The Spirit of Antichrist is Abroad Today!
Mt 24:24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Da 11:32 “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”
This morning the Lord has directed me to deal with the subject of antichrist as we have an antichrist running for president of the United States of America. Things are getting rather interesting in the world as there are those who are speaking of a New World Order; something I haven’t heard since George Sr. was president. The worlds finance ministers are meeting with President Bush to discuss a solution. And one of those solutions is to create some kind of global market. I haven’t heard stuff like this for years. I used to read about such scenarios when I was really into bible prophesy and was listening to people like Peter and Paul Lalonde, Dr. Stuart MacByrnie, and Doug Clark among others. After a while I began to laugh at these men because I thought they were merely speculating. They were at times sensationalists but it does seem interesting to me that their ideas are being borne out as right in many respects.
Things seem to be moving rather quickly.
Then there is that self proclaimed savior of our nation Barack Obama; the man whom Minister Louis Farrakhan has declared this week to be the ‘messiah!” He said that “the messiah has indeed spoken’ referring to Obama. This man has employed various groups to secure his ascendancy to the White House; groups such as Acorn which has been registering voters at a furious pace. But they are going against the laws of the land in helping in one case, a man to register 72 times and paying him in money and cigarettes. In Houston Texas it was discovered that there are 4000 dead people who are registered to vote.
Now we understand that all these things are illegal. But the world doesn’t care for law anymore. Just drive on the freeway and you’ll agree with me. But then, isn’t the antichrist referred to as the man of lawlessness in 2Th 2:3. Paul is seeking to comfort the Christians in Thessalonica who have been told that Jesus had already come and they had been left behind. And Paul says; “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (the return of Jesus) will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness (that is one who is without law) is revealed, the son of destruction,
And we read in 2Th 2:7 “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; (I believe we can wholeheartedly agree on this fact. Lawlessness is growing by leaps and bounds. I have speculated that those in power today are those who used to protest in the 60’s. They found that this wasn’t working so they worked their way into positions of power and now they are seated in places of authority where they can now freely dispense their ideologies and make them the laws of the land. And their minions; those who hold to the same ideals, or who have been duped by the rhetoric of lawless men and woman hate anything that smacks truth and justice and the American way! This is why those who are law abiding citizens are looked down upon as idiots and legalists. And we ain’t seen nothin yet. The spirit of antichrist is on the loose and seeking to gain the upper hand) only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”
I am beginning to feel like the preachers of pre-revolutionary war America who warned of the danger that was coming. But I cannot keep silent for I am a watchman on the wall and I am sounding the alarm. Horror, hideous, monstrous horror is just an election away. Now again, I am not saying that Obama is the antichrist, but that he is definitely an antichrist. He stands for everything that America has fought to defeat since its inception as a nation.
He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In Da 11:32 that prophet warned us that “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, To those who hate God, he will be a messiah who will say all the right things and they will proclaim him their savior. We can see this clearly today can we not! Barack Obama is a smooth talking orator who mesmerizes his crowds; people faint during his speeches. Re 13:11 “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. One commentator says that this one has the roar of a dragon with all the looks of a lamb (weakness and innocence). As I said; a wolf in sheep’s clothing
Now in the book of Dan 8:23-25 we have a prophesy which speaks of the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes who is a picture of the final antichrist. We read “In the latter period of their rule, when the transgressors have run their course, a king will arise, insolent and skilled in intrigue. concealing his purpose behind vague words, putting on a false front.
Note verse 24 “His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, Paul describes this one in 2Th 2:9 referring to him as: “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, “and” Daniel tells us that “he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; he will destroy mighty men and the holy people. 25 “And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at ease. Remember that there will be a false peace, to the point where men are saying “peace and safety” but then sudden destruction will overtake them and they will not escape.
Daniel tells us further that “He will even oppose the Prince of princes, this is a characteristic of all antichrists. They hate God and everything He stands for. They are like cockroaches; they hate the light of God’s law and run for cover like a vampire running from a cross. Today we know that there are men and women at work, energized by the prince of the power of the air. They are doing their wild work of erasing any reference of God in our society; a society which was built on the word of God.
Socialism is a godless ideology which seeks to replace God with the State. Socialists seek to cause their subjects to be dependent on the state for all things and they are ruthless in their opposition to anyone or anything that would take the place of the all powerful state. Look at the purges of Stalin and Lenin and others who held to this belief.
I have been saying that when antichrist seizes power, we who love Jesus Christ will have to pay with our lives. We will have to seal our testimony with our blood! I have found myself being envious of Drs. Kennedy and Falwell. They are home now and will not have to see the horrors that are coming upon the earth. But I find myself being energized at the same time because of the mandates of Scripture to pray, to preach, to bear witness, to do exploits for our God! “but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.” Da 11:32b
And we know the end from the beginning. We know the rest of the story; not because of something inside ourselves but God has revealed to us the end of the antichrist. He may shout and boast. He may brag and bounce for a while. But God has
1. Ordained that he would come. And
2. Ordained his end.
The scriptures tell us that but he will be broken without human agency.” Again 2Th 2:8 “Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming” God Himself will sweep the antichrist into outer darkness forever and ever. He may boast and he may swing his sword around for a time; but when Jesus Christ rides down on his white horse, the beast will be taken and along with his false prophet, cast into hell.
Now what I want to do for the remainder of our time is to examine what is called “The Olivet Discourse” which is found in Mt 24 and we will be looking at verses 1-28. Let’s see what Jesus had to say about the end of the world. And I want to point out to you that there are two things going on at the same time; weaving as it were, in and out of each other. We have the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. As we read verse 1 “Jesus came out from the temple (and this was just after He had proclaimed the “woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” statements) and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. I have told you before that the Jerusalem temple was one of the wonders of the world at this time. Some of the stones that made up the Temple weighed in at 180 tons. From John Gill we have this comment; “Luke says, “how it was adorned with goodly stones, and gifts.” The Jews give very great encomiums of the second temple, as repaired by Herod; and it was undoubtedly a very fine structure. They say that he built the house of the sanctuary, “an exceeding beautiful building”; and that he repaired the temple, in beauty “greatly exceeding” that of Solomon’s. They moreover observe that
“he who has not seen the building of Herod, has never seen, “a beautiful building.” With what is it built? says Rabbah, with stones of green and white marble. And there are others say, that it was built with stones of spotted green and white marble.”
These, very likely, were the very stones the disciples pointed to, and admired; and were of a prodigious size, as well as worth. Some of the stones were, as Josephus says, “forty five cubits long, five high, and six broad.” Others of them, as he elsewhere affirm “were twenty five cubits long, eight high, and twelve broad.”
And he also tells us, in the same place, that there were, “in the porches, four rows of pillars: the thickness of each pillar was as much as three men, with their arms stretched out, and joined together, could grasp; the length twenty seven feet, and the number of them an hundred and sixty two, and beautiful to a miracle.”
At the size of those stones, and the beauty of the work, it is said Titus Vespasian, the man who destroyed Jerusalem was astonished, when he destroyed the temple; at which time his soldiers plundered it, and took away “the gifts,” with which it is also said to be adorned. These were rich and valuable things which were dedicated to it, and either laid up in it, or hung upon the walls and pillars of it, as it was usual in other temples. These may, intend the golden table given by Pompey, and the spoils which Herod dedicated; and particularly the golden vine, which was a gift of his; besides multitudes of other valuable things, which were greatly enriching and ornamental to it. Now the disciples suggest, by observing these, what a pity it was such a grand edifice should be destroyed; or how unaccountable it was; that a place of so much strength, could easily be demolished.
We read in verse 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Note clearly the two subjects that Jesus will now describe. The one, the destruction of Jerusalem, will be a picture of the destruction of the world. Verse 4 “And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. Now what have we been hearing since almost the very beginning of Barrack’s run for the Presidency;
1. born in a manger
2. the messiah.
3. the savior
4. the only one who can save the soul of America.
And finally there is the aforementioned Louis Farrakhan who has stated just this past week in reference to Obama; “The Messiah has spoken!” How much more information do you need to at least identify Obama as a false Christ? He has misled millions, including members of my own family.
Then too we have verse 6 “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. Right now we are fighting the enemy in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Then there are the wars of the Russian bear who seeks to re-gather her old cubs. Communist Venezuela is flexing its muscle in Latin America; the Mexican Army is making incursions into the United States and of course, Israel is a point of contention for the whole Middle East. Jesus tells us; “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. These things are occurring all around the world. Now what does Jesus say about these signs; 8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. These things are just the prelude, the forerunner; the foretaste of what will happen at the end!
Note verse 9 “Then they will deliver you (you, the disciples and all believers) 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 people’s love will grow cold. How cold will people become? We read in Mt 10:36 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Fathers will deliver believing wives and wives believing husbands. Children will betray parents and we are talking evil beyond our capacity to comprehend. Remember that as long as God’s restraining hand is in place, the spirit of antichrist is kept at bay. But once that hand is removed, all hell will literally be cut loose to have free reign. In John 16:2 Jesus tells us that “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” 13“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. The one who holds fast to his confession of faith and so proves that he is Jesus’ disciple: this one will be saved.
14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. I remember hearing preachers say we’ve got to preach the gospel in every nation and then Jesus will come back. This was the vision of the Southern Baptist program “Bold Mission Thrust.” The idea was that ‘we will usher in the kingdom of God.’ It was a kind of “Post Millennial view coupled with Arminianism.
But what Jesus is saying is that faithful men and women of God will stand forth and preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit they will testify of sin, righteousness and judgment. They will hold forth the Word of God as the Holy Standard, the Holy Law of God to a lost and dying world. And these who love the Lord Jesus Christ will do so faithfully, not regarding their own lives. We read in Re 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Continuing in verse 15 we read; “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), Here is mystery again. We know that Antiochus Epiphanes set up an altar to Zeus in the Jewish Temple and slaughtered a pig on it. Josephus, who was an eyewitness to the destruction of Jerusalem says that when the city was taken, the Romans brought their idols into the temple, and placed them over the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there. Then there are the words of Paul in 2 Thess 2:3-4 where he says, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (the return of Jesus Christ) will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
In the eyes of many ‘scholars’ this statement speaks of a third Jewish temple. Others would say that this was fulfilled when the Roman Emperor Hadrian placed a statue of himself on the ruins of the Temple Mount. And again we have the example of Antiochus Epiphanes.
It would seen to me that this dealt with the destruction of Jerusalem specifically for we read in verse 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. In other words, it is time to run for it and there is no time to go back and get anything in your house. You must ask yourself; is any of your stuff worth your life? Can your property replace your life? This is why we must hold loosely to the things of this world. They are destined for the fire.
Jesus continues in verse 19 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Remember the horrible destruction at Jerusalem; the people were crucified till there were no trees left to make crosses. Those trying to escape were sliced open by the Roman soldiers because they had been told that the Jews had swallowed their jewels. The carnage was hideous. Somewhere around one million people were slaughtered and the rest enslaved. And this is a picture of the end.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. Again I must mention Obama because he is being touted as the Messiah. What are we to do? We must not believe the hype. Obama is rising because of intrigue and his power is not his own but the devils. But this is all part of the plan. Barack Obama is here by decree of God; not as the Messiah but as a false messiah who will lead many astray. His presence will separate the truth sheep of God from the religious wolves who merely play the church game. And Jesus tells us in verse 24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Now we haven’t seen any signs or wonders yet but the day is still young. If he is the real antichrist, we’ll know soon enough. But right now we must be on the alert for he is definitely an antichrist. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, uttering smooth platitudes which those who don’t know the truth will fall for!
25 “Behold, Jesus says, I have told you in advance. We have been warned! Be on guard against those who will try to get you to put your trust in this man. He is not Jesus Christ. There is only one Messiah; Jesus Christ! 26 “So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. It is interesting that a senator once said of a private meeting (in the inner room) with Barack Obama, “It was a spiritual experience.” He may fool some but the true child of God will not, must not fall for his lies. He is a false messiah, an antichrist.
When the real Messiah, when Jesus Christ returns everyone will know it, even and perhaps especially, the false messiah! 27 “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. When Jesus returns, it will not be in secret as some say. Everyone will know that He is here. And 28 “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. To what does this refer? Well, look with me at two passages which I believe hold the answer. The first is found in Eze 39:17-21 “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, “Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. 18 “You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19 “So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20 “You will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war,” declares the Lord GOD. 21 “And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. Interestingly enough we have the exact same verses to look at in the book of Re 19:17-21 and indeed, these two passages parallel each other.
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 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. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought 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 burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
Antichrist will prosper for a season for his days are appointed from eternity past from Him who declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times, things that have not been done saying; “I will accomplish all my good pleasure, calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”
The United States of America is going through a difficult time and some are using this period of uncertainty to instill fear. And the real purpose behind their actions is to create a nation in their own image and after their hearts desire. This ‘New Order’ does not include our Lord Jesus Christ or His Holy Scriptures. The world hates the light and will not come to the light. Those outside of Christ will embrace the new ‘messiah’ with open arms and will willingly do whatever he says. He will promise a utopia, a paradise here on earth where we will be free from the chains of the old ways.
Now I have mentioned Barack Obama throughout this lesson simply because he is being held forth as the messiah, the savior of mankind. But he is a false messiah and he will only achieve the ruin of this nation. And men will wag their heads as they watch the destruction of America and they will say; “They began to build but were not able to finish.”
We as a nation have taken our eyes off of Jesus Christ, off of the Holy Word of God and have looked to other nations: indeed we have looked to the world as our new standard. We have put our trust in men and the scriptures are clear when they utter these words; “Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 “For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.” Jer 17:5-6
Having embraced the world, our nation is heading down a dark broad road, a path without hope. It is a path that leads to destruction and unless the Lord Jesus Christ intervenes and revives this nation and calls us back to the old paths of truth and holiness, I fear that this may very well be the end of America as we know it. The spirit of antichrist is abroad. Evil is being applauded in the public square while the things of God are being legislated out of our nation.
What can we do? There are two things that I see that we must do. We must pray according to 2 Chronicles 7:14 and we must stand firm in the faith. We must pray for God to have mercy upon us as a nation, to forgive our sins and heal our land and we must hold forth the Gospel before the eyes of the world. We must not shrink back from either of these. It could be that 24 days from now, America as we have known it all our lives will be overthrown. But until that day, until we know for sure that God has given us over, let us “cry mightily unto God: yea, let us turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” Jon 3:8-9