Avoid This Spirit
And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
(I John 4:3)
We hear "Spirit of . . ." often: Spirit of Christmas, Spirit of 1776, Spirit of America, the Olympic Spirit, and others.
While it's hard to define, "spirit of" means attitudes and behaviors consistent with the season or event being described.
The apostle John wrote that a diabolical spirit -- "the spirit of the Antichrist" (1 John 4:3) -- was already at work, empowering those who denied that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh as a human man -- the Son of God and the Son of Man.
The Greek word anti can mean "against" or "in place of." So the spirit of the Antichrist would be any attitude, behavior, or teaching that is blatantly against or subtly counterfeiting the true Christ.
There is no reason to suspect that the spirit of the Antichrist was limited to the first century. Look around today at the number of ways Christ is opposed or misrepresented in our culture.
It is the Christian's responsibility to know Christ and His teaching well enough to immediately recognize "the spirit of the Antichrist."
What will finally destroy us is not communism or fascism, but man acting like God.