The Antichrist

John David Clark, Sr. - October, 1994

Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Paul asserts that before our Lord's return there is to be a "falling away" from the faith and a revealing of "that man of sin" - better known as "the antichrist". This "falling away" from the faith is not a denial of all religious faith; rather, it is a perversion of the true faith of Christ! Seeing this great wickedness developing in his day, the apostle John wrote, "...As ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists.... They went out from us, but they were not of us.... We see this happen in the book of Acts, when "certain men came down" from the church in Jerusalem, teaching things which John and the other apostles did not send them to teach. Those men went out from the apostolic church in Jerusalem, but they were not of the apostles' spirit.

John, in proclaiming "They went out from us", reveals how the antichrist began his work and how the great falling away is to take place. The falling away is a departure from the true faith, a distortion of it, not a rejection of faith itself. A rejection of all faith would deceive no one. But Satan's perversion of the faith has already deceived many. We need not look for the antichrist to be a monster who is to come in the future. He is in the midst of the church now, and he has been here almost two millennia, establishing various "Christian" traditions which in one way or another displace the rule of the Spirit over the lives of God's people.

Few people know that the envious spirit of Satan, the son of perdition, is actually saying to the children of men, "I am Christ". He encourages men to serve Christ Jesus - but REDEFINES WHAT SERVING JESUS MEANS! Satan wants men to serve the Lord as he defines him, but the Bible's name for Satan's brand of religion is "antichrist". Still, because it appears good, it deceives everyone who is not led by the holy Spirit in their worship. By this craft, Satan is deceiving multitudes among the people of God, inspiring them to worship God "after the doctrines and commandments of men" rather than "in spirit and in truth".

This great adversary of righteousness, knowing that many, like the rich young ruler (Mt.19:16-21), would desire to appear righteous without fully obeying God, has provided for them various forms of Spiritless worship. And it is upon this elaborate structure of powerless religion that the antichrist is enthroned. Unfortunately, God's people, after receiving the holy Ghost baptism, often are persuaded to join themselves to those same dead religious forms - forms which would have kept them from ever receiving the holy Ghost in the first place! Whenever they join, however, they become subject to the antichrist's alluring, wicked influence. And those who know God just shake their heads in wonder, and ask, "Why? Why join something that is contrary to the very life given to you from God?"

In 1 Corinthians 3:16, we read, "Know ye not that YE are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" The "mystery of iniquity" mentioned by Paul as already working in his day (2Thess.2:7) is that the spirit of antichrist may inhabit that same temple. The spirit of antichrist may enter the temple of God only as the children of God invite him into their hearts however, for he has no power at all to force himself upon them. But how is it that so many of God's precious children have been persuaded to welcome this unsanctified visitor? By trusting men who appear to be righteous and knowledgeable, and by doing what these same men have taught them is right; namely, to partake of a form of religion - Christianity - which sprang from Satan himself. Christianity - the very thing innocent believers least expect to cause them harm.

The Spirit is not leading God's people into any of the dead ceremonies, doctrines, and sects of Christianity; he is calling them out of them all. "Come out of her my people, that ye partake not of her sins and receive not of her plagues."

The Spirit That Confesses Christ

In 1 John 4:2,3 we have these words: "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God. Every SPIRIT [not every person!] that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. 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." If there is any spirit except the holy Ghost that has ever borne witness, or confessed, to the coming of our Lord in the flesh, your writer knows nothing of it. The Spirit of God is not dumb. It speaks in tongues through you, or "confesses", when it enters your body, making it the temple of God. But even in John's day, many began to teach that one could receive the holy Spirit without speaking in tongues.

What about you, my reader, do you have the real holy Ghost in your body? the holy Ghost that "confesses" that Jesus came in the flesh and shed his blood to sanctify you as a member of his true church? You must answer in the light of the word of God. For instance, here is what Jesus himself emphatically avouched: "But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, HE shall testify of me. And ye also shall bear witness" (Jn.15:26,27). This is exactly what happened to Jesus' disciples on the day of Pentecost. They received the holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues "as the spirit gave them the utterance." Then they went out, preaching the word of God everywhere. Consequently, my reader, any spirit you may have received that has failed to meet the Lord's condition of a verbal confession is not the real holy Ghost. It is instead Satan's substitute: the spirit of antichrist.

Millions who profess to belong to Christ are badly deceived by this arrogant spirit of Lucifer. Rather than belonging to Christ, they have given their hearts to the christ which Satan has invented. Yet, in all this, they have been, in general, sincere and respectable citizens. This was true concerning the Pharisees. They were esteemed to be righteous; nevertheless, they persecuted Jesus and his followers and treated them as criminals. Confession of the truth will provoke the same reaction now from those entangled in the antichrist's religious system (2Tim.3:12). Speaking in tongues as the sign of receiving the holy Ghost is condemned by the spirit of antichrist because it exposes him as being the fraud that he is. The Master, in speaking to the Pharisees on one occasion, said: "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Lk.16:15).

If there is one thing above all else that is highly esteemed among men, it is their great church creeds and confessions. Yet those same creeds and confessions can be abominations to God. False religion has always been popular with the world and will continue to be until the end. That is understandable. But the tragedy is that false religion has also all too often been popular with the saints! The doctrines of men who were inspired not by the "Father of light", but by the "father of lies" have entranced them. Peter points this out in his second epistle: "But there were false prophets also among the [Old Testament] people [of God], even as there shall be false teachers among you [New Testament people of God], who privily shall bring in[to the church] damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.... And many [of the New Testament people of God] shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of [by God's own people].... While they [ministers] promise them [congregations] liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption..." (2Pet.2:1,2,19). Jude (4,19) continues this description. "For there are certain men crept in[to the church] unawares.... These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit".

The Real Spirit of Christ

According to Paul, the believer's body is the temple of God (1Cor.3:16), and the antichrist is "sitting in the temple of God showing himself that he is God." You are witnessing this take place every time that a Spirit-baptized person tells others that they do not need the Spirit's baptism in order to be born again. To say it another way, the spirit of antichrist is he who inspires those who speak in tongues to deny the necessity of doing so.

The Spirit of Christ (holy Ghost) can be with a person and not yet be in that person. Actually, this is exactly what takes place with every person who begins to follow the Lord. It was true of Jesus' disciples (Jn.14:17), and it is true now. The crafty spirit of antichrist, using misguided Christian ministers, tells those who have begun to follow the Lord that they have the Spirit even if they have not spoken in tongues. But any non-speaking spirit the Devil can persuade you to recognize as being of God is only a spirit of that man of sin - the antichrist. The Spirit of God confesses Christ when it comes in.

When Satan fails to keep a sinner from turning to Christ Jesus, he does not give up. His next approach is to use his ministers to persuade that repentant soul to move ahead of the Spirit and to claim something he hasn't yet received. Therefore, for every soul who begins to pursue the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, the greatest danger of all is Christianity's ministers. With a warm, congratulatory smile, they will tell the souls who have turned toward God that they are already born again - even before receiving the holy Ghost! Such ministers are Satan's most attractive and well-laid snare. And if the soul seeking God is satisfied merely to be told by a man that his sins are washed away, that may be all that he ever receives: the praise of men. But if what he wants is a witness, a confirmation from heaven that his soul has been cleansed, he will not be stopped from seeking and receiving the holy Ghost. For "The Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is truth" (1Jn.5:6).

Now, there is nothing wrong with a follower of Christ speaking of his devotion and love for the Lord; however, no one should ever profess God's presence as abiding in him until he is baptized with the holy Ghost and has the Spirit speaking in tongues through him. The appealing snare of Satan is that one can play a great part in Christianity without ever receiving the real Spirit of God. But without God's Spirit, no one has a part in God's kingdom.

In Romans 8:9 we read, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The Spirit of Christ is another name for the holy Ghost. As Paul asserted, there is but "one Spirit" (one holy Spirit of course. Eph.4:4). All other spirits, regardless of what men think of them, are speechless, deceptive, and are of the antichrist profile. Innumerable multitudes are deceived today, being taught that they are "born again" without receiving the Spirit of God and its heavenly witness. Paul specifically foretold of this horrible event and has commanded us to see that we be not deceived. There is no such thing as being born again before receiving the holy Ghost baptism - with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Spiritless religion is of "that man of sin" and belongs in the hands of the antichrist.

My friend, if you are professing to be born again, but have not yet received the holy Ghost, you are dangerously entangled with the spirit of antichrist, even though you may be sincere in your believing. As has been pointed out, the difference between the way of antichrist and the way of Christ is that those in the way of Christ have received the real Spirit of God (Rom.8:9).

"Many deceivers", the elder tells us, "are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come into the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (2Jn.7). Yes, there are many now who do not have the Spirit's confession of Christ, even though they speak well of Jesus. Just look at how this filthy spirit of the enemy has deceived the entire pentecostal/charismatic community! The power and life which they used to know, indeed which used to set them apart, is departing as they lessen their emphasis on our need for the holy Ghost. What they stress now is, "Get saved! Get saved! Get saved!" But this is all that antichrist has to offer - an empty promise of salvation - if we will only believe his vain words and, thus, receive his speechless spirit. Let us rather take good heed to the apostles' words: "baptism doth also now save us" (1Pet.3:21), and salvation is "by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the holy Ghost" (Tit.3:5). The truth is, my friend, that the baptism of the holy Ghost not only will save us in the end, but it is the experience which gives us a clear conscience while we are on the way there.

We join hearts with our brother Peter, who proclaimed, "We are his witnesses, and so is the holy Ghost, which God hath given to all them that obey him" (Acts 5:32). Have you obeyed God, my friend? Unless you have received God's personal witness to your obedience - the baptism of the holy Ghost - the answer must be, "No". A Christian minister under the influence of the spirit of antichrist may tell you that you are washed from your sins without this kind of obedience. But you know in your heart, and God knows, when "your obedience is fulfilled". Why not surrender completely to him now, that you too may enjoy the Blessing with the many thousands who have fully obeyed the will of God? "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39).

It is your choice: the dumb spirit of antichrist (with its appearance of righteousness and the praise of "Christian" men) or the Spirit of Christ which speaks when it enters and brings genuine peace with God. Which will you choose?


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