The following blog post was originally posted here: The Doctrine Of Christ…I John pt 8
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.( 2 John 9)
The Apostle John’s ministry is a ministry of restoration. There were (and are) many whose faith in Jesus, understanding of God, prayer life, interpretation of scripture, ministry and ethics, have been corrupted and distorted by false christian teachers who have redefined what it means to know God. This is still the case today, and the need for John’s epistles is yet vital to the church.
To John, the Lord’s apostle, the way back to christian orthodoxy, is by reaffirming these three attributes of God, and incorporating all that they imply. God is Light, and in him is no darkness at all…God is Love…and Jesus Christ has come and remains in the Flesh.
The third affirmation is specifically doctrinal. It concerns the person of Christ, for ‘the only true God’ cannot be known by man other than through Jesus Christ. Therefore Christology is of salvific importance. By that I mean that what you believe about the person of Jesus Christ is determinant of your eternal existence , either in heaven or hell.
“I am the way, the truth and the Life, No one comes to the Father, but by me.”(John 14:6)
The teaching of Christology, ie the person and work of Christ, is called “the Doctrine of Christ” and as stated in the opening verse, those who depart from the doctrine of Christ no longer have God. We are exhorted to “remain in the Doctrine of Christ” as a matter of our salvation.
John warned us in his epistle that the AntiChrist spirit, who opposes the Father and the Son, will seek to redefine the person of Christ, a project that had already begun in John’s day but which is accelerated in these last days.
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.(I John 4:2)
Why does the AntiChrist Spirit seek to spiritualize Jesus Christ? Because if Christ becomes spiritualized, than something other than the Christ of God may be presented to men in his place as the object of universal worship. Satan has wanted this all along.
This is the essential meaning of the term “anti-christ”. The pre-fix “Anti” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “against”, is can just as well mean “in the place of”. Any person, experience or movement which supplants Jesus, the Christ of God, is by definition, “AntiChrist”.
*The Jehovah’s Witness cult is antiChrist. They deny that Jesus Christ is God, and they deny his bodily resurrection( that he remains in the flesh).Their “Jesus” is in spirit form only, therefore they are by definition, “antiChrist”.
* The Mormons are “AntiChrist”. They do not believe Jesus is the only God. Mormonism is polytheistic. They deny the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.If all of us can one day be “gods” than who was Jesus? Just another “enlightened” man, on his own path to “Godhood”.
* There was a heresy of “Adoptionism” in John’s day, which taught that Jesus was a normal man, until he was “Christed” at his baptism, the “Christ Spirit” remaining with Him until the cross, where it lifted, and he became a mere man who died.
This theory is “antichrist” because it teaches that any man who receives revelation from God can be “anointed’ and themselves do the works of God by the anointing, thus reducing Jesus to the level of just another anointed man.
I have seen versions of this heresy in the “Word of Faith” movement, when Kenneth Copeland proclaimed that had he the same level of “revelation knowledge” that Jesus had, He(Copeland) could also have died on the cross!
“The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, “Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.” He said, “Think this way — a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.” And I threw my Bible down… like that. I said, “What?” He said, “A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.” He said, “You are the very image, the very copy of that one.” I said, “Goodness, gracious sakes alive!” And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, “Well now you don’t mean, you couldn’t dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?” He said, “Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing, ’cause you’re a reborn man too.”
Kenneth Copeland (What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, 1990, audiotape #02-0017, side 2)
Any and all distortions of the person of Christ are damnable, according to 2 John 9.Jesus himself said “Unless you believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins.”To die in your sins is the ultimate disaster, for which there is no remedy! Eternally damned!
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”(John 8:24)
Christ is not a general term for the “spirit that lies in each of us”, as the new Age movement (Which is also anti-christ) teaches. We are not all “Christs”! Not even christians can claim to be “Christs”. God has appointed a King, one man by whom He will both save and judge the world. Jesus is the Christ.
* Another distortion of the person of Jesus Christ John was battling was called Docetism. Docetism comes from the word Doceia, “To seem”. The Docetic heresy taught that Jesus was a Divine Spirit, but not a man, he only seemed to be a man. Therefore he didn’t suffer, he couldn’t have, being all spirit.
Note again the denial of the Incarnation, that God truly became a man, suffered for and with us, fully entered into the human experience. This is what it took to save us, this is the length that our God went to redeem us from our sins.
The “Jesus “of the Koran is the Docetic Jesus, who did not go to the cross to suffer and die for us, but rather substituted in his place Judas, and stood at a distance enjoying the vengeance on the one who betrayed him.
Distortions of the identity of Jesus Christ have huge consequences.This is because Jesus is the central person of history. The question of his identity is the ultimate issue all men must face, either now, or at the judgment day.