Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 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 4:1-3)
Through a good many popular ministries on television, radio and the internet, the Spirit of AntiChrist is in the world today, teaching many unwary in the church and of course out of it, redefining the knowledge of God, seducing and deceiving if possible, even the very elect of God.
The denial of the deity of Christ, the validity of scripture, final judgment, heaven, hell, original sin have become routine now, for the very foundations of the Christ6ian revelation are under assault as the scripture predicted of the very last days.
The core of the teaching of Antichrist is revealed here in the writing of the apostle John; AntiChris would deny in some fashion, the ongoing incarnation of Messiah. The malevolent spirit of this Age would spiritualize Christ, either denying the original coming into this world of flesh the God man, or asserting that since the resurrection, Jesus Christ is no longer in a physical body.
The Roman Church does this by insisting that through the priestcraft, the wafer is turned into an incarnation, that Christ is offered over and over again as a sacrifice for our sins. The “once and for”” nature of atonement is denied, the mass is a continual re-presentation of Jesus dying for us.
Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus was not God, and that he arose from the dead in spirit and not physically.Other cults assert that Jesus is constantly “coming back” to his church not bodily, but in the form of “new anointings” through the ministries of restored “apostles and Prophets”.
There are many other ways the Incarnation is denied and Jesus is spiritualized. One of the heresies afflicting the early church was called “docetism”. Jesus was not really flesh and blood, but only ‘seemed’ to be. He didn’t really suffer on the cross, he only seemed to, for God who is Spirit cannot suffer.
Much of Islam is based upon the heresy of Docetism, because Mohammed was influenced by Docetic heretics. Jesus didn’t really suffer and die on the cross, he allowed Judas to go in his place, he stood afar off from the suffering and shame of the cross, and laughed at Judas as He hung there.
One variation of this was called “adoptionism”, which taught that Jesus was an ordinary human being, a pious worshipper of God, who was “Christed” at the age of 30, when the Holy Spirit descended upon him and he was adopted of God, at his baptism. This empowered him until he went to the cross, and the Holy Spirit lifted from Him, and he became an ordinary man again, and died.
Kenneth Copeland teaches something very similar to adoptionism, when He asserted that He could have died on the cross, if he had had the same amount of “revelation knowledge” that Jesus had. To Copeland and the other Gnostics such as Bill Johnson, Jesus’ miracles and power were a manner of “Revelation knowledge” which Jesus had acquired.
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 (Substitution and Identification, 1989, tape #00-0202, side 2)
Christ is not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah.” It [Christ] is a title that points to an experience [Spirit resting upon Him after baptism in the Jordan]. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title [Christ]. He had to receive the anointing[“Christ anointing” resulting in Christ title] in an experience [Spirit resting upon Him] to accomplish what the Father desired.
The word anointing means “to smear.” The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism. The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit [after water baptism in the Jordan].(Bill Johnson, Johnson, Heaven Invades, p 79. Underscore added; other emphasis in original)
One of the marks of AntiChrist is the separation of “Christ” from “Jesus”. “Christ” , which means ‘anointed’ is a possibility for anyone, according to the Gnostics.It is a spiritual condition. Jesus was a believer who ‘became Christ’ at the age of thirty , according to the false doctrine of ‘adoptionism’, and he remained ‘anointed’ until he died on the cross. He,Jesus was the Christ for three years, but ceased being anointed when he died on the cross.
This is the false doctrine John was refuting, when he wrote;
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.(I John 5:5-6)
Jesus was already the Christ of God when he went into the waters at his baptism, and remained the Christ when he shed his blood on the cross, He never became the Christ nor did he ever cease being the Christ. Jesus is the only Christ of God, the seed of the woman and Savior of the world, from eternity to eternity!
It is not true that had any born again believer acquired the same ‘revelation knowledge ‘ as Jesus , He too would have been “Christed” and able to do the works of Jesus. It is in the name of Jesus Christ that “greater works ” are done in this world by believers.
Why does the AntiChrist want to “spiritualize ” Christ, and in some way deny that He came in the flesh? “Spiritualizing” Jesus Christ allows the Spirit of AntiChrist to make Jesus just another believer, and to elevate any spiritual experience at all in the minds of men, as being “Christ”.
Remember that all of the accounts of the resurrection are very Physical; Jesus ate with the apostles, and you couldn’t see the fish he ate through his esophagus, because he wasn’t “see through”, Jesus has come and remained in the flesh! Peter had to stoop to enter the tomb, if the stone over the face of the tomb had rolled overPeter’s foot it would have broken it, the cross would have left splinter had you rubbed your hands over it, and We have always confessed that Jesus was “Crucified under Pontius Pilate…”, there was a real governor and a calendar date when Jesus died for us! Jesus is real!
When Jesus comes back (very soon) we won’t need Rick Joyner to interpret it for us, for “Every eye will see Him…and they will look upon him whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son…”. Jesus Christ has come (and remains) in the flesh!