The Spirit Of The Antichrist
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work
The Bible speaks of a soon coming world ruler who emerges from a dysfunctional social and political climate to establish himself as the undisputed leader of a one-world government. In Revelation 13:18, this man is symbolized as a beast and identified by the number “666.” This beast is also considered to be the manifestation or embodiment of the “spirit of the antichrist” mentioned in 1 John 2:18:
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
Since the apostle John first penned these words, Bible scholars and prophecy teachers have diligently sought to identify that one person who would become “The Antichrist.” While there is no shortage of speculative and dogmatic opinions as to who the Antichrist might be, his identity remains unknown at this time. Nevertheless, what is abundantly clear from the scriptures is that the “spirit of the antichrist” has come and “even now is already in the world” today:
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 world. (1 John 4:3)
We understand that prior to the Antichrist appearance, the spirit of the antichrist is actively working in the world to lay the required groundwork for “the man of lawlessness” mentioned in 2 Thes. 2:3-4 (the Antichrist) to seize control of people’s minds and declare himself God. This may seem far-fetched to some of us, but nevertheless, it will happen as the scriptures states:
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.9The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thes. 2:1-12)
This “man of lawlessness” is revealed in Revelations 13 as a symbolic beast and identified by the apostle John as the Antichrist. The word antichrist (Gr. antichristos) is formed from the preposition anti (Gr. anti) meaning “against,” and/or “in place of” something or someone; and Christ (Gr. Christos) meaning “anointed” or “Messiah,” with the corresponding Hebrew word being “Mashiach.” Therefore, the antichrist or spirit of the antichrist means against Christ and in place of Christ.
The scriptures teach that the spirit of the antichrist is actively working to infiltrate and undermine the message of Christ with the goal of turning our minds and hearts against Christ and biblical truth. Consequently, a growing number of people have become confused and subsequently seduced by the spirit of the antichrist into rejecting true biblical Christianity to embrace a counterfeit Christianity or religion. When the time is right, the Antichrist (the man of lawlessness) will appear on the world scene to lead eager and excited follows into a life of ungodliness with his deceptive lies. Even now we are witnessing the truth being called a lie and a lie being called the truth. Evidence of such antichrist influence is currently seen in the worldwide falling away of Christians from timeless and cardinal biblical truths to follow deceptive lies. Here are just a few examples:
- Abortion is not murder? Nearly 1.5 billion babies have been murdered through abortion with about 50 million in the United States. Roughly 3,000 babies are murdered every day through legal abortions and their body parts sold for profit in the United States. Abortion is legal in the 9th month of pregnancy for any or no reason.
- God’s design for marriage is now optional and unnecessary? Cohabitation is acceptable.
- Sexual relations outside of marriage is forbidden, according to God, but just fine to practice.
- Pornography is acceptable as long as everyone is of legal age.
- Same-sex marriages and relationships are clearly forbidden by God, but are now protected under our Constitution and have become politically, socially and religiously acceptable by many.
While it is not possible at this time to identify the Antichrist, it is possible to identify those who are living under the influence of “the spirit of the antichrist” that is “already in the world.” We understand that the spirit of the antichrist is aggressively seducing the hearts and minds of people to prepare the way for his appearance. The apostle John instructs believers to carefully examine what others teach, preach and prophesy. One conspicuous characteristic of false teachers who are led by the spirit of the antichrist is their denial that Jesus Christ came from God, was here on earth in the flesh, and is the son of God and savior of mankind. At best they may offer lip service to Christ, but their doctrines and beliefs are opposed to Christ. This would extend to any church, denomination or religious organization that does not teach Jesus Christ is God’s son and Savior of the world. To diminish Jesus to a good man, a wise man, prophet or some other designation less than the Son of God and only Savior of all mankind, is a lie being propagated by those now controlled by the spirit of the antichrist. We are instructed:
Dear 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. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but 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 world. (1 John 4:1-3)
In 1 John 2:19, John speaks of a group of people who had previously been associated with the Christian church. At some point, they ceased their association with the true church and embraced a different and false gospel. John said, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us.” This reference is to what we now call Gnosticism, a mixture of Greek philosophy, mystical beliefs, and the claim of possessing secret or special knowledge of God and Jesus that was opposed to the truth being proclaimed by the apostles. Their erroneous teachings were condemned by the apostles and the first century Church Fathers. More importantly, we see a modern-day Gnosticism that has surfaced in these last days.
Modern Gnostics profess to have a special revisionist knowledge that asserts the scriptures have been previously misinterpreted by everyone else and only they have the correct understanding. Their teachings are unbiblical and antichristian. It is clear that their deceptive lies flow from the spirit of the antichrist.
The true biblical gospel teaches many immutable truths among which the most important are these: Jesus is the son of God and only savior of all mankind. There is no other way to the Father and eternal life except through His son Jesus. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and died in our place on the cross. He bore in His body our punishment for sin. He rose from the dead on the 3rd day, ascended to heaven and lives today as the omniscient and omnipotent savior of the world. All who desire forgiveness must first repent and be born again to enter the kingdom of God. Salvation is found in no one else but Jesus. There is only one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all of us (1 Tim. 2:5-6).
I will close with this; If you have not repented and turned to Christ, now is the time.
You may be interested in this blog: Are You Really Born Again?
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