The Bible, using slightly different language, warned us against it, although few heed the warning today. What is an “anti-Gospel?” In searching for a proper terminology for a growing misuse and substitution of the true Gospel “Good News,” I have coined my own term for a growing problem in the teaching of evangelical churches. The dictionary gives this definition: “anti- A prefix whose basic meaning is ‘against’. It is used to form adjectives that mean ‘counteracting’ (such as antiseptic, preventing infection).” The word has also been used in the sense of “instead of,” such as the term, “Anti-Christ,” used as a noun to describe individuals or movements who are opposed to Christ’s teachings or are a false substitute for Christ. Anti-Gospel, therefore, is a term indicating a teaching that opposes the Gospel or substitutes a false Gospel for the true Biblical “good news.” It is a different, even a contrary Gospel.
The sad fact is that many Christians today have been deceived into accepting a false Gospel. The Apostle Paul warned us of this in the opening words of his Epistle to the Galatians. The IVP Bible Background Commentary titles this first chapter, “True and False Gospels,” and says, “Paul minces no words in these verses; although speeches and letters often opened with praise of the hearers or a polite thanksgiving, Paul begins with a direct rebuke. This literary convention is found only among the harshest of ancient letters.”
The Apostle Paul says, “I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel. Not that there is [or could be] any other [genuine Gospel], but there are [obviously] some who are troubling and disturbing and bewildering you [with a different kind of teaching which they offer as a gospel] and want to pervert and distort the Gospel of Christ (the Messiah) [into something which it absolutely is not]. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!” (Gal. 1:6-8, Amplified Version, with its parenthetical notes)
The same commentary adds, “Letters of blame, especially in their harsher forms, typically used the expression ‘I am amazed’ (NASB). Paul’s readers will have no doubt that he is quite upset. Messengers who distorted the contents of their message were subject to legal penalties. Those familiar with the Old Testament would think of those who distorted the divine message in terms of false prophets (e.g., Jer. 23:16), for whom the penalty was death (Deut. 13:5; Deut. 18:20).”
Dear reader, please do not write to me asking why this is important! The Gospel is the core message of Christianity. There is little reason for us to consider those who change and distort the Gospel to be brethren and co-religionists. The seriousness of the matter is very evident in Paul’s words.
Increasingly we see in place of the Gospel message of the coming of Christ and His sin-bearing sacrifice, an opposite message, a different Gospel with a whole different focus. A good example of this is the modern treatment of an Old Testament prophecy concerning Christ in Daniel chapter nine. The prophecy states, “Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city [Jerusalem], to finish and put an end to transgression, to seal up and make full the measure of sin, to purge away and make expiation and reconciliation for sin, to bring in everlasting righteousness (permanent moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and to anoint a Holy of Holies. Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Anointed One, a Prince, shall be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; it shall be built again with [city] square and moat, but in troublous times. And after the sixty-two weeks [of years] shall the Anointed One be cut off or killed and shall have nothing [and no one] belonging to [and defending] Him. And the people of the [other] prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood; and even to the end there shall be war, and desolations are decreed.” (Daniel 9:24-26, Amplified Version)
All classical expositors are agreed that this is a principal Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah, fulfilled by Christ’s coming and crucifixion. It also seems obvious that “the other prince” in verse 26 refers to the Roman general Titus and his army who destroyed Jerusalem’s “city and the sanctuary” in 70 A.D. Dispensationalists ignore its fulfillment and instead bounce the last half of that verse to the far off future, claiming that the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy is “cut off” and floating away to a future fulfillment by a powerful “Great Anti-Christ” at the end of the age. This allows them to ascribe the next verse, Daniel 9:27, to this supposed Anti-Christ: “And he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease.”
It is an undeniable fact that Jewish sacrifices and offerings ceased after Christ’s death with the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. Yet Dispensationalists ascribe this prophecy concerning Christ to a dreamt up Anti-Christ, whose very existence is contingent upon their strange interpretation of this verse!
As a result, an entire bizarre end-times theology scenario has arisen, with thousands of books and films focused not on Christ’s coming, but on the arrival of a fictional world-ruling Anti-Christ, a literary creation based upon this ingenious imaginary interpretation of one verse of Scripture! In fact, the Bible tells us in 1 John 2:18 that there are “many antiChrists,” not just one, and a term seen so often in Christian literature today, “The Anti-Christ,” is not found a single time in the Bible. This invented ruling prince now has a whole backstory created for him as well; he will make a covenant with the Jews and will then break it and stop the Jewish people from offering their animal sacrifices any longer.
But wait! You ask, the Jews do not offer animal sacrifices, and have not since soon after Christ’s death and resurrection! Exactly correct, and that is a perfect fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. But the Dispensationalists and their disciples disagree with the Gospel story, and imagine instead an end-time scenario of the Jerusalem temple being rebuilt precisely so that a hypothetical Anti-Christ can stop sacrificial worship. This is their dilemma: there is no Jerusalem temple, so one must be built (and soon, because they consider the end of the age immanent) or the entire Dispensationalist thesis collapses into ruin. A leading Dispensationalist author, John Price, says, “First, the Temple must be in place for the coming Anti-Christ to commit an Abomination of Desolation.” (“The End of America,” Ch. 5, Christian House Publishers, 2013)
In an audacious stroke of sacrilege, this very popular latter-day cultic heresy has taken one of the most important prophecies concerning Christ and His sacrifice for our sins, negated its truths, and turned it around into a prophecy of a future Anti-Christ instead. Added to that error is the nearly entire resulting focus of their adherents, their preaching and literature, not on the Gospel of the coming Christ, but upon the false Gospel of a coming world-ruling imaginary Anti-Christ and his supposed covenant with the Jews. Dispensationalism is a substitute and contrary Gospel, and can therefore be accurately termed “the Anti-Gospel of the Anti-Christ.” For a further discussion and more in-depth explanation of Daniel’s prophecy, see the study “The Seventy Weeks Prophecy” on the CBIA website at www.israelite.ca under the “Research” tab.