Bible Studies For Life

How Did We Get Here… and Why?                 Unit 4 Session 13                   24 FEB 19

1 JOHN 2:18 The last hour is the entire period between the birth and the Second Coming of Christ. Peter also spoke of this in (Acts 2:17 RSV) "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;" (2 Pet 3:3-4 RSV)  "First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions {4} and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation."" Also (Heb 1:2 RSV) "but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."

The fact is the word "antichrist" or "Antichrist" or "The Antichrist" is not in the book of Revelation. Yet book after book and movie after movie make it seem like the word is used in almost every verse. What a travesty to proper Bible studies! The word is found only in the book of 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3 and 2 John 7. It is a generic term used of any lost person! (1 John 2:22 KJV) "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs wrote in his Studying Adult Life and Work Lessons, April-June 1986, page 128, "In 1 John 2:22 and 4:3 the definite article is used in the Greek text and is translated "the Antichrist," a definite person. All opposition to Christ is antichrist or anti Christ (1 John 2:18)." Obviously any one not for Jesus is anti Jesus. (Mat 6:24 RSV) ""No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." If you do not love Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you hate him. No one can be neutral about Jesus. (Mat 12:30 RSV) "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." (2 John 1:7 RSV) "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist." NOTE CAREFULLY, John's use of "many deceivers" and each one of these is "the deceiver and the antichrist." [Note that anyone who is against Jesus is an anti-Christ as John later spoke of anti-Christs in 1 John 3:18-25. "many antichrists have come." Note: “HAVE COME ALREADY! John defined an antichrist as "he who denies the Father and the Son." There is no one single THE antichrist!] Thus "the" cannot refer to only one person in all of history! The Bible NEVER even hints that there is one such person. This is an invention of the popular viewpoint that is in most books and pulpits today. This viewpoint was invented in the late 1800's and made popular by a couple of famous preachers using the unproven theories of Scofield. Certainly in Revelation John identifies many who are anti-to-Christ. And each such person is a real antichrist. But he never states a certain human is or will be a Supreme Antichrist. Indeed, if there is such a being, it is Satan. Dr. Hobbs in his superb book "The Cosmic Drama, Word Books, October 1975, page 127 wrote about Revelation: "this beast symbolizes a man, the Roman emperor Domitian, the personification of the imperial power of the Roman Empire." But Domitian was only one of many antichrists. There has never been a time without antichrists.

OK: What about a history look at the supposed real person single Antichrist?

The Herschel Hobbs Commentary, Spring 2000 (which seems to use less and less of Dr. Hobbs' work in each issue) states on pages 29 and 33" "Many people identify the "man of sin" or "man of lawlessness" described by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as the Antichrist who will come during the end time. But Paul also went on to write "The mystery of iniquity [lawlessness] doth already work" (v. 7). Based on these passages…but there will be a future, end-time Antichrist." Note the Commentary states "will." Its author is one of the many people who claim a single Antichrist. What Paul said was (2 Th 2:3-4 RSV) "Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, {4} who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God." Dr. Hobbs noted page 126 about this person: "Where the definite article is used, it evidently refers to a person." The question then: Is Paul's "the son of perdition" a Supreme Antichrist? Is he "the beast"? "That day" does refer to the Second Coming." But first comes "the rebellion." What rebellion? The Jewish rebellion against Rome in A.D. 66-70. Who is "the son of perdition?" This is Domitian, who made himself god of gods throughout the known world. Just look at the context. The Commentary states "the beast" is yet in our future and there is a supposed Supreme Antichrist. Dr. Hobbs, book, page 178 write "The beast was Domitian and imperial Rome." Of the beast and false prophet Dr. Hobbs wrote: "These two ferocious beasts are clearly identified in chapter 13 as Domitian or imperial Rome and the Concilia which enforced emperor-worship." Then Dr. Hobbs wrote, 1986, "In the end time God will again remove the leash on evil. This will be for the purpose of revealing the man of lawlessness in his true light." In 2 Thess 2:6-8 Paul used the Greek, which means, "really know." Paul said his readers really knew because he had previously explained it. What remained was identifying in God's (Greek) opportune season (kairos) this person to them. Paul wrote in about A.D. 50. For him to say some future emperor was to be this person and God would destroy him would have made them open enemies of Rome. This is the reason John wrote in code to say Domitian was Paul's son of perdition. Finally a world about the "end time." Peter said bluntly (1 Pet 4:7 RSV) "The end of all things is at hand; therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers." His readers were IN the end times as he wrote. Specifically from Peter's day until the Second Coming is the final days of earth history. We live in the end times right now.

OK: What about a later look at the supposed real person single Antichrist? The SBC is still not in sync with the Bible!

He still is a big deal to a lot of viewpoints on Revelation, primarily today’s popular Premillennial View. “The Herschel Hobbs Commentary”, LifeWay/Adults, Summer 2008, Dr. Robert J. Dean [author] stated this on page 62: “Many people identify the beast out of the sea in Revelation 13 as the Antichrist. The name the Antichrist is not found here. In fact, the title appears nowhere in the Book of Revelation. The name appears in the New Testament only in 1 John 2:18, 22 and in 2 John 7. John used the title to describe those who denied that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God and implied that concern about a future Antichrist was common among believers.” “The Advanced Bible Study Commentary”, Summer 2008, page 65 takes the same stance as in 2000 that “there will be one who infamously deserves the title.” “The Herschel Hobbs Commentary”, LifeWay/Adults, Summer 2009, page 27 “Like Paul, John believed in a future antichrist…” NOT TRUE!

The SBC continues to be wrong! The Herschel Hobbs Commentary has little of Dr. Hobbs’ doctrinal teachings in it anymore.

Let us look again at the facts:

  1. John said anyone who is not a Christian is anti-Christ. (1 John 2:18 RSV) "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." You have to ignore all else to imply from John’s phrase “that antichrist is coming” to believe he meant a single real person. The “that antichrist” is no different from “many antichrists have come.” He is saying there will be antichrists until the Second Coming.
  2. John said of all these antichrists: (1 John 2:19 RSV) "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 be plain that they all are not of us." The ones he is referring to here are church members who left the church but were not really saved people.
  3. John gave the definition of the term “antichrist: (1 John 2:22 RSV) "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." We need to apply what John says not only to them but to ourselves. Southern Baptists cannot throw many stones and get none back. (1 John 4:1-3 RSV) "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. {2} By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, {3} and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already."
  4. This verse is absolutely clear about what John meant in 1 John 2:18 when he said “you have heard that antichrist is coming”: (2 John 1:7 RSV) "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist." Also Christians must be aware of heretical precepts and doctrines like Calvinism. John describes these "antichrists" (1 John 2:18) as people with an inadequate and WRONG understanding of Jesus Christ and the Gospel based upon and only in Jesus and the divine Son of God. This is the same type of heresy which is addressed throughout 1 John.

Bottom Line:

Neither John nor any other writer implied or suggested there would be a single end times Antichrist person. [Note: Gender is not stated.]

1 JOHN 2:19 Here John speaks of specific antichrists: those who were in the fellowship but left, for unspecified reasons of doctrine. “All” indicated not a small group. John states right-thinking Christians must maintain a clear distinction from false doctrine.

1 JOHN 2:20 John said they were you anointed by the Holy Spirit and thus can discern between truth and error. All true, IF you are growing per (2 Pet 1:5-7 RSV) "For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, {6} and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, {7} and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love." Babes in Christ do not have this ability and so may be lead into grossly wrong doctrine.

1 JOHN 2:21 John writes to Christians who have the tools to think straight, so use the tools!

1 JOHN 2:22 The supreme liar is the one who denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, i.e., that He was both 100% man and100% God at the same time. The separation of the human and the divine was an early (Docetic) heresy. But Dr. Hobbs did make a point that the definite article was used and pointed to a specific person. Dr. Hobbs wrote in his Studying Adult Life and Work Lessons, October-December 1982, page 26 "Apparently, John had reference to Cerinthus himself, who was a contemporary of John. For he was the source of the heretical teaching John had in mind. Denial that Jesus was the Christ was basic in Cerinthus’ teachings. According to him Christ was not identical to Jesus…. Thus Cerinthus, the antichrist, and his antichrists denied the deity of Jesus. Anyone who does this today is an antichrist.” So we see there was no forecast of the future but a critical local problem John was addressing.

1 JOHN 2:23 This is vital to understand. Why? To deny the Son makes it impossible to become part of God's family and have God as Father. (John 3:18 RSV) "He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."

1 JOHN 2:24 True doctrine is the only way to fellowship, so return to it and leave a thoughts taken from the Gnostics.

1 JOHN 2:25 John makes a bold and precise truth all Christian are to remember: ETERNAL SECURITY is ours! (Eph 1:13-14 KJV) "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, {14} Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

1 JOHN 2:26-27 “You have no need for anyone to teach you” is a slam against the Gnostics who said you had to join their group and then learn secret instruction from a Gnostic leader. The Christian needs no one except the Holy Spirit who would teach them how to distinguish truth from error (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit may use human teachers to accomplish this (Eph. 4:11-14). But all True Teachings will be in context with the whole Bible, however the Holy Spirit chooses to do the teaching.

1 JOHN 2:28 Christ's return will inevitably cause one of two reactions. For the believer, the response is confidence. The term "confidence" is a translation of a Greek word which literally means "all speech" or "free speech." Confidence is indicated in the believer's ability to verbalize, in contrast to the silent terror and shame of those who must quake before Him at His return.

1 JOHN 2:29-3:1 For the first time, 1 John speaks of Christians as those "born" (gennao) of God (cf. 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18). This imagery shows that the believer's spiritual life results from the redemptive work of God. As a result, believers can legitimately be called God's "children" (3:1). Certainly, that is how God calls believers.

1 JOHN 3:2-3 The discussion of Christ's return entails two important truths: (1) believers do not reach their final state of glory until Christ is revealed, and (2) the hope of this event should produce a desire for personal purity. Being “like” Jesus does not mean we will become gods. It means we will sin no more nor have any desire or reason to sin. We will have new bodies like His and have Eternal Life with God.


Marvin Ganote, Hobbs Study Class, Adult Teacher. Home Page: