Happy New Year! We thank God for the gift of another year. Moses prayed, as written in the Psalms, “…teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom…” (Psalms 90:12). The Psalmist declared that, the day speaks and the night speaks. (Psalms 19:1-4); “THE HEAVENS declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork…2 Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard. 4 Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world…” (AMP). We are used to the voices of human messengers of God but these silent messengers are speaking aloud! Yes, the firmament, nature as well as events in this material world! The voices of these ‘inaudible prophets’ resound to all nooks and crannies of the world but who is listening? What wisdom are we applying to our brief sojourn on this earth? Oh that God may open our ears to heed these inaudible witnesses!
The year 2014 is another year that is laden with prophetic events. It is a year that could make a significant landmark in Christianity. It is a year that could see the persecution of Christians in regions that were least expected. This is a year that could bring to the fore key Biblical prophecies; there would be revival among some believers and massive drifting of some to delusion. The line between truth and lie would become thinner and thinner such that it would take the Holy Spirit and the revelation wisdom of God to keep a Christian focused on the truth.
This year we would explore Biblical prophecies about the anti-Christ, the coming revival and several other end time events and see how things are playing out today.
The Bible teaches us about the following;
The Bible teaches about certain persons who, as a result of their character, could be called antichrists. (1 John 2:18-19,22-23). An antichrist for singular!
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
Whom did John refer to as antichrists? They were those who could not endure the preaching of the gospel and consequently quit the Christian Faith. He said, they went out from us because they were not of us. That is, they did not have part in the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. These people were further described in verses 22,
“And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ! Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
This description is so explicit. Note the words, “an antichrist.” From this description it is not difficult to recognize those who are antichrists. It is those who do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The word, antichrists, also describes those who fall away from the Faith and begin to work against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Bible also taught about the spirit of the Antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.” (NLT).
Note the words, “the spirit of the Antichrist.” Even before the Antichrist manifests his physical presence on earth, the spirit of the Antichrist is already present and actively working in the world and in the Churches. It is the spirit of Satan which masks itself with religious garments. It could perform miracles, prophesy and manifest other supernatural capabilities which look exactly like the genuine gifts of God. 2 Thes.2:9-10 says,
“This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.”
Remember the magicians that withstood Moses and Aaron! They could perform almost every miracle which Moses and Aaron performed. (Exod.7:20-22). Every counterfeit manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; every false teaching and counterfeit Christian piety in the world today owe their source to the spirit of the Antichrist.
How can the operation of the spirit of the Antichrist be identified? One of the ways to check what spirit is in operation is to check the validity of the Word being preached. Any preaching which demeans the Personality or Divinity of Jesus Christ originates from hell; any preaching which is capable of seducing a believer from a righteous standing in God has its origin in hell. (Deut.13:1-3). Many preachers today are under the influence of the spirit of the Antichrist.
The Bible also teaches about a person called the Antichrist. When the Bible describes those who deny the Deity of Jesus or those who left the faith and began to work against the faith, as antichrists, there is usually an indefinite article; “an” or it would be expressed in its plural form, “antichrists”. (1 John 2:18,20). But when the Bible talks about the main character of this prophecy it uses the definite article, “the”. (1 John 4:3 NLT). Observe the interplay of words in 1 John 2:18 (NLT),
“Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.” (Emphasis mine for clarity!).
There is, “the Antichrist” and there are “antichrists.” While the Antichrist is yet to appear, there are many people in Christendom and in the world today who are carrying some characteristics of the Antichrist.
The Antichrist was also described with some other terms in the scriptures. Some of those terms are;
a. Man of Sin or the Lawless One (2 Thes.2:3)
b. The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thes.2:8)
c. The Son of Perdition (2 Thes.2:3)
The above scriptures describe a personality who would rule the world. Some people believe that this figure had already existed in the past; some believe the rulership of this Son of Perdition is a future event. We hope to explore this in our next article. Meanwhile, let us examine ourselves and pray as Jesus admonished in Luke 21:34-36,
“34 Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
Our desire should be to escape, and we can if we pray as Jesus admonished.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father..." (John 14:12).