Recall that in the fourth chapter of Ephesians the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were given for the edifying of the Body of Christ until it becomes a perfect man. The Church (Body of Christ) is to become a mature man. That means there is to be a oneness of spirit in the Body of Christ. The man that is manifested through this oneness is the man Christ Jesus. He is “the Man”!
Often when the Scriptures speak of the man, it is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. It also refers prophetically to the Body of Christ, because we are progressing towards the oneness where the Body of Christ, while many members, is becoming one man. For example, Psalm One begins by saying, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly….” That first of all speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it also refers prophetically to the Body of Christ.
Matthew 24:40-41 Then two men will be
in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
The Church is often pictured as a woman. The false church is pictured as a woman, too. Here we see two women grinding at the mill. The mill is where the grain is ground into flour to make bread. The woman that is taken out is taken out in judgment. The one that is left is the Church. So it is with the man. Two men are in the field. The field is the world (Matthew 13:38). One man is the perfect man of Ephesians 4:13. The other man is an antichrist man. Satan is the ape of God; he tries to copy what God does. So while the Lord is creating a many-membered Body of Christ, Satan is forming a many-membered body of antichrist. Thus the two men, as the two women, are groups consisting of many members expressed as single units.
I John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
The Greek verb translated “is coming” is present tense continuous. The King James Version translates it “shall come”, making it seem to be an event of the future. The New King James translates it correctly as “is coming”, which is confirmed by the apostle John when he adds even now many antichrists have come. The many-membered antichrist was already being formed in John’s day.
I John 2:19 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 they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
From where does this antichrist come? It comes from within the church-world. That is why Paul tells us in II Corinthians 11:13-15 that Satan cloaks himself religiously. He transforms himself into a messenger of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness. Therefore, the antichrist doesn’t seem to be opposed to Christianity. Rather he is cloaked in what seems to be religious and righteous in order to get in the center of the camp; because it is there that he can do the greatest damage.
I John 2:20-22 But you have
an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
Earlier we saw how the antichrist works under the guise of righteousness. How can he deny the Father and Son and yet maintain the appearance of a minister of righteousness? The Lord Himself explains that in the 23rd chapter of Matthew.
Matthew 23:13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the Kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Let’s see how the scribes and Pharisees were able to shut up the Kingdom of heaven so that men could not enter therein, and then we will connect this back to I John 2:22 and see how the antichrist denies the Father and the Son while maintaining a cloak of righteousness.
Entering the Kingdom of heaven gives man access to God and God access to man. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ Himself, and His disciples proclaimed the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 10:7). In other words the time had come for God to come forth in man and man to come forth in God, but the scribes and Pharisees closed the door to that. The way they did that was in the way they ministered and taught the Scriptures. They taught the people what God did in the past and they taught about the Messiah coming in the future, but the present was closed up. Man was not allowed a present relationship with God. When Jesus Christ came they could not accept Him as the Messiah because their Messiah was in the future. Such is the teachings of the antichrist in the Church. They keep the Father and the Son in the past and in the future with their teachings. When their teachings do not give the people access into the Father and the Son, and neither gives the Father and Son access into the people, then the antichrist has denied the Father and the Son.
I John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
False prophet is just another name for antichrist. Notice that John says to test the spirits. Most Christians don’t know how to test a person’s spirit. They don’t have enough spiritual discernment. What they usually do is accept one who interprets scripture the way they do and reject anyone that interprets it differently. Antichrist spirits have no trouble in deceiving them. They are masters at deceiving people using their very beliefs. Now if you think these false prophets were just in John’s day, they weren’t. They are in this day, too. In fact, there are many more of them today.
I John 4:2-3 By this you know
the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in
the flesh is of God,
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.
II John 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
This is not speaking of Jesus Christ coming in the flesh as Jesus the Nazarene. The demons confessed that. What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:29). The demons confessed that Jesus Christ the Son of God came forth in the flesh of Jesus the Nazarene, but what they will not do is confess that the Lord is coming forth in the flesh of man today creating the many-membered Body of Christ. These antichrist spirits have infiltrated the Church. They will preach saying, “Folks, if you do not want to go to hell, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.” What they cannot do is impart His life to your spirit so that He comes forth in your flesh. True ministry of God ministers a living Word that brings death to the self-life and imparts the life of the Lord in us so that His life is made manifest in our mortal flesh. (We are) always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. II Corinthians 4:10-11.
The Lord is creating His many-membered Body, a people who can minister the life of the Lord in others. At the same time Satan is forming a many-membered Antichrist, and that many-membered antichrist works within the church-world. It looks like the real thing, just like a true ministry of the Lord. It can do many of the things a Christian is supposed to do. The one thing it can not do is minister the divine life of our Lord. It can minister doctrines about the Lord; it cannot minister His life.
There are two men in the field. One is the many-membered Body of Christ and the other is the many-membered antichrist.
Copyright © 2004 by Henry DuBose