So that people will not even try to keep God's commandments, Satan uses the doctrine of Antichrist to promote the idea that mankind is unable to keep them! The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church—and most Protestant churches—in effect minimize Christ's humanity, implying in various ways that He was not fully "in the flesh." Their theology leads to the conclusion that He was not really subject to the "pulls of the flesh" in the same way we are, and was thus not really tempted as we are—indeed even that He was not capable of sin. In their understanding, Christ was not really setting an example for us while fully in the human flesh. Satan wants us to believe that we cannot keep God's commandments, and that Jesus Christ could not have sinned and broken them!
The Roman Catholic Church takes this idea even further. It falsely teaches that, except for the "Virgin Mary," all human beings since Adam and Eve have been born with "original sin," unable to keep God's commandments. Mary alone, the teaching says, was protected by an "Immaculate Conception" and led a perfect and sinless life that allowed her to become the "Mother of God." In this teaching, Mary could have sinned but did not, while our Savior did not sin and could not! If this were true, it would make Mary—not Jesus Christ—our actual example of living a sinless human life! What an insult to our true Savior!
Yet the book of Hebrews tells us: "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (2:18). And again: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (4:15). Was this through some supernatural power of His own? Was Jesus "fully God" while in the human flesh? The truth is that He was the Personality who had been with the Father from the beginning: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). But later "The Word became flesh" (v. 14).
Many scriptures clearly reveal that, in the flesh, Jesus did not exercise the same unlimited power which He had previously exercised before His incarnation. For instance, the gospel of Mark tells us that when Jesus came to His own home area among skeptical family and neighbors: "Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them" (Mark 6:5). Jesus Himself said: "I can of Myself do nothing" (John 5:30). While in the flesh, Jesus chose not to heal people in a faithless atmosphere.
The fully human Jesus was tempted in "all points" as we are, yet without sin. That being so, it becomes clear that there is a way for us, too, to keep the Ten Commandments while fully in the human flesh! But how? The same way Jesus did! Hebrews further tells us that "in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death. [He] was heard because of His godly fear" (5:7). If Jesus had to literally cry out with tears to the Father to "save Him from death," it should be obvious that He was truly in the human flesh—and that we also should cry out for God's help in the same way! So Jesus did set the "example" for us in keeping the Ten Commandments in the human flesh! We have a Savior and High Priest who does fully understand the pulls of human nature with which we must contend. Through His Spirit within us, as we will see, Christ will empower us to overcome temptation and keep the Ten Commandments while fully in the human flesh!
But the doctrine of Antichrist says just the opposite. Although Satan is clever enough not to directly teach people to sin, the Antichrist doctrine nevertheless opens the door for deceived people to regularly break one or more of the commandments of God with impunity—yet still feel that they are somehow "good Christians."
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