Church of God, New World Ministries

Is Antichrist Here Already?

Before we answer that question, we need to know what the Antichrist is.

Ancient people like Nero, Mohammed, Martin Luther, Hitler, and Stalin, all had one thing in common. In their day, they were all branded with the title Antichrist, and also others throughout the past 2,000 years.

Could all these people be the Antichrist? What does the Bible say about this mysterious figure? To begin with, the Bible never once speaks of the Antichrist, but as we all know the word antichrist does appear in the Bible!

The word antichrist, from the Greek means against the Messiah, and the Apostle John is the only apostle to use it. He used it four times:

I John 2:18, “as we have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrist.”

I John 2:22, “who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denies the Father and the Son.”

I John 4:3, “and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

II John 7, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

In Bible language or usage, the term antichrist does not refer exclusively to a single political or religious leader yet to arise in our day.

What we do know from the verses we just read shows that an antichrist is a deceiver, and one who in some way denies that Jesus is the Christ.

How does a person deny Jesus Christ? By evil works, of course!

In Matt. 24:5 Christ Himself prophesied that many would come saying He is the Christ. Paul wrote to Titus, Profess that they know God; but in works they deny him. These people have an outward claim to be Christians, but they refuse to obey Him. The works of their lives are evil. This is antichrist!

They deny that Jesus Christ, through His Spirit, comes into the flesh of His people, living His life in them and enabling them to obey the Law of Go. It is the spirit of lawlessness, standing in opposition to God’s law and way of life?

But there is yet another, even more subtle way that many today deny Christ and yield to the spirit of antichrist.

We all know that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, must return to this earth with authority to establish a 1,000 year reign of peace. If He didn’t do this, no flesh would be saved alive. That message or Gospel of the Bible is clear; Jesus Christ is the only hope for this earth.

But man devised his own counterfeit philosophies, religions, systems of government, all offering an alternative solution to our global problems. Man thinks he can find his own solutions to all our problems. This is the spirit of antichrist, a denial of the importance of the Messiah and His mission

From a true biblical sense, antichrist has a wide application. It can refer to persons, and powers, attitudes, and behaviors. The spirit of antichrist is found in individuals, in institutions, in religions, in societies and even in government. So you can see why Paul wrote in II Corth. 4:4, “Satan is the god of this world.” This world is under

Satan’s rule not God’s government. But his days are numbered.

Today, many use the term antichrist to designate an end-time personality who will embody the spirit of opposition to Jesus Christ, but the Bible nowhere speaks of an end-time Antichrist. However, the spirit of antichrist will blanket the earth, holding nations and kingdoms in it grip in this generation.

In time of national distress, men will turn to other men who appear to offer solutions. The Bible does talk about two individuals, who will almost be deified by mankind, One is the Beast, the other is the False Prophet. What does the Bible really say about these two individuals?

The Beast is a great dictator according to John’s writings in the book of Rev. 17:12-13, “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power (or authority) as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength (or authority) unto the beast.”

In the Bible, a beast is the symbol for a political system or its leader. How many ministers understand that? The beast will be dictator of the political system we call the Modern Roman Empire. Since the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D., numerous revivals of the beast, that Roman political system, have risen in Europe. In Rev. 17, the revivals are represented symbolically by the seven heads of a beast, six have already occurred. One last restoration of this great political system is yet to arise. This end-time beast will rule over this final restoration of the Roman Empire.

Daniel tells us this beast power is also called the king of the north, Daniel 11:40-41. This beast power will be working hand in hand with the false prophet Rev. 16:13, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”

This false prophet is a great miracle-working religious figure, Rev. 19:20. By means of lying wonders and false miracles he will command the obedience of millions Rev. 13:13-14. “And he does great wonders or signs so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles.”

Paul wrote of the false prophet in II Thess. 2:3 calling him the man of sin and the son of perdition. The word perdition means a state of final spiritual ruin. This miracle-working religious figure will declare himself to be God II Thess. 2:4. Many will believe him to be Christ in the flesh.

Now, notice that this beast will not seize power, but these ten leaders will give their power and strength unto the beast, what would cause them to do this?

For some reason they think this person is the only person to deliver them out of their troubles. Daniel sheds some light on the beast’s rise to power. Daniel writes of dual prophecy, anciently fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167-164 B.C. And will again be fulfilled in the last days Matt. 24:15. Notice what Dan 8:23 says, “And in the latter time of their kingdom when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding, dark (or riddles) sentences shall stand (or arise) up. V. 24 and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power (these ten kings will give their power and strength to him) and he shall corrupt and destroy astonishingly, and shall prosper, and do his own pleasure, and he shall corrupt and destroy the mighty men and the holy people. And through his policy or cunning also he shall cause deceit or trickery to prosper in his hand, he shall magnify himself in his heart and mind, and in their security he will corrupt and destroy many.”

What is the time setting for all of this? Read the last part of v. 25, “he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” In other words this beast power will confront Jesus Christ at His 2nd coming.

It will not be his political craftiness alone that will propel the Beast to the top. His rise to power will be supported and encouraged by the false prophet. This false prophet presides over a great centuries old religious system called Babylon the Great. This system is an image or a copy in the religious sphere of the Roman civil government system, Rev. 13:14 last part, “that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live.” This religious power is called a fallen woman in Rev. 17:1, “A harlot that sits upon many waters.” She is also referred to as a scarlet woman in verse 3.

In II Corth 11:2 and Rev. 12 from biblical symbols, a woman is representative of a church .So a fallen woman would represent an apostate church. In Rev. 17:3 John writes,” and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns.”

This religious power has historically presided over the restorations of the Roman political system (symbolized by the heads), and is yet to be associated with the final restoration (7th and last head made up of 10 powers.

The Beast will be supported in his rise to power by the False Prophet. And in turn, the Beast will use his political might to enforce religious uniformity.

Not only that, but this beast has a number 666, which is the number of a man Rev. 13:18. In the 2nd century A.D., Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, which was a disciple of John explained that in Greek the word Lateinos, which means Latin man or Roman adds up to 666. L= 30; A= 1; T=300; E-5; I=10; N=50; 0=70; S=200

Those who have this mark are subject to the beast power, without it no one can conduct any business to buy or sell. Those who have this mark will be subjected to God’s corrective plagues, Rev. 14:9-10. Why? Rev. 18:5 explains, “For her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Rev. 14:12 “here is the patience of the saints that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ.”

So the mark has something to do with commandment breaking, those who have the mark will suffer divine plagues, those who keep the commandments will not. The mark involves obedience to human authority; it is symbolic of forced allegiance.

What mark is there that separates God’s people from the rest of the so called Christian world? God’s people also have a mark, what is it? There is only one sign, Ex. 31:12-17, “Verily my Sabbaths you shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you.” Keeping God’s Sabbath is the sign that identifies God’s people.

The mark of the Beast is clearly revealed as an enforced counterfeit of the sign between God and His people, How else could this beast power, backed up by this false prophet, know who you are? If the people don’t fall in line and join in religious conformity, that is keeping pagan holidays instead of God’s Holy Days, they will not be able to hold a job or earn a living.

For those of you reading this article you need to know that this has already happened in the past, and it’s going to happen again. Fox’s book of martyrs proves that.

What would you say is one of Satan’s greatest deceptions? Would it be that you can worship Jesus Christ any way you want to, and that will be fine? The fact that in the United States we have over 400+ denominations and sects telling us that men can worship God in many different ways and still have His blessings, that we can attend the church of our choice. Human beings are taught they are free to worship God as it pleases us. This is the doctrine of antichrist.

What does God say about this?

I Thess. 5:21 God says, “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” It makes very little difference whether or not our religious ideas please us, the question should be, do they please God? God is God, and He tells us how to worship Him. “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men” (Mark 7:7-8). It is possible to worship God and Jesus Christ in vain, by the traditions of men which are the doctrines of antichrist.

The following of Jesus Christ is not popular! “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there at (following antichrist) because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). Did Christ mean what he said or didn’t he?

One thing that has been buried by Modern Christianity is the fact that the Church Christ builds, would be small in number, scattered, persecuted, and despised by the world. Luke 6:22, “Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” Verse 26; “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

It doesn’t sound like the people who follow the real Jesus Christ will be popular with the business and social sets of this world’s society, does it?

Christ tells us, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you, if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” John 16:18-20.

Notice II Peter 2:1-2, this is a warning for God’s Church today. “But there were false prophets among the people (that is Israel), even as there shall be false teachers among you, (the Church), who secretly shall bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious (or destructive) way; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”

God knew that the truth that His Son brought to this earth would be undermined and subverted by false teachers, teaching the doctrines of antichrist, misleading many who had started out to be followers of Jesus Christ.

Today there are many false ministers teaching the doctrine of antichrist. This is contrary to God’s Word. They teach a doctrine of no works, following Satan’s ministers who appear to be ministers of righteousness, law abiding people, but they are not.

Jesus Christ is to live and dwell within His people today, through His Spirit. Their lives should be complete obedience to Jesus Christ, they should live has he lived. A true Christian can say with Paul: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).

What will be the end result of this Babylonish system (antichrist)? This system will have convinced much of the world that Jesus Christ is really the Antichrist. And because of this deception, many will refuse to repent and obey God. Rev. 16:9. There is a great battle coming: called the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14)

The fate of the beast, and the false prophet and their armies John saw in a vision. Notice Rev. 19:11, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war;” Vs. 14-16, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of Lords. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken and with him the false prophet that did miracles before him with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image, these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burring with brimstone.”

Satan’s rule and the antichrist system that covers this earth will be forever ended. Don’t you be deceived by antichrist teachings. Enroll today in our Mini-Correspondence Course and Traditional Christian Doctrines series. As always, it is FREE!

 
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