Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They 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 it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.1 John 2:18-23
While on a mission trip years ago, I provided change to one of the missionaries I met. Unknown to him and me was that the money he gave me was actually counterfeit and I only discovered the fake five-dollar bill when we arrived in another country.
Have you ever been taken advantage of by a counterfeit? Patrina loves shows like 48 Hours and deception is found throughout every murder case. Not everyone is who they claim to be. The victims let their guard down and were pulled into the deception.
In the passage above, John warns of “many antichrists” and these came from what we would think would be an unlikely source – the local church. These counterfeit teachers used their credibility to lead people away from Christ.
How do you identify those who oppose Christ? John’s initial test was one of authenticity – what do they teach about Jesus? But in order to make a determination, we must have a firm grasp on what it is that we believe based on Scripture.
Throughout John’s letter, he makes the deity of Jesus clear, so anyone who denies the Son is a counterfeit. So, when a teacher or a member of a movement knocks on your door, the first question to ask is “who is Jesus?”
Paul summed up many of the critical identifying characteristics of Christ with these words: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Know the authentic well and then you’ll not be fooled by the counterfeit.