John’s Historicistic Epistles

     This is why John wrote: "Do not love the World, neither the things that are in the World!   If any man love the World, the love of the Father is not in him.   For all that is in the World — the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the World.  And the World passes away, and its lust.   But he who keeps on doing the will of God, keeps on abiding for ever."5548 

     What we are not to love, then, is the sinful 'World.'   As the Geneva Bible comments, this means the World "as it is adversary to God." 

     Similarly, also Calvin comments: "By 'the World' — understand whatever concerns the present life, when it is separated from God's Kingdom and the hope of eternal life!  …  I have already said that this refers to an irreligious way of life, which has nothing in common with God's Kingdom."  Indeed, God's Kingdom is being manifested here and now where Christ is being obeyed — in this very World of ours and of God's, which God so loved. 

     Fifth.   Inasmuch as God's children will outlast the passing away of all  worldliness, they will also outlast and overcome all antichristian elements in this World.   For "antichrist" is not an all-powerful person yet to come.   To the contrary, it is merely an evil influence — working through many persons. 

     Indeed, "antichrist" — viz. the influence or the "spirit of antichrist" — was at work even in John's own day.   For, as the Apostle then wrote: "Even now there are many antichrists."5549   Consequently, there is no such a person as "The Antichrist." 

     For "antichrist" is not a modern and still less a yetfuture entity.  Far from being a personal international dictator wrongly expected soon to crush  Christ's Church — and also far from being even just the "worldly World" only at the very end of man's history — "antichrist" is merely

the 'spirit' of the already-defeated Devil, during the first-century A.D. (and also during every subsequently century right down till today).  

     Now during that first century A.D., the Satanic spirit was at work in those many ancient people who then feebly opposed the victorious onslaught of Christianity — while the People of God were (and still are) proceeding to overcome the World.   Indeed, that spirit of antichrist could appear only in "the last time"5549 — namely "the last days" in which Christ Himself had appeared. 

     For antichrist's only claim to fame was and is to be "anti-Christ" or 'opposed to Christ[-ianity]' — so that Jesus Christ would obviously first have to appear at His incarnation, before being able to be opposed by "antiChrist."   This is why the prophecies of the Older Testament and Jesus Himself had forecast that "antichrist" would come only after the incarnation.5550 

     Nor is "antichrist" a specific person.   There is only one Christ — the truly-anointed One — viz. the personal Jesus.   Yet "even now" during that  first century A.D., wrote John, "there are many antichrists.   Thereby we know that it is the last time" — which started with Christ's incarnation and resurrection in the same generation as the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem.5551 

     The Apostle John added about those antichrists: "They went out from us" (meaning either from us Apostles, or from us Christians).   The apostate Apostle Judas went out from among the Apostles, in much the same way as the apostate Pope would later go forth from among the other Bishops.   Other apostates like Simon the Sorcerer went forth from among the Christians — in a similar manner to the way in which the Christ-hating first-century Judaists went out from among the Older Testament's People of God as the true spiritual ancestor of the Newer Testament's Christian Church.    

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