By Stan Brown
I John 4:3 And every Spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
We have two choices. We may confess that Jesus is the one who came into the world fulfilling the promises that God made concerning the Messiah and live in light of that confession. The only other choice is to fail to confess the reality of Jesus as Christ in the world. John says that the one who fails to make that confession aligns with antichrist. Paul describes the coming Antichrist 2Th. 2:9-11 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. In that day Satan will use the power that he possesses to delude all who have rejected the truth to follow his counterfeit led by the Antichrist who deludes all those who have failed to accept the love of the truth. In response to their rejection, God will send a deluding influence. This is a little alarming. Satan will culminate his efforts to counterfeit God’s kingdom with a terrifying delusion in the Great Tribulation. John writes that there were precursors to that delusion already active in his day and they remain active in our time. Their prime characteristic is to deny Jesus as Christ and all the truth associated with his coming. They would like to scrub the world of any vestige of Him. (Note: they have not succeeded. Jesus and His truth remain alive and well in the world as His message is lived out through us right now. Jesus is the One who possesses all power. We won’t be here when the Antichrist arrives on the scene.) Satan would like to replace it with his own kingdom and replace God with himself.
That was a little depressing, yet John gives us a plan of attack. We distinguish and proclaim truth by our confession and our lives. Literally, the Greek word translated confess means to say the same thing about. Little Kittel says that it may include “the agreement of deeds and words”. In Socratic dialogue it meant “consent to what is found to be valid followed by the appropriate resolve and action”. Ah, this is the in deed and truth that John mentioned in 3:18. The Holy Spirit remains in the world indwelling us. All the power Satan can muster pales in comparison to the awesome power of God who spoke the universe into existence.
John tells us to examine the spirits concerning what they say about who Jesus is and what He did as He came to earth as the Christ. He tells us that in this manner we can identify the lies of the great deceiver and live in obedience to the truth, walking in the light as we confess our sins and continue to walk in the light as the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Satan may be increasingly active as he sees the day of his destruction approaching but we have available the awesome power of God. John will shortly say greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. He will also say perfect love casts out fear. We are on the winning team. John enjoins us to recognize who we are and live in light of it. Let us follow our Savior together!!!