Derek Prince - Marks Of The Spirit Of Antichrist
Now in this passage that we have read in 1 John, chapter 2... maybe we should read 1 John 4 just two verses also, verses 2 and 3: 1 John 4, verses 2 and 3: By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus the Messiah has come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus the Messiah has come in the flesh is not of God. Now some of you who have alternative translations will have a shorter version: 'Every spirit that does not confess Jesus the Messiah.' The meaning is the same. And this is the spirit of the antichrist which you have heard was coming and now is already in the world.
If we look at the two passages together, we see there three forms of antichrist. First of all, there are many antichrists and in the course of human history many, many antichrists have appeared and been manifested. I’ll speak briefly about just a few of them in a little while.
Secondly, there is the antichrist, not many, but just one specific. That, I believe, is the final manifestation, the final product of the spirit of antichrist which has not yet been, as far as I know, revealed in human history. I often say to people, I think his shadow has already fallen across the stage but we have not seen the actual person. But at the end of this age, Scripture makes it clear, there will be one final, supremely evil, supremely powerful ruler, who will dominate the whole human race for a brief period, who will be the antichrist.
The third form is the spirit of antichrist. The spirit of antichrist is the spirit that operates through every antichrist. And John has given us certain marks of the spirit of antichrist which are very important. First of all, it starts in association with God’s people, for John says in the first epistle of John chapter 2 verse 19: "They", the antichrists, "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".
So antichrist always begins in some way in association with the people of God. But, it does not really belong there and in due course that will be made manifest. That is one mark of the spirit of antichrist.
The second one is that it denies that Jesus is the Messiah. First John 2:22: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? He is antichrist". And then John continues with the third mark: "He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son". This is very important. Antichrist does not deny the existence of God. In fact, he claims to be God’s representative. What he does deny is the relationship of the Father and the Son within the Godhead. And wherever you encounter the denial of that, you are probably facing the spirit of antichrist.
And the fourth mark of antichrist which is given in 1 John chapter 4 is that it denies Messiah has come, probably believes in Messiah who will come, but denies that Messiah has already come.
Let me recapitulate those four marks, because they are extremely important. First of all, antichrist starts in association with God’s people. Second, it denies that Jesus is the Messiah. Obviously, that cannot be paganism because paganism hasn’t even heard of Jesus, you understand? It can only take place where Jesus has been proclaimed. Third, it denies the Father/Son relationship within the Godhead. It does not necessarily deny God, but denies a God who is revealed as Father and Son. And fourth, it denies that Messiah has come, but very likely teaches that Messiah will come.