the KJV it is rendered “for” 16 times, “because” 4 times, “therefore” 1 time and “in the room of” 1 time. The NASB uses a different Greek NT, which only has the word 9 times; but it is never translated as “against,” rather it consistently is used with the meaning “instead of” though variously translated.
I’m not going to take as much time with the word “Christ,” for that would take us too far away from the point of the discussion. Suffice it say that it, too, is a transliteration from the Greek. We will allow the common understanding of Christ referring specifically to Jesus to stand.
While the ordinary meaning of “against” for the English word “anti” works in most cases, it gives us an incorrect idea concerning “antichrist.”
“Instead of” is much more accurate, and will give better understanding to other verses of scripture. (I admit that there is only a subtle difference between “instead of” and “against” when referring to antichrist, but that subtlety has great implications in the Bible.)
When I ended the last article, I quoted Matt. 24:24 concerning “false christs.” A “false Christ” would be someone standing in, or “instead of” Christ, ie, antichrist.
I also said that I would begin in this article to show you how the deception works.
Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:5—“For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.”
This is the passage where Jesus is beginning to answer the question about signs of the end.
Most people take the verse to mean that someone will come along in their life who will stand up and say, “I am the Christ.”
QUESTION: Why would Jesus say in the previous verse “See that no one leads you astray?”
Would it not be blatantly obvious to most anyone that for someone to claim to be Christ, that person is false? Yet, that is the way most folks interpret and apply the verse.
It would be as if I came into your midst and said, “I, Dale Hill, am the Christ of God.” If you didn't stone me or shoot me first, then you should at least run as fast as you can away from me. Deception is not possible, nor probable in that scenario.
Let’s consider another possibility.
“Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ.'
Notice that they come “in the name of Jesus.” They come, saying that Jesus is the Christ, and they deceive many.
It would look like this: I come into your midst. You accept me as a brother in the Lord. I use the correct language, and even tell you that “Jesus is the Christ of God.” Everything looks fine on the surface, but because we do not have our “discernment radar” engaged, you miss the little things that set off alarms in your spirit. And I am able to lead you into deception.
That is what Jesus was alluding to in this verse.
Are you concerned?
I want you to be.
Could it be happening to you today as you read this?
Should you be alarmed?
No; but you should be armed.
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