The Spirit Of Antichrist
The world today is a very
frightening place. We have seen
deterioration in the moral fabric of our nation and the world along with the
threat of destruction brought upon western civilization by Islamic fundamentalism. There is an unprecedented assault on our
accepted way of life not only by forces without but also forces within.
Madelyn Murray O’Hair successfully
opposed prayer in the classroom through the United States judicial system
asserting the separation of church and state.
Not long thereafter we decided that a woman has a personal right of
privacy that extended to the unborn life in her womb; consequently, over 42
million fetuses have been aborted since Norma McCorvey
was the unnamed plaintiff in “Roe v. Wade.”
David Koresh and Jim Jones led their followers
to their untimely deaths in the name of religion. More recently, the battle for the hearts and
minds of American has been carried forward by others such as the avowed
atheist, Dr. Michael Newdow, who wants the phrase
“under God” stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance. There are organizations which continue to
fund and fight this battle for the national conscience such as the ACLU and
People for the American Way
which want to legitimize homosexual marriage in the name of equality. In the very near future a major feature film
is about to debut which, although touted as fictional, casts doubt upon the
very foundational precepts of Christianity; this film, of course, is “The DaVinci Code” which is based upon the best-selling novel by
Dan Brown. Dan Brown contends it is
historical fiction but then states that every historical assertion in the book
is factually accurate.
What is going on here? When did all of this happen? Why isn’t my country originally founded upon
the idea of a “Creator” and the “freedom of religion” (not freedom from
religion) protecting the rights of those who call themselves “Christians?” Are these the biggest problems we face or is there something else out there that should concern
us? Is there anything more insidious,
more potentially damaging to Christianity than the assertion of non-belief in
God, advancement of the homosexual agenda or even the idea that the historical
foundation of Christianity is false?
In answering those questions and particularly
the last query, three concepts come to mind:
(1) lack of personal responsibility, (2) postmodernism which embodies
that idea that truth is relative, i.e. there is no absolute truth and (3) universalism
which basically stands for the proposition that all paths lead to God. Each of these ideas lays the groundwork for
disintegration of basic foundational precepts and ultimately, to anarchy. We have heard the expression that “an idea
can kill millions” and in this case, that statement is absolutely true. These ideas can and will result in the
spiritual deaths of untold millions.
The failure to exercise personal
responsibility results in the breakdown of the society’s structure. When an individual abandons the idea that
they are ultimately responsible for their actions, then there is no ultimate
consequence for their actions. Hence,
the atheist can intellectually maintain that the only person that he is finally
answerable to is himself. If there is no
God, then there is no final Judge. In
other words, in that great line from the movie “Groundhog Day”, “[t]here are no
consequences. We can do anything we want.”
I don’t think that most atheists would take such an extreme position
because they will state that adherence to the laws of the land maintains
society’s framework. However, if you
logically carry the atheist position to its ultimate end, then the result is
that there is no ultimate responsibility.
If there is no ultimate responsibility for one’s actions, then the sole
focus of existence should be to satisfy the needs and desires of each
individual. “Eat, drink and be merry,
for tomorrow we die.” I can step on or
take advantage of anyone I want and the only person I am answerable to is
me. No action or cause is immoral and
only the legal boundaries of society constrict my behavior. Only my feelings and well-being (physical,
emotional and intellectual) matter; every other person’s needs and/or desires
are secondary, at best. Who cares about
the victims of violent crime, or natural disasters such as the tsunami in Southeast Asia or Hurricane Katrina? What does it matter if others are harmed so
long as it is not me? The lack of
personal responsibility results in narcissism, i.e. complete self-centeredness. No one is more important than me.
Postmodern thinkers say that
claiming to know truth is arrogant or unloving. To some, postmodern skepticism appears similar to relativism
or even nihilism.
Those defenders of post-modern thinking
would maintain that there is a definite in that while relativism and nihilism
are generally viewed as an abandonment
of meaning and authority, postmodern philosophy is
generally viewed as an openness
to meaning and authority from unexpected places, so that the ultimate source of
authority is the "play" of the discourse itself. In other words, truth is where you find
it. Consequently, that
which is true for you may not be true for me. All truth is relative and there are no
absolutes. If there are no absolutes,
i.e. if all truth is relative, then my position on issues is just as valid as
your position due to the fact that each “truth” may be based on a different
foundation. Any criticism that may have
been leveled before is now invalid. We
have seen this philosophy expressed in contemporary times as “I’m okay, you’re
okay” or in the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
Lastly, the concept of
universalism embodies the idea that we all are trying to get to the same place
(heaven, eternal consciousness, a higher plane) but we are just using different
methods. It really doesn’t matter what
you believe just as long as your belief is sincere. It also implies that we all worship the same
God, its just that we use a different name for
Him. Allah is the same as Jehovah who is
the same as God who is the same as (fill in the blank at this point). Therefore, the teaching of the Bible must be
taken symbolically rather than literally and the various personal accounts in
the Bible are nothing more than fictional stories used to illustrate the given
writer’s point of view. I recently came across
this idea presented in the national media to millions of people when I was
listening to Bill O'Reilly’s radio program and he was talking about sin and
condemnation to hell. A caller who was
evidently a born-again Christian tried to tell him that Jesus was the only way to heaven; Bill
politely ridiculed the caller. He said that if that was what he professed, then
the caller was going to not be taken seriously. The verse in question was
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except
through me." O'Reilly's interpretation was that Jesus was not talking
about belief in Him as the Son of God but rather, coming to God was
accomplished by living like Jesus, i.e. loving your neighbor, being a good
person, etc. In other words, you can work your way into heaven. There was also
the implication that there is no ultimate truth in this regard. He actually
said that there were many ways to get to heaven; it was up to the individual. This thinking is very prevalent in our
society and around the world.
I also came across a posting which
criticized certain books which are apparently very popular on the reading
circuit. I have taken the liberty of
copying the critique in its entirety without correction or modification:
Posted on theCatholicMoms.com web site (March 30, 2006):
Beware of the book, Conversations with
God. Dr. James Dobson talked about this book twice this week. It is devastating
and parents and Christian schools need to be aware of this. Do pass it on to
church/e-mail addressees, Parents, Grand parents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins,
Please pay special
attention not only to what your kids watch on TV and in movie theaters and the
music they listen to, but we must also be alert regarding the books they read.
Two particular books,
"Conversations with God" and "Conversations with God for
Teens," written by Neale D. Walsch,
sound harmless enough by their titles alone. These books have been on the New
York Times best sellers list for a number of weeks, and! these publications
make truth of the statement, "Don't judge a book by its cover/title."
The author purports to
answer various questions from kids using the "voice of God". However,
the "answers" that he gives are not Bible-based and go against the
very infallible word of God.
For instance (and
I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question "Why am I a lesbian?"
His answer is that she was born that way because of genetics (just as you were
born right-handed, with blue eyes, etc.). Then he tells her to go out and
"celebrate" her differences.
Another girl poses the
question "I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should
marry him because I am living in sin. Should I marry him?" His reply is, "Who are you sinning
against? Not me, because you have done nothing wrong."
Another question asks
about God's forgiveness of sin. His reply "I do not forgive anyone because
there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong and that
is what I have been trying to tell everyone, do not judge people. People have
chosen to judge one another and this is wrong, because the rule is "'judge
not lest ye be judged.'"
And the list goes on.
Not only are these
books the false doctrine of devils, but in some instances even quote (in error)
the Word of God. These books (and others
like it) are being sold to school children (The Scholastic Book Club), and we
need to be aware of what is being fed to our children.
Our children are under
attack. So I pray that you be sober and vigilant about teaching your children
the Word of God, and guarding their exposure to worldly mediums, because our
adversary, the Devil, roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour
(1 Peter 5:8). And how many of us know that lions usually hunt for the slowest,
and weakest and YOUNGEST of its prey.
There are many Christian leaders and secular writers who are describing the state
of decline of our culture. The popular term used to describe this state is
postmodernism. Briefly, postmodernism represents a growing rejection of
rational empiricism, science, and Christian absolutes, or any objective truth.
Relativism and one's experience or feelings as the basis of personal
"truth," characterize postmodernism.
This cultural trend serves as a greenhouse for the beliefs and practices of the
New Age Movement to flourish. The religious philosophy of the New Age generally
rejects God as a personal eternal Being who created, rules over, and defines
the limits and boundaries of His creation (Acts 17:24-26). Hundreds of expressions of the New Age
Movement basically teach that mankind is individually and collectively God, and
therefore creates his own reality and truth.
God-realization is reached through a process of reincarnation and enlightenment.
The process can involve Transcendental Meditation, channeled messages through
mediums, and other occult practices or "spiritual technologies."
Another serious indicator of people's search for "spirituality,"
meaning, and transcendence is reflected by the amazing popularity of New Age
and occult books that have sold millions in recent years. Titles such as Embraced
by the Light, Simple Abundance, A Book of Angels, Chicken Soup for the Soul
series, Saved by the Light, The Celestine Prophecy, The Tenth Insight, Don't
Sweat the Small Stuff, and the many works of Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil,
have been riding high, consistently, on the New York Times and Publisher's
Weekly "non-fiction" best-selling charts.
Two of the more blatantly bizarre books, Talking to Heaven by James Van Praagh and Conversations with God, Book 1, by Neale Donald Walsch, have both enjoyed
number one status on the New York Times best-seller list respectively.
While the two books have some surface differences, their
underlying themes and messages are similarly very much in the New Age/occult
vein. Walsch's books purport to be a transcription
of a dialogue between God and himself, giving answers about life's meaning and
Van Praagh's book alleges communications with spirits
of deceased people in heaven, and gives ostensibly divine pronouncements about
Life's meaning and purpose. ~ Craig Branch
Are these things just happening or is there something else
behind it all? Are all of these
developments merely coincidental or are is there something at work that we do
Most people will probably take the position that this is just
a natural development of our “post-modern” society and that as we have become
more “enlightened”, we are more critical in our thinking. We no longer have need or use for ancient
myths of divine origin and intervention that should be appropriately shelved as
nothing more than our ancestors’ inability to explain the natural world. We are not the same people we were one
hundred, fifty or even twenty years ago.
We are advanced; we are intellectual; we are self-sufficient and we have
evolved past our prior state of dependency upon fairy tales to explain that
which could not be explained before.
Surely no one prior to our generation would have foreseen
these developments. Surely this change
in philosophical outlook could not have been foretold. Quite to the contrary; everything that we are
now seeing was prophesied long ago.
** New International
King James Version
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives,
the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said,
"when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of
the end of the age?" 4 Jesus
answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in
my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 You will hear
of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such
things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in
various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 "Then you will be handed over to be
persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of
me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and
hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many
people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow
cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel
of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him
privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the
sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and
said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in
my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of
wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not
troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there
shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers
places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver
you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all
nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall
betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets
shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the
love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the
same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then
shall the end come.
In these verses Jesus describes what many believe to be that
current state of our world. The signs of
the end of the age and of His return seem to be in place. Deception is rampant and there are many who
proclaim themselves to be divine. We are
now engaged in World War III as a struggle against Islamic fundamentalism which
seeks to literally destroy the nation of Israel
and its people along with the United
States which is considered to be the “Great
Satan.” We have seen an unprecedented
rise in natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and
tornadoes. The last century was the
bloodiest century in the history of the world.
Africa is dying and now the world
shudders at the thought of a pandemic caused by the Avian flu. Many have turned away from the faith of their
fathers and there is an outright assault on the Christian faith. You can’t discriminate against anyone except
a Christian; that is perfectly acceptable.
We are polarized as a people due to the sovereignty or illegal immigration
issue and our leaders seem ill-equipped to deal with the problem. Evil reigns, wickedness flourishes and apathy
rules. Many despair and wonder how all
of this could happen, especially now when we, as a people, have advanced so
far. So what is it that we should really
be concerned about?
** New International
King James Version
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
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.
We are engaged in an eternal spiritual struggle and that
struggle will determine the final chapter for all mankind. It is a war, a war that fully engages our
very being but a war that many fail to perceive. It is a war that leaves many wounded in its
wake. It is a war that is strategic and
calculating and involves every person everywhere. It is a war that is orchestrated by a realm
that we do not often see directly but only indirectly. It is a war that has an antagonist and a
protagonist. It is a war led by the most
devious and evil mind every created; that mind is the spirit of the antichrist
or Satan himself.
The good news is that we can recognize what is going on around
us. It is within our purview to test
everything we hear, everything we see, everything we experience.
1 John 4:1-3
** New International
King James Version
friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether
they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that
acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every
spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of
the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the
believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the
Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is
not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that
it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
This passage is clear that Jesus Christ is the standard; Jesus
Christ is the test. Unless that spirit,
teaching or belief has Jesus Christ as the Son of God at its center, it is
false and is the spirit of the antichrist.
This spirit was and now is in the world today and it manifests itself as
evil incarnate. It leaves a path of
destroyed lives, ruin and anarchy. The
problem is that it disguises itself as concepts or ideals that, at first blush,
seem harmless or even beneficial, e.g. equality of ideas, tolerance of lifestyle,
open-mindedness and acceptability.
However, depending on the context, these ideas can be anything but
God also provides the protection and the weapons to deal with
these ideas. It is clear, according to scripture, that we are in a fight for our spiritual lives
and the spiritual lives of those around us.
Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-18
** New International
King James Version
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty
power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand
against the devil's schemes. * * * 13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to
stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted
with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all
this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the
flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword
of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all
occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert
and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11
Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. * * *
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and
having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about
with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet
shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the
shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of
the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication
in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication
for all saints;
It is a mighty battle and in the end, there are no neutral
parties. Therefore, each and very day we
need to gird ourselves with the full armor of God: truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith and
salvation through Jesus Christ, our Deliverer.
There are two offensive weapons listed in this passage: the sword of the Spirit being the Word of God
and prayer. Prayer is emphasized as a
weapon to be utilized at all times and on all occasions for “[t]he effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16).
We are at war and that war is with the spirit of the
antichrist. This war takes no prisoners
and no truce will ever be offered or accepted.
There can only be one final outcome.
Fortunately, the outcome is foreseen and we will overcome through the
power of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ but in the meantime, we need to understand what we are up
against. If you have been on the sidelines
and observing what is going on, you need to get in the game. Time is growing short; the end is near; and,
the outcome is crucial. Won’t you do it
before it is too late?
** A modern language quote is
provided for readability together with the accompanying KJV version which is believed
by many to be a more accurate representation of the original scripture.
Comments or questions may be directed to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.