Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 23, 1959

Who Are The Real "Antis?"

Earl Dale, Harlingen, Texas

The forces of digression have always resorted to misrepresentation by hurling prejudicial epithets in attempting to ward off the attack of those who would dare try to stem their retreat from truth and halt their advance into digression and apostasy.

Those in the church who oppose Boles Home, Sunny Glenn, Home For Aged, Herald of Truth, etc. taking over works of benevolence and evangelism of the churches are immediately branded by the innovationists with such misrepresentations as "Anti-orphan," "Anti-widows", "Anti-evangelism", etc. By hurling these epithets they hope to becloud the issues and prevent a cool, calculated, and unprejudiced study of such organizations in the light of divine truth.

The innovationists have had a regrettable measure of success in prejudicing the minds of children of God and in closing them to honest investigation. In fact, their success has been such that many refuse to read anything upon which they place their ban, and most of them refuse to discuss their differences with brethren who oppose their departures.

Will they tell us that we are wrong in doing benevolence like the Bible teaches? Let us see:

1. The local church cared for its own needy members without brotherhood organizations and operations. (Acts 2:44-46; 4:32-37; 6:1-7.)

2. The local church sent to churches who had their own needy saints that the receiving churches were unable to support. (Acts 11:29-30; 2 Cor. 8 and 9 chapters; Rom. 15:26-27.) No brotherhood benevolent organizations.

3. The local church supported its own "widows indeed." (1 Tim. 5:1-16.) No brotherhood "Home For Aged" involved.

Will they deny the above? Why no, since they claim to believe the Bible.

1. In evangelism the New Testament churches sent directly to the preacher in the field — never thru "sponsoring churches," etc. (Phil. 1:5-7; 4:10-18; 2 Cor. 11:8-9.) In fact there were no "sponsoring churches" in those days. There is not ONE deviation from the above pattern in evangelism. Let him who thinks so produce the scripture! It would settle a great controversy.

Then, why do the institutional brethren call us "Antis"? Because we are "in opposition to" their departure from the above scriptures in evangelism and benevolence. It is good to be numbered with those who stand "in opposition to" MEN in their abandonment of truth and their persistence in error in substitution for truth.

I Am Glad To Be "Anti-Departure-From-The-Truth."

But, who are the real "antis" in this present controversy in the church over benevolence and evangelism? The "antis" are those who substitute the wisdom of men for the word of God in benevolence and evangelism. Theirs is the spirit of "Antichrist." Antichrist means "in opposition to Christ." When men reject God's pattern in evangelism and benevolence and substitute their own wisdom, they are "Antichrist."

In 1 Jno. 4:3 We Learn That The "Spirit Of Antichrist" Is To Reject What The Apostles Taught. In Verse 6 We Learn That Those Who Reject The Teaching Of The Apostles Are Charged With Having The "Spirit Of Error." "The Spirit Of Antichrist" And "The Spirit Of Error" Are One And The Same. Therefore, Those Who Reject The Teaching Of The Apostles On Evangelism And Benevolence And Substitute Their Own Wisdom Are The Real "Antis." They Are "In Opposition To" Christ In That They Reject His Word And Substitute Their Own.

Of the "spirit of Antichrist" Thayer says: "The name 'ho antichristos' was formed perhaps by John, the only writer in the New Testament who uses it (five times); he employs it of the corrupt power and influence hostile to Christian interests especially that which is at work in false teachers who have come from the bosom of the church and are engaged in disseminating error (emphasis mine, E.D.) 1 Jno. 2:18 (where the meaning is, "What ye have heard concerning the Antichrist, as about to make his appearance just before the return of Christ, is now fulfilled in the many false teachers, most worthy to be called antichrist ... ; 1 Jno. 4:4 and of the false teachers themselves," 1 Jno. 2:22; 2 Jno. 7.

Macknight on 1 Jno. 4:3: "From this, as well as from chapter 2:18, it appears that Antichrist is not any particular person, nor any particular succession of persons in the church, but a general name for all false teachers in every age, who disseminate doctrines contrary to those taught by the apostles."

Guy N. Woods on 1 Jno. 4:3 "Though false teachers were not the antichrist primarily designated in this fashion, they exhibited the spirit of the antichirst, in their opposition to Christ and his teaching." (Bro. Wood has literally fulfilled this statement of his in his own opposition to the teaching of Christ in benevolence and evangelism. See Cogdill-Woods Debate). "In this sense, all false teachers, including those in the world today, are of the antichrist . . . It originates from the love of error and from an unwillingness to abide in the truth ... Those of this class are sometimes met with in the church." (Commentary on 1 Jno. page 290.)

There are two kinds of "antis" in this present controversy:

1. Those who stand "in opposition to" MEN in their teaching which is contrary to the teaching of Christ.

2. Those who stand 'in opposition to" CHRIST and his teaching by rejecting his pattern on benevolence and evangelism and substituting their own.

I am glad to be numbered with those who oppose the teaching of men. I would be ashamed to be a "real anti" — "in opposition to" the teaching of Christ.