Would anyone knowingly follow an Antichrist? Would you? Of course not, but many are unknowingly follow the spirit of Antichrist and believe they are quite right and tolerant to do so. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then we need to know what that spirit is so we can avoid it at all costs!

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour… Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:18, 22 NASB)

The Apostle John introduces the first mark of this antichrist spirit (or philosophy) by its first identifying characteristic. It denies that Jesus is the Messiah (or Christ). Notice that he doesn’t use the phrase “a Christ” but rather “the Christ”. While there are certainly many who deny that Jesus was who He claimed to be, there is also the dangerous teaching that Jesus was “a” Christ, just one among many. Jesus is portrayed as a way to God, but not as the only way. That is one reason the teaching is anti-Christ, or anti-Messiah. It denies His unique role in salvation. Jesus, however, said otherwise.
Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6 NASB)

John reiterates this point when he mentions the spirit of Antichrist again in chapter 4 of 1 John.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:2, 3 NASB)

What does he mean by denying that Jesus came in the flesh? Well I think the key is in the word “came”, because they will acknowledge that Jesus was an actual person, but not that he came from God as the Word made flesh (John 1:14). This is the philosophy that says Jesus was just a good man or a great teacher that was later deified by his followers. It is supremely strange to think that all of those who were Jesus’ disciples died for what they had just made up! It also makes Jesus out to be either a liar or a lunatic (see C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”). The world has no problem with liking Jesus, but worshipping Him as God and only Savior is considered intolerant.

We must be careful not to succumb to this politically correct philosophy. It is the path of least resistance, but it is the road to destruction and will cost us dearly if we choose to follow it. John also addressed the problem in 2 John verse 7.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. (2 John 1:7, 8 NASB)

John goes on to give this dire warning:

Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9 NASB)

We must resist this spirit/philosophy of Antichrist with all we have within us. We must teach our children and new Christians not to fall for the trap of the devil that would entice them to please men rather than God. John tells us what the truth is that we must embrace about Christ at the beginning of his gospel and does so better than I ever could.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14 ESV)