Things to Come, Lesson 10, The Spirit of the Antichrist, Matthew 24:4-12,
The person of Antichrist is yet to come however it is very obvious that the spirit of Antichrist is alive and well in our day.
But not in our day alone for the spirit of Antichrist is nothing new, for the Apostles knew of it in their day.
The spirit of Antichrist, of course, was fathered by Satan when as the angel Lucifer, which means "morning star" or "brightness", challenged the throne of God as we read in:
Isaiah 14:12-14, How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
So he fell from being Lucifer, the morning star, to being Satan, the definition of which is opponent or enemy.
So in this fall from heavenly places Satan became the premier enemy of God, a rebel against all that God stands for.
We have said it before and we will say it again, and that is whatever God stands for, Satan intends to turn it upside down so it is opposite of what God commands.
As far as we are concerned he began this process in the garden of Eden when he took Godís innocent creation, innocent of the knowledge of good and evil, in which God intended that they remain, and brought Adam and Eve to choose rebellion against a Holy God.
The seed of rebellion that he planted in heaven desired he also to plant wherever God worked.
God says up, Satan says down. God says Yes, Satan says no.
Due to the destructive choice of our parents in the Garden, this spirit of rebellion, this spirit of Antichrist has been implanted in every heart of every person born into this world with the exception of Godís Son, Jesus Christ.
The spirit of Antichrist has a name and the name is SIN.
Every man, woman, and child has this spirit within, and within man and by the force of man there is nothing that can be done about it.
But God alone proved to us that in Him everything can be done about it for in Jesus Christ he has shown us a man in whom this spirit does not dwell.
And in order to be without this spirit of Antichrist, men, women, boys and girls must come to be in Christ Jesus.
Godís remedy is being in the Body of Christ.
Christ and He alone is our refuge from this spirit.
That is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But Satan has his heroes as far as his spirit is concerned.
For through the centuries men have stepped up to his call and promoted his spirit in their day.
Study the scriptures and you will find this spirit of rebellion, this spirit of Antichrist in men like Nimrod, Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanes, Herod, and others.
And we have seen though the eyes of history the spirit of Antichrist working since the ascension of Christ at his first coming.
That which we know will take place in the tribulation will not appear out of the blue but will be the result of long and gradual development.
The only place that tells us of this effort on the part of powers beyond our sight is the scriptures and this sight we access by faith for it will not be believed by the flesh.
Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Satan is a diligent and hard worker for this spirit of Antichrist has laid the groundwork, has prepared the way, all toward the revelation of the man that we are told is the man of sin, the son of perdition, which means destruction.
The man of sin glories in the nature of man of which he was the creator.
God hates sin, but Satan loves sin and intends to exalt what he loves.
He will raise sin up to a level where sin is worshipped and righteousness is despised.
This is the mission of the Antichrist.
But God pronounces woes upon such who will follow his dictates.
Isaiah 5:20,21, Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Do not be surprised at what you see happening today for it all fits into Satanís program and is just the prelude of what will take place in coming days.
How often today we are seeing evil called good and good called evil.
Like the Episcopal bishop in Pensacola who gives his priests opportunities to bless same sex unions saying "Theyíre blessings.
It is the priestís offering to the couple the opportunity to receive Godís blessings on their relationships," he said.
Godís blessings on that which God condemns in his word? How can that be? This is what a spiritual overseer says!
Or the Bishop of Alabama who refused to bless same sex unions saying that the issue was too divisive for Alabama.
"Theology is an ongoing revelation. Itís influenced by context.
There are parts of the country that are more conservative and traditional, and there are parts of the country that are more liberal.
In Alabama it would be too divisive with the Episcopal Church.
We are deeply conflicted about this.
Iíd like for us to work through and pray about it."
Go ahead and pray about it Bishop, raise your finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing, for Satan will answer your prayer and give you the high five to go ahead.
Where is the Word of God in all of this?
Its authority disappears when the force of culture comes to the forefront.
But please do not lose hope but instead read Isaiah 59:19 for it bolsters hope, for God tells us what to look for when dark days come for he reminds us,
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Now we live in the church age and we believe the Bible teaches us that the church will not go through the tribulation.
However there is nothing in scripture that tells us we will not go through dark times preceding the revelation of the Antichrist.
Today the enemy does seem to be coming in like a flood.
Evil things are happening fast.
The spirit of Antichrist is becoming more prominent the closer he gets in reality.
But God will raise up a standard against him.
I believe while the church is here we ought to be a part of that standard.
The church ought to oppose anyone and everything that opposes God.
We are to be the lookout that scans the horizon for anything of the spirit of Antichrist so that we can be the warning beacon to the people of God as the battle will surely grow in intensity.
It is good that this ministry has tried to be a light in darkness by the publication of the Projector which projects the light of the Word of God on the issues of the day.
But there seems to be an general apathy toward this mission as churches have become little hideaways where people gather because they have always gathered and are comfortable in their places.
This is nothing other than the spirit of Antichrist.
Just stay in your glorious edifices and Satan will be happy.
Confine your beliefs to yourself and all will be well is the message of Antichrist.
What a commentary on the situation of our country where some of the only national vocal opposition to the upside down perverted definitions of marriage come from the owner of a fast food chain.
Where are the preachers, where are the evangelists, where are those voices which are exercised in places of worship each Sunday to crowds of adoring believers but cannot extend to the marketplace outside the church?
Where are those who will come to the side of this man who believes Godís word and is not ashamed or timid to declare it so?
But even those who do come, do not face the issue but simply propound that this man has a right to his opinion.
Godís word is not an opinion. Godís word is truth and truth is not an opinion.
So God calls to His people to oppose the Antichrist now, even though we cannot see him in person.
But his spirit is fully involved in our time.
It is our mission to oppose anything that opposes Jesus Christ now, not someday, but this day.
Remember and get strength to oppose from the example of the Reformer, Martin Luther who spent his life opposing the spirit of Antichrist.
Read his writings and see his struggles and wrestlings.
"When I write against the Pope, I am not melancholy, for then I labour with my whole heart, and I write with such joy, that Doctor Reisenpusch not long ago said to me: 'I marvel that you can be so merry.' I replied to him: 'Neither the Devil, his lieutenant the Antichrist of Rome, nor his shaven retinue, can make me sad, for I know that they are Christ's enemies; and therefore I fight against them with all my heart.'"
And another time he wrote:
"Daily I feel how difficult it is to divest oneself of scruples long entertained. Oh! The pain it has cost me, though with the Scriptures before me, to justify myself to myself, for daring singly to set myself up against the Pope, and hold him as Antichrist! What tribulations have I not suffered! How often have I not addressed to myself in bitterness of the spirit the arguments of the Papists: 'Art thou alone wise? Are all others in error? Can they have been so many years deceived? What if thou deceivest thyself, and draggest along with thee in thy error so many souls to everlasting damnation?' Thus I used to argue within myself until Jesus Christ with His own, His infallible Word, fortified me, and strengthened my soul against such arguments, as a rock raised above the waves laughs their fury to scorn." (Letters, Vol. 2, p. 107.)
So as the spirit of Antichrist was alive and well throughout the ages he is present now.
The Apostle John opposed him in his day and nothing has been given us by God calling us back from this battle.
John wrote of that spirit in I John 2:19, Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Satan has his men who will move the spirit of Antichrist along through the ages, preparing minds and hearts for his man to come.
He will come receiving adoration and worship for he has been longed for through the ages by the natural man.
But Jesus warned those who are His own in Matthew 24:4-12.
I will read it from the New American Standard Version:
"See to it that no one misleads you. 5"For many will come in My name, saying, ĎI am the Christ,í and will mislead many. 6"You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8"But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. 9"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10"At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11"Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12"Because lawlessness is increased, most peopleís love will grow cold.
We are a forewarned people.
Paul said in II Thessalonians 2 that the mystery of iniquity was active in the world and this mystery was preparing the way for the man, the Antichrist, and his work
We are given a time on this Earth to oppose this work.
We are given a time of struggle against this spirit of Antichrist which we are seeing enlarged in our time.
The Apostle Paul instructed us, as the body of Christ, to have the militancy of a soldier against the evil of this spirit.
We read of this II Timothy 2:3, Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
The spirit of this age rejects God and Godís word and promotes with all the power at its hand, the glorification of the creation instead of the Creator.
Institutions that were built for the glory of God have discarded any connection with that purpose and now live only to glorify man.
Educationís purpose is not to know about God but is only to promote manís welfare.
The purpose of science is to enhance manís pride.
The goal of America is simply the American dream, a materialistic dream, with little thought or understanding of the godly founding principles upon which this nation was founded.
But as long as God gives breath we are to oppose those who oppose Christ.
We do not oppose with weapons of war but we oppose with weapons of Godís Spirit.
We are to put on the whole armor of God that we be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand.
Our weapons are truth, righteousness and the Gospel of peace and are to be used with the shield of faith.
We are to boldly proclaim that salvation is in none other than Jesus Christ.
We are to be absolutely intolerant of anything that diminishes Jesus Christ as Lord of all.
For He is preeminent, which means above all.
There is to be no room at all for compromise to seek love and peace.
We oppose the spirit of Antichrist in the Spirit in the same way that Jesus Christ opposed him during His ministry and in the same way Jesus taught his disciples.
We are to oppose by faith, using the weapon of the Spirit of God, the sword of the Spirit of God, the wonderful powerful Word of God.
Humanism exalts man and promotes the cause of man and man alone.
We oppose the spirit of Antichrist by keeping our children from the godless schools where God has been officially cast aside.
We are called to separate from humanistic values and humanistic goals and to have no part in, as Dr. Hobbs used to say, un-education.
We are to oppose the culture that is guided by Satan who as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
We are to believe with all our heart that the spirit of Antichrist is alive and well and actively working to undo us.
We are to oppose him by not being casual Christians but Christians who are ready and willing to do battle, even willing to lay down our lives for Christ.
We are to oppose tolerance as the god of this age for tolerance simply denies Godís Word as Godís authority for faith and practice.
Tolerance is Satanís deceit whereby Christianity is diminished and all other religions are elevated into a status of not only equality but to be more favored and revered.
All of this opposition to the spirit of Antichrist must be from believers who have done battle with the spirit of Antichrist within their own heart.
God gives power to defeat our sinful nature by giving us a new nature.
We are to do battle every day with the weapon of Godís word.
All of us are called to oppose the spirit of Antichrist within.
And all of us can be victorious in Christ.
Ye are the salt of the Earth.
The saint who with his new heart will fight Antichrist within, will find that God will give him the strength to oppose the spirit of Antichrist without.
II Corinthians 16:13, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Soldiers of Christ Arise