I. LITTLE CHILDREN IT IS THE LAST TIME.
A. The early church believed they were living in the last days.
1. On the day of Pentecost when Peter was explaining to the crowd concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he quoted the prophecy of Joel concerning the last days.
2. We read in 1 Peter,
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
3. We read in Hebrews,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
4. This was by divine intention. He wanted the church to be constantly looking for His instant return.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
a. It gives an urgency to getting out the gospel message.
b. It helps us maintain a right attitude toward the material things.
c. It keeps us pure.
B. The Lord wanted the church to always live in anticipation of His immediate return.
II. "AND AS YOU HAVE HEARD THAT THE ANTICHRIST SHALL COME."
A. It is interesting that only John refers to the coming man of sin as the antichrist.
1. The scriptures give him many different titles.
a. Daniel speaks of him as the prince of the people that shall come.
b. He also calls him the little horn.
c. Zechariah speaks of him as the idol shepherd.
d. He also calls him the son of perdition.
e. He is referred to as the wicked one.
f. In Revelation he is called the Beast.
2. The scriptures give us much information about him.
B. Daniel tells us that he will destroy three kings in order to take over the European Community.
1. That he will make a covenant with the nation of Israel, but after 3 1/2 years he will break that covenant and set up the abomination that causes the desolation.
2. We know from Daniel that he will cause the daily sacrifices and prayers to cease.
3. Jesus tells us that he will stand in the Holy of Holies.
4. Paul said that he would stand in the temple of God showing himself to be god.
5. Daniel describes him further,
And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even [of] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
And the ten horns out of this kingdom [are] ten kings [that] shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
b. Zechariah speaks of him in 11:10.
e. The book of Revelation speaks of him in chapt.13.
III. "EVEN NOW THERE ARE MANY ANTICHRISTS."
A. As I said, John is the only one who calls him the antichrist, he does this in;
1. 2:22: "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? he is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
2. 4:3: "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 you have heard that it should come: and even now already is it in the world."
3. 2Jo 1:7
: "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. (i.e. is coming.) This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
B. How was the antichrist to be recognized?
1. The denial that Jesus is the Messiah.
2. The denial of the Father and the Son.
a. Many are willing to accept the Father, but they deny the Son.
b. This is true of most cults that seek to place Jesus in an inferior roll, such as Michael or the brother of Lucifer.
3. The denial that Jesus is coming in the flesh.
IV. THEY WENT OUT FROM US.
A. Who? Evidently those who were denying that Jesus was the Messiah, or that He had come in the flesh.
B. It is true that many pretenders come into the body, often they come with impure motives.
1. There are those who come with the deliberate intention of creating strife.
2. Many come to spread their pernicious doctrines.
C. John said they were not of us.
1. They were never truly a part of the body.
2. There are those who brag that they taught here at Calvary or were on staff at Calvary, in some cases that was true, but they were as wolves in sheep's clothing, they never were really of us.
3. They may have attended here and were involved in certain activities here, but they were never really of Calvary Chapel.
D. If they were of us, they would have continued with us.
E. John said that they went out from us that it might be manifested that they were not of us.