ANTICHRIST - THE FINAL NAIL IN ANTICHRIST'S COFFIN – PART ONE
The Apostle John gives us the criterion for the ultimate test for the spirit of antichrist.
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." 1 John 4:1-3 (NIV).
"Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist." 2 John 7 (NIV).
We have to determine what John meant by "has come in the flesh". In his prologue to the fourth gospel, having placed Jesus squarely in the Godhead as the Word who was with God and was God, John makes this statement: "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 (NIV).
This is the wonder and the mystery of the gospel, that God Himself, the divine Logos, took on human flesh and became one of us, God with us, Emmanuel. What God would leave the glories and privileges of heaven to enter a fallen world and live among His people as one of them? But Jesus did!
Why did He do it? "Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil -- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2:14,15 (NIV). The King James Version states it this way -- "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same..."
He had to have the same flesh as we have in order to identify with us. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, fused with the natural ovum of Mary, and was nurtured in her womb as a human baby. Scripture makes it clear that this is a mystery: "Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body..." 1 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) - (God was manifest in the flesh - KJV).
What does the Bible mean by "flesh" and "same flesh"? Paul said, in Romans 7:18, speaking of his struggle with his sinful nature, "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature ("flesh" - KJV), for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." He was aware of a power within him that warred against his higher desires and won, which he called his "flesh" or "sinful nature."
Now the Bible expressly states that Jesus was born with the "same flesh" as we have. He had to in order to be an appropriate sacrifice for sin. Any other nature would have disqualified Him from taking our place in death as a punishment for sin. "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:14, 15 (NIV).
The mystery of godliness is great, that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, sharing our human nature, susceptible to every temptation we face, and yet He was without sin.
"For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted." Hebrews 2:17,18 (NIV).
Our faith stands or falls on this truth.
(To be concluded…)
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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