The word “antichrist” is found only 5 times in the Bible, all in the Letters of John. In the Greek, “antichrist” means either against Christ or instead of Christ. (Vine’s Expository Dictionary), “one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ” (Westcott).
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18).
“Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
“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 confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesses 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” (1 John 4:1-3).
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 1:7).
According to the inspired words of John, everyone who does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came “in the flesh” is a member of antichrist! John wrote these words because there were people in his day claiming that Jesus was a spirit who only used a body for 33 years and then discarded the body when he died. Tragically, there are still people today who believe and teach that Jesus was a pre-existing spirit who took on a body for his life on earth and then left the body when it was killed. The apostle says that this is antichrist teaching because it separates Jesus from his body and teaches that Jesus did not really come “in the flesh” since, according to these people, he could exist without the body.
The truth of the matter is that Jesus was born of a human mother, with God as his father (Luke 1: 34.35; 2 John 1:3). Because his mother was human, Jesus inherited a nature like ours which can be tempted to sin (Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15), and like everyone since the days of Adam he inherited mortality (Romans 5:12-14). The body of Jesus was exactly like ours and he could no more leave his body than we can leave our own. When the body of Jesus died, Jesus himself died and remained dead for three days (Acts 2:23-32; Matthew 16:21). After that, Jesus (including his body) was resurrected and his body changed to flesh and spirit instead of flesh and blood (Luke 24: 36-43; Acts 2:24,32). Jesus himself said after his resurrection:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).
In this way, the Bible explains to us that Jesus Christ did actually come “in the flesh”. God warns us in His Word that to separate Jesus from his flesh is deadly wrong, for this is the teaching of antichrist.
Notice how the Bible uses “antichrist” to describe anyone who does not teach that Jesus really came “in the flesh”. There actually is no such thing in the Bible as one “future Antichrist”, because antichrists were already in existence during John’s day and many more arose during the following centuries. Antichrists are also in existence NOW since there are many false prophets today who do not teach that Jesus Christ came “in the flesh”. Therefore, it is completely unbiblical to speak of one “future Antichrist” and this alone should teach us to beware of the “future Antichrist” theory.
(An extract from “The Great Delusion – A Scriptural Analysis of Christianity’s “Future Antichrist”)